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Terps in the NFL: Diggs keeps shining, Ngakoue has monster day

See how former Maryland football stars shined in week five.

Indianapolis Colts v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Tafoya/Getty Images

After five weeks of the NFL season for former Terps, one thing is clear: Stefon Diggs is dominant.

On Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Diggs had eight catches for 102 yards and a touchdown. It was his third game already with over 100 yards and his third game with over eight receptions as well. His touchdown came in the second quarter, where the former First Team All-Pro leaped into the end zone for a 15-yard score, promptly punting the ball into the stands in celebration.

Diggs has been one of the best wide receivers in the league through the first five games, and his stats do not lie. He’s recorded 508 receiving yards (fourth in the NFL), 39 receptions (third in the NFL) and is tied with Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams for the second-most receiving touchdowns in the league with five. If Diggs can keep up these numbers, he should be looking at his third Pro Bowl appearance and All-Pro considerations.

On Thursday Night Football, Indianapolis Colts defensive end Yannick Ngakoue had his best game of the season against the Denver Broncos. In a low scoring game, defense was crucial to preserve a small lead for the Colts with both offenses struggling. Ngakoue stepped up with one and a half sacks, two QB hits, two combined tackles and a tackle for loss while playing 67% of defensive snaps for the Colts.

Having just one sack in the four games prior, Ngakoue made his mark at the right time. The Colts managed to squeak by with a 12-9 victory in overtime, and the defense’s continuous pressure on Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson was a big part in securing Indianapolis’ second win of the season.

Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore had more receiving yards on Sunday than he’s had in any game all season. In a 37-15 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Moore has four catches on eight targets for 59 yards and a rushing attempt that went for eight yards. He is trying to mesh with his new quarterback Baker Mayfield but has continued to not be efficient with his targets, only catching more than half of his targets in one game this year.

Starting his second consecutive game for the first time this season, Los Angeles Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson put up numbers for his new team this week. Playing the Cleveland Browns, Jackson managed to rack up four solo tackles, two assisted tackles and a pass deflection.

Having the third-most tackles on the team Sunday, Jackson has been atrocious in pass coverage in his three games this season. He’s allowed receivers 256 yards already in three games, the same amount of yards he gave up during his whole rookie season with the New England Patriots. Quarterbacks have a passer rating of 146.3 when throwing Jackson’s way this season, but the Chargers were still able to come out of Cleveland with a 30-28 win.

Green Bay Packers safety Darnell Savage continued his streak of playing every defensive snap this season on Sunday. Against the New York Giants in London, Savage had three solo tackles and was targeted numerous times in the passing game.

When forced to cover this week, he gave up 69 yards, which was more yards than he had allowed in the first four games of the season. Through five games, he’s been targeted 12 times and has allowed eight catches while quarterbacks have a passer rating of 96.9 against him. The Giants had a second-half comeback to beat the Packers, 27-22, bringing the team’s record to 3-2 on the year.

Other performers

  • Being elevated from the practice squad for the first time, Tennessee Titans rookie defensive lineman Sam Okuayinonu played his first NFL snaps on Sunday against the Washington Commanders and didn’t disappoint. On just 32% of defensive snaps, Okuayinonu had an assisted tackle, a quarterback hit and contributed on his first NFL sack. The Titans beat the Commanders, 21-17, just 20 minutes away from where he used to play college football.
  • Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson played 36% of defensive snaps and 21% of special teams snaps off the bench on Sunday. He had one solo tackle to keep his streak alive of having at least one combined tackle in every game this season, as Seattle lost to the New Orleans Saints, 39-32.
  • Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Byron Cowart put up his second tackle of the season against the Denver Broncos. His solo tackle came while playing just 19% of defensive snaps in the team’s 12-9 win.
  • Rookie tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo almost had his second touchdown in two weeks for the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. But, he wasn’t able to get both feet down in the back of the end zone, so his catch was ruled incomplete on what was his only target of the game. Okonkwo played 20% of offensive snaps but managed to get a tackle on special teams during one of his 18 special teams snaps.
  • New York Jets running back Ty Johnson played 48% of special team snaps and played the role of kick returner once. He returned one kick for just six yards, but the Jets still managed to secure a big win against the Miami Dolphins, 40-17.
  • Indianapolis Colts rookie safety Nick Cross continued to see limited snaps in week five, playing none of them on defense. He only managed to appear in 19% of special teams snaps and recorded no stats.
  • Utility offensive lineman Michael Dunn made his usual amount of appearances off the bench for the Cleveland Browns this week. He played 16% of offensive snaps and 22% of special teams snaps in a 30-28 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
  • Los Angeles Rams running back Jake Funk continued to play just special teams snaps in week five. He played 67% of available special teams snaps during the Rams’ 22-10 loss to the Cowboys and didn’t manage to make it onto the stat sheet.
  • For the second straight week, linebacker Josh Woods didn’t record a stat on special teams for the Detroit Lions. He managed to play 63% of special teams snaps but couldn’t put up a tackle. The Lions got crushed by the New England Patriots, 29-0.
  • Atlanta Falcons rookie wide receiver Jared Bernhardt was declared inactive by head coach Arthur Smith against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this weekend.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers running back Anthony McFarland Jr. was on the practice squad this week.
  • Cornerback Tino Ellis was signed to the Miami Dolphins practice squad on Sunday as they are dealing with injuries, but he didn’t get called up for week five.
  • Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Keandre Jones has been on the practice squad since playing his only snaps of the season in week three.
  • Linebacker Jermaine Carter didn’t make the Cleveland Browns active roster this week and remained on the practice squad.
  • Seattle Seahawks tight end Tyler Mabry has been on the practice squad all season.