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Sep 18, 2019

Tigers in the NFL: Week 2

By: Cole Little

Each week during the NFL season, ClemsonTigers.com breaks down how former Clemson standouts are faring in the NFL. The following is a summary of what transpired in Week 2 of the 2019 slate, including a table with updated roster information and statistics.


From a gutsy, hard-nosed touchdown run by Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson to a Superman-like diving catch by Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams, several former Clemson Tigers made waves around the NFL last week. Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland collected a turnover for the second game in a row, and rookie Oakland Raiders wideout Hunter Renfrow made an impact on the receiving front. All of that and more highlighted a successful Week 2 for the abundance of Tigers representing Clemson in the NFL.

While Houston’s matchup on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars was a far cry from the barn burner between the Texans and the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, Watson and superstar Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins were still able to lead Houston to its first victory of 2019 in the low-scoring affair. Furthermore, the Houston defense, which includes defensive tackle D.J. Reader, showed out, with the Texans defeating the Jaguars 13-12. A linchpin of the Texans’ defensive line, Reader tallied five combined tackles in Week 2. As for Watson, on the day after he celebrated his 24th birthday, he was 16-of-29 passing for 159 yards, but his most important play of the game occurred in the ground game.

Watson completed several superb passes on the afternoon, including a dime, which was thrown under duress from deep in Houston territory, that Texans wide receiver Will Fuller V caught near the sideline for a 28-yard gain. Hopkins was also on the receiving end of some of Watson’s best passes, with “Nuk” hauling in five catches for 40 yards.

Despite finishing with just five total rushing yards, Watson produced his top feat of the afternoon on a rushing touchdown that essentially won the game for the Texans. Changing direction and bulldozing his way through defenders and over the goal line, Watson put the Texans ahead 13-3 in the fourth quarter by way of his frenetic 2-yard score.

 

The best highlight of the week by a former Tiger was, without a doubt, Williams’ aforementioned diving snag. Leaving his feet and sailing through the air while practically parallel to the ground, Williams secured a spectacular catch that set up a Chargers field goal heading into halftime. The 47-yard grab served as one of three catches made by Williams, who finished with 83 receiving yards.

Other standout receivers from “Wide Receiver U” who fared well in Week 2 were Renfrow and the Chiefs’ Sammy Watkins. Renfrow was targeted eight times, which was more than any other Oakland receiver, and he garnered four receptions for 30 yards. The first-year slot receiver also converted two first downs. As for Watkins, who was the league’s most dominant pass catcher in Week 1, he continued to experience success to start the 2019 season by corralling six catches for 49 yards.

Renfrow and Watkins competed against one another, with the Chiefs and Raiders clashing on Sunday in a contest that featured six former Tigers suiting up in the AFC West duel. In addition to Watkins, Breeland and linebacker Dorian O’Daniel, who recorded a solo tackle, saw action for the Chiefs. Breeland recovered a fumble in Week 1, and, in Week 2, he was on the receiving end of another turnover, as he picked off a pass in the end zone to spoil a promising Oakland drive. The veteran defensive back also led all defenders in the matchup with eight total tackles, seven of which were solo. Together with Renfrow, defensive end Clelin Ferrell and cornerback Trayvon Mullen made up the three-man rookie class of erstwhile Tigers playing for the Raiders. Ferrell was credited with three tackles, while Mullen notched two tackles.

The fearsome twosome of Atlanta Falcons pass rushers Vic Beasley Jr. and Grady Jarrett was an integral component of the Falcons’ winning performance versus the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football. Beasley, who started at linebacker, registered one tackle as well as his first sack of the season. At defensive tackle, Jarrett picked up his second sack of the year to go along with his five tackles. Jarrett attained a sack on a critical third-down play, and it forced the Eagles to settle for a field goal. The adoring fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium raucously cheered Jarrett following the play, and Jarrett expressed his appreciation by blowing kisses toward the stands. Beasley sacked Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz on third down, too, with the late-game loss of yardage contributing to the Eagles coming up empty-handed on their final drive of the Falcons’ gritty 24-20 triumph.

Keeping it on the defensive side of the ball, linebacker B.J. Goodson, who was recently signed by the Green Bay Packers, made his first start for his new squad and accrued two solo tackles. Additionally, Minnesota Vikings safety Jayron Kearse broke up a pass and was in on four tackles, and rookie New York Giants defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence totaled four tackles.

Switching to special teams, Carolina Panthers return man Ray-Ray McCloud returned four punts, including a career-long 39-yard punt return. On the flip side, Tampa Bay Buccaneers punter Bradley Pinion, who punted to McCloud in Tampa Bay’s 20-14 victory over Carolina, amassed 295 yards on six punts, two of which landed inside the Panthers’ 20-yard line. Pinion’s longest punt of the game traveled 63 yards downfield.

PLAYERTEAMPOSITIONROSTER STATUSCLEMSON YEARSWEEK 2 STATISTICSSEASON STATISTICS
Mackensie AlexanderMinnesota VikingsCBactive2014-15inactive1 game played, 1 solo tackle
Vic Beasley Jr.Atlanta FalconsLBactive2011-141 game played, 1 game started, 1 solo tackle, 1 sack2 games played, 2 games started, 4 combined tackles (3 solo, 1 assisted), 1 sack
Bashaud BreelandKansas City ChiefsCBactive2010-131 game played, 1 game started, 8 combined tackles (7 solo, 1 assisted), 1 interception, 1 pass defended2 games played, 2 games started, 8 combined tackles (7 solo, 1 assisted), 1 interception, 1 fumble recovered, 2 passes defended
Jaron BrownSeattle SeahawksWRactive2009-121 game played, 1 game started2 games played, 2 games started
Austin BryantDetroit LionsDEreserve/injured2015-18inactiveN/A
Deon CainIndianapolis ColtsWRactive2015-171 game played, 1 game started2 games played, 1 game started, 2 receptions, 35 receiving yards
Adam ChoiceSeattle SeahawksRBreserve/injured2014-18inactiveN/A
Clelin FerrellOakland RaidersDEactive2015-181 game played, 1 game started, 3 combined tackles (2 solo, 1 assisted)2 games played, 2 games started, 6 combined tackles (3 solo, 3 assisted), 1 sack, 1 pass defended
Mark FieldsMinnesota VikingsCBpractice squad2015-18inactive1 game played
Wayne GallmanNew York GiantsRBactive2014-161 game played2 games played, 2 rush attempts, 17 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 3 receptions, 24 receiving yards
B.J. GoodsonGreen Bay PackersLBactive2012-151 game played, 1 game started, 2 solo tackles2 games played, 1 game started, 2 solo tackles
T.J. GreenNew Orleans SaintsSpractice squad2012-15inactiveN/A
DeAndre HopkinsHouston TexansWRactive2010-121 game played, 1 game started, 5 receptions, 40 receiving yards2 games played, 2 games started, 13 receptions, 151 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns
Albert HugginsHouston TexansDEpractice squad2015-18inactiveN/A
Adam HumphriesTennessee TitansWRactive2011-141 game played, 2 receptions, -1 receiving yards, 1 rush attempt, 1 rushing yard2 games played, 3 receptions, 4 receiving yards, 1 rush attempt, 1 rushing yard
Mitch HyattDallas CowboysOTpractice squad2015-18inactiveN/A
Grady JarrettAtlanta FalconsDTactive2011-141 game played, 1 game started, 5 combined tackles (3 solo, 2 assisted), 1 sack2 games played, 2 games started, 10 combined tackles (6 solo, 4 assisted), 2 sacks, 1 fumble forced
Jayron KearseMinnesota VikingsSactive2013-151 game played, 4 combined tackles (3 solo, 1 assisted), 1 pass defended2 games played, 13 combined tackles (9 solo, 4 assisted), 2 passes defended
Dexter LawrenceNew York GiantsDTactive2016-181 game played, 1 game started, 4 combined tackles (2 solo, 2 assisted)2 games played, 2 games started, 5 combined tackles (2 solo, 3 assisted)
Shaq LawsonBuffalo BillsDEactive2013-151 game played, 1 assisted tackle2 games played, 5 combined tackles (1 solo, 4 assisted), 1 sack, 1 pass defended
Jordan LeggettTampa Bay BuccaneersTEpractice squad2013-16inactiveN/A
Ray-Ray McCloudCarolina PanthersWRactive2015-171 game played, 4 punt returns, 39 punt return yards, long punt return of 39 yards2 games played, 2 kickoff returns, 51 kickoff return yards, long kickoff return of 26 yards, 6 punt returns, 69 punt return yards, long punt return of 39 yards
Trayvon MullenOakland RaidersCBactive2016-182 games played, 2 solo tackles2 games played, 3 combined tackles (2 solo, 1 assisted)
Dorian O'DanielKansas City ChiefsLBactive2014-20171 game played, 1 solo tackle2 games played, 2 solo tackles
Bradley PinionTampa Bay BuccaneersPactive2012-141 game played, 6 punts, 295 punting yards, 2 punts inside the 20-yard line, long punt of 63 yards2 games played, 8 punts, 337 punting yards, 3 punts inside the 20-yard line, long punt of 63 yards
D.J. ReaderHouston TexansDTactive2012-151 game played, 1 game started, 5 combined tackles (3 solo, 2 assisted)2 games played, 2 games started, 6 combined tackles (4 solo, 2 assisted)
Hunter RenfrowOakland RaidersWRactive2014-181 game played, 4 receptions, 30 receiving yards2 games played, 6 receptions, 43 receiving yards
Artavis ScottLos Angeles ChargersWRpractice squad/injured2014-16inactiveN/A
Tyler ShatleyJacksonville JaguarsCactive2010-131 game played2 games played
Cordrea TankersleyMiami DolphinsCBreserve/physically unable to perform2013-16inactiveN/A
Brandon ThomasJacksonville JaguarsOGactive2009-13inactiveN/A
Carlos WatkinsHouston TexansDEactive2012-16inactive1 game played, 2 assisted tackles, 1 pass defended
Sammy WatkinsKansas City ChiefsWRactive2011-131 game played, 1 game started, 6 receptions, 49 receiving yards2 games played, 2 games started, 15 receptions, 247 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns
Deshaun WatsonHouston TexansQBactive2014-161 game played, 1 game started, 16 pass completions, 29 pass attempts, 159 passing yards, 4 rush attempts, 5 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown2 games played, 2 games started, 36 pass completions, 59 pass attempts, 427 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 8 rush attempts, 45 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns
Christian WilkinsMiami DolphinsDTactive2015-181 game played, 1 game started, 2 combined tackles (1 solo, 1 assisted)2 games played, 2 games started, 6 combined tackles (3 solo, 3 assisted)
Mike WilliamsLos Angeles ChargersWRactive2013-161 game played, 1 game started, 3 receptions, 83 receiving yards2 games played, 2 games started, 5 receptions, 112 receiving yards
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