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Nov 20, 2018

Tigers in the NFL: Weeks 10-11

By: Cole Little

The high-flying feats of Clemson’s former offensive playmakers currently suiting up in the NFL have been on display throughout the 2018 season, but in Week 10, the former defensive Tigers took center stage and produced several valiant performances. Interceptions were especially prevalent, as a total of four passes were picked off by three different erstwhile Clemson defenders.

Coming up with one of the best performances of his young career, third-year linebacker B.J. Goodson of the New York Giants tallied a pair of interceptions in the Giants’ Monday night victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Goodson’s first interception of the game, which also marked the first interception of Goodson’s career, came deep in 49ers territory during the opening quarter and set up the Giants’ first scoring drive.

In the fourth quarter, Goodson, who finished with six tackles, tabbed his second interception of the contest.

Elsewhere, cornerback Bashaud Breeland, who was signed by the Green Bay Packers earlier in the season, experienced his breakout game of the 2018 slate. In addition to tallying a couple of tackles, Breeland jumped in front a pass for a perfectly executed interception and proceeded to run 26 yards into opponent territory. The turnover was followed by a quick scoring drive for the Packers. Breeland also notched a 19-yard kick return in Green Bay’s win.

Veteran Oakland Raiders safety Marcus Gilchrist had an interception in Week 10, as well, which came on an impressive leaping grab on a downfield pass. It served as the first pickoff of the season for Gilchrist, who also had three tackles in the game.

Cornerback Coty Sensabaugh stood out for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ in their lopsided victory over the Carolina Panthers. Sensabaugh matched his season high with five combined tackles to go along with one pass deflection. Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson attained his second sack of the year as part of a three-tackle outing. Lawson also broke up a pass. At linebacker, Kansas City Chiefs rookie Dorian O’Daniel accrued a career-high six tackles.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Adam Humphries picked up 53 receiving yards on two catches, including a 29-yarder that was the longest completed pass of the game. Also of note, Oakland Raiders wideout Martavis Bryant was targeted three times on Sunday and hauled in all three passes for a total of 17 receiving yards.

Week 11 saw several of Clemson’s former offensive standouts turn heads as a result of their performances. In addition to Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson teaming up with wideout DeAndre Hopkins in a winning effort, a couple of former comrades in the Clemson receiving corps produced solid stat lines.

Coming off a bye week, the Texans collected their seventh straight victory to remain atop the AFC South. Watson accounted for 215 yards of total offense by throwing for 208 yards on 16-24 passing and picking up seven yards on three carries. Watson engineered the Texans’ game-winning drive in the fourth quarter, helping Houston defeat the Washington Redskins, 23-21.

Watson found the end zone in the game by connecting with Hopkins on a spectacular play. A 16-yard score, the touchdown saw Watson throw a perfectly placed dart just past a lunging defender and into the outstretched hands of Hopkins, who scooted down the sideline and into the end zone. With the score, Hopkins matched his own franchise record of consecutive games with a receiving touchdown, which stands at five games. The All-Pro wideout finished the contest with 56 receiving yards on five catches.

For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, wide receiver Adam Humphries caught his third touchdown pass in three games, as he hit pay dirt on an eight-yard slant route. In addition to corralling three catches for 60 yards, Humphries had a 10-yard punt return on Sunday.

San Diego Chargers pass catcher Mike Williams, who played alongside Humphries with the Tigers, racked up 56 receiving yards on two receptions, including a 29-yarder.

On the defensive side of the ball, Atlanta Falcons linebacker Vic Beasley Jr. dominated, experiencing his first multi-sack performance of the year. Garnering two sacks to push his season total to three, Beasley finished with three total tackles. Falcons teammate Grady Jarrett collected three combined tackles and two quarterback hits.

Keeping it on defense, Sensabaugh was credited with a season-high seven tackles, four of which were solo, and Breeland collected three tackles and one pass deflection. Elsewhere, O’Daniel procured four combined tackles, and Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mackensie Alexander broke up two passes to go along with his two tackles. Also of note,  Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Tyler Shatley earned his first start of the season.