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Duke in the NFL: Jackson shines as next man up, Jones leads Giants to best start since 2009

This week, Deon Jackson became the first running back since 2009 to record 10 receptions in a single game for the Colts.
This week, Deon Jackson became the first running back since 2009 to record 10 receptions in a single game for the Colts.

After a long week of football, the Blue Zone takes a look at how several former Blue Devils performed in Week 6 of the NFL season: 

Deon Jackson, RB, Indianapolis Colts

In 2017, Colts quarterback Matt Ryan spoke at former Blue Devil Deon Jackson’s high school graduation. This past week, the two took the field together, helping the Colts to a comeback victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars. With running backs Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines sidelined due to injuries, the former Duke captain was handed the reins to the team’s backfield in Week 6 and capitalized on the opportunity. The Atlanta native rushed 12 times for 42 yards and caught 10 passes for 79 yards, helping the Colts to a 34-27 win. Jackson, who went undrafted in 2021 before joining the team, also added a touchdown on the ground to his already big day, solidifying himself as a playmaker while Taylor and Hines remain out. In just his first career start, Jackson etched himself into Colts history as the first running back since 2009 to record 10 receptions in a single game. Although his productivity is entirely dependent on the availability of the other running backs, the Atlanta native will look to carry this week’s momentum into next week’s contest against the Tennessee Titans.

Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants

Former Duke quarterback Daniel Jones played an instrumental role in the New York Giants’ 14-point fourth-quarter comeback against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday. In arguably his best performance of the season, Jones completed 19 of 27 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns. The Duke product looked poised against a Ravens defense with one of the most talented secondaries in the league and once again demonstrated his clutch factor by leading his fourth game-winning drive of the season, ultimately finishing the game 24-20. The Giants now sit at 5-1, the best start to a season since 2009, and will look to extend their win total to six in next week’s matchup in Jacksonville. 

Michael Carter II, CB, New York Jets

It is rare to see a defense shut down Aaron Rodgers, but that is exactly what the Jets’ unit did Sunday in their 27-10 win at Lambeau Field. Former Blue Devil Michael Carter II was a key component of the Jets’ success on the defensive side of the football, totaling five tackles and holding the Packers’ leading receiver, Randall Cobb, to just one reception for eight yards. The Duke product continues to quietly take care of business in the slot for a Jets team that now sits at 4-2. He, alongside the outside duo of Sauce Gardner and DJ Reed, will look to rise to the occasion against a Denver Broncos pass offense that hasn’t quite clicked yet Sunday afternoon.

Laken Tomlinson, G, New York Jets 

Once an All-America selection at Duke, now-New York Jets offensive guard Laken Tomlinson impressed on Sunday against the Packers. The veteran O-lineman led a unit that just kept pushing, helping rookie running back Breece Hall rush for 116 yards against a talented Packer front seven. The Jets’ ground dominance contributed to their upset win in Green Bay, and Tomlinson definitely played his part in an offensive line that head coach Robert Saleh hailed as “outstanding.”

Victor Dimukeje, OLB, Arizona Cardinals

Former Blue Devil Victor Dimukeje recorded season highs of 30 snaps and three solo tackles in the Cardinals' 19-9 loss against the Seattle Seahawks. Dimukeje doubled his snap count percentage from last week, going from 22% to 44%, and demonstrating his increasingly important role in the Cardinals’ linebacker corps. 

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