Christmas came early for Philadelphia Eagles Safety Malcolm Jenkins. He kicked off a strong week for OSU Alumns in the NFL. Jenkins picked off New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning twice on Thursday Night Football, one he returned 34-yards for a touchdown. It was his 6th interception returned for a touchdown in his career, placing him 2nd among active safeties. Jenkins now has a total of 12 picks in his 8-year career. He also had 6 tackles (5 solo) and 3 passes defensed in the Eagles 24-19 victory to keep the G-Men from clinching a playoff spot. Eli Apple had 2 tackles and Johnathan Hankins 1 tackle for the Giants in the loss.
Zeke Elliott pretty much sealed up the Rookie of the Year award and possibly the NFL MVP against the Detroit Lions. Elliott had 80 rushing yards on 12 carries, but 2 important touchdowns. His first TD of the night was a 55-yard run, his longest of the season. His second TD, from a 1-yard out, broke a 21-21 tie and put Dallas up for good as they cruised to a 42-21 win.
Pittsburgh linebacker Ryan Shazier had 10 tackles (5 solo), a pass defensed, and an interception in the Steelers 31-27 come from behind win over the Baltimore Ravens to win the AFC North title and seal a birth in the AFC Playoffs.
Chargers rookie Joey Bosa made his first trip as a pro back to the Buckeye State against Terrelle Pryor and the Cleveland Browns. Bosa had 5 tackles (4 solo) and 2 sacks in San Diego’s 20-17 loss to the previously winless Browns. Bosa now has 9.5 sacks in his rookie season. His fellow rookie Josh Perry had one tackle in his first trip back to his home state. Pryor had 3 catches for 36 yards in the victory for Cleveland.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Ted Ginn Junior followed up his great performance against the Washington Redskins on Monday night with a below average outing against the Atlanta Falcons. Ginn had only 3 catches for 29 yards, Corey “Philly” Brown had one catch for 12 yards, and safety Kurt Coleman had 4 tackles (2 solo), a sack, a QB hit and a tackle for loss in the 33-19 defeat to Atlanta. The Panthers, the defending NFC Champions, were eliminated from the postseason with the loss.
Bradley Roby recorded no stats for the Denver Broncos in their 33-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football. With the loss the defending Super Bowl Champions were eliminated from the playoffs. It’s the first time since 2003 that both the defending champs and the Super Bowl loser didn’t make the playoffs the following season (Buccaneers and Raiders, 2003).
San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde was searching for his 1st career 1,000 yard rushing season versus the Los Angeles Rams in southern California. Hyde had 38 yards on 13 carries, missing going over the 1K mark as he left the game with an MCL injury that will keep him out of the final game of the season. He came into the game needing only 50 yards to get a thousand, he’ll fall 12 yards short. He also had 2 fumbles, losing one. Hyde also had 3 catches for 15 yards and a touchdown to help the Niners win 22-21.
Mike Thomas had 6 catches for 98 yards for the New Orleans Saints to help them beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-24 to effectively end their NFC South division rival’s hopes of making the playoffs. Vonn Bell had 5 tackles (4 solo) to help get the victory.
New England Patriots special teamer Nate Ebner had 2 tackles for the Pats in their 41-3 drubbing of the New York Jets. Rookie linebacker Darron Lee had 7 tackles (2 solo) in defeat. Wide receiver Devin Smith had 1 catch for 20 yards, his fellow Buckeye receiver Jalin Marshall was inactive for the game.