The current Scarlet Knights may not have reached the end zone, but even before they took the field on Saturday, Brandon Coleman had celebrated a Touchdown of his own.
On Thursday Night Football, Coleman put six points on the board for New Orleans when he hauled in a 9 yard pass from Drew Brees during the 4th quarter. The Saints would add another touchdown, but their comeback fell short in the 23-20 loss in Carolina. The NFC South race is tight with all four teams within a game of the .500 mark.
Sunday Early games: Jeremy Zuttah and the Ravens remain in first place in the AFC North despite running into the buzzsaw known as the Dallas Cowboys who won their 9th straight game. Flacco was only sacked once and Baltimore ran for over 100 yards, but it was not enough on the road in Jerry World.
The Lions and Michael Burton wake up in first place in the NFC North again, but this time it comes after a 26-19 triumph over Jacksonville. Burton did not run the ball, was not targeted in the passing game, did not make a special teams tackle, however he was praised for throwing a key block on the winning TD. On the play, tight end Eric Ebron getting his first career carry followed a key block from Burton for the decisive touchdown. Had he not been injured, perhaps Tim Wright would have gotten the rock!
Jason McCourty and his tremendous tackle numbers hit a speed bump this past Sunday as he only registered one. He wasn’t alone, as The Titans collectively were stymied by the division rival Colts. The Bengals offense wasn’t much better as they dropped a 16-12 decision to Buffalo. Clark Harris and Tyler Kroft did not register any stats in the game.
Andrew DePaola snapped on FOUR! successful field goal attempts and the Bucs converted an extra point attempted in their surprising win at Arrowhead. They are very much in the crowded NFC playoff picture just one game back of Mohamed Sanu and the idle Falcons. Marcus Cooper had 2 tackles and a pass defended, but the Cardinals fell to the Vikings in another key game in the same NFC playoff race.
Sunday late games included Rutgers all-time receiving TD leader, Leonte Carroo and the Dolphins in Southern California for the second straight week, this time facing the Knights all time receiving yards leader, Kenny Britt. The game itself did not feature a strong aerial attack from either side as neither team cracked 150 Net passing yards. Britt did his part contributing 5 catches for 43 yards, but Miami scored a late TD denying Jared Goff a win in his first NFL start.
The RU alums capped their day with the New England Patriots in Santa Clara against the 49ers. I purposely omitted any reference to “San Francisco” because the stadium is an hour south of the city by the bay where I live and those of us who made the pilgrimage in the torrential downpour saw more Patriots supporters than those rooting for the “home” team. Chip Kelly’s offense taxes a defensive secondary with its multiple receivers and mobile quarterback but the Patriots were up to the task. Duron Harmon and Devin McCourty each registered six tackles. Logan Ryan defended two passes and added three tackles in the Pats 30-17 win.
Monday Night football: Barring a last minute signing in Mexico City by the Raiders or the Texans, the only player in uniform tonight who also wore the the Scarlet is Tom Savage. Savage as you are probably aware played his final season with the Pittsburgh Panthers.
NOTES: Injured Reserve tracker (Freeny, Wright, Johnson).
Knights in the pros FLASHBACK ... 1985.
Since I could not confirm in Tyronne Stowe’s 14 tackle game against the Giants was week 11 (since at the time they played each other twice a year as division rivals), this flashback belongs to Deron Cherry. Cherry, appropriately named as both a Kansas City Chiefs all-pro and Rutgers alum was a member of the 1980s NFL all-decade team. He was a great athlete, joining his brother Duane on the Scarlet Knights baseball team in 1980 then signing with the Chiefs as a punter before getting time at defensive back.
Cherry’s athleticism was on full display in a 1985 Week 11 game in when he picked off a David Woodley pass and returned it 47 yards for the game’s first touchdown. Unfortunately, the cold day eventually saw the Steelers pull out the victory in K.C., 36-28. This would turn out to be the longest (and only) interception return for a touchdown Cherry would record of the 50 total interceptions he accumulated in his illustrious NFL career.