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Sep 26, 2018

Tigers in the NFL: Week 3

By: Cole Little

In recent years, Clemson has become known as “Wide Receiver U” because of the impeccable wide receiver talent produced by the Tigers , and, in Week 3 of the 2018 NFL slate, a handful of former Clemson wideouts showcased why that moniker is so appropriate.

After getting a taste of the end zone with his first career touchdown in Week 2, Los Angeles Chargers receiver Mike Williams tripled his career touchdown total by scoring twice in Week 3. Leading his team with 81 receiving yards on four receptions, Williams opened the scoring action for the Chargers on Sunday with arguably the most impressive touchdown of the day around the NFL. Diving to make an over-the-shoulder grab in midair, Williams hauled in a 42-yard score.

Despite having the breath knocked out of him after colliding with the turf, Williams was able to maintain possession of the football. The second-year pass catcher remained in the game and bounced back with a 20-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter that saw him lunge for the end zone and break the plane with a defender on his back.

Much like the spectacular snag by Williams, Seattle Seahawks wideout Jaron Brown was able to hang onto the ball and make a stellar touchdown grab after catching a 16-yard pass in the end zone and immediately taking a bit hit from an opposing defensive back. Like Williams, Brown was able to complete the catch, marking his first touchdown as a member of the Seahawks. Brown caught two passes for 25 yards on the afternoon.

Former Clemson standout Sammy Watkins also crossed the goal line for the first time as a member of his new club. Watkins, who is in his first season with the Kansas City Chiefs, scored on a 12-yard touchdown reception in the Chiefs’ victory on Sunday. Using his trademark speed and agility to elude a couple of defenders, Watkins barreled into the end zone for six. In addition to his five receptions for 55 yards, Watkins also had two rushes for 20 yards.

In other receiving news, DeAndre Hopkins experienced a productive outing for the Houston Texans. Corralling a team-high six catches for 86 yards, Hopkins was one of Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson’s top targets. Showing out through the air, Watson went 24-40 for 385 passing yards, which was the third-highest such total in the league for Week 3. Watson threw two touchdowns in the contest and also attained 36 rushing yards on five carries.

Week 3 was a week of firsts for several former Tigers in the NFL. For example, Atlanta Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley Jr., who led the NFL in sacks two years ago, came up with his first sack of the season as part of a two-tackle performance.

In the Buffalo Bills’ commanding 27-6 triumph over the Minnesota Vikings, rookie Bills receiver Ray-Ray McCloud made his professional debut, hauling in a six-yard reception and recording a 13-yard punt return.

Also of note, Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Coty Sensabaugh started for the first time this season and totaled five tackles, and, in transactional news, free-agent cornerback Bashaud Breeland reportedly inked a deal with the Green Bay Packers.