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Nov 06, 2018

Tigers in the NFL: Week 9

By: Cole Little

The Clemson Tigers were represented in end zones around the NFL in Week 9 of the 2018 season, with several former Tigers scoring touchdowns for their respective professional clubs. Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson teamed up with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in a winning performance, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers wideout Adam Humphries experienced his best game of the season. On top of that, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jaron Brown broke out the dance moves to celebrate a scoring play, which was one of many highlights for the Tigers in the NFL in Week 9.

The Texans squeaked out a dramatic 19-17 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday for their sixth straight win. Watson was efficient under center, going 17-24 through the air while passing for 213 yards and two touchdowns. The second-year gunslinger also tallied 38 rushing yards on six carries. Watson’s first touchdown of the day came on a seven-yard pass to tight end Jordan Thomas.

Later in the game, Watson connected with Hopkins for a 16-yard score. Hopkins matched his season high with 10 receptions in the contest. “Nuk” finished with 105 receiving yards, 16 of which came on a critical catch that helped set up what proved to be the game-winning field goal for Houston early in the fourth quarter.

In addition to Hopkins coming up with a touchdown catch, three other former Clemson wideouts notched touchdown grabs on Sunday. As or Humphries, he nabbed two such catches, scoring touchdowns on receptions of five and 30 yards in the second half. In the third quarter, Humphries caught a pass on a slant route and scooted into the end zone for a five-yard score.

The 30-yard score, which came in the fourth quarter, was especially impressive, as Humphries shed multiple tacklers en route to diving across the goal line. Humphries, who compiled 82 yards on eight receptions, was the leading receiver for his team in Week 9. Furthermore, he became the fourth former Tiger pass catcher, along with Hopkins, Sammy Watkins and Mike Williams, to register a multi-touchdown game this season.

Speaking of Mike Williams, he made a splash by way of his lone reception of the Los Angeles Chargers’ clash with the Seattle Seahawks. The Chargers wideout caught a pass near the left sideline and somehow managed to spin out of a tackle while remaining inbounds, which led to him coasting just inside the pylon and into the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown. The stellar play marked the fifth touchdown catch of the season for Williams.

On the other side of the Chargers-Seahawks matchup, Brown also made the most of his sole reception of the game. Scoring on a leaping grab in the back of the end zone, which required solid footwork to come down inbounds, Brown tabbed his third touchdown of the year. The 10-yard score was followed by a choreographed dance from the Seahawks’ receiving corps that allowed Brown to showcase his best moves.

Elsewhere around the league, Watkins stood out for the Kansas City Chiefs in their commanding victory over the Cleveland Browns. The fifth-year wide receiver caught five passes for 62 yards and also had a two-yard carry.

On the defensive side of the ball, Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mackensie Alexander and Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett each accrued a sack over the weekend. Alexander did so as part of a four-tackle performance, while Jarrett garnered three tackles. Both former Clemson defenders currently boast three sacks on the season. Also of note, Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson made his presence felt with a season-high seven tackles, four of which were solo.