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Terps in the NFL: Former Maryland football stars produce in week three

Maryland football alum continue to make their mark in the NFL this season.

Kansas City Chiefs v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

While Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs didn’t record his third straight 100-plus-yard receiving game in a row to start the 2022 NFL season, he was still the most productive former Terp on an NFL field in week three.

Four passes got away from him, but Diggs caught seven passes on 11 targets for 74 yards, averaging 10.57 yards per catch. For the first week this season, he was not the Bills’ leading receiver, and was actually its third leading receiver behind running back Devin Singletary and wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie.

Diggs went up against a stout Miami Dolphins defense featuring cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Byron Jones. While he put up pretty good numbers, they weren’t enough to help the Bills win as they lost a nail-biter to the Dolphins, 21-19.

Two defensive lineman managed to open their sack accounts for the 2022 season, as Indianapolis Colts defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson each had their best games of the year.

Ngakoue played 68% of defensive snaps against the Chiefs and had a big impact off the edge for his first time in Indianapolis. He had two combined tackles, including a tackle for loss and a sack. To go along with those numbers, he also recorded two QB hits to help put some pressure on Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and earn a win, 20-17.

For Jefferson, he started his first game of the year and didn’t disappoint, putting up his first sack of the season. The defensive lineman also had two tackles, including a tackle for loss, and a QB hit while playing 56% of the defensive snaps for the Seahawks during their 27-23 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

While Green Bay safety Darnell Savage may be allowing a 100% completion percentage when he is in coverage this season and only got one tackle against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week, he still made a big impact for the Packers.

While the Bucs were driving down the field toward the end of the first half, Tampa Bay wide receiver Breshad Perriman caught a pass and ran down the middle of the field. But, Packers linebacker Quay Walker was there to punch the ball out of his hands, forcing a fumble that was promptly recovered by Savage. This marks his first fumble recovery of the season, and an important recovery as the Packers won in a close one, 14-12.

Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore played his worst game of the 2022 season against the NFC South rival New Orleans Saints on Sunday. While he got six targets — the same amount that he did in weeks one and two — he was only able to make one catch for two yards. He actually produced more in the running game, where he got two carries for 13 yards, as the Panthers beat the Saints, 22-14.

Moore has started this season with just 88 receiving yards through three games. He’ll need to pick those numbers up if he wants to have his fourth straight season with over 1,000 receiving yards.

After playing his first game of the season on Thursday Night Football in week two, Los Angeles Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson didn’t play in the team’s 38-10 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in week three due to inflammation in his surgically repaired right ankle that kept him out in the season opener.

Other performers

  • Rookie safety and third round pick Nick Cross was on the bench for the Indianapolis Colts for the first time in his young career during the 20-17 win against the Chiefs on Sunday. He played just one defensive snap and five special teams snaps, and recorded no stats.
  • Tennessee Titans rookie tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo played a small role for his team in week three. He played ten offensive snaps and eight special teams snaps as the Titans beat the Las Vegas Raiders, 24-22.
  • Detroit Lions linebacker Josh Woods continued to make his mark on special teams on Sunday. He has now recorded at least one special teams tackle in every game this season, getting one solo tackle this weekend. Woods clearly is an integral special teams player for head coach Dan Campbell and the Lions, playing 57% of special teams snaps in the team’s 28-24 loss against the Minnesota Vikings.
  • During the Browns’ 29-17 victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers, offensive lineman Michael Dunn started his first game of the season for Cleveland. He played 12 snaps as an eligible receiver and 14 offensive snaps in total, giving up his first holding penalty all season. He also played four special teams snaps during the team’s big win against their NFC North rivals.
  • Running back Ty Johnson had an extremely limited amount of playing time for the New York Jets on offense against the Cincinnati Bengals. Johnson was on the field for just one offensive snap, and 38% of the special teams snaps as the Jets lost to the Cincinnati Bengals, 27-12.
  • Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Byron Cowart didn’t record a stat on Sunday, but did get some playing time. He played 14% of the defensive snaps and 22% of special teams snaps during the team’s upset of the Chiefs.
  • One of the best stories of the offseason, former Maryland lacrosse player and rookie Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Jared Bernhardt got even more involved in offensive plays against the Seattle Seahawks. He played seven snaps in the team’s 27-23 victory against Seattle.
  • Running back Jake Funk wasn’t part of the Rams’ offense against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, making his contribution by playing 64% of the special teams snaps in a 20-12 win.
  • Running back Anthony McFarland Jr. was not called up from the Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice squad in week three.
  • Rookie defensive lineman Sam Okuayinonu remains on the Tennessee Titans practice squad.
  • Week three was another week where linebacker Keandre Jones remained on the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad.
  • Seattle Seahawks tight end Tyler Mabry was on the practice squad for week three.