It is time for another edition of Clemson Tigers in the NFL. It was Week 5 across the NFL which featured 17 former Clemson Tigers on the field. The Clemson Insider brings to you an in-depth look at the notable performances by some of these former Tigers.
Houston Texans 19, Dallas Cowboys 16
HOU: DeAndre Hopkins: 9 receptions, 151 yards, 13 targets, 1 fumble lost, 1 tackle, 1 solo
D.J. Reader: 4 tackles, 3 solo
Deshaun Watson: 33-for-44, 375 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 10 carries, 40 yards
The Houston Texans improved their record to 2-3 as former Clemson Tiger and current Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson led the team to a win in an overtime thriller. Watson completed 33 passes on 44 attempts, totaling 375 yards through the air and one touchdown. He also carried the ball 10 times for 40 yards, getting stopped short of the end zone on multiple occasions while the Cowboys defense delivered hard hits on him. Nevertheless, Watson continued playing through the game and connected with DeAndre Hopkins a total of 9 times for 151 yards. He was targeted 13 times and had a clutch reception in overtime, setting up the Texans game-winning field goal. On defense, D.J. Reader saw 3 solo tackles, contributing to his total of 4 tackles on the night. This matchup was a story of the defense and the Texans brought their stuff to help lift them to a victory.
Kansas City Chiefs 30, Jacksonville Jaguars 14
KC: Sammy Watkins: 6 receptions, 78 yards, 8 targets
The Kansas City Chiefs are one of two teams that remain undefeated across the NFL. The Chiefs are the only undefeated team in the NFL that has a former Clemson Tiger on their roster, Sammy Watkins. The Chiefs took on the Jacksonville Jaguars this weekend in attempt to keep their undefeated record and accomplished this by winning by a 16-point margin. Watkins saw 8 targets from Patrick Mahomes, hauling in 6 of them for 78 yards. On the Chiefs’ second drive of the game, Watkins had a 33-yard reception on a third-and-10 that put them in field goal range in the red zone. Later in the game, Watkins saw a pass that he caught for 10 yards, setting up a touchdown on the very next play. He played a big role in setting up the Chiefs’ win over the Jaguars and continuing their undefeated record.
Los Angeles Chargers 26, Oakland Raiders 10
LAC: Mike Williams: 3 receptions, 45 yards, 4 targets, 1 carry, 3 yards
OAK: Martavis Bryant: 3 receptions, 91 yards, 3 targets, 1 fumble lost, 1 tackle, 1 solo
Marcus Gilchrist: 5 tackles, 2 solo, 1 pass deflection
The Oakland Raiders have fallen to 1-4 and the Los Angeles Chargers improved their record to 3-2. This matchup featured two former members of Wide Receiver University and had another former Tiger line up on defense. For the Chargers, Mike Williams saw 4 passes from veteran quarterback Philip Rivers. Williams caught 3 of these for 45 yards, one of which set up a field goal attempt. Williams’ only target that was incomplete was broken up in coverage by Marcus Gilchrist. Gilchrist, who played at Clemson from 2007-2010, had 5 tackles and 1 pass deflection on defense. Two of his tackles were solo tackles, one of which was also on Mike Williams after Williams had run for a 3-yard gain. On the Raiders’ offense, Martavis Bryant caught all 3 of his targets for 91 yards. One of his catches was a deep pass from Derek Carr for 47 yards, setting up the Raiders only touchdown in their loss to the Chargers on Sunday.
Minnesota Vikings 23, Philadelphia Eagles 21
MIN: Mackensie Alexander: 1 tackle, 1 solo, 1 qb hit
Jayron Kearse: 2 tackles, 2 solo
Two former Tigers who lined up one the same side of the ball during the same years at Clemson once again line up at the same time in the NFL. Mackensie Alexander and Jayron Kearse both saw defensive action in the Minnesota Vikings win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Alexander saw a hit on the Eagle’s quarterback early in the game and saw a solo tackle closer to the end of the game as he stopped Zach Ertz from getting any more yards. Kearse also saw a hit on Ertz on the Eagles’ first drive, stopping him from gaining more than 3 yards and ultimately leading to a punt. Kearse’s second solo tackle came on a Dan Bailey kick-off when he stopped the return man from getting further than the 23-yard line after a 20-yard return. Both of these former Tigers continue to see playing time week to week and are lifting up their defensive stats.
Other former Tigers who saw Week 5 action:
ATL: Vic Beasley Jr.: 2 qb hits
BUF: Shaw Lawson: 1 tackle, 1 solo
Ray-Ray McCloud III: 1 carry, -3 yards, 1 reception, 7 yards, 1 punt return, 8 yards
NYG: B.J. Goodson: 4 tackles, 3 solo
NYJ: Jordan Leggett: 1 reception, 10 yards
PIT: Coty Sensabaugh: 2 tackles, 2 solo
SF: Bradley Pinion: 4 punts, 177 yards, 1 touchback, 1 within the 20
SEA: Jaron Brown: 2 tackles, 1 solo