The holiday season is upon us, which means colder weather, hot chocolate, lots of Christmas decorations, and NFL games on both Saturdays and Sundays. We’ve hit the stretch run of the season, with plenty of former Michigan Wolverines being key factors for their respective teams.
Let’s recap the best performances, starting with a special teams player who entered the record books on Sunday.
Jake Moody enters the record books
In a win over the Arizona Cardinals to clinch the NFC West, Jake Moody made six extra points and his only field goal attempt from 43 yards out. Josh Dubow with the Associated Press pointed out Moody has now broken the San Francisco franchise record for points scored by a rookie.
Most points scored for a rookie in #49ers history:— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) December 17, 2023
Jake Moody 107 in 2023
Doug Brien 105 in 1994
His 53 straight made extra points is also the longest streak in league history since the NFL moved the extra point to the 15-yard line in 2015.
I wouldn’t say Michigan fans are surprised to see Money Moody thriving. Fifteen games into his NFL career, Moody has made 18-of-21 field goal attempts and hasn’t missed one of his 53 extra point attempts, which is a new record since extra points were moved back to the 15-yard line in 2015.
In that same game, Ronnie Bell had a punt return for four yards, and Ambry Thomas had three tackles, two of them solo.
Khaleke Hudson has career game
There wasn’t a lot for Washington fans to be excited about on Sunday; the Commanders gave up 445 total yards of offense in a loss to the Los Angeles Rams, and were eliminated from playoff contention.
But despite all that, it was nice to see former Michigan linebacker Khaleke Hudson have a career game. He led his team with 14 total tackles, eight of them solo, and this tackle for loss.
Hudson doubled his game-high for tackles in this. He had just as many tackles in Sunday’s loss as he did in his entire rookie season.
Obviously the defense wasn’t perfect considering the Rams scored four touchdowns, but hopefully that game was a nice confidence boost for him.
As good as Hudson played, the same couldn’t be said for Commanders long snapper Camaron Cheeseman, who had two snaps, one of which being so bad he was credited for a fumble.
Camaron Cheeseman had two bad snaps in the first half. pic.twitter.com/MgLTzuQh55— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) December 17, 2023
Mazi Smith notches first career NFL sack
Much like Commanders fans, there wasn’t much for fans of the Dallas Cowboys to be excited about in a blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills. But rookie defensive tackle Mazi Smith did notch his first career sack in that game.
Smith hasn’t seen the field much this season. In the eight games he’s played, he’s notched 10 tackles, seven of them solo. So it’s definitely nice to see the young former Wolverine notch his first ever sack in the NFL.
In that same game, Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis had two tackles.
Three Wolverines make impact in secondary in same game
The first Saturday game of the weekend featured three Wolverines, all of whom made an impact in the secondary.
In the win for the Cincinnati Bengals, safety Dax Hill and cornerback D.J. Turner II combined for 13 tackles, including four solo tackles apiece. Hill also had a pass defensed, a near interception that he dropped.
We couldn’t find video of his sack, but here he is firing up his teammates before the game.
With all the big plays he’s made this season, Metellus will get some serious Pro Bowl consideration.
Other notable performances
-In a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots safety Jabrill Peppers led his team with seven tackles, five of them solo. In that same game, Chiefs defensive end Mike Danna had three tackles.
On the other side of the ball in that game, Lions receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones had a catch for five yards. In the trenches, Graham Glasgow shifted over to guard and helped the Lions rush for 185 yards and a touchdown while only allowing Jared Goff to be sacked twice.