Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:
Bacarri Rambo, SS, Bills (NFL): It’s fitting that defense turned the tide in Rex Ryan’s revenge date with the Jets, and Rambo was the Bills’ biggest defensive playmaker in Thursday’s 22-17 victory despite being on the field for only about 20 plays. Rambo forced a fumble by Jets KR Devin Smith that teammate Duke Williams returned for Buffalo’s first touchdown; he stripped Jets RB Chris Ivory and recovered that fumble; and he made the interception late in the fourth quarter that clinched the win for Ryan against the team that fired him.
Keon Raymond, CB, Calgary (CFL): In the first quarter of Sunday’s CFL Western Division semifinal playoff game, Raymond picked off B.C. Lions QB Jonathon Jennings and ran it back 38 yards for a touchdown, the first TD in the Stampeders’ eventual 35-9 victory. Calgary will play the Edmonton Eskimos next week for a spot in the Grey Cup.
Crezdon Butler, CB, Lions (NFL): For the second week in a row, a relatively unknown defensive back who had been called up from the practice squad just days earlier made a big play against a future Hall of Fame quarterback. If nothing else, it’s proof that everybody in the NFL is a great football player capable of doing great things. Last week, Titans cornerback B.W. Webb came fresh off the practice squad and intercepted Drew Brees in New Orleans. This week, Butler was promoted from Detroit’s practice squad on Friday. On Sunday, with the Lions clinging to an eight-point lead against the Packers with about 30 seconds to go, Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers threw a touchdown. On the two-point conversion try, Rodgers’ pass to Davante Adams was knocked away by Butler, and the Lions went on to pull off the upset win.
Davon House, CB, Jaguars (NFL): House’s first interception against the Ravens on Sunday happened on the first play from scrimmage of the second half, and set up a Jacksonville field goal that cut Baltimore’s lead to one point. House’s second interception happened on the Ravens’ next drive, after QB Joe Flacco had advanced the offense right up to the doorstep of the Jags’ end zone. Jacksonville went on to win 22-20, and House added eight tackles to go with his two picks.
Deatrick Nichols, CB, South Florida (NCAA): The sophomore corner had five tackles and one interception Saturday against Temple, which he returned inside the 10-yard line to set up the go-ahead touchdown in the Bulls’ 44-23 upset of the 22nd-ranked Owls.
Terence Newman, CB, Vikings (NFL): The 80-yard TD run by RB Adrian Peterson that put the exclamation point on Minnesota’s 30-14 win over the Raiders and made all the Sunday-night highlight shows was set up by Newman. On Oakland’s previous drive — while they were still in the game and taking shots at the end zone — Newman batted a ball intended for WR Andre Holmes up into the air and came down with the interception, his second INT of the day.