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Former Michigan Wolverines in the NFL: Week 16

Unsurprisingly, defense rules the day again.

Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

If you’ve picked up on any trends from our weekly series, it should be that Michigan defensive players are far outplaying their offensive counterparts. That trend continued this week in the NFL thanks to some uncharacteristically bad performances by Tom Brady, DPJ and others on the offensive side of the ball.

Here’s the top three performing former Wolverines in the NFL this week:

Chase Winovich, DE Cleveland Browns

Winovich has struggled with injuries early on in his career. Now 27 years old, this Saturday was just his fourth appearance of the season for the Browns. However, he made the most of it, recording six tackles. This brings his 2022 tackle total to 10, whereas he only had 11 in all of 2021. He has a ways to go before he’s part of the regular rotation in Cleveland, but it’s good to see him make the most of an opportunity.

Winovich and the Browns fell to the New Orleans Saints, 17-10.

Hassan Haskins, RB Tennessee Titans

Haskins recorded stats in his fifth contest this weekend against Houston. He recorded two receptions for 17 yards. While this might not sound like much, prior to this weekend he only had five receptions for 14 yards on the season, so he has now more than doubled his yearly receiving yards. On the year, he now has 11 rushing attempts for 50 yards and seven receptions for 31 yards. He has yet to reach the end zone.

While Haskins is pretty clearly the third fiddle in the Tennessee backfield behind Derrick Henry and Dontrell Hilliard, this was expected in his rookie year as a fourth round draft pick. What’s worth monitoring is how his career progresses once Henry begins to slow down, as running back shelf lives are insanely short.

Haskins and the Titans shockingly fell to the Houston Texans, 24-19.

Jabrill Peppers, S New England Patriots

Peppers has started in all but one game for the Patriots this year and has been solid. While not quite the star that many Michigan fans, myself included, expected him to be in the pros, he is by no means a bust. On Saturday, he recorded five tackles. He has tallied between two and seven tackles in every single game this year, so he’s been quite consistent.

Unfortunately, Peppers and the Patriots essentially had their season ended thanks to a 22-18 defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Honorable Mentions

  • Mike Danna, DE Kansas City: 3 tackles
  • Frank Clark, DE Kansas City: 2 tackles, 2 tackles for loss
  • Josh Metellus, S Minnesota: 5 tackles
  • Josh Uche, OLB New England: 1 tackle, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss