Every Tuesday morning during the NFL season, Brent Yarina singles out the best offensive, defensive and special teams performances by Big Ten products and links to their NFL.com highlights. View all the former Big Ten players on NFL active rosters. See Brent’s Week 5 winners in this post.
OFFENSE: Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans – Brees set an NFL record Sunday night by throwing at least one touchdown pass in 48 consecutive games. The record, previously held by NFL Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas, stood since 1960. Brees set the record on 40-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter (Watch record TD | Brees talks record) and finished the night 29-of-45 with 370 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.
[RELATED: Twitter congratulates Brees on record]
Honorable mention: Tom Brady, New England: 23-31, 223 yards, 1 TD; 1 rush TD (Watch TD pass | And TD run); Owen Daniels, Houston: 4 rec., 79 yards, 1 TD (Watch TD catch); Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh: 14 car., 81 yards, 1 TD; 2 rec., 20 yards (Watch TD run); Jordan Norwood, Cleveland: 9 rec., 81 yards.
CO-DEFENSE: Ryan Kerrigan, LB, Washington – It came in a losing effort, but Kerrigan provided one of better defensive highlights of the week with his athletic pick-6 of Atlanta’s white-hot Matt Ryan (Watch pick-6). The former Boiler added five tackles, for good measure.
J.J. Watt, DE, Houston – Watt continued his ridiculous start Monday night, with six tackles, one sack and three passes defended, as the Texans improved to 5-0. The Badger product, who’s earned honors in this section every week, now owns 8.5 sacks and eight PDs on the season.
Honorable mention: Nate Clements, Cincinnati: 9 tackles, 1 FF, 1 PD (Watch FF); Larry Foote, Pittsburgh: 8 tackles, 2 FR (Watch one FR); Chad Greenway, Minnesota: 9 tackles; Tamba Hali, Kansas City: 6 tackles, 2 sacks (Watch first sack | And No. 2); James Laurinaitis, St. Louis: 10 tackles, 1 sack (Watch sack); Rob Ninkovich, New England: 4 tackles, 1 sack, 2 FF (Watch first FF | And No. 2); Bernard Pollard, Baltimore: 10 tackles; Cameron Wake, Miami: 5 tackles, 1 sack; Corey Wootton, Chicago: 2 sacks, 1 FF (Watch sack-fumble | And sack No. 2).
SPECIAL TEAMS: Robbie Gould, K, Chicago – The Penn State product scored 11 points and nailed all seven of his kicks, including a pair of field goals (Watch first FG | And No. 2), in Chicago’s 41-3 victory at Jacksonville.
Honorable mention: Brandon Fields, Michigan State: 5 punts, 49.6 AVG, 2 inside 20-yard line; Steve Weatherford, New York Giants: 2 punts, 50 AVG, 1 inside 20-yard line.
If you like keeping up with Big Ten products in the pros, BTN’s “The Next Level” is for you. Watch the show at 8 p.m. ET every Tuesday during the football season.
|BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina covers football and men’s basketball for BTN.com. He writes the popular uniform feature “Clothes Call,” which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his work here. You can subscribe to Yarina’s RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.|