It’s been a great season for former Michigan Wolverines in the NFL so far, and this past week may have been one of the best.
Let’s get into it, kicking off with a linebacker who dined in the Lions’ backfield on Thanksgiving Day.
Rashan Gary goes off on Thanksgiving
Linebacker Rashan Gary was a menace all day long, terrorizing the Lions with three sacks, forcing two fumbles and racking up seven total tackles.
Rashan Gary with the Hat Trick— IKE Packers Podcast (@IKE_Packers) November 23, 2023
• 3 sacks
• 2 forced fumbles
• 7 total tackles pic.twitter.com/qEREp4YYLj
He got emotional after receiving the game ball from head coach Matt LaFleur.
"I'm tired of crying around y'all."— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 23, 2023
Rashan Gary was emotional after receiving the game ball ❤️ pic.twitter.com/cAhUEunWcH
Gary’s teammate, Jon Runyan Jr., played at right guard and was part of a Packers offensive line that helped Green Bay rush for 109 yards while not allowing quarterback Jordan Love to be sacked.
In that same game, Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson had two total tackles and one tackle for loss. His teammate, guard Graham Glasgow, helped the Lions rush for 140 yards and a touchdown.
Nico Collins scores 4th quarter touchdown against Jaguars
I’m sure Michigan fans have conflicted feelings about C.J. Stroud’s impressive rookie season, but one of the beneficiaries of the young quarterback’s early success has been Nico Collins, who has emerged as a No. 1 option in a solid passing offense.
In a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Collins caught seven passes for 104 yards, including this touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Through 10 games, Collins has already hit new career-highs in receptions, yards and touchdowns. He has exactly 800 receiving yards after Sunday, and with the pace he’s been on, he’ll definitely get some Pro Bowl buzz.
Kwity Paye picks up sack, on pace for career season
Like Collins, Indianapolis Colts defensive end Kwity Paye has been putting on a show all year. He picked up another sack this week, getting to Baker Mayfield to force a Tampa Bay field goal late in the fourth quarter.
Kwity gets home to hold the Bucs to a FG.— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) November 26, 2023
This sack brings him up to 5.5 on the season, half a sack away from topping his career-high from last season. He also has 33 tackles, well on pace to top his career-high of 45.
Brandon Graham’s still got it
Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Brandon Graham, the longest-tenured former Wolverine in the NFL, picked up a crucial sack in the overtime win over the Buffalo Bills.
Graham broke the Eagles record for most regular season games played by a defensive player earlier this season, and has three sacks over his last three games.
Other notable performances
-In a loss to the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football, Minnesota Vikings safety Josh Metellus was tied as the leading tackler for his squad. He had nine tackles, five of them solo, along with half a sack, a quarterback hit, and this key forced fumble late in the fourth quarter. He did this against Justin Fields — a former Ohio State quarterback — which feels poetic after the results of The Game a few days ago.
OH NO JUSTIN FIELDS pic.twitter.com/SiXaeliAb9— Bussin' With The Boys (@BussinWTB) November 28, 2023
-Safety Jabrill Peppers was one of the lone bright spots in an ugly loss for the New England Patriots over the New York Giants. Peppers had a sack, and recovered a fumble for the first time this season.
His teammate, safety Dax Hill, had five solo tackles and a pass breakup. On the other side of the ball, center Mason Cole helped the Steelers rush for 153 yards and a touchdown, while only allowing Kenny Pickett to be sacked twice.
-In a win over the Washington Commanders, Dallas Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis had six tackles, four of them solo. In that same game, Commanders linebacker Khaleke Hudson had three tackles, two of them solo.
-San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Ronnie Bell made a key play on special teams, recovering a muffed punt towards the end of the first half.
In that same game, Jake Moody made his only field goal, from 32 yards, and all four of his extra points. For the Seahawks, running back Zach Charbonnet got the start and gained 58 yards from scrimmage, 47 on the ground.
-In a win over the Los Angeles Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Mike Danna had three tackles, two of them solo.