Former USC players made their mark on offense, defense and special teams this week in the NFL.
From Robert Woods’ top class receiving performance to Leonard Williams’ dominant play on the Jets’ defensive front, there were plenty of highlights.
Here’s how the Projans fared in Week 9 of the NFL season.
Three Stars of the Week
Robert Woods: ProFootball Focus named Woods the top slot receiver in the NFL in Week 9 after his 10-catch, 162-yard performance against the Seahawks on Monday Night. He provided one of the highlights of the week with tip-toe sideline catch late in the game against Seattle, though the Bills were unable to pull out the win.
Leonard Williams: The Jets couldn’t get by the Dolphins but Williams did his part hitting the quarterback three times and earning praise from PFF as the top player on the defensive interior for Week 9 thanks to stellar defense against the run.
Buck Allen: The running back hasn’t had a carry for the Ravens since early October, but he is making an impact on special teams. He blocked a punt, which a teammate scooped up and took to the house, during Baltimore’s win over Pittsburgh. The score was the difference in the game.
What Other Projans Did
Nelson Agholor: It’s been a rough season for Agholor, who has struggled with drops. In Philadelphia’s loss to the New York Giants, the receiver caught four balls for 41 yards but was targeted seven times. Meanwhile, Philadelphia fans on Twitter have taken to listing things > Nelson Agholor. It’s not pretty.
Matt Barkley: Barkley’s Bears were on a bye in Week 9.
Reggie Bush: Though he entered the Monday Night clash questionable with a groin injury, Bush caught two passes for 22 yards in the Bills loss to the Seahawks.
Jordan Cameron: Cameron was placed on season-ending IR due to the concussion he suffered early in the 2016 season. Reports suggest he is considering retirement.
Jurrell Casey: The Titans defense struggled to hold the Chargers offense in their high-scoring loss but Casey was not the problem by any stretch. With eight tackles on the day, Pro Football Focus graded him among the top players of the weekend in the NFL.
Matt Cassel: Cassel did not get into the game for Tennessee against San Diego.
Su’a Cravens: Washington and Cravens were on a bye this week.
Brian Cushing: Cushing’s Texans were on a bye this week.
Rhett Ellison: Primarily used as a blocking tight end, Ellison doesn’t get many chances to score for Minnesota, but during the Vikings loss to the Lions they called his name on a sweep at the goal line and he made the most of the opportunity by scoring the touchdown. That’s his first career rushing score and his first TD of the season. He also caught one pass for four yards and was graded the second-best performer on the Vikings offense per PFF.
Everson Griffen: Though the Vikings can’t seem to find a way to win lately, Griffen continues to do his part on defense. He had seven tackles including a sack against Detroit.
Nov 6, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) pressures Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) in overtime at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Lions won 22-16. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Xavier Grimble: Grimble caught one pass for ten yards as the Steelers fell to the Ravens but he’s received a noticeable increase in action and is trending up.
Wes Horton: Re-signed by the Panthers a month ago, Horton has worked his way into the starting line up for Carolina. He had just one tackle in the win over the Rams, but the Panthers defense back up his bold claim last week that they would hold LA running back Todd Gurley to under 50 yards rushing — he had 48.
Matt Kalil: The Vikings placed Kalil on IR, ending his season.
Ryan Kalil: Kalil was denied the chance to play at the Coliseum for the Panthers against the Rams as he was out with a shoulder injury.
Devon Kennard: It was a relatively quiet outing for Kennard as the Giants bested the Eagles. He had three tackles and helped force an interception with pressure.
Cody Kessler: The Browns remain win-less with Kessler at the helm but the Cleveland starter completed 70 percent of his passes for 203 yards and a touchdown against the Cowboys. PFF graded him as the fourth best player on offense for the Browns this week and noted that their woes aren’t linked to the QB who isn’t getting any help from his receivers.
Marqise Lee: Lee continued his hot-streak even though the Jaguars couldn’t pull out the win over the Chiefs. The receiver had four catches for 84 yards, leading the team in receiving thanks to a long catch-and-run for 51 yards while also adding an 11-yard gain on the ground.
Marcus Martin: Martin remains a back up at center for the 49ers.
Clay Matthews: A hamstring injury held Matthews out as the Packers lost to the Colts.
Rey Maualuga: The Bengals were on a bye in Week 9.
T.J. McDonald: McDonald had two tackles as the Rams fell to the Panthers.
Mike Morgan: The Seahawks linebacker had three tackles against the Bills.
Carson Palmer: The Cardinals were on a bye this week.
Nick Perry: Perry had four tackles and a half-sack for the Packers against the Colts, but it was a quiet day for him.
Hayes Pullard: Pullard didn’t have an stats for the Jaguars in the loss to Kansas City.
Silas Redd: Redd remains indefinitely banned for a violation of the league’s substance policy.
Nickell Robey-Coleman: There have been better nights for Robey-Coleman, who found himself on the wrong end of a match up with Seattle’s Jimmy Graham. At 5-foot-7, NFL scouts were unsure of his future in the pros specifically because of his height, something the Seahawks exploited.
Frostee Rucker: Rucker and the Cardinals were on a bye.
Mark Sanchez: Sanchez did not play for the Cowboys, who beat the Browns.
Kevon Seymour: Seymour got the start at nickel cornerback over Robey-Coleman thanks to his better size match up and tallied one tackle on the night.
Josh Shaw: Shaw’s Bengals were on a bye in Week 9.
Tyron Smith: PFF graded Smith as the top left tackle from Week 9 as he didn’t allow any pressures, didn’t draw any penalties and was his usual self clearing the way for Dallas’ rushing attack in the dominant win over Cleveland.
Malcolm Smith: Smith had eight tackles for the Raiders as they beat the rival Broncos, but he continues to draw the ire of Oakland fans on Twitter for missed tackles.
Randall Telfer: Telfer didn’t log any stats for the Browns against the Cowboys.
Max Tuerk: Tuerk remains a back up at center for the Chargers.
Shareece Wright: Wright was out with a back injury for the Ravens against the Steelers.