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Dec 12, 2018

Tigers in the NFL: Week 14

By: Cole Little

Week 14 of the 2018 NFL season featured a couple of former Clemson Tigers finding the end zone on very different touchdowns and another pair of Clemson alumni debuting for the same team. Several other Tigers in the NFL made their marks, as well, in an eventful weekend around the league.

Despite seeing their nine-game winning streak come to an end, the Houston Texans played well in a close loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson earned a quarterback rating of 99.3 as part of an efficient performance, in which Watson went 27-of-38 for 267 yards passing and one touchdown. Furthermore, Watson picked up 35 rushing yards on five carries.

Watson’s touchdown came via a seven-yard pass to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who now has nine receiving touchdowns on the season. Scrambling out of the pocket after facing heavy pressure, Watson remained poised under duress and fired a bullet to a wide-open Hopkins in the back of the end zone for the score. In total, Hopkins caught four passes for 36 yards on Sunday.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Adam Humphries did not score a touchdown over the weekend, but he did experience a major career milestone. With 42 yards on four catches, Humphries reached a new career high for receiving yards, as the fourth-year wideout has tallied a career-best 648 such yards thus far this season. Humphries also had a 10-yard punt return in the contest.

The most electrifying play made by an erstwhile Tiger in Week 14 occurred on the defensive side of the ball, with Green Bay Packers cornerback Bashaud Breeland coming up with the second pick-six of his career. Playing in his fourth game with the Packers, Breeland jumped in front of a pass for an interception and took it to the house for the touchdown. On top of hauling in his second interception of the year, Breeland was credited with a tackle in the Packers’ victory.

In the pass-rushing department, Atlanta Falcons linebacker Vic Beasley Jr. attained two tackles, including his fourth sack of 2018. In the secondary, Oakland Raiders safety Marcus Gilchrist amassed five combined tackles, and Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Coty Sensabaugh compiled four total tackles. Also of note, New York Giants running back Wayne Gallman Jr. carried the ball 14 times for a season-best 38 rushing yards, and Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams corralled three receptions for 45 yards.

Elsewhere, the Carolina Panthers welcomed two former Tigers to their 53-man roster in Week 14. Free-agent kicker Chandler Catanzaro was signed by the Panthers during the course of the week, and he was solid in his debut, going 2-for-2 on extra points and field goals. Additionally, rookie offensive lineman Taylor Hearn, who spent the first 13 weeks of the regular season on the practice squad, was promoted to the Panthers’ active roster for the first time.