Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:
Jalen Ramsey, FS, Florida State (NCAA) — The sophomore safety was just as clutch as superstar QB Jameis Winston during the Seminoles’ 30-26 comeback win over Miami, making big plays all over the field in the second half. Ramsey finished with three tackles, four pass breakups, a forced fumble and the victory-sealing interception with under a minute to go.
Johnthan Banks, CB, Buccaneers (NFL) — Banks facilitated a turnover on the game’s first play from scrimmage when his hit separated Washington receiver Niles Paul from the ball, which was intercepted by Tampa Bay linebacker Danny Lansanah. Later in the first quarter of the Bucs’ eventual 27-7 win, Banks snagged a deflected pass for an interception of his own, which he returned for a touchdown after trucking Washington QB Robert Griffin III near the goal line.
Jerald Brown, DB, Montreal (CFL) — The Alouettes already had their Eastern Semi Final playoff game in the bag, leading the B.C. Lions 43-3 in the fourth quarter, when Brown tacked on a 104-yard fumble return touchdown for the proverbial cherry on top. Brown had five tackles and one interception in the 50-17 blowout, which now puts Montreal one win away from the Grey Cup.
St. Louis Rams (NFL) — It took a collective effort to shut down Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ prolific passing offense in a 22-7 win that was the upset of the weekend. Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson picked Peyton off once and had two pass breakups. Cornerback E.J. Gaines had eight tackles, two breakups and got in one hit on Manning. Strong safety T.J. McDonald had five tackles and three breakups. And free safety Rodney McLeod delivered the hit that just about killed Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders, taking him out of the game. The Rams’ secondary helped snap Manning’s 15-game streak of throwing multiple touchdown passes, and his 75.3 passer rating was his worst of the season.
Chris Culliver, CB, 49ers (NFL) — While the Rams’ DBs were hounding Peyton, the 49ers’ secondary was harassing Eli Manning into an even worse performance. Culliver had one of San Francisco’s five interceptions in Sunday’s 16-10 win over the Giants, as well as five tackles and three pass breakups.
Nick Perry, FS, Alabama (NCAA) — The senior safety had a team-high 12 tackles in Bama’s 25-20 victory over previously undefeated and top-ranked Mississippi State on Saturday. Perry also had one of the Crimson Tide’s three interceptions against the Bulldogs’ Heisman Trophy front-running QB Dak Prescott.