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Oct 03, 2018

Tigers in the NFL: Week 4

By: Cole Little

Week 4 of the 2018 NFL campaign featured several significant performances from former Clemson Tigers. From young tight end Jordan Leggett scoring his first career touchdown to veteran cornerback Coty Sensabaugh forcing a fumble in arguably his best defensive performance of the season, there were Clemson football alumni making an impact across the board in Week 4, with Houston Texans teammates DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson serving as perhaps the brightest examples.

Leading the Texans to their first victory of the season, the quarterback-receiver combination of Watson and Hopkins was one that the opposing Indianapolis Colts did not have an answer for on Sunday. With 416 all-purpose yards and three total touchdowns, Watson went 29-42 through the air for 375 passing yards and also picked up 41 rushing yards on six keepers, including a five-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

Hopkins was Watson’s top target on the afternoon, as he tallied 169 receiving yards, which was the second-highest total in the league for Week 4. “Nuk” corralled 10 receptions, one of which served as his second touchdown of the year. Fighting off a defender, Hopkins hauled in a five-yard catch in the right side of the end zone to put the Texans up 21-7 over the Colts in the second quarter.

Earlier in the game, Watson telegraphed a pass through tight coverage and connected with Texans wideout Will Fuller for a three-yard score.

Watson’s primary heroics occurred in overtime, when he found Hopkins up the seam for a 24-yard pass with under a minute to play in overtime, setting up the game-winning field goal in Houston’s thrilling 37-34 triumph.

“Very determined,” Hopkins told the Houston Chronicle when discussing his team’s outlook in the hard-fought victory. “We knew what we were up against. We had to go out and finish it, and that’s what we did.”

Leggett, a second-year tight end for the New York Jets, scored for the first time in his professional career over the weekend by catching a two-yard pass in the back of the end zone. Leggett finished with three receptions for 13 yards.

Also in the receiving ranks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Adam Humphries nabbed a season-high six catches for 36 yards, and Oakland Raiders deep threat Martavis Bryant totaled 51 yards on three receptions.

Running back Wayne Gallman put together a well-balanced performance for the New York Giants, as he gained 17 receiving yards on three receptions and notched two rushes for six yards. Sensabaugh played remarkably well for the Pittsburgh Steelers, forcing a fumble for the second time in his seven-year career and collecting five solo tackles in the Sunday Night Football contest.

Elsewhere, Oakland Raiders strong safety Marcus Gilchrist tabbed four combined tackles, two of which were solo, and Minnesota Vikings strong safety Jayron Kearse came up with three total tackles and one pass deflection. Also of note, Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson was credited with three tackles, including one tackle for loss, and San Francisco 49ers punter Bradley Pinion amassed 235 net yards on five punts for an average of 47 yards per punt.