Week Seven of the 2021 NFL season featured dominant performances from nearly every former Terp that plays on the defensive side of the football.
Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Yannick Ngakoue turned in his strongest performance of this campaign. He totaled four tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss, two quarterback hits and two pass deflections. He fell one tackle short of tying his season-high in a game, but he tied his season-high in sacks as well as quarterback hits. Ngakoue also set a new season-high in tackles for loss and pass deflections.
His second sack came late in the fourth quarter, with the Raiders up by 11 against Philadelphia, when he chased down quarterback Jalen Hurts to basically seal the win for Las Vegas. The Raiders improved to 5-2 with the victory.
Ngakoue’s teammate and fellow defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson also had a big performance on Sunday. He totaled three tackles, three quarterback hits and forced a fumble, which was his second of the season.
Late in the first half, Jefferson pressured Hurts and forced him to cough up the football. Las Vegas led 17-7 at halftime and after Jefferson’s forced fumble, it controlled the game pretty much the rest of the way.
Quinton Jefferson #77, outside clothes. pic.twitter.com/zoJyoFPbgV— JFG (@JoeFreshgoods) October 24, 2021
Cornerback J.C. Jackson of the New England Patriots was a problem for the New York Jets for the second time this season. Jackson finished the game with four tackles, an interception and a pass deflection. It was his third interception of the season, all of which have been against the Jets, and his seventh pass deflection in the last four games and 10th total this season.
This time he picked off quarterback Mike White late in the third quarter after Zach Wilson left the game with a knee injury. Jackson is currently tied for the third-most interceptions this season and is second in pass deflections behind Dallas cornerback Trevon Diggs (11).
After leaving last week’s game early due to a concussion, safety Darnell Savage Jr. passed through NFL concussion protocol and was active for Green Bay on Sunday. Against Washington, Savage totaled six tackles, five solo tackles and a pass deflection while playing in 100% of the defensive snaps for the fifth time in the last six games. The only time he did not play over that span was when he exited early due to the concussion.
Savage was a difference-maker all over the field this week, whether that was as a ball hawk or tackler. He tied his season-high in total tackles in a game and now has deflected a pass in each of the last two games. He continues to make strides forward for the Green Bay defense with his physicality and speed.
Writing a full post on Heinicke for tomorrow, but here's a preview. His ball placement issue - throws constantly floaty, high and/or behind targets - are really exposing his receivers to big hits pic.twitter.com/t1pYb2KJpQ— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) October 25, 2021
Linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. turned in another solid performance for Carolina this week, despite getting blown out by the New York Giants, 25-3. Carter finished the game with five tackles, his second-most in a game this season, and played in exactly 93% of the Panthers’ defensive snaps for the second straight week.
Carter has 31 total tackles through a tied career-high seven starts this season. He had 31 tackles in 16 games throughout the entire 2019 season and 46 tackles in 16 games and seven starts last year. The fourth-year linebacker is well on pace to finish this year with the best season of his NFL career.
- Carolina wide receiver D.J. Moore had a decent game, statistically, against New York. He finished with six receptions for 73 yards on 10 targets. Most of his output came at times when the game was out of reach for Carolina. Quarterback Sam Darnold struggled and was benched during the game, so Moore had to adjust and picked up most of his yards during the later stages of the blowout.
- New York Jets running back Ty Johnson nearly scored his second touchdown of the season before a penalty on the offense had it called back on Sunday against New England. Instead, Johnson finished with five carries for six yards and six catches for 65 yards. He also added one tackle on special teams. Johnson and the Jets struggled to run the ball against a solid Patriots defense, but he finished second on the team in receptions and receiving yards in this game behind running back Michael Carter.
- Offensive lineman Michael Dunn appeared in four special teams snaps for the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football against Denver this week. He did not record a stat but has now appeared in four total games this season and three straight contests.
- Linebacker Josh Woods played in over half of the Detroit Lions’ special teams snaps this week in Los Angeles. Woods did not record a stat but has now appeared in five straight games since joining the Lions.
- Wide receiver Stefon Diggs and the Buffalo Bills had a bye this week. Buffalo will host Miami next week at 1 p.m.
- Linebacker Keandre Jones remained on the Cincinnati Bengals’ practice squad this week.
- Safety Antoine Brooks Jr. was once again on the practice squad for the Los Angeles Rams. He’s been a member of the practice squad all season, since coming over from Pittsburgh.
- Offensive lineman Derwin Gray was on the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad again this week.
- Safety Sean Davis remained on the practice squad for the New England Patriots this week.
- Running back Trey Edmunds was on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice squad this week and the Steelers had their bye week.
- Running back Anthony McFarland Jr. remained on the injured reserve this week for the Steelers for undisclosed reasons. He has not appeared this season, yet.
- Defensive lineman Byron Cowart remained on the injured reserve/PUP for New England and became eligible to come off this week. He has not appeared this season, yet.
- Rams rookie running back Jake Funk has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury that he suffered in Week Six.
- Seattle Seahawks tight end Tyler Mabry did not appear on Monday night against the New Orleans Saints.