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Terps in the NFL: Diggs’ dominance continues

Stefon Diggs made his mark for the Buffalo Bills in their game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Another week in the NFL passed by and Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs continued to prove that he is one of the most talented offensive players in the league.

In perhaps the game of the season to this point against the Kansas City Chiefs — who beat the Bills in the playoffs last season — Diggs exploded for 10 catches on 13 targets for 148 yards and a touchdown to help Buffalo get revenge on their AFC rival in a 24-20 win. Pro Football Focus graded his performance a 90.9, the second-highest among offensive players, trailing only Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill.

His touchdown catch was yet another target thrown his way by quarterback Josh Allen in the red zone. Allen lofted the ball up along the sideline for Diggs, who beat his defender to the ball in the end zone for a 17-yard score that gave Buffalo a 17-10 lead.

Few wide receivers have performed to the level that Diggs has this season, and his stats show it. He ranks second in the NFL with 656 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns, while also ranking third in receptions with 49. Averaging over one hundred yards per game, Diggs looks like a sure-fire pro bowler who is on pace for a career high in receiving yards.

Despite starting on the bench this week, Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson had his breakout game of the season Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. He had his second sack of the season on top of five combined tackles, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit. He played 55% of defensive snaps to help Seattle win 19-9 and move to 3-3 on the season.

Jefferson has been a productive contributor to the Seattle defense off the bench. He has three quarterback knockdowns and six quarterback pressures on the season after returning to play for the team for the first time since 2019. Jefferson had his career high in sacks last season with 4.5 and he’s on pace to surpass that number this year.

Green Bay Packers safety Darnell Savage managed to make his first play in pass coverage all season against the New York Jets in week six, recording one pass deflection. He was on the field for every defensive snap and had three solo tackles in a subpar defensive effort by the Packers. The Jets scored 27 points away from home, while the Packers offense struggled, leading to the team having their first losing streak under head coach Matt LaFleur.

The pass coverage stats continue to be unimpressive for the former first-round pick. He’s given up a catch on two out of every three targets thrown his way, and quarterbacks have a passer rating of 96.9 when targeting Savage.

Two quarterbacks played for the Carolina Panthers against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, and neither of them were Baker Mayfield or Sam Darnold. This might have been part of the reason that wide receiver DJ Moore struggled to get it going in week six. At SOFI Stadium, the fifth-year receiver finished the game with three catches for seven yards on seven targets.

The Panthers may have just fired their head coach and are playing a carousel of quarterbacks due to injury, but Moore hasn’t played up to the level he has in recent seasons. Coming off three straight years with over 1,000 yards receiving, he currently has 204 yards in six games in 2022 and a career-worst 45.5 catch percentage. While others would brush this off as the quarterbacks being bad, he averaged over twice the yards per game last season when the Panthers started four quarterbacks, sometimes playing two in the same game on purpose. Moore will look to improve in the final 11 games of the season.

He may have started on Monday Night Football, but Los Angeles Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson saw a severely reduced role in the secondary this week. Having played over 97% of snaps in each of the first three games he played in this season, the free agent signing was only on the field for 45% of snaps against the Denver Broncos after being benched in the second half. When he was on the field, Jackson didn’t record a single stat in week six.

Jackson didn’t give up a single receiving yard on Monday night on a reduced snap count, but head coach Brandon Staley said that Jackson’s performance “just wasn’t good enough in the first half.” He had ankle surgery in late August, and has since said he is playing through pain this season. The hope is that Jackson can adjust to the Chargers’ defensive scheme with more reps in 2022.

Even though he’s not been an impact player for the Indianapolis Colts since the first two games of the season, rookie safety Nick Cross came up clutch for his squad late in the fourth quarter on Sunday. On the last play of the game, with the Jaguars looking to score with a bunch of lateral passes, Cross recovered a fumble as the clock expired to secure a 34-27 win for the Colts against their AFC South rivals.

Other performers

  • Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Byron Cowart had his best game of the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars in week six. He racked up a season high two combined tackles while playing 24% of defensive snaps during a win for the Colts.
  • Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue has started every game for the Indianapolis Colts this season, and he had his most ineffective game so far this season against the Jaguars on Sunday. Ngakoue played 65% of defensive snaps and didn’t record a single stat during the Colts’ win.
  • New York Jets running back Ty Johnson only played special teams snaps on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. He didn’t record a stat while playing 48% of special teams snaps, as the Jets managed to pull off a 27-10 victory.
  • Utility offensive lineman Michael Dunn had his fewest snaps for the Cleveland Browns all season in week six. For the first time this season, he played no offensive snaps and just three special teams snaps as the New England Patriots crushed the Browns, 38-15.
  • Detroit Lions linebacker and special teams specialist Josh Woods has had a tackle in three of the team’s five games this season. He didn’t get a chance to play this week, as the Lions were on a bye.
  • Rookie tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo has had his moments for the Tennessee Titans in his first five games, including catching his first NFL touchdown. His team was on a bye this week.
  • Tennessee Titans rookie defensive end Sam Okuayinonu had an impressive first NFL game last week with half a sack against the Washington Commanders. The Titans were on a bye this week, so he didn’t get the chance to see the field again.
  • Running back Jake Funk was waived by the Los Angeles Rams on Tuesday, and he quickly signed with the New Orleans Saints practice squad after clearing waivers.
  • After getting some playing time earlier on in the season, Maryland lacrosse star turned rookie wide receiver Jared Bernhardt didn’t play a snap for the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday as they upset the San Francisco 49ers, 28-14.
  • Cornerback Tino Ellis was added to the Miami Dolphins’ practice squad last week due to injury, but he did not move up to the active roster this week.
  • Even though he was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this year, linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. was on the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad this week.
  • Seattle Seahawks tight end Tyler Mabry stayed on the practice squad for week five, where he’s been all season.
  • Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Keandre Jones played in week three this season, and has since been a member of the team’s practice squad.
  • Running back Anthony McFarland Jr. hasn’t been called up from the Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice squad yet this year.