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 11 winners in this post.
OFFENSE: Tom Brady, QB, New England: The Patriots scored two touchdowns on defense and added another on special teams, and yet Brady was able to compile a big statistical day. The former Michigan quarterback completed 24-of-35 passes (69 percent) for 331 yards and three scores (Watch TD No. 1 | No. 2 | No. 3) in New England’s 59-24 victory over Indianapolis.
Honorable mention: Drew Brees, New Orleans: 20-27, 219 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT; Dallas Clark, Tampa Bay: 7 rec., 58 yards, 1 TD (Watch TD); Eric Decker, Denver: 2 rec., 23 yards, 1 TD (Watch TD); Garrett Graham, Houston: 8 rec., 82 yards, 2 TD (Watch TD No. 1 | No. 2); Chad Henne, Jacksonville: 16-33, 354 yards, 4 TD (Watch TD No. 1 | No. 2 | No. 3 | No. 4), 0 INT; Mikel Leshoure, Detroit: 19 car., 84 yards, 1 TD (Watch TD); Keshawn Martin, Houston: 1 rec., 9 yards, 1 TD (Watch TD); Tony Moeaki, Kansas City: 4 rec., 73 yards; Brandon Myers, Oakland: 6 rec., 55 yards, 1 TD (Watch TD).
DEFENSE: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, New England: Going up against Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck, the No. 1 pick in his draft class, Dennard, a surprising seventh-round selection, picked a great time to come up with the best game of his rookie season. The Nebraska product returned an interception 87 yards for the score (Watch pick-6) and added four tackles and two passes defended in the 59-24 victory.
Honorable mention: Navorro Bowman, San Francisco: 13 tackles; Lavonte Davis, Tampa Bay: 9 tackles, 1 TFL; A.J. Hawk, Green Bay: 10 tackles, 1 TFL; Tamba Hali, Kansas City, 4 tackles, 1 sack; Malcolm Jenkins, New Orleans: 6 tackles, 1 INT, 1 TD (Watch pick-6); Ryan Kerrigan, Washington: 2 tackles, 1 sack, 1 FF, 1 FR (Watch FR); James Laurinaitis, St. Louis: 11 tackles, 2 TFL; Rob Ninkovich, New England: 8 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFL, 1 FF, 1 FR; Shaun Phillips, San Diego: 4 tackles, 1 sack (Watch safety sack); Bernard Pollard, Baltimore: 5 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PD; Paul Posluszny, Jacksonville: 15 tackles, 1 FF, 1 INT; Will Smith, New Orleans: 5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL; Anthony Spencer, Dallas: 6 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 FF, 1 FR, (Watch strip-sack) 1 PD; J.J. Watt, Houston: 8 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFL, 1 PD; LaMarr Woodley, Pittsburgh: 5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Marcus Thigpen, KR/PR, Miami: The Indiana product returned a kick 96 yards for a touchdown (Watch it) and totaled 212 return yards, including 181 on five kick returns, in Miami’s 19-14 loss at Buffalo.
Honorable mention: Jay Feely, Arizona: 4-4 FG, 1-1 XP; Keshawn Martin, Houston: 5 KR for 162 yards, 2 PR for 76 yards.
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.
|About Brent Yarina||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.|