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Dec 05, 2018

Tigers in the NFL: Week 13

By: Cole Little

A bevy of former Clemson Tigers showed out in Week 13 of the 2018 NFL season. In particular, a couple of dynamic duos fared well, with Atlanta Falcons pass rushers Vic Beasley Jr. and Grady Jarrett teaming up on an amazing play and Houston Texans playmakers DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson combining to lead Houston to its ninth consecutive victory.

Jarrett had a whale of a game on Sunday, as the fourth-year defensive tackle frequented the backfield and came up with two tackles for loss and his second sack of the season. A strip sack, Jarrett’s takedown of the quarterback resulted in a fumble, which was picked up and taken to the house by Beasley. Scoring the second touchdown of his career, Beasley displayed impressive speed and athleticism on his 74-yard dash to the end zone.

Appropriately, Beasley capped off his monstrous run with an emphatic dunk on the goal post. The fourth-year outside linebacker tallied two solo tackles to go along with the scoop-and-score. As for Jarrett, he tabbed a season-high six tackles, four of which were solo, and forced another fumble during the course of the game, as well. Entering the matchup with zero forced fumbles in his NFL career, Jarrett ended the affair with two forced fumbles to his name.

Keeping the Texans’ winning streak alive, Watson compiled 254 all-purpose yards, as the star quarterback went 22-31 for 224 yards through the air and had seven carries for 30 yards on the ground. In addition to surpassing 3,000 passing yards for the season in the contest, Watson threw a touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Thomas. Rolling out to his right, Watson lofted a perfectly placed 11-yard pass to Thomas in the end zone for Watson’s 21st passing touchdown of the year.

Hopkins helped set up the score with an incredible catch earlier in the drive. The elite wideout made a leaping, over-the-shoulder grab near the sideline for a flashy 24-yard reception that placed Houston deep in its opponent’s territory. “Nuk” finished with a game-high seven catches for 91 yards and now has 80 catches on the season.

Also at wide receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass catcher Adam Humphries experienced his second straight lucrative outing by hauling in seven receptions for 61 yards. Humphries opened the scoring action for the Buccaneers by corralling a three-yard pass in traffic and coming up with his fifth touchdown catch of 2018. The fourth-year pro also had a punt return in the Tampa Bay win.

Out of all of the former members of the Clemson receiving corps currently playing in the NFL, Seattle Seahawks wideout Jaron Brown stole the show in Week 13 by putting together the first multi-touchdown game of his six-year professional career. Finishing with a team-leading 67 receiving yards on three catches, Brown eluded defenders twice for wide-open touchdown snags. The four-yard and 18-yard scores made Brown the fifth former Tiger to haul in multiple touchdown grabs in the same game this season, placing him in the company of Hopkins, Humphries, Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins and Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams.

On the defensive side of the ball, rookie Chiefs linebacker Dorian O’Daniel notched two tackles and garnered his first career fumble recovery. For the Minnesota Vikings, cornerback Mackensie Alexander came up with four tackles and one pass deflection, while Vikings safety Jayron Kearse was credited with three tackles.

Elsewhere, veteran Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Coty Sensabaugh amassed three tackles, including one tackle for loss. Also of note, New York Jets tight end Jordan Leggett caught two passes for 18 yards, and Williams made his mark in the Chargers’ victory with three receptions for 52 yards.