A nail-biting 14-13 win against Robinson on Friday kept the Bulldogs near the top of the Concorde, but the impact of Westfield football is being felt well beyond Fairfax County borders these days. Former Westfield star Mike Glennon (2008 grad) has been handed the reins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offense, while Eddie Royal (2004 grad) has revitalized his career with the San Diego Chargers this season. Another former Westfield standout, Evan Royster (2006 grad), continues to wait his turn with the Washington Redskins, who have been relying on Alfred Morris and Roy Helu to carry the rock so far this year.
Mike Glennon: When Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano decided to cut ties with quarterback Josh Freeman a few weeks ago, it opened the door for Glennon, who is now coming off his third consecutive start during his rookie season with the winless Bucs (0-6). While it hasn’t quite translated to victories, Glennon has improved each week, seeing his quarterback rating go from 55.7 in a Week 4 loss against the Cardinals to 84.7 two weeks later against the Eagles to 90.7 this past Sunday against the Falcons.
Glennon performed well in the first road test of his pro career Sunday in Atlanta. He completed 26 of 44 pass attempts for 256 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, marking his second straight week with at least 250 yards passing and two TD’s.
His productive outing came despite a rocky start that saw Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud recover a Glennon fumble on Tampa Bay’s opening possession and return it 30 yards for a touchdown. Glennon, who was sacked three times on the day, recovered with some help from wide receiver Vincent Jackson, who ended up with 10 catches for 138 yards on the day, including both of Tampa Bay’s touchdown receptions. His first score was one of the best highlights from around the league Sunday, a deep ball he hauled in with one hand before trotting across the goal line for a 59-yard touchdown. That second quarter hookup brought Tampa Bay to the locker room trailing 24-7.
Glennon cut the Bucs’ deficit to 24-17 with a one-yard touchdown pass to Jackson in the third quarter, but Atlanta held on to win 31-23.
Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin left Sunday’s game in the third quarter with a shoulder injury and did not return. After the game team doctors suspected Martin suffered a torn labrum that could end his season. That would put more pressure on Glennon to put up big numbers in the passing game the rest of the way.
The Bucs host the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night.
Eddie Royal: After going four straight games without a touchdown, Royal got his mojo back Sunday with an impressive 27-yard catch and run that helped the Chargers (4-3) beat the winless Jacksonville Jaguars 24-6.
Royal, who failed to make a catch last week against the Colts, used his second-quarter score to show he still has the explosiveness that propelled him to a league-leading five touchdown catches in the first two games of the season. He caught a Philip Rivers pass on the left sideline, made a quick turn upfield, dove past an oncoming defender and just managed to extend the ball inside the pylon with one hand for the Chargers’ lone touchdown reception on the day.
Royal nearly did it again at the beginning of the fourth quarter when he took a screen pass that appeared to be going nowhere at the Jaguar 32-yard line. Seeing a host of defenders in his path, Royal reversed fields and bursted down the right sideline before being brought down at the two-yard line. That set up a touchdown run by tailback Ryan Matthews that sent many of the Jaguars’ faithful streaming toward the exits.
Royal’s six touchdowns this season eclipse the career-high five he put up during his rookie year with the Denver Broncos in 2008. Heading into a bye week, though, his 22 catches for 285 yards is still well short of the 91 catches for 980 yards he accumulated that year.
The Chargers’ next test will be a road game against the Redskins on Nov. 3.