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Nov 28, 2018

Tigers in the NFL: Week 12

By: Cole Little

Getting it done through the air and on the ground, former superstar Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson was responsible for three touchdowns in one of many standout performances by ex-Tigers around the NFL in Week 12. One of three different Clemson alumni to score during the Week 12 action, Watson produced an incredibly efficient performance to lead his Houston Texans to their eighth straight win.

Taking on the Tennessee Titans in a Monday Night Football matchup, the Texans came away with a 34-17 victory. Watson went 19-24 in the passing department for 210 yards and two touchdowns. Finishing with 280 all-purpose yards, Watson also tallied 70 rushing yards on nine carries, including a season-long 34-yard run.

Watson’s first score of the night came on a 12-yard pass to wideout Demaryius Thomas in the opening quarter.

Then, in the second quarter, Watson provided the Texans with a lead that they did not relinquish by putting them ahead of the Titans on a 15-yard scamper to the end zone that Watson capped off with a pounce across the goal line.

Putting a bow on the Texans’ victory, Watson again connected with Thomas for six points in the fourth quarter. Rolling out to his right, Watson threw a bullet to Thomas, which marked Watson’s 20th touchdown pass of the season. At the conclusion of the contest, Watson sported a superb passer rating of 130.9.

While he did not team up with Watson on any touchdown passes, Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was still highly effective on the night, as he hauled in five receptions for 74 yards to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark for the fourth time in his career. “Nuk” made perhaps the best play of the game on a 24-yard sideline catch. Corralling the football while falling out of bounds, Hopkins helped set up a Houston field goal just before the end of the first half. Hopkins currently boasts 73 receptions for 1,024 yards in yet another impressive season for the All-Pro pass catcher.

Over the weekend, Los Angeles Chargers wideout Mike Williams made his presence felt in a dominant Chargers victory by hauling in a pair of receiving touchdowns. First, Williams opened the scoring action for Los Angeles with a nine-yard catch in the back of the end zone that saw Williams fight through contact to complete the reception.

Later on, Williams channeled his inner ballet dancer by pulling off a toe-tap touchdown grab to perfection. Coming down with the tips of his cleats in bounds while teetering out of the end zone, Williams maintained possession of the football for his seventh touchdown of the year. The two-yard snag was one of four receptions on the afternoon for Williams, who finished with 25 yards to his name.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Adam Humphries scored his fourth touchdown of the season on Sunday. Getting targeted six times, Humphries nabbed all six passes for a total of 54 receiving yards, 28 of which came on the aforementioned scoring play. Catching a pass over the middle, Humphries bolted toward the end zone, eluding multiple defenders en route to breaking the plane.

Not to be outdone, Oakland Raiders strong safety Marcus Gilchrist benefited from being in the right place at the right time with an impressive catch of his own. Picking off a pass for the second time in 2018, Gilchrist spoiled the opposing Baltimore Ravens’ drive late in the second quarter. After a fellow Oakland defensive back deflected a pass, Gilchrist tracked it down and jumped up with outstretched arms in order to make the flashy snag. In addition to the interception, Gilchrist tabbed four combined tackles, three of which were of the solo variety.

Keeping it in the secondary, Minnesota Vikings teammates Mackensie Alexander and Jayron Kearse stood out in the Vikings’ triumph on Sunday night. Alexander came up with four tackles at the cornerback spot, while Kearse, a strong safety, compiled three tackles and one pass deflection.

In addition to making two receptions, New York Giants running back Wayne Gallman Jr. carried the ball five times for 25 yards. Also of note, New York Jets tight end Jordan Leggett caught two passes for 24 yards, and San Francisco 49ers punter Bradley Pinion accrued 260 net yards on six punts, three of which landed inside the opposing team’s 20-yard line.

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