Pick Six: Players of the Week

Damarious Randall

Damarious Randall

Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:

1. Damarious Randall, CB, Packers (NFL) — The last time Seahawks QB Russell Wilson threw a million interceptions against the Packers, back in the NFC Championship game following the 2014 season, he found a way to turn things around in time to lead an improbable comeback and put Seattle in its second straight Super Bowl.

This time, there was no comeback. Just a lot of interceptions.

Wilson threw five INTs against the Packers in Sunday’s 38-10 loss at Lambeau Field. Two of them were to Randall, the second-year corner who was still in college during that crazy Packers-Seahawks playoff game.

Randall got his first pick when the ball bounced off WR Doug Baldwin’s head. His second pick came on a pass that seemed like a sure touchdown from Wilson to Baldwin, with Randall looking like he was the intended receiver running a post route.

2. Xavier Moss, S, Army (NCAA) — The senior safety from Houston helped Army defeat Navy for the first time in 14 years of their never-ending football rivalry, a 21-17 victory on Saturday at the Baltimore Ravens’ stadium.

Moss forced a fumble on Navy’s first possession that was recovered by teammate Rhyan England and set up Army’s first touchdown. On Navy’s second possession, Moss came up with an interception. He also finished with five tackles.

3. Rhyan England, S, Army (NCAA) — The junior safety from Suwanee, Ga., had that aforementioned fumble recovery, plus an interception of his own in the first half of Army’s upset win over 25th-ranked Navy on Saturday. England added three tackles.

4. Jason McCourty, CB, Titans (NFL) — The reigning Super Bowl champion Broncos were supposed to be the team with the dominant defense and suffocating secondary in Sunday’s matchup with the Titans. But it was the Tennessee D that stood out most in their 13-10 victory.

On Denver’s first running play of the game, Titans safety Rashad Johnson forced a fumble that was recovered by McCourty. That set up a field goal that gave Tennessee a 10-0 lead. In addition to the fumble recovery, McCourty had a team-high eight tackles.

5. Carolina Panthers (NFL) — The Carolina defense has been mostly letting QB Cam Newton and the offense down in this near-disaster of a post-Super Bowl season, but in Sunday’s 28-16 win over the Chargers, the Panthers’ D stepped up.

Rookie cornerback Daryl Worley had a team-high 10 tackles and an interception. Veteran safety Kurt Coleman had eight tackles, three pass breakups and an interception. And linebacker Shaq Thompson (who played some safety in college) had seven tackles and an interception.

That trio accounted for three of the five turnovers Carolina forced to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

6. Adoree Jackson, CB, USC (NCAA) — The junior triple-threat (defense, offense, special teams) and two-sport star (football, track) won the 2016 Jim Thorpe Award as college football’s best defensive back.

On his way to helping the Trojans to a top-10 ranking and a berth in the Rose Bowl, Jackson had 51 tackles, four interceptions, 11 pass breakups and two fumble recoveries. He also scored four touchdowns as a kick returner, and caught one TD as a receiver.

Jackson was also voted Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, made several All-American teams, and was a finalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy honoring college football’s best defensive player.

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