FanPost

Horns in the NFL: Week 15

Justin Tucker and Jamaal Charles were the stars of last NFL week. Credits: Longhorn Network.

If we talk about NFL this week, there are two names above the rest, and both are Longhorns: Jamaal Charles and Justin Tucker. It was difficult to chose just one over the other.

After Jamaal Charles' amazing performance last Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, during which he scored 5 TDs, it looked impossible that he would be over-shadowed by any of the other former Longhorns. But, Justin Tucker thought differently as he made 6 FGs in the Monday Night Football Game vs the Detroit Lions, scoring all of the Ravens' 18 points. The last FG came from 61 yards with 30 secs on the clock and gave his team the victory. There is little doubt that JC25 and JT9 are the players of the week, but it's hard to tell which performance was more impressive.

Jamaal Charles racked up 215 total yards in 16 touches, which means he averaged 13.4 per play. In his 8 rushes he ran for 20 yards and one score. The other 195 yards came through the air with 8 catches and 4 TDs. With those numbers, he broke several records. He became the first NFL player ever to score at least four receiving TDs plus one rushing TD. It was the first time in NFL history in which a RB scored four TD passes. This performance was good enough to tie the franchise record of TDs in a single game from back in 1961 when Hall of Famer Abner Haynes scored four rushing TDs and one receiving TD. At that time, the franchise was the Dallas Texans. JC's four TDs in the first half also tied former Longhorn Priest Holmes for the most TDs in a half in Chiefs' history.

He was already having a heck of a season, but after this performance nobody can take his name away from the MVP discussion. This comes after a season in which the Chiefs won just 2 games and got the first pick of the Draft. Although Alex Smith deserves some credit as the QB who threw five completions for TDs to JC, it is really Jamaal who deserves most of the credit, since those five passes traveled a total of only 13 combined yards in the air. With his help and a strong defense, the Chiefs have clinched a Playoff spot and will be fighting with the Broncos to win the NFC West Division and skip the Wild Card Game.

Jamaal Charles was destined to occupy all the headlines. That was a sure thing, until Justin Tucker made 6 FGs during Monday Night Football to score all the Ravens' points in their win over the Lions. Like JC25, Justin Tucker's performance was key for his team. The Ravens are fighting for a Wild Card spot in the NFC and a win on Monday was much needed. He became the first kicker in NFL history to kick FGs ranges in the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s yards in the same game. His season has been incredible and he has become one of the best kickers in the league, if not the best, after only two seasons in the NFL.

He has made 32 straight FGs, which is the longest current streak in the NFL. He is now 35 of 37 on the season; his only two misses of the season came in the second week against the Browns, and he is perfect in the 0 to 39 yards range. His 94.6% success rate is 8 percentage points ahead of the NFL average and he is above the NFL average in every yard-range. When the game was on the line, and John Harbaugh had to decide whether to go for the first down or trust in Tucker's leg, all he had to do was look at his kicker's face to see that he could make it. He is the most clutch kicker since the Adam Vinatieri golden years.

The other former Longhorn kicker, Phil Dawson, is also having a good season, with 24 straight FGs, which is a record in franchise history. The 15 year veteran only signed a one-year-contract, but his coach, Jim Harbaugh, will ask him to come back to the bay for 2014. The great seasons of these two, make me wonder if Texas is PKU, instead of DLU or DBU as we have been discussing during the season.

But Dawson hasn't been the only player over-shadowed by the two great performances of Tucker and Charles. Bills' safety Aaron Williams earned his team Player of the Week award after making one pick, his 4th of the season, which he returned for 34 yards. He also forced one fumble during his team's win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Two former Longhorns also had picks this week. Seahawks Safety Earl Thomas made his fifth interception of the season against the Giants, and he is one away from leading the league in that section. The other was DJ Johnson who had his second pick in the last two weeks.

The fight to become the player with the most sacks between Brian Orakpo and Brian Robison continues. The Vikings' DE shortened the gap with two more sacks against the Eagles, and he has now made at least one sack in the last 6 games, and has 9 sacks on the season. Orakpo is only one ahead, after notching 1.5 against the Falcons. Cory Redding forced a safety after tacking Texans' OL D. Brown in the endzone, who had recovered a Case Keenum's fumble.

On the bad news side, Emmanuel Acho has been released by the Eagles, to make room for rookie safety Keelan Johnson. This is the second time the Eagles have cut Acho this season. After cutting him before the season started, they signed him again from the New York Giants' Practice Squad. He has only made 1.5 tackles in his 6 games with the Eagles.

  • QBs (1):

#2 Colt McCoy (San Francisco 49ers): QB#2

Status: Backup (Colin Kaepernick).
Next game: vs Falcons (Monnday at 7:40 PM CT).
Stats last game: 3 QB kneels, -3 yards.
Stats season: 1/1, 13 yards. 6 rushes, -6 yards.

  • RBs (3):

#25 Jamaal Charles (Kansas City Chiefs): RB#1

Status: Starter.
Next game: vs Colts (Sunday at Noon CT).
Stats last game: 8 rushes, 20 yards, 1 TD. 8 catches, 195 yards, 4 TDs.
Stats season: 246 rushes, 1182 yards, 11 TDs. 65 catches, 655 yards, 7 TDs. 2 FLs

#35 Fozzy Whittaker (Cleveland Browns): RB #2 & KR

Status: Backup (Wills McGahee) - Returner.
Next game: @ NYJ (Sunday at Noon CT).
Stats last game: 1 rush, 1 yard. 2 catches, 4 yards 4 KRs, 44 yards.
Stats season: 28 rushes, 79 yards. 17 catches, 113 yards, 1 TD. 26 KRs for 546 yards.

#25 Chris Ogbonnaya (Cleveland Browns): FB #1

Status: Starter.
Next game:@ NYJ (Sunday at Noon CT).
Stats last game: 5 rushes, 7 yards. 5 catches, 39 yards.
Stats season: 47 carries, 231 yards. 46 catches, 330 yards, 2 TDs. 2 FL.

  • WR (1):

#88 Marquise Goodwin (Buffalo Bills): RWR #2
Status: Backup (behind TJ Graham).
Next game: vs Dolphins (Sunday at Noon CT).
Stats last game: 0 catches. 2 KRs, 38 yards.
Stats season: 16 catches, 261 yards, 3 TDs, 1 FL. 2 rush, 16 yards. 1 FL. 16 KRs, 351 yards.

  • TE (1):

#88 Jermichael Finley (Green Bay Packers): IR
Status: Out for the year (head injury).
Stats season: 25 catches, 300 yards, 3 TDs.

  • OLs (3):

#72 Jonathan Scott (Chicago Bears): LT #2
Status: Backup (Jermon Busrhod).
Next game: @ Philadelphia (Sunday at 7:40 PM CT).

#63 Justin Blalock (Atlanta Falcons): LG #1

Status: Starter.
Next game: @ San Francisco (Monday at 7:40 PM CT).

#63 Lyle Sendlein (Arizona Cardinals): C #1

Status: Starter.
Next game: @ Seattle (Sunday at 3:05 PM CT).

  • DLs (8):

#90 Kheeston Randall: FA

Status: Free Agent (released by Bengals)
Stats season: No stats.

#91 Cory Redding (Indianapolis Colts): LDE #1

Status: Starter.
Next game: @ Kansas City (Sunday at Noon CT).
Stats last game: 1.5 tackles, 1 safety, 1 PBU.
Stats season: 29 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 1 safety, 2 PBU.

#97 Roy Miller (Jacksonville Jaguars): NT #1

Status: Starter.
Next game: vs Titans (Sunday at Noon CT).
Stats last game: 3 tackles.
Stats season: 21.5 tackles, 1 sack.

#99 Lamarr Houston (Oakland Raiders): RE #1

Status: Starter.
Next game: @ San Diego (Sunday at 3:25 PM CT).
Stats last game: 5 tackles
Stats season: 53.5 tackles, 5 sacks, 2 FFs, 1 FR.

#73 Brandon Moore (Denver Broncos): Practice Squad

#95 Shaun Rogers (New York Giants): Injured Reserve (Week 9)

Status: Out for the year (knee).
Stats season: 8 tackles.

#69 Henry Melton (Chicago Bears): Injured Reserve (Week 3)

Status: Out for the year (torn ACL).
Stats season: 4 tackles, 1 FR.

#90 Brian Robison (Minnesota Vikings): LDE #1

Status: Starter.
Next game: @ Cincinnati (Sunday at Noon CT).
Stats last game: 2.5 tackles, 2 sacks.
Stats season: 27.5 tackles, 9 sacks, 1 FR, 1 TD, 2 PBUs.

  • LBs (6):

# 56 Derrick Johnson (Kansas City Chiefs): RILB #1

Status: Starter.
Next game: vs Colts (Sunday at Noon).
Stats Week last game: 5 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PBU.
Stats season: 100 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 INTs, 6 PBU, 2 FR.

#98 Brian Orakpo (Washington Redskins): ROLB #1

Status: Starter.
Next game: vs Cowboys (Sunday at Noon CT).
Stats last game: 7 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 FR.
Stats season: 49.5 tackles, 10 sacks, 4 PBU, 1 INT, 1 TD, 2 FR.
#52 Keenan Robinson (Washington Redskins): Injured Reserve (Preseason)
#53 Emmanuel Acho: FA
Status: Free Agent. Released by the Eagles (18 dec).
Stats season: 1.5 tackles.

#94 Sam Acho (Arizona Cardinals): Injured Reserve (Week 3)

Status: IR (broken leg).
Stats season: 4.5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 FF.

#57 Alex Okafor (Arizona Cardinals): Injured Reseve (Week 4)

Status: IR (biceps).
Stats season: 1 tackle.

  • DBs (10):

#23 Aaron Williams (Buffalo Bills): SS #1

Status: Starter.
Next game: vs Dolphins (Sunday at Noon CT).
Stats last game: 4 tackles, 1 INT, 1 FF, 1 PBU.
Stats season: 71 tackles, 11 PBU, 4 INTs.

#23 Chykie Brown (Baltimore Ravens): RCB #2

Status: Rotation (behind Corey Graham).
Next game: vs Patriots (Sunday at 3:25 PM CT).
Stats last game: No stats.
Stats season: 7.5 tackles, 1 PBU.

#31 Curtis Brown (Pittsburgh Steelers): LCB #2

Status: Backup (Cortez Allen).
Next game: @ Green Bay (Sunday at 3:25 PM CT).
Stats last game: No stats.
Stats season: 6 tackles.
#33 Michael Griffin (Tennessee Titans): FS #1
Status: Starter.
Next game: @ Jacksonville (Sunday at Noon).
Stats last game: 6 tackles.
Stats season: 66.5 tackles, 2 PBU, 2 FF.

#29 Michael Huff (Denver Broncos): FS #3

Status: Depth.
Next game: @ Houston (Sunday at Noon CT).
Stats last game: No stats.
Stats season: 5.5 tackles.
#34 Quentin Jammer (Denver Broncos): LCB #3
Status: Depth.
Next game: @ Houston (Sunday at Noon CT).
Stats last game No stats.
Stats season: 11.5 tackles, 3 PBU, 1 FR.

#31 Aaron Ross (New York Giants): Injured Reserve (Week 4)

Status: Out for the season.
Stats season: 4 tackles, 4 PBU, 1 INT.
#32 Kenny Vaccaro (New Orleans Saints): SS #2
Status: Starter.
Next game: @ Carolina (Sunday at Noon CT).
Stats last game: 5.5 tackles.
Stats season: 68.5 tackles, 6 PBU, 1 sack, 1 INT, 1 FF.

#25 Tarell Brown (San Francisco 49ers): RCB #1
Status: Questionable (ribs).
Next game: vs Falcons (Sunday at 7:40 PM CT).
Stats last game: Didn't play (ribs).
Stats season: 28.5 tackles, 1 FR, 9 PBUs.

#29 Earl Thomas (Seattle Seahawks): FS #1

Status: Starter.
Next game: vs Cardinals (Sunday at 3:25 PM CT).
Stats last game: 2.5 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PBU.
Stats season: 81.5 tackles, 8 PBU, 5 INTs, 2 FFs.

  • STs (3):

#9 Justin Tucker (Baltimore Ravens): K #1
Status: Special Teams.
Next game: vs Patriots (Sunday at 3:25 PM CT).
Stats Week 13: 6/6 FGs.
Stats season: 35/37 FGs and 25/25 XPs.

#9 Phil Dawson (San Francisco 49ers): K #1
Status: Special Teams.
Next game: vs Falcons (Sunday at 7:40 PM CT).
Stats last game: 4/4 FGs, 3/3 XPs.
tats season: 24/27 FGs, 36/36 XPs.
#46 Cullen Loeffler (Minnesota Vikings): LS #1
Status: Special Teams.
Next game: @ Cincinnati (Sunday at Noon CT).
Stats season: 2 tackles.

PS: Gracias a mi amigo horndude, who is helping me with my grammar, and proofreads this for me (I am not a native English speaker).

PS2: Don't forget to support the former Longhorns adding them in your Pro Bowl ballot:

RB Jamaal Charles, FB Chris Ogbonnaya, OG Justin Blalock, OC Lyle Sendlein, DT Roy Miller, DEs Lamarr Houston, Cory Redding and Brian Robison, LBs Derrick Johnson and Brian Orakpo, DBs Aaron Williams, Kenny Vaccaro, Earl Thomas, Michael Griffin and Tarell Brown and kickers Phil Dawson and Justin Tucker.

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