Football

Gators in the NFL: Week 11

Photo by Bobby Ellis / Getty Images

Former Florida players have typically dominated the defensive side of the ball in the NFL this season, and that held true in Week 11. However, with two former Gators starting at quarterback, this was definitely the most offensively charged week of 2019.

Jacoby Brissett (quarterback, Indianapolis Colts) returned from a one week hiatus (knee) to start in a divisional matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he came back a winner.

The Colts claimed the contest, 33-13, as Brissett passed for 148 yards, a touchdown and an interception on 15 of 24 attempts. He also rushed for a touchdown.

Indianapolis mostly relied on its running game, but Brissett made plays when he needed to, finding receivers on short-to-intermediate routes.

Perhaps his best play came on fourth-and-goal from the one. Brissett scrambled to his right, neared the sideline and fired a bullet to receiver Marcus Johnson, who was draped by a defender and somehow able to stay in bounds. Also factoring in this game was Taven Bryan (defensive tackle, Jacksonville Jaguars). The 2018 first round pick had two tackles for loss.

Jeff Driskel (quarterback, Detroit Lions) started his second-straight contest due to the absence of Matthew Stafford (back).

He proved more than capable of filling Stafford’s void against the Dallas Cowboys despite a 35-27 loss. Driskel threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns on 15 of 26 passing. He also ran eight times for 51 yards and a touchdown, and he didn’t turn the ball over.

His rushing touchdown came on an easy read-option at the goal line, and he was at his best when he improvised outside of the pocket. On his first touchdown pass, he rolled to his right and found Marvin Jones in the back of the end zone for an 11 yard score.

On his final touchdown drive, he scrambled for a 23 yard gain in addition to finding Danny Amendola on a throw across his body for 21 yards. He concluded the five play march with a 25 yard strike to Jones over the middle for a touchdown.

Driskel’s teammate, Jarrad Davis (linebacker, Detroit Lions), also played well. He forced and recovered an Ezekiel Elliot fumble on the first play of the game, and he finished second on his team in tackles with seven (four solo). A few more Gators had strong defensive performances in losses as well.

Jaylen Watkins (corner/safety, Los Angeles Chargers) had one of the best games of his career, compiling 11 tackles (seven solo) in a 24-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Mexico City. Only Thomas Davis had more tackles (12) than Watkins in Monday night’s game.

Jon Bostic (linebacker, Washington Redskins) led his team with seven tackles (four solo) in a 34-17 loss to the New York Jets. He also had an interception and defended a pass. And Carlos Dunlap (defensive end, Cincinnati Bengals) racked up six tackles (two solo), a sack and a tackle for loss in a 17-10 defeat at the Oakland Raiders.

In free agent news, Vernon Hargreaves (corner) was signed by the Houston Texans following his release from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hargreaves did not play in Houston’s 41-7 massacre at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens, but he’ll likely suit up for Thursday night’s game against the Colts.

Mark Stine is a contributin writer for Chomp Talk. Follow him on Twitter @mstinejr.

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