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Terps in the NFL: D.J. Moore and Stefon Diggs dominate in week eight

Check out how former Maryland football players performed around the National Football League in week eight.

Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Former Terps were on display all across the NFL in week eight, but the stars of the show were two wide receivers: the Carolina Panthers’ D.J. Moore and the Buffalo Bills’ Stefon Diggs.

With the uncertainty currently surrounding the Panthers, many fans wondered if Moore was the next player on the trade block after running back Christian McCaffrey and wide receiver Robbie Anderson were traded in the last few weeks. In the team’s last game before the trade deadline against the Atlanta Falcons, Moore had his best game of the season and one of the best of his NFL career.

He had six catches on 11 targets for 152 yards and a touchdown as well as a rush for three yards. Moore had not had over 70 yards in any previous game this season. But on Sunday, he made arguably the clutchest catch of his career. Down by six with less than a minute to go, quarterback P.J. Walker rolled to his left and chucked it 62 yards downfield to a double-covered Moore, who dove to grab it in the end zone, tying the game on a Hail Mary.

He was, however, flagged on the celebration, which pushed the extra point back 15 yards, contributing to a miss that led to the game going to overtime.

Moore only has 334 receiving yards this season, but this game could kickstart the rest of his year so he can reach 1,000 receiving yards for the fourth year in a row.

The Buffalo Bills have looked almost unstoppable this season, sitting atop the AFC, and a lot of this success has been due to the connection between quarterback Josh Allen and Diggs. Diggs had his third straight game with over 100 yards receiving, getting six catches for 108 yards and a touchdown as the Bills beat the Green Bay Packers, 27-17, on Sunday Night Football. His touchdown came on a 26-yard catch running down the sideline that he reached down and scooped up to give his team a two-touchdown lead in the second quarter.

Diggs has been nothing short of spectacular through eight weeks this season, currently tied for first in the league with seven receiving touchdowns. He also has 764 receiving yards — the second-most in the league — and the third-most catches with 55 receptions. Diggs is currently averaging 109.1 yards per game, higher than he’s had in any year in his career. The last time Diggs was close to averaging 100 yards per game, he was an All-Pro selection; there’s no question that he’s capable of doing it again.

Both former Terps who started on defense in the NFL this weekend were able to put together some solid performances to help their squads in losing efforts.

Indianapolis Colts defensive end Yannick Ngakoue got a stat in the sack column for the second week in a row and in his fourth game overall this season. Ngakoue played 70% of defensive snaps against the Washington Commanders and put up half a sack, two combined tackles and two quarterback hits as the Colts lost a close one at home.

Ngakoue is currently tied with defensive tackle DeForest Buckner for the team lead in sacks this season with four and is second on the team with nine quarterback hits. He’s been one of the main contributors on a defense that ranks 11th in points allowed and 20th in yards allowed this season. Ngakoue has been fitting in quite well on the defensive line, but the Colts’ offense, which ranks 28th in points scored, will have to step it up if the team wishes to have any success this season.

Safety Darnell Savage had a tough assignment for the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, going up against Allen and the Bills’ offense. Even though the Packers lost their fourth game in a row, Savage still managed to play every snap on defense and recorded four solo tackles, his second-highest amount in a game this season. It’s been an interesting season for the former first-round pick, as the questions for him have come mostly in pass coverage. While he’s currently allowing 8.1 yards per target, which is less than he did last season, Savage has one pass deflection in eight games — he had nine last season. It’ll be fascinating to see if he can step up in the second half of the season.

Other performers

  • Los Angeles Chargers new signing cornerback J.C. Jackson is facing a tough recovery after suffering an injury in last week’s 37-23 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. He suffered a dislocated kneecap and a ruptured patella tendon, which will have him sidelined for the rest of the season. After playing through pain to start this season, Jackson will face a long recovery from a rare injury.
  • Running back Ty Johnson has been thrust into a new role as a member of the New York Jets after the season-ending injury to running back Breece Hall. On Sunday, Johnson had two rushes for six yards and two receiving targets while playing 32% of offensive snaps against the New England Patriots. He even made a contribution on special teams, putting up a tackle while playing 43% of special teams snaps during a 22-17 loss to the Patriots.
  • Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson has been very productive in recent weeks, getting sacks in the last two games. This week against the New York Giants, he broke that streak but still managed to get pressure on the quarterback with a quarterback hit. Jefferson played 58% of defensive snaps in a 27-13 win that put the Seahawks in first place in the NFC West.
  • Tennessee Titans rookie tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo had the fifth catch of his career on Sunday as he’s been getting more involved in the offense. Okonkwo had one catch for three yards on two targets while playing more than 40% of offensive snaps for the second week in a row. He also played 70% of special teams snaps as the Titans beat the Houston Texans, 17-10.
  • Cleveland Browns utility offensive lineman Michael Dunn started for his team for just the second game this season and played the most he’s played in any game. Usually coming in as an extra offensive lineman on run plays, Dunn played 33% of offensive snaps and 26% of special teams snaps as the Browns got a defiant win against division rival Cincinnati, 32-13.
  • Undrafted rookie defensive end Sam Okuayinonu played in just the second NFL game of his young career for the Titans on Sunday against the Texans, an AFC South rival. He played 26% of defensive snaps and just one special teams snap. He has recorded at least one tackle in each game he’s played so far.
  • Detroit Lions linebacker and special teams ace Josh Woods had been in a slump the last three games but was able to come up with a play. During Sunday’s 31-27 loss to the Miami Dolphins, Woods recorded a solo tackle on special teams while playing 60% of the special teams snaps for the Lions. It seems like the linebacker is back on track.
  • After starting the first two games of the season, Indianapolis Colts rookie safety Nick Cross has struggled to find playing time. This week against the Washington Commanders, he only played on special teams and didn’t record a stat during the team’s 17-16 loss.
  • Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Byron Cowart has played in every game so far this season. On Sunday, he recorded no stats for the fourth game this season despite playing 15% of defensive snaps and 19% of special teams snaps in the Colts’ loss.
  • Atlanta Falcons rookie wide receiver Jared Bernhardt is still on the team’s injured reserve this week and will not be able to return until week 11 at the earliest. He has appeared in two games for the Falcons this season.
  • Having played in just one game this season, Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Keandre Jones wasn’t a member of the active roster for week eight.
  • Running back Anthony McFarland Jr. is yet to make his debut for the Pittsburgh Steelers this season, staying on the team’s practice squad.
  • New Orleans Saints running back Jake Funk remained on the practice squad for week eight after being signed just a few weeks ago.
  • Linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. has not played a snap for the Cleveland Browns since being signed to the team’s practice squad after the Kansas City Chiefs released him earlier this season.
  • Since signing him to the practice squad a few weeks ago, the Miami Dolphins have not called up cornerback Tino Ellis to the active roster.
  • Seattle Seahawks tight end Tyler Mabry hasn’t been called up from the team’s practice squad all season. He only played 103 snaps for the team last season.