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Sep 24, 2019

Tigers in the NFL: Week 3

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 3 of the 2019 slate, including a table with updated roster information and statistics.


Week 3 of the 2019 NFL season effectively served as a blast from the past in terms of the Tigers in the NFL, with several highlights from former Clemson players harking back to Saturdays of yore at Death Valley. Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson somehow avoided would-be tacklers before throwing a no-look touchdown pass, and New York Giants defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence blocked an extra point. Those served as just a few of the pivotal feats accomplished by erstwhile Tigers at the professional level over the weekend, with veterans and rookies alike representing Clemson football well around the NFL.

With his best performance of the young season, Watson led the Texans to a hard-fought victory on the road. After trailing by 10 points at halftime, the Texans scored 20 unanswered points in the second half en route to defeating the Los Angeles Chargers 27-20 at Dignity Health Sports Park. Watson threw for 351 yards, the fourth-highest total in the NFL for Week 3, and three touchdowns on 25-of-34 passing and also picked up 18 rushing yards on seven rush attempts. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins hauled in six of Watson’s passes for 67 receiving yards.

Watson was on the money throughout his winning performance, with his no-look touchdown passing exemplifying as much. The first remarkable pass of the day by Watson came on a flea flicker. After having the football pitched back to him by a running back, Watson found wideout Kenny Stills downfield for a 38-yard gain. It is worth noting that a roughing-the-passer penalty was called on the play, as Watson was able to complete the pass under duress. That particular drive was capped off by a 16-yard touchdown pass that Watson threw to tight end Darren Fells.

Touchdown passes to tight ends made up a sizable portion of Watson’s notable plays from Sunday, as Watson also teamed up with tight end Jordan Akins for a pair of touchdowns. The touchdown plays involving Akins progressed far differently, particularly with regard to the pressure that Watson faced. Late in the third quarter, Watson combined with Akins for a 15-yard score after great blocking from his offensive line provided him with plenty of time in the pocket to throw a perfectly placed bullet to Akins in the end zone.

Later, with under 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Watson was forced to evade oncoming defenders, and, once he shed multiple tackles, Watson came through with one of the most jaw-dropping throws of his career when he faked out the Chargers’ defense by hopping off the ground and floating a no-look pass out to Akins, who caught the ball over the middle and barreled 53 yards to the house. Watson’s no-look lob put the Texans up 27-17, and Houston was able to hang on the rest of the way and topple wide receiver Mike Williams’ Chargers.

Williams, who corralled three receptions for 45 yards, was a good sport after his team came up short, as he exchanged autographed jerseys with Watson, his college quarterback, following the game. To the victor go the spoils, though, and Watson one-upped Williams by fraternizing with iconic rapper Snoop Dogg, who attended the thrilling contest and visited the winning locker room afterward.

Not to be overlooked, Texans defensive tackle D.J. Reader heavily contributed to the Texans’ triumph, as well, with Reader continuing to establish himself as one of the top nose guards in the league by wreaking havoc in the backfield. Reader was credited with 1 ½ sacks and three hits on the quarterback to go along with his three combined tackles.

The aforementioned Lawrence experienced tremendous success at the defensive-tackle position, too, with the rookie taking part in a proverbial coming-out party by notching his first career sack and blocking an extra-point attempt. A kick-blocking threat at Clemson, Lawrence clearly translated his special-teams prowess to the NFL, as he swatted an extra-point try in the first quarter. As fate would have it, the Giants went on to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32-31, making Lawrence’s blocked extra point seem quite important in retrospect. Lawrence also finished with two tackles.

Another breakout performance came from veteran Tennessee Titans wideout Adam Humphries. Humphries started at receiver and made his first significant impact of the year by leading all pass catchers in receiving yardage during the Titans’ clash with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Tallying 93 yards via six catches, Humphries wowed in the opening quarter with a well-executed stop-and-go route that resulted in a 30-yard gain, which marked his longest reception of the night.

Other noteworthy receiving performances by former Clemson pass catchers included Oakland Raiders rookie Hunter Renfrow converting all three of his receptions into first downs as part of a 28-yard showing and the Kansas City Chiefs’ Sammy Watkins continuing with his solid start to the 2019 campaign by tabbing five catches for 64 yards. Additionally, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jaron Brown snagged his first reception of the season and nabbed two more catches after that. Brown totaled 30 yards by way of his three receptions and moved the chains on two separate occasions by converting a couple of first downs.

On the defensive side of the ball, Atlanta Falcons linebacker Vic Beasley Jr. split a 10-yard sack with one of his teammates and recorded three tackles. Keeping it in the pass-rushing department, rookie Raiders defensive end Clelin Ferrell registered three tackles and broke up a pass, while fellow rookie defensive lineman Christian Wilkins, who is a starting defensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins, was on in five tackles.

Elsewhere, Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland attained four solo tackles. Also of note, Giants running back Wayne Gallman, who is expected to become the Giants’ feature back in the wake of star Giants running back Saquon Barkley suffering an injury, ran the ball five times for a total of 13 rushing yards.

PLAYERTEAMPOSITIONROSTER STATUSCLEMSON YEARSWEEK 3 STATISTICSSEASON STATISTICS
Mackensie AlexanderMinnesota VikingsCBactive2014-15inactive1 game played, 1 solo tackle
Vic Beasley Jr.Atlanta FalconsLBactive2011-141 game played, 1 game started, 3 combined tackles (2 solo, 1 assisted), 0.5 sacks3 games played, 3 games started, 7 combined tackles (5 solo, 2 assisted), 1.5 sacks
Bashaud BreelandKansas City ChiefsCBactive2010-131 game played, 1 game started, 4 solo tackles3 games played, 3 games started, 12 combined tackles (11 solo, 1 assisted), 1 interception, 1 fumble recovered, 2 passes defended
Jaron BrownSeattle SeahawksWRactive2009-121 game played, 3 receptions, 30 receiving yards3 games played, 2 games started, 3 receptions, 30 receiving yards
Austin BryantDetroit LionsDEreserve/injured2015-18inactiveN/A
Deon CainIndianapolis ColtsWRactive2015-171 game played, 1 reception, 10 receiving yards3 games played, 1 game started, 3 receptions, 45 receiving yards
Adam ChoiceSeattle SeahawksRBreserve/injured2014-18inactiveN/A
Clelin FerrellOakland RaidersDEactive2015-181 game played, 1 game started, 3 combined tackles (2 solo, 1 assisted), 1 pass defended3 games played, 3 games started, 9 combined tackles (5 solo, 4 assisted), 1 sack, 2 passes defended
Mark FieldsMinnesota VikingsCBpractice squad2015-18inactive1 game played
Wayne GallmanNew York GiantsRBactive2014-161 game played, 5 rush attempts, 13 rushing yards3 games played, 7 rush attempts, 30 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 3 receptions, 24 receiving yards
B.J. GoodsonGreen Bay PackersLBactive2012-151 game played, 1 game started, 2 assisted tackles3 games played, 2 games started, 4 combined tackles (2 solo, 2 assisted)
T.J. GreenNew Orleans SaintsSpractice squad2012-15inactiveN/A
DeAndre HopkinsHouston TexansWRactive2010-121 game played, 1 game started, 6 receptions, 67 receiving yards3 games played, 3 games started, 19 receptions, 218 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns
Albert HugginsHouston TexansDEpractice squad2015-18inactiveN/A
Adam HumphriesTennessee TitansWRactive2011-141 game played, 1 game started, 6 receptions, 93 receiving yards3 games played, 1 game started, 9 receptions, 97 receiving yards, 1 rush attempt, 1 rushing yard
Mitch HyattDallas CowboysOTpractice squad2015-18inactiveN/A
Grady JarrettAtlanta FalconsDTactive2011-141 game played, 1 game started, 2 solo tackles3 games played, 3 games started, 12 combined tackles (8 solo, 4 assisted), 2 sacks, 1 fumble forced
Jayron KearseMinnesota VikingsSactive2013-151 game played3 games played, 13 combined tackles (9 solo, 4 assisted), 2 passes defended
Dexter LawrenceNew York GiantsDTactive2016-181 game played, 1 game started, 2 combined tackles (1 solo, 1 assisted), 1 sack, 1 kick blocked3 games played, 3 games started, 7 combined tackles (3 solo, 4 assisted), 1 sack, 1 kick blocked
Shaq LawsonBuffalo BillsDEactive2013-151 game played, 1 solo tackle3 games played, 6 combined tackles (2 solo, 4 assisted), 1 sack, 1 pass defended
Jordan LeggettTampa Bay BuccaneersTEpractice squad2013-16inactiveN/A
Ray-Ray McCloudCarolina PanthersWRactive2015-171 game played, 2 kickoff returns, 36 kickoff return yards, long kickoff return of 20 yards, 1 punt return, 0 punt return yards3 games played, 4 kickoff returns, 87 kickoff return yards, long kickoff return of 26 yards, 7 punt returns, 69 punt return yards, long punt return of 39 yards
Trayvon MullenOakland RaidersCBactive2016-181 game played, 1 solo tackle3 games played, 4 combined tackles (3 solo, 1 assisted)
Dorian O'DanielKansas City ChiefsLBactive2014-20171 game played3 games played, 2 solo tackles
Bradley PinionTampa Bay BuccaneersPactive2012-141 game played, 4 punts, 179 punting yards, 1 punt inside the 20-yard line, long punt of 49 yards3 games played, 12 punts, 516 punting yards, 4 punts inside the 20-yard line, long punt of 63 yards
D.J. ReaderHouston TexansDTactive2012-151 game played, 1 game started, 3 combined tackles (1 solo, 2 assisted), 1.5 sacks3 games played, 3 games started, 9 combined tackles (5 solo, 4 assisted), 1.5 sacks
Hunter RenfrowOakland RaidersWRactive2014-181 game played, 3 receptions, 28 receiving yards3 games played, 9 receptions, 71 receiving yards
Artavis ScottLos Angeles ChargersWRpractice squad/injured2014-16inactiveN/A
Tyler ShatleyJacksonville JaguarsCactive2010-131 game played3 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, 5 receptions, 64 receiving yards3 games played, 3 games started, 20 receptions, 311 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns
Deshaun WatsonHouston TexansQBactive2014-161 game played, 1 game started, 25 pass completions, 34 pass attempts, 351 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, 7 rush attempts, 18 rushing yards, 1 fumble lost3 games played, 3 games started, 61 pass completions, 93 pass attempts, 778 passing yards, 6 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 15 rush attempts, 63 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 1 fumble lost
Christian WilkinsMiami DolphinsDTactive2015-181 game played, 1 game started, 5 combined tackles (4 solo, 1 assisted)3 games played, 3 games started, 11 combined tackles (7 solo, 4 assisted)
Mike WilliamsLos Angeles ChargersWRactive2013-161 game played, 1 game started, 3 receptions, 45 receiving yards3 games played, 3 games started, 8 receptions, 157 receiving yards
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