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Terps in the NFL: All-around success on both sides of the football

Here’s how former Terps performed in Week 11 of the 2021 NFL season.

Indianapolis Colts v Buffalo Bills Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

Former Maryland football stars on both sides of the ball in the National Football League shined bright in Week 11 with several stellar performances.

For the first time this season, Buffalo Bills All-Pro wide receiver Stefon Diggs caught two touchdowns in the same game. He finished the blowout loss to Indianapolis with four catches for 23 yards and two touchdowns on six targets. Buffalo fell 41-15 to the Colts.

Diggs was one of the lone positives for Buffalo on Sunday and now he has six total touchdowns this season, with three of them coming in the last two games.

His first score of the game came early in the second quarter with a toe-tapping snag in the corner of the endzone and cut the Colts’ lead to just one possession. But, Indianapolis would control the rest of the game.

His second of the game came in the back of the endzone early in the fourth frame with Buffalo already trailing by 31. Once again, he had to snag the pass from quarterback Josh Allen and make sure his feet came down in the endzone.

With six total touchdowns this season, Diggs now sits in the top-10 in the NFL in that category. After leading the league in receptions and receiving yards last season, he sits ninth in receptions (60) and receiving yards (773) through Week 11 in 2021.

Fellow star wide receiver D.J. Moore had one of his more productive games over the last few weeks, totaling five catches for 50 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. It was his fourth touchdown of the season and his first since he had two in Week 4.

Moore has had to play with a few different quarterbacks this season, which he has done throughout his entire career in Carolina. This was his first touchdown catch from Cam Newton since the quarterback’s return to Carolina this month.

Moore got Carolina on the board first with a touchdown from inside the red zone, though the Panthers fell by six to Washington. Moore currently sits eighth in the NFL in receptions (62) and 11th in receiving yards (751) this season.

The former Maryland wide receivers shined and so did defenders. New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson found the ball in his hands yet again on Thursday night against Atlanta. Jackson recorded two tackles, an interception and a pass deflection in the Patriots’ win.

He currently sits second in the NFL in interceptions this season with six, which is just two behind cornerback Trevon Diggs, Stefon’s brother, who leads the league. Jackson leads the league in pass deflections with 15.

Since joining the NFL in 2018, Jackson leads the entire league in interceptions and he added to that total again in primetime on Thursday Night Football. It took great concentration for his sixth interception of the season after it was tipped by the intended Falcons receiver. Additionally, he has recorded five pass deflections in the last three games, as he continues to find himself near the football at all times.

Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Yannick Ngakoue had quite the day, covering several areas of the stat sheet. Ngakoue totaled three tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a quarterback hit on Joe Burrow. Ngakoue’s sack was a strip-sack, forcing Burrow to fumble in the backfield.

The way that he gets to the opposing team’s quarterback continues to be one of the best aspects of his game as a defender. Ngakoue now has seven total sacks this season and two forced fumbles. He is tied for 14th in the NFL in sacks in 2021. He was this productive while only playing just over 50% of the defensive snaps for the Raiders this week.

Finally, Green Bay Packers safety Darnell Savage Jr. had one of his best games of the season on Sunday against division rival Minnesota. Savage totaled a season-high seven tackles and two pass deflections. He played in every defensive snap for Green Bay for the fifth straight week and ninth time this season.

Savage, who was credited with two pass deflections and now has eight this season, nearly intercepted three of quarterback Kirk Cousins’ passes. One of his interceptions was negated by a penalty against the defense, Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen helped break up another opportunity for Savage to pick off a pass and finally he could not hold on to one as it hit the ground while he was trying to intercept it and it was overturned to an incomplete pass.

Savage is in the top-20 in the NFL this season in pass deflections and much like Jackson, he continues to be around the football at all times. He’s one of the most reliable defenders for Green Bay.

Other Performers

  • Carolina Panthers linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. continued his career-best season on Sunday against Washington. Carter totaled five tackles and a quarterback hit. This marked the sixth straight game that Carter has recorded at least five total tackles. He’s started in every game this season for Carolina and has made an impact in the front seven.
  • Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson totaled just two tackles on Sunday but was still able to be a difference-maker, despite the 32-13 loss to Cincinnati. One of Jefferson’s two tackles was a tackle for loss, his second of the season and he also recorded a quarterback hit on Burrow. He now has 10 hits on opposing quarterbacks this season, as he continues to disrupt opponents in the passing game. With his hit on Burrow, he could have nearly been credited with a sack.
  • New York Jets backup running back Ty Johnson struggled to produce in the 24-17 loss to Miami. Johnson recorded one rushing attempt for five yards and caught one pass for eight yards on one target. The 2-8 Jets will play the 2-8 Texans next Sunday as Johnson will look to produce more.
  • Detroit Lions linebacker Josh Woods did not record a stat while playing in 77% of the special teams snaps against Cleveland on Sunday.
  • Offensive lineman Michael Dunn did not record a stat, while participating in three special teams snaps for Cleveland on Sunday. The Browns snuck by Detroit, 13-10.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers second-year running back Anthony McFarland Jr. was ruled inactive for Sunday night’s game against the Chargers.
  • Antoine Brooks Jr. and the Los Angeles Rams had their bye this week and will travel to Green Bay next Sunday.
  • Linebacker Keandre Jones remained on the practice squad for the Cincinnati Bengals this week.
  • Sean Davis remained on the New England Patriots’ practice squad this week.
  • Running back Trey Edmunds remained on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice squad this week.
  • Offensive lineman Derwin Gray stayed on the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad this week.
  • Tight end Tyler Mabry was waived by the Seattle Seahawks prior to last week and was signed to their practice squad this week.
  • Patriots defensive lineman Byron Cowart was designated to return by New England on October 20. The Patriots had three weeks from then to activate him off the PUP or leave him there for the season.
  • 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. Funk returned to College Park to support his former teammates and the rest of the Terrapins in their final home game of the 2021 season this past weekend.