As the NFL regular season begins to wind down, a number of Tar Heels continue to make significant impacts on their respective teams. Ryan Switzer scored his first NFL touchdown this past week, Zach Brown continues to lead the league in tackles, and Kareem Martin picked up his first interception of the season.
Let’s take a look at the stats from some former UNC football players in this week’s NFL recap.
Ryan Switzer and Jonathan Cooper (Dallas) vs. Zach Brown (Washington)
A number of former Tar Heels kicked off Week 13 with a couple of impressive performances this past Thursday. In a game between two NFC East teams fighting for a playoff spot, with the loser more than likely being eliminated from playoff contention, it was the Cowboys who would come out on top 38-14.
Cooper continues to play a big part along Dallas’ offensive line, while Switzer continues to shine on special teams for the Cowboys. Switzer had a career milestone with his first NFL punt return for a touchdown. It was an impressive 83-yard run that put Dallas ahead 17-0 in the second quarter, and Cowboys’ fans hope it is the first of many touchdowns for Switzer going forward.
On the losing side, Brown continues to have a Pro-Bowl type year and lead the way for the Washington defense. Despite an injury that hampered him both before and during the game, he led the team with seven tackles (6 solo, 1 asst.). Brown also leads the league in total tackles with 117 through 13 weeks of the season.
Kareem Martin (Arizona) vs. Robert Quinn (Los Angeles Rams)
Quinn’s Rams got the better of Martin and the Cardinals, but it was Martin who came away with the big play in a game between two former Tar Heels. Los Angeles defeated Arizona 32-16 in a match-up between the two NFC West teams. Quinn had another very solid game, in which he collected three tackles and one sack. His sack total is now at 4.5 sacks on the season.
Martin had the big play of the game for the Cardinals’ defense, as he picked off Jared Goff for his first interception of the year. In the loss, Martin also had one tackle for Arizona.
James Hurst (Baltimore) vs. Eric Ebron (Detroit)
In the 44-20 blowout victory over the Lions, Hurst and the Ravens allowed no sacks to the Detroit defense. The Ravens also collected over 100 yards on the ground. The Detroit offense was not much better than their defense, as they had three fumbles in the game. Ebron caught four passes for 38 yards in the loss.
Brandon Tate (Buffalo)
With the injury to starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor, the Bills’ offense had difficulty moving the ball against the Patriots. Buffalo only put up three points and 268 total yards of offense. Tate had three kick-off returns for 68 yards (long of 25 yards) in the loss.
Julius Peppers (Carolina)
The Panthers fell to the Saints 31-21 in a battle between two teams vying for playoff spots. Carolina’s defense had gave up over 400 yards to Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, and the red hot New Orleans’ offense. Peppers didn’t record a sack in the game, but he had three total tackles for Carolina’s defense.
Mitch Trubisky (Chicago)
In a game between two of the worst teams in the NFL, it was the San Francisco 49ers who came out on top 15-14. Fans who enjoy watching high-octane offenses would have quickly changed the channel in this one, with both teams only scoring one offensive touchdown in the game (Tarik Cohen did score a special teams touchdown). The lone offensive touchdown came on a 8-yard touchdown pass from Trubisky to Dontrelle Inman.
Trubisky finished the game going 12-15 for 102 yards and the one touchdown throw. He also added four rushes for 19 yards. Along with not being able to really move the offense or score many points on the 49ers, Trubisky also finished the game with two fumbles.
Gio Bernard and Russell Bodine (Cincinnati)
In a game that was over-shadowed with the injuries sustained by numerous players, the Pittsburgh Steelers would score 13 unanswered points in the 4th quarter to get the come-from-behind victory over the Bengals. Bodine, who started and played the entire game at center, helped the Bengals gain 130 yards on the ground. A large portion of those rushing yards came from Bernard, who had not factored much into the offense in recent weeks. Gio finished the game with 77 yards on 13 rushes, along with two receptions for 19 yards.
Tre Boston (Los Angeles Chargers)
Boston and the Chargers’ defense helped keep the Cleveland Browns winless on the season by allowing only 10 points in their 19-10 victory. The win helped improve the Chargers’ record to 6-6 on the season. Boston finished the game with four solo tackles.
Mack Hollins (Philadelphia) vs. Naz Jones (Seattle)
The red hot Eagles stumbled on Sunday evening against the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle defeated Philadelphia 24-10 in a potential playoff preview between the two teams. Hollins had a drop in playing time this week and had only one reception for 10 yards.
The Seattle defense was impressive in slowing down Carson Wentz and the Eagles, but Naz Jones didn’t play in the game due to an ankle injury.