Well, the current Buckeyes season ended in very disappointing fashion at the hands of the Clemson Tigers in the College Football Playoff, ruining many’s start to 2017. But, thankfully there are several Bucks in the NFL that represented well on the first day of the New Year and are still giving Ohio State fans something to cheer about.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Mike Thomas finished a phenomenal rookie season with 10 catches for 156 yards and a touchdown for New Orleans in their 38-32 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. That stat line helped Thomas set Saints rookie records for receptions (92), receiving yards (1,137) and touchdowns (9). Saints safety Vonn Bell had 6 tackles (4 solo) and a tackle for loss in the defeat.
San Diego Chargers Joey Bosa and Josh Perry finished their rookie campaigns with a 37-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Bosa had 5 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, a sack and a QB hit. Perry had 6 tackles (3 solo) in the loss. Even after missing the start of the regular season due to a contract holdout, Bosa appears to be worth the wait and the third overall draft pick. He finishes the season with a team high 10.5 sacks.
Terrelle Pryor had 7 catches for 94 yards for the Cleveland Browns in their 27-24 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pryor finished the season with over 1,000 yards in his first year as a true receiver since converting from quarterback. He was also the Browns leading receiver on the season with 77 catches, 1,007 yards and 4 touchdowns.
On the Steelers side, linebacker Ryan Shazier finished his 2016 regular season strong. The 3rd-year pro had 8 tackles (7 solo), a pass defensed and a key interception in the red zone of Robert Griffin the third to thwart a potential Browns score. Shazier will make his second trip to the postseason next week when the Steelers host the Miami Dolphins in the Wild Card round.
Buffalo Bills Rookie quarterback Cardale Jones saw his first action as a professional. The 2014 Ohio State National Championship hero was 6 of 11 for 96 yards and 1 interception in the Bills 30-10 loss to the New York Jets. Defensive tackle Adolphus Washington had 3 tackles (1 solo) in defeat.
Jets rookie linebacker Darron Lee had 7 tackles (5 solo) and 1 QB hit in the victory. Lee finished the season as New York’s 3rd leading tackler with 66. Jalin Marshall had 3 catches for 22 yards and a touchdown, a 32-yard kickoff return, and 5 punt returns for 24 yards in the win.
New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple had 4 tackles in their 19-10 win over the Washington Redskins. Johnathan Hankins had one tackle in the victory. The Giants will play the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Wild Card round next weekend. 11-year safety Donte Whitner didn’t play in the game for Washington. He was placed on injury reserve on December 28th.
Ted Ginn Junior had 4 catches for 69 yards, and 2 rushes for 24 yards for the Carolina Panthers in their 17-16 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Corey “Philly” Brown had 2 catches for 20 yards and safety Kurt Coleman had 7 tackles (6 solo) and a pass defensed in defeat. Ginn had a career high 54 catches in 2016. Coleman finishes the season with 4 interceptions, the most on the team.
Ezekiel Elliott did not play for the Dallas Cowboys against the Philadelphia Eagles in their 27-13 loss. He finishes the season with 1,631 rushing yards for 15 touchdowns, 363 receiving yards and 1 touchdown catch. He falls 178 yards short of passing Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson’s record for most rushing yards by a rookie, but he is the League’s rushing title winner. Elliott’s next game will be in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs. The Cowboys will have next week off since they have the number one seed. Safety Malcolm Jenkins had 2 tackles for the Eagles in the win.
Defending Super Bowl Champion Bradley Roby had 3 tackles (3 solo) in the Denver Broncos 24-6 win over the Oakland Raiders.
Houston Texans linebacker John Simon missed Sunday’s 24-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans with a chest injury. Simon is expected to be back for the Texans Wild Card playoff game next weekend.
Three other Buckeyes that will be making an appearance in the playoffs will be Green Bay Packers center Corey Linsley, Detriot Lions offensive tackle Taylor Decker and New England Patriots defensive back Nate Ebner.