Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:
Dwight Lowery, FS, Indianapolis Colts (NFL): One week after Paul Kruger and John Hughes of the Cleveland Browns gave Tennessee Titans rookie QB Marcus Mariota his official welcome to the NFL moment with a tandem sack that separated the kid from his helmet, a shoe, and the football, Lowery added to the initiation by providing Mariota’s first pro interception and his first pick-six. Those happened on one play in the second quarter. Later on, Lowery intercepted Mariota again to set up another Colts TD in an eventual 35-33 victory.
Charles Woodson, FS, Oakland Raiders (NFL): The 38-year-old sealed the Raiders’ 27-20 win in Cleveland — snapping the team’s 11-game road losing streak — with an interception on the Browns’ final drive in the final minute. Woodson also had six tackles and two pass breakups. His 61 career interceptions are the most among active NFL players, and he’s now had at least one pick in each of his 18 pro seasons.
Chris Hawkins, FS, USC (NCAA): The Trojans exploded for 28 points in the second quarter of Saturday’s 42-14 win over Arizona State. One of those touchdowns came from Hawkins, the redshirt sophomore who scooped up a fumble by Sun Devils QB Mike Bercovici when ASU had first-and-goal from the one-yard line and raced 94 yards to the end zone.
Tyrann Mathieu, FS, Arizona Cardinals (NFL): The artist formerly known as “Honey Badger” took advantage of the most terrible, horrible, no good very bad day of Colin Kaepernick’s career, collecting two of the four interceptions thrown by Kap in the Cardinals’ 47-7 rout of the San Francico 49ers. Mathieu returned his first INT 33 yards for a touchdown — the second of two pick-sixes for Arizona on its first two defensive possessions — and added five tackles on the day, including one tackle for loss. “Their passing game has simplified so much,” Mathieu said of the Niners. “It was easy for us to anticipate routes and just get some good breaks on the ball.”
Kam Chancellor, SS, Seattle Seahawks (NFL): He only finished with one tackle. But there is no coincidence that after giving up an average of 30.5 points in two season-opening losses, the Seahawks pitched a shutout and finally got into the win column the same week that Chancellor returned to the team from his contract dispute. Chancellor was back in his familiar starting spot against teh BEars on Sunday, and Chicago was apparently afraid to throw the ball against the fully-formed Legion of Boom, as QB Jimmy CLausen threw just 17 times, completing nine for a pitiful 63 yards, and every single Bears possession ended in a punt.
Will Redmond, CB, Mississippi State (NCAA): Auburn was looking for a much-needed bounce-back win at home against the Bulldogs, and had benched QB Jeremy Johnson for the game in favor of Sean White. Redmond messed up those plans early by intercepting White on Auburn’s first possession, setting the tone for a 17-9 Mississippi State victory. Redmond, a senior, added four tackles and one QB hit.