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Oct 23, 2018

Tigers in the NFL: Week 7

By: Cole Little

Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Chandler Catanzaro earned sweet redemption and provided his team with a walk-off win in overtime on Sunday afternoon. One of many former Clemson Tigers to make waves in Week 7 of the 2018 NFL slate, Catanzaro drilled a 59-yard field goal in overtime after missing two kicks earlier in the game, securing a 26-23 victory for the Bucs over the Cleveland Browns. After missing an extra point and a potential game-winning 40-yard field goal in regulation, “Cat Man” redeemed himself by tabbing the longest field goal in NFL overtime history by way of the impressive 59-yarder, Catanzaro’s second-longest successful kick at the professional level.

Speaking to the media following the game, Catanzaro, who also connected on a 38-yarder in the contest, said of his overtime turnaround, “I think it’s part of my DNA. I’ve always kind of found a way to bounce back.”

Catanzaro was not the only former Tiger to come up with a winning performance on Sunday, as Houston Texans superstars Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins led the charge in Houston’s dominant 20-7 triumph at Jacksonville. Watson threw for 139 yards on 12-24 passing, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to “Nuk” that served as the 40th touchdown of DeAndre’s career. In total, Hopkins hauled in three receptions for 50 yards for a Texans team that has won four in a row and currently stands atop the AFC South standings.

San Diego Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams made quite the splash via his lone reception of the day in the Chargers’ winning outing versus the Tennessee Titans in London. Breaking free in the secondary, Williams caught a wide-open pass up the seam and coasted to the end zone for a 55-yard touchdown.

Elsewhere on the receiving front, Kansas City Chiefs wideout Sammy Watkins notched 74 yards on four catches, and Buccaneers pass catcher Adam Humphries hauled in four receptions as well. In addition to his 37 receiving yards, Humphries accrued 20 return yards on four punt returns.

On the defensive side of the ball, Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett returned to the field with a vengeance after missing two straight games due to injury. Jarrett dominated in the pass-rushing department, collecting two sacks as part of a six-tackle effort. For the Miami Dolphins, defensive end Andre Branch tallied a strip sack, which marked Branch’s first sack and first forced fumble of the season.

Also of note, a couple of young Tigers in the NFL showed out on defense in Week 7. In perhaps his best performance as a pro, Minnesota Vikings safety Jayron Kearse picked up his first career sack, which was one of five tackles compiled by the third-year defensive back. Furthermore, rookie Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Dorian O’Daniel received the first quality playing time of his professional tenure and made the most of it by amassing four solo tackles, one of which was a tackle for loss.