Duke in the NFL: Jones tested in Cowboys matchup, Tomlinson plays 78 offensive snaps

Daniel Jones completed 20-of-37 passes for 196 yards against the Dallas Cowboys.
Daniel Jones completed 20-of-37 passes for 196 yards against the Dallas Cowboys.

Following Week 3 of the NFL, the Blue Zone breaks down the performances of several former Blue Devils:

Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants

Though he hoped to match the Eagles and the Dolphins as the league's only undefeated teams in Week 3, Daniel Jones could not muster enough offense to overtake the Dak Prescott-less Dallas Cowboys Monday night. He faced constant pressure thanks to a porous O-line and Dallas edge rusher Demarcus Lawrence's dominance, leading to five sacks. But the fourth-year signal-caller played a better game than his numbers indicate. Jones completed 20-of-37 passes for 196 yards and had one interception while rushing nine times for 79 yards. Though he had a chance to tie the game with just under two minutes left, he was intercepted by cornerback Trevon Diggs on the third play of the Giants’ final drive. In the same play, Giants wideout Sterling Shepard suffered a severe non-contact knee injury, meaning that Jones will be without his best receiver for the foreseeable future. The 2-1 Giants look to bounce back when they host the 2-1 Bears in a Week 4 matchup.

Laken Tomlinson, OG, New York Jets

If you had told Laken Tomlinson before the season that 37-year-old Jets quarterback Joe Flacco would lead the NFL in pass attempts after Week 3 of 2022, he likely wouldn’t have believed it. Nevertheless, the traditionally excellent run-blocker has been forced into a pass-protection role as the Jets await the return of second-year quarterback Zach Wilson. To be fair, Tomlinson held his own, playing all 78 offensive snaps and allowing three pressures on Flacco’s 56 dropbacks during Sunday’s 27-12 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The former Pro Bowler’s first season in New York has yielded mixed results, and he and the Jets hope to upset the similarly 1-2 Steelers in Pittsburgh next Sunday.

Michael Carter II, CB, New York Jets

Michael Carter II’s first start of the season was—at best—a rough outing. Carter gave up five completions for 92 yards on five targets during Sunday’s loss to the Bengals, including a 56-yard house call by Bengals wideout Tyler Boyd at the end of the first quarter to put his team up 14-6. Carter played 69% of the Jets’ defensive snaps during the contest and may see more time in the starting lineup should the Jets utilize two-linebacker starting sets. If not, Carter will still rank second on the cornerback depth chart behind coveted rookie Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner as the New York-based team focuses on their Sunday matchup against Pittsburgh.

Jamison Crowder, WR, Buffalo Bills

The Bills may have lost against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, but wide receiver Jamison Crowder still contributed meaningfully on the special teams' end. The eighth-year wideout handled one kick return and three punt returns during the 21-19 loss, including a 14-yard return before the end of the first half. On offense, Crowder hauled in just one-of-three targets for nine yards, proving the depth that the Bills receiving core has with Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, and Isaiah McKenzie. Buffalo looks to rebound next Sunday against Lamar Jackson and the 2-1 Baltimore Ravens.

Noah Gray, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

For better or worse, Noah Gray’s impact on the Chiefs was felt during Sunday’s 20-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, even if the box score didn’t reflect it. He hauled in a 26-yard catch from quarterback Patrick Mahomes near the end of the third quarter on a flea flicker play, but a trick play pass from punter Tommy Townshend on the same drive went through his hands on 4th-and-11, resulting in a turnover on downs. Just like Week 1 and Week 2, Gray plugged into an offense-special teams role, playing 41% of offensive snaps and 43% of special teams snaps. The tight end and the Chiefs will look to bounce back in a tough Super Bowl LV rematch against the 2-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


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