Heading into Week 6 of the NFL regular season, several former Blue Devils are getting key minutes for their teams. The Blue Zone breaks down the performances of these Duke alumni:
Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants
Jones took a beating in Sunday’s 31-16 loss to the Miami Dolphins, departing the field with a neck injury early in the fourth quarter. A sack from behind by linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel kept him down, and although the former Blue Devil captain walked off the field with trainers, he was ruled out of play within minutes of entering the medical tent. To many fans, the situation is disconcertingly reminiscent of the neck injury that forced the quarterback out of the last six games of the 2021 season.
The match against the Dolphins, however, was disappointing for the Giants even before Jones’s injury. New York, forced to use its fifth-different offensive starting lineup this season, struggled yet again to perform. The Charlotte, N.C., native battled through five sacks to complete 14 of 20 passes for 119 yards with no interceptions, but the sixth takedown proved too much for him to handle. Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor managed to finish the game, completing 9 of 12 passes for 86 yards while also suffering a single sack. Though a heroic 102-yard-interception run by safety Jason Pinnock offered the Giants their only touchdown of the night, it meant that the team’s defense has now scored more total first-half touchdowns than its offense. Overall, New York’s fourth defeat, coupled with Jones’s injury, paints a bleak picture for the remainder of the Giants’ season.
Michael Carter II, CB, New York Jets
The Jets finally found some success this weekend with a 31-21 win against the Broncos. While the real star of the game was running back Breece Hall, who rushed for a career-high 177 yards and scored a 72-yard touchdown, the victory was a team effort. Slot cornerback and former Duke safety Michael Carter II notched four tackles – including one solo – to help New York overcome Denver’s efforts. Along with sacks by Quincy Williams, Jermain Johnson II and Bryce Huff, this helped the Jets successfully dampen the Broncos’ offense. New York also scored in the opening quarter for the first time this season, walking away from Empower Field with a meaningful win that hints at a potential season turnaround.
Jamison Crowder, WR, Washington Commanders
Wide receiver Jamison Crowder made decent contributions to Washington this weekend by putting up two receptions for 21 yards. However, the Commanders fell short in a shocking 40-20 loss against the previously winless Chicago Bears. After several key coverage mistakes early in the game and strong performances from Bears’ receiver D.J. Moore and quarterback Justin Fields, Washington could not recover. The defeat should be a wake-up call for the team as it heads into a critical game against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 6.
Noah Gray, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
In an identical fashion to Crowder, Kansas City tight end Noah Gray also made two receptions for 21 yards. However, unlike the Commanders, the Chiefs managed to emerge victorious in their Week 5 game against the Vikings. Though both Kansas City and Minnesota remained neck-and-neck in total yardage, the Vikings struggled in their turnover game and gave the Chiefs precious opportunities to pull ahead. The win helped to cement Kansas City’s claim as the strongest opponent in the AFC West.
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