Football

Gators in the NFL: Week 10

Photo by Daniel Bartel / Getty Images

A former Gator quarterback who transferred from UF made a start on Sunday, and he wasn’t named Jacoby Brissett (who started two games during his time at UF).

Jeff Driskel (quarterback, Detroit Lions) took the field for the injured Matthew Stafford (back), and he faced one of the NFL’s most fearsome defenses, the Chicago Bears.

Driskel made his sixth career start, and Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell let him sling it. He went 27-for-46 passing for 269 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Driskel also ran five times for 37 yards and caught his own pass that was tipped at the line for six yards.

Driskel showed prowess in using his legs to extend plays, similar to how he did at Florida and Louisiana Tech. His 7.4 yards per carry came on scrambles, but he showcased his mobility best on his touchdown. He evaded two defensive linemen, charged toward the near sideline and unleashed a 48-yard bomb to receiver Kenny Golladay, who caught it in the end zone (the ball traveled over 50 yards in the air).

No. 2 nearly led the Lions to a game-tying drive that started from the 10 yard line with 1:33 left. However, on the game’s last play from the Chicago 25, Driskel’s pass (which was flagged for being in front of the line of scrimmage) fell incomplete.

In an NFL weekend riddled with upsets, Joe Haden (corner, Pittsburgh Steelers) may have been the best defensive player in his team’s underdog win over the Los Angeles Rams.

The ninth-year pro produced a ridiculous statline: seven tackles (six solo), an interception, a forced fumble and FIVE passes defended.

Haden was traded to Pittsburgh from Cleveland last season, attached to the notion that he was on the decline athletically. Obviously, he’s got plenty in the tank, as Pittsurgh is riding a five game win streak.

Dante Fowler Jr. (edge rusher, Los Angeles Rams) may have been on the losing end of the 17-12 Steelers win, but he scored the Rams’ only touchdown. Fowler scooped up a high snap by a fellow Gator, center Maurkice Pouncey, and ran 25 yards for a touchdown just 14 seconds into the contest.

Also having a decent day was Driskel’s teammate, Jarrad Davis (linebacker, Detroit Lions), who made eight tackles (five solo) against the Bears. Demarcus Robinson (wide receiver, Kansas City Chiefs) played well in the return of reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes from injury. Robinson caught four passes (five targets) for 56 yards in the 35-32 loss at the Tennessee Titans.

In more disappointing news, Antonio Callaway (wide receiver, Cleveland Browns) was a healthy scratch for the Browns’ 19-16 win over the Buffalo Bills. As reported by cleveland.com, Callaway was held out last-minute because he was a few minutes late to the stadium on Sunday.

“I don’t know if he got the message or not, but I’m not wavering,” Kitchens said on a conference call Monday. “I always want our guys to make good choices. I did what I felt I need to do and it’s over.”

And some late breaking news, Adam Schefter is reporting that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III.

Hargreaves has recorded 39 tackles and one interception on the season.

Note: We apologize for not including Jacoby Brissett in our previous Gators in the NFL reports. Brissett started two games while at Florida and played in nine total contests before transferring to North Carolina State. With the shocking retirement of Andrew Luck less than two weeks before the 2019 season, Brissett has served well as the Indianapolis Colts’ starter. Before injuring his knee against the Oakland Raiders in Week 9, he went 5-3, averaging 198.8 yards per game, 1.8 touchdowns and a 64.5 completion percentage.

Mark Stine is contributing writer to Chomp Talk. Follow him on Twitter @mstinejr.

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