For the second straight week, a former Michigan defensive linemen sacked Cleveland rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Maurice Hurst did it a week ago, and Baltimore Ravens end Willie Henry tripped Mayfield for his first sack of 2018.
He returned to the field after a hernia injury held him out the first four weeks. He finished with two tackles and the aforementioned sack in Baltimore’s 12-9 defeat to Cleveland.
Philadelphia Eagles end Brandon Graham has been relatively quiet since recovering from ankle surgery this offseason. Like Henry, he put injury woes aside to record his first quarterback takedown of the season.
Brandon Graham has been relatively quiet until today, gets his 1st sack of the year. pic.twitter.com/NJxdZXNCMi— The Bitter Birds (@AdrianFedkiw) October 7, 2018
His three tackles bring him to 16 total on the year, while the sack makes it 39.5 in his nine-year career.
On the offensive side, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has emphatically put early struggles behind him.
After a 1-2 start, including a 38.1 QBR against the Detroit Lions, he has led New England to consecutive 38-point outings. Most recently, he blitzed Indianapolis for 341 passing yards and three scores for a 38-24 Thursday night triumph.
The three touchdowns brought him to 500* in his career, only trailing Peyton Manning (539) and Brett Favre (508).
*Side note: It would be incredibly easy to make Brady the alumni headline every week. He’s Tom Brady, fergodsakes. I hope many are interested to follow the newer alumni working to prove themselves.
Another alumni contribution came from Carolina Panthers jumbo receiver Devin Funchess.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder snagged four balls for 53 yards in a 33-31 last-minute victory over the New York Giants.
So far in 2018, Funchess leads Carolina with 28 receptions for 238 yards (13.2 YPC), adding a lone touchdown.
Finally, Seattle defensive end Frank Clark filled the stat sheet in a 33-31 home loss to the Los Angeles Rams. He tallied two tackles, a forced fumble and an interception, which he took back for 26 yards.
- Practice squad: Jets guard Ben Braden and defensive back Jeremy Clark, Redskins receiver Jehu Chesson, Browns guard Kyle Kalis and Packers fullback Joe Kerridge.
- Injury list: Broncos tight end Jake Butt (year, ACL), Seahawks receiver Amara Darboh (year, shoulder) and H-back Khalid Hill (TBD), Bengals nose tackle Ryan Glasgow (year, ACL) and Packers linebacker Jake Ryan (year, ACL).
Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan left Sunday’s loss against the Bills with a foot injury. Denver safety Dymonte Thomas and Seattle’s Delano Hill both returned from nagging injuries as well, with the former notching two tackles in a 34-16 loss to the Jets.
- Several former Wolverine defensive linemen delivered strong, under-the-radar performances. Hurst only made two tackles in Oakland’s 26-10 loss to the Chargers, but he continues to add skills to his ever-growing repertoire. Here, watch him disengage to make a run stop.
Raiders vs. Chargers thread:— Ryan Holmes (@Rholm22) October 8, 2018
Mo Hurst (73) @mohurstjr shows up in run game here. Good hand strength to get off block and flashes quickness to make tackle.#Raiders #RaiderNation #All22 pic.twitter.com/B52692xyhw
Cowboys rush end Taco Charlton started for the fifth straight contest, recording a lone tackle in Dallas’ 19-16 defeat to the Houston Texans. The second-year player has 13 tackles, a sack and a batted pass on the year.
Lastly, Baltimore 5-tech Chris Wormley started again for John Harbaugh, but only notched a single tackle. He received praise from his head coach.
- Others that made the stat sheet: Cleveland’s Jabrill Peppers (four tackles, three punt returns for 23 yards), Jacksonville’s Jarrod Wilson (two tackles), Rams safety Blake Countess (tackle, four kick returns for 98 yards) and Dallas’ Jourdan Lewis (tackle).
- Matt Wile punted twice in the Vikings’ narrow 23-21 triumph over the Eagles, but only averaged 39 yards on those two boots.
In 2018, Wile has punted 21 times for a stellar 44.3-yard average, including eight he has pinned inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.
- Last, but not least, former Wolverine and Central Michigan running back Thomas Rawls was activated by Cincinnati in a 27-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins.
Thomas Rawls is active today. Im not sure who is more excited to suit up, Rawls or Joe Mixon pic.twitter.com/zZUKscSa8g— James Rapien (@JamesRapien) October 7, 2018
Rawls burst onto the scene with Seattle in 2015, averaging 5.6 yards a pop for 830 yards and four scores. A fibula injury in 2017 sent him packing, and he has found his way to Ohio.