Following Week 9 of the NFL season, the Blue Zone takes a look at several former Blue Devils making a difference for their teams:
Noah Gray, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
Perhaps the highlight of the week for the group of former Blue Devils in the NFL was Gray’s incredible grab in overtime en route to a Chiefs victory. On third-and-inches at midfield, Patrick Mahomes rolled out to his right, evaded multiple Titans defensive linemen and threw up a ball to Gray who made a miracle bobbling catch for 27 yards. Gray finished the game with three receptions on three targets for 45 yards. It was not the Chiefs’ prettiest game by any stretch, but the former Duke tight end played a massive role in assuring Kansas City moved to 6-2. In what has been an impressive season for Gray, he will look to take a larger role beside likely Hall of Fame tight end Travis Kelce to add a threat to Kansas City’s offense.
Deon Jackson, RB, Indianapolis Colts
With Jonathan Taylor’s absence due to an ankle injury, the hype was built for Jackson as he was dubbed the lead back for the Colts against the New England Patriots. Unfortunately for him, and some fantasy football owners, the Colts offense was dismantled by the New England defense. Trailing the whole game, Jackson did not get many looks in the rushing game. By the end of the afternoon, he left Gillette Stadium with 23 yards on 11 carries and two receptions for 13 yards. Sacked nine times, Colts second-year quarterback Sam Ehlinger was under pressure all game, leaving the offense unable to get into the red zone. In what has been a successful second season for the former undrafted rookie, Jackson will look to bounce back in a big way next week in Las Vegas against the Raiders.
Michael Carter II, CB, New York Jets
The Jets secondary was flat-out dominant last week against the Buffalo Bills, holding MVP-candidate Josh Allen to 18 completions, 205 passing yards and two interceptions. Carter, playing alongside star rookie defensive back Sauce Gardner, had two tackles and a pass breakup against the talented Bills receiving corps. The Jets will go into their bye week a 6-3 team, firmly in contention for the AFC. After Carter’s week of rest, he will go to New England, a rematch from just a week ago where Carter’s pick-six was negated by a penalty.
Laken Tomlinson, G, New York Jets
The Jets offensive line allowed just two sacks during Sunday’s victory against the Bills. Playing 100% of snaps during the game, Tomlinson continued his strong and reliable play this year. Throughout the season, Tomlinson has been flagged just once in nine games, coming in Week 3 against the Bengals, which is an impressive statistic for an offensive lineman. After the bye, Tomlinson will have his hands full with a solid Patriots defensive front that includes the NFL sack leader Matthew Judon.
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