Another thrilling week of NFL football is in the books, and former Duke stars were back on the gridiron for Week 8. Let's take a look at a few who starred for their teams over the weekend:
Daniel Jones, Quarterback, New York Giants
Daniel Jones almost pulled off the impossible Monday night against the Chiefs: key word, almost. Last week’s utter destruction of the Panthers must have given the third-year quarterback some newfound confidence. Jones threw for 222 yards, two touchdowns and an interception with a 69% completion percentage, and though he did fumble the ball once, the Giants maintained possession.
Facing an admittedly subpar Kansas City defense, Jones kept his team in it until their final drive. Kansas City's Harrison Butker had just tied the game, then given the Chiefs the lead on field goals before "Danny Dimes" took the field with 1:07 to play and a three-point deficit to overcome. That final comeback drive consisted of a three-yard pass, and eight yard loss on a sack, an incomplete pass, and another sack during which Jones lost the football. He had the opportunity to stage a comeback against the reigning AFC champions, and could not execute. New York lost even more weapons this week, with Kadarius Toney, Sterling Shepard, and Dante Pettis all exiting mid-game.
Jamison Crowder, Wide Receiver, New York Jets
Sunday featured a ruthless air attack from the now 2-5 Jets. With Mike White at the helm, there were plenty of targets to go around. White—in his first career start—went 37-45 with 405 yards. Receiver Jamison Crowder caught eight of nine targets for 84 yards, his most since returning from injury. His best play of the game, however, was with his arm. With just under four minutes to play, the Jets scored the go-ahead touchdown. They went for the two-point conversion to try for a three point lead. Crowder executed a Philly-special style pass to White in the endzone to convert. The Bengals couldn’t stage the comeback, and the Jets got their second win of the season.
Due to his emergence as a top passing threat, he emerged as a top trade target prior to Tuesday's trade deadline, though no deal could be reached. The Jets next face the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday Night Football.
Laken Tomlinson, Guard, San Francisco 49ers
Laken Tomlinson has been a steady, solid presence on the 49ers offensive line since he joined the team in 2017, starting all but one game. He has become a crucial aspect of a running and play-action offense, also helping to protect injury-prone Jimmy Garoppolo.
Sunday against a formidable Bears pass rush, Tomlinson help the team rush for 145 yards and three scores, two of which were quarterback runs. He along with the rest of the offensive line kept the pocket clean with no sacks and no quarterback hits. While star edge rusher Khalil Mack wasn’t on the field for the Bears, the offensive line was still successful, allowing Garoppolo to throw for over 300 yards and give the 49ers the win.
Michael Carter II, Cornerback, New York Jets
Michael Carter II has established himself as an integral part of the Jets secondary. The nickel corner took 93% of the defensive snaps against the Bengals. He recorded four tackles, one of which was for a loss of yards. His 36 tackles on the season might seem low, but the rookie is earning himself playing time.
Deon Jackson, Running back, Indianapolis Colts
Deon Jackson was elevated to the Colts 53-man roster this past weekend. Jackson signed with the team as an undrafted free agent in the spring, and had been on their practice squad since. While Jackson is unlikely to see much playing time behind Nyheim Hines, Marlon Mack, and starter Jonathan Taylor, the promotion is still notable.
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