Posts Tagged With: NCAA

Pick Six: Players of the Week

Jalen Collins

Jalen Collins

Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:

1. Jalen Collins, CB, Falcons (NFL) — After the Falcons jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter of Sunday’s NFC Championship game, the Packers drove into the red zone and were threatening to score. That’s when Collins stripped Green Bay fullback Aaron Ripkowski and also recovered the fumble. The Falcons scored on the ensuing drive, taking a 17-0 lead and cruising from there to a 44-21 victory and a spot in Super Bowl LI.

2. Brian Poole, CB, Falcons (NFL) — Las Vegas should have a prop bet available on whether or not Poole is going to catch Tom Brady with a highlight-reel hit during the Super Bowl. Continue reading

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Pick Six: Players of the Week

A.J. Bouye

A.J. Bouye

Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:

1. A.J. Bouye, CB, Texans (NFL) — Bouye’s impressive individual stat line was part of a collective team shutdown of the Raiders’ passing game in Saturday’s AFC wild-card playoff game.

Houston’s top-ranked defense compelled Oakland rookie QB Connor Cook to post a paltry QB Rating of 5.5, while Pro Bowl WR Amari Cooper had just two catches for 10 yards and No. 2 receiver Michael Crabtree’s stellar season ended with a 2-reception, 33-yard thud.

Bouye had one interception in the Texans’ 27-14 victory to go with three pass breakups and two tackles. Continue reading

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Pick Six: Players of the Week

Chauncey Gardner

Chauncey Gardner

Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:

1. Chauncey Gardner, S, Florida (NCAA) — It’s nothing new to hear a quarterback or running back thank his offensive line upon winning an individual award. It’s less common to hear someone from the defensive backfield thank his larger, less-heralded teammates in that situation.

After Gardner, a true freshman safety, was named MVP of the Outback Bowl on Monday, he said, “The MVP, it goes to our guys up front, the linebackers and the coaching staff because they put me in good position to make plays.” Continue reading

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Pick Six: Players of the Week

Jamar Taylor

Jamar Taylor

Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:

1. Jamar Taylor, CB, Browns (NFL) — I have an unofficial rule that you have to win to get on the Pick Six list, and so all season long I hadn’t even been able to consider putting a defensive back from my Cleveland Browns in this space. But then on Saturday, the Browns beat the Chargers 20-17, “improving” to 1-14 and avoiding the possibility of making history for all the wrong reasons.

Taylor, in his first season as a regular starter after three years as a backup with the Dolphins, has shined enough through all the losing that Cleveland signed him to a three-year contract extension earlier this month.

In Saturday’s emotional victory, Taylor had five tackles, including one tackle for a loss, two pass breakups and an interception. Continue reading

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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. Continue reading

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USC’s Jackson cleans up during NCAA award season

Adoree Jackson

Adoree Jackson

While one part-time defensive back will sit among the finalists for college football’s Heisman Trophy on Saturday and find out where he finishes in the voting, one full-time defensive back who does spot duty in other areas claimed what is usually the biggest prize available to DBs on the NCAA level.

USC junior cornerback Adoree Jackson won the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s top defensive back, at Thursday’s College Football Awards show.

Jackson beat out fellow finalists Tre’Davious White of LSU and Jourdan Lewis of Michigan, both senior cornerbacks. Continue reading

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Pick Six: Players of the Week

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:

1. Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama (NCAA) — I have to wonder how many NCAA Division-1 teams the Crimson Tide could beat if their offenses didn’t score at all. Alabama’s defense and special teams are so potent, you could pair them with South Carolina’s offense (the worst in the SEC) and they’d probably still be playing for a national championship next month.

After surprisingly falling behind 7-0 to Florida in Saturday’s SEC title game, ‘Bama responded with a field goal, then took the lead on Fitzpatrick’s interception and 44-yard return for a touchdown. Soon after that, they extended the lead with a blocked punt return for another touchdown and cruised to a 54-16 victory. Continue reading

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Pick Six: Players of the Week

Adoree Jackson

Adoree Jackson

Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:

1. Adoree Jackson, CB, USC (NCAA) — Defense was actually the least impressive of Jackson’s multi-faceted feats in USC’s 45-27 win over Notre Dame on Saturday.

Jackson had two tackles and two pass breakups against the Irish. He also had a 52-yard touchdown catch while playing offense, a 55-yard punt return touchdown, and a 97-yard kickoff return touchdown.

The junior cornerback and track star will either be a first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, or he’ll be a preseason pick to contend for the 2017 Heisman Trophy. And don’t be surprised if he also competes in the 2020 U.S. Olympic trials as a long jumper. Continue reading

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Pick Six: Players of the Week

Xavier Rhodes

Xavier Rhodes

Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:

1. Xavier Rhodes, CB, Vikings (NFL) — Clinging to a 13-10 lead late in the first half and backed up against their own goal line, Minnesota needed a big play to avoid falling behind to the Cardinals in what could’ve been their fifth straight loss.

Rhodes made that play.

His interception at the goal line and 100-yard return for a touchdown allowed the Vikings to go ahead 20-10, and they would never trail in Sunday’s 30-24 victory. Rhodes had another interception in the second half, finishing the game with three tackles and two picks. Continue reading

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Pick Six: Players of the Week

Byron Maxwell

Byron Maxwell

Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:

1. Byron Maxwell, CB, Dolphins (NFL): Outweighed by about 30 pounds and giving up three inches in height to the monster of a receiver that is Brandon Marshall, Maxwell already had a tall task ahead of him in Sunday’s game against the Jets.

It was made worse in the days leading up to the game, as Marshall dragged Maxwell into a one-sided war of words by complaining about Maxwell’s physical style of coverage and accusing Maxwell of constantly holding and grabbing.

Maxwell didn’t return fire in front of the media. He just went out and held Marshall to six catches for 45 yards in Miami’s 27-23 victory. Continue reading

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