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Wolverines in the NFL: End of the Regular Season

In the final week of the regular season, Funchess blew up! Also, Harris tallies all the tackles, Brady fails to score, and Woodson plays his final game.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports


Tom Brady (New England Patriots)

Week 17 stats: 12/21 for 134 yards

The Pats are lucky they started the year 10-0, because they're 2-4 finish almost cost them a first-round bye. For a team that looked unstoppable at times this season, New England looks shaky and beatable heading into the postseason. In the season finale, Brady recorded by far his worst game of the season, and the only contest where he failed to account for a touchdown. I never bet against Brady, but with a depleted supporting cast, I'm not confident he'll earn Super Bowl ring #5 this year.

Running Back

Fitzgerald Toussaint (Pittsburgh Steelers)

Week 17 stats: 12 carries for 24 yards

The Steelers promoted Toussaint from their practice squad back on Nov. 27th, but he hasn't seen much game action until last week. However, with both Le'Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams, Toussaint was thrust into the starting role and looks to be the starter heading into the playoffs. I doubt they rely on him too much - he has only 24 carries for 54 yards in his two-year career - but he proved he wasn't a liability in Week 17 according to Behind the Steel Curtain: "He did not make dumb decisions, however, and had good ball security. Also positive, he caught a two-point conversion pass."

Denard Robinson (Jacksonville Jaguars)

Week 17 stats: 5 carries for 9 yards, 1 fumble lost

Denard finished his 2015 campaign with a miserable outing that could negatively impact his future in Jacksonville. From Big Cat Country:

He had to transition from being a college quarterback to being an NFL skill player his rookie year so he didn't do much his rookie season. In his second year, he was forced into a starting role for a few games and even topped 100 yards in a game multiple times. This year though was terrible and might have forced him off the team. After finally beating an early season injury, he got a chance to carry the load again when T.J. Yeldon went down at the end of the season. He responded with three of the worst rushing performances of a Jaguars running back in recent memory.

Wide Receiver

Jason Avant (Kansas City Chiefs)

Week 17 stats: 2 receptions for 15 yards on 2 targets

Avant snagged a pair of passes in the season finale to bring his regular season total to 15 catches for 119 yards. He'll have a chance to increase that total in the playoffs.

Devin Funchess (Carolina Panthers)

Week 17 stats: 7 receptions for 120 yards on 8 targets, 1 touchdown, 1 fumble lost

In a meaningless Week 17 contest, Funchess recorded the best game of his short career. He led the Panthers in receiving and accounted for roughly a third of Carolina's total yards. He also earned a +1.7 PFF grade for his performance, tied for his best of the season.

Defensive Line

Alan Branch (New England Patriots)

Week 17 stats: 4 solo tackles, 1 assist

Nothing stood out from Branch this week aside from his assist coming on a 4th and 1 stop late in the third quarter. The Pats stumbled into the postseason with two straight losses, and with a depleted offense, New England might have to rely on their defense to make a deep run in the playoffs. Therefore, Branch will need to continue to be a strong rotational piece on their defensive line in his fourth career postseason appearance.


Brandon Graham (Philadelphia Eagles)

Week 17 stats: 3 solo tackles, 1 assist, 1 tackle for loss, seven hurries

Graham ended the 2015 season on a high note as he led the Eagles defense with seven hurries last week. His efforts earned him a +7.6 PFF grade, more than three points higher than any other Philly defender. He finishes the year with 51 total tackles (39 solo) and three forced fumbles.

David Harris (New York Jets)

Week 17 stats: 10 solo tackles, 3 assists, 2 sacks, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass defended, 1 QB hit

In a game the Jets needed to win to make the playoffs, Harris came ready to play, leading New York's defense in tackles yet again. Unfortunately for Harris, the Jets fell short, losing to former head coach Rex Ryan and the Bills. Harris tallied 108 total tackles (67 solo) on the year to give him 100+ in four straight seasons. He also forced a pair of fumbles and defended four passes.

Jake Ryan (Green Bay Packers)

Week 17 stats: 6 solo tackles, 2 assists, 1 tackle for loss

In a season-ending loss that cost the Packers the NFC North division crown, Ryan led Green Bay's defense in tackles, recording eight total on the day. He's now recorded at least five total tackles in the last five games and will look to continue his streak of solid performances in the playoffs.


Leon Hall (Cincinnati Bengals)

Week 17 stats: 3 solo tackles, 1 assist

Hall suffered a concussion against the Ravens last week, leading to him playing on only 36% of Cincy's defensive snaps. However, he cleared the NFL concussion protocol and has returned to practice to prepare for the Bengals first round meeting with the Steelers this weekend. It's still unclear how much playing time he'll receive, especially considering he hasn't looked healthy for large parts of the season. From Cincy Jungle:

Leon Hall has been a very good player for a very long time for this team. He is a great team guy, great locker room guy and great community guy. His comeback from two Achilles tears is nothing short of amazing and at times, he has played very well this year. Unfortunately, he looks old and banged up - so much so, Chris Lewis-Harris replaced him on Sunday because Ryan Mallett and a bunch of no name receivers were picking on him...and winning. With the Steelers receiving weapons, Hall is a liability this week and his playing time this weekend needs to be carefully considered and likely cut down.

Charles Woodson (Oakland Raiders)

Week 17 stats: 6 solo tackles, 1 assist

In his final NFL game, Woodson tallied seven tackles in a loss. All season I was hoping the Raiders could squeak into the playoffs to give Woodson at least one extra game, but that did not happen. In honor of one of the greatest to ever play, I suggest you read this piece by Louis Bien.


Devin Funchess

For a dominant offensive performance

David Harris

For all those tackles

Charles Woodson

For his last NFL game


Funchess fights off a pair of defenders to find the endzone


David Harris vs. the Bills Offensive Line

Harris recorded his statistically-best game of the season in Week 17, leading the team in tackles with 14 (ten solo) against the Bills. He also recorded two sacks, one tackle for loss, one pass deflected, and one quarterback hit.

WINNER: David Harris

Jake Ryan vs. the Vikings Offensive Line

Ryan led the team with eight tackles (six solo, one for a loss) on Sunday night against the Vikings. Ryan finished the regular season with 42 tackles and one fumble recovery.

WINNER: Jake Ryan

Devin Funchess vs. the Buccaneers Secondary

During the final week of the regular season, Funchess recorded his best game of the season, catching seven passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. His longest reception went for 41 yards in the first half. Funchess finished out the regular season with 473 yards and five touchdowns.

WINNER: Devin Funchess


Michael Schofield, OT, Broncos

Tom Brady, QB, Patriots

Alan Branch, DL, Patriots

Leon Hall, CB, Bengals

Jason Avant, WR, Chiefs

Fitzgerald Toussaint, RB, Steelers

Devin Funchess, WR, Panthers

Jake Ryan, LB, Packers

Frank Clark, DE, Seahawks