There are 35 former Clemson players active on NFL rosters. In Week 6 across the NFL, 27 of these former Tigers saw playing time while 20 of them recorded stats.
The Clemson Insider brings to you an in-depth look at the notable performances by Tigers in the NFL in each week of action. Week 6 saw a lot of defensive stand-outs in close games.
Houston Texans 20, Buffalo Bills 13
HOU: DeAndre Hopkins: 5 receptions, 63 yards, 1 touchdown, 6 targets
D.J. Reader: 3 tackles, 1 solo, 1 tackle for loss
Deshaun Watson: 15/25, 177 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions, 2 carries, 2 yards, 3 fumbles, 1 lost fumble
BUF: Shaq Lawson: 2 tackles, 2 solo, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 qb hit
Ray Ray McCloud III: 1 kick return, 18 yards, 1 punt return, 0 yards, 1 reception, 2 yards, 1 target, 2 fumbles, 1 lost fumble
This Houston Texans and Buffalo Bills matchup was a low scoring game that was filled with turnovers. The Texans took the edge in this game behind second-year quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson went 15-for-25, completing passes for a total of 177 yards and a touchdown. He carried the ball twice, gaining only two yards. He did throw 2 interceptions and fumbled 3 times, losing one of the fumbles to the Bills’ defense. His touchdown completion was sent 13 yards to Deandre Hopkins. The former Clemson receiver had a total of 5 receptions for 63 yards and was targeted by Watson 6 times. In a game that was ultimately decided by who’s defense was going to let up, former Tiger defensive tackle D.J. Reader had 3 tackles, stopping a runner at the line of scrimmage once and even getting a tackle for loss on a solo tackle, stopping the runner behind the line by 2 yards. Another Tiger, defensive end Shaq Lawson, saw similar success on the Bills’ defense. Lawson recorded 2 tackles of his own, one of which was a sack on Deshaun Watson. This sack resulted in a 2-yard loss on a drive that ultimately led to a punt for the Texans. Former Clemson receiver Ray-Ray McCloud saw some offensive action for the Bills as well as on special teams. He had 1 reception for 2 yards and was targeted once. He also had a kick return for 18 yards and he received a punt. Unfortunately, McCloud was unable to hold on to the ball on 2 occasions, losing it to the Texans defense only once. The Texans did just enough to get the win in this matchup against the Bills.
Miami Dolphins 31, Chicago Bears 28
MIA: Stephone Anthony
Andre Branch: 3 tackles, 1 solo, 1 tackle for loss
Cordrea Tankersley: 5 tackles, 2 solo
The Miami Dolphins recorded their fourth win of the season behind quarterback Brock Osweiler. This victory could not have been accomplished if the defense did not come out and give the Chicago Bears what they’ve got. On the Dolphins defense, 3 former Tigers saw playing time while 2 of them recorded stats. Andre Branch gave up a total of minus-3 yards on defense. He had one tackle accompanied by another defender, giving up only 1 yard. On the very next play, he recorded a solo tackle behind the line of scrimmage for minus-4 yards. Later in the game, he got another tackle at the line of scrimmage, giving up no yards on the play. Branch did a good job of containing the Bears at the line of scrimmage, finishing up with stats of 3 tackles, 1 of which was a solo tackle and a tackle for loss. Cordrea Tankersley ended the game with 2 solo tackles on 5 total tackles. Tankersley contained the Bears’ passing game in the backfield, stopping the opponents from taking a caught ball into the end zone.
Minnesota Vikings 27, Arizona Cardinals 17
MIN: Mackensie Alexander: 5 tackles, 4 solo, 1 sack, 2 pass deflections, 1 qb hit
Jayron Kearse: 2 tackles, 2 solo
In a game that the Arizona Cardinals desperately needed to win, the Minnesota Vikings brought their stuff to get the job done. The Vikings’ defense brought their A-game against rookie quarterback Josh Rosen. There are two former Tigers on the Vikings’ defense who balled out on Sunday, Mackensie Alexander and Jayron Kearse. Alexander deflected two passes for key incompletions that both led up to a punt. He had a total of 5 tackles, 4 of which he recorded alone. He had one sack on Rosen for an 8-yard loss, helping put an end to another Cardinals drive. Jayron Kearse had similar success, tallying 2 total tackles, both of which were accomplished alone. On the first tackle, he only gave up a yard and on the second tackle, he gave up 5 yards. Both of these tackles ultimately led up to the Cardinals lining up in punt formation, contributing to the 27-17 win for the Vikings.
Philadelphia Eagles 34, New York Giants 13
NYG: Wayne Gallman: 4 carries, 17 yards, 2 receptions, 25 yards, 5 targets
B.J. Goodson: 6 tackles, 5 solo, 2 qb hits
The reigning Super Bowl Champs walked all over the New York Giants on Thursday Night Football. In this Giants’ loss, two former Tigers saw a good bit of playing time. Running back Wayne Gallman saw four carries on offense where he tallied 17 rushing yards. He also saw 5 targets of which he hauled in 2 for completed catches for 25 yards. Gallman was seen a lot when the Giants were running a no huddle offense out of the shotgun. Eli Manning used him as a quick release target on 5 occasions where he was able to catch 2 of the passes. On the defensive side of the ball, B.J. Goodson saw 5 solo tackles on 6 total tackles and hit the quarterback 2 times. Goodson was all over the field, stopping the runner or the receiver from gaining yards as well as causing two passes to go incomplete by putting pressure on the quarterback, Carson Wentz. These former Tigers did not get the result they wanted in Week 6, but they did add some substantial numbers to their stats.
Other former Tigers who saw Week 4 action:
ATL: Vic Beasley
JAX: Tyler Shatley
KC: Jarvis Jenkins: 2 tackles, 1 solo; Dorian O’Daniel; Sammy Watkins: 1 carry, -1 yards, 2 receptions, 18 yards, 4 targets
LAC: Mike Williams: 1 carry, 10 yards, 1 reception, 4 yards, 4 targets, 1 tackle, 1 solo
NE: Dwayne Allen
NYJ: Jordan Leggett
OAK: Martavis Bryant: 2 receptions, 18 yards, 3 targets
Marcus Gilchrist: 3 tackles, 3 solo
PIT: Coty Sensabaugh
SF: Bradley Pinion: 3 punts, 126 yards
SEA: Jaron Brown: 1 reception, 5 yards, 1 target
TB: Chandler Catanzaro: 1/1 FG, 35 long, 2/3 PAT, 5 points
Adam Humphries: 3 receptions, 82 yards, 4 targets, 1 punt return, 6 yards