Football

Gators in the NFL: Week 14

Photo by Jennifer Stewart / Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a rejuvenated 30 year old in their secondary.

Joe Haden (corner, Pittsburgh Steelers) is having one of his best years in his 10th NFL season, and he showed out on Sunday in Arizona.

Pittsburgh defeated the Cardinals 23-17, as Haden logged two critical interceptions and four tackles (all solo).

No. 23’s first interception came with 8:06 remaining in the third quarter. Quarterback Kyler Murray thought he had a running back open on an out-route. However, Haden was sitting in zone coverage and jumped the route. He snatched the ball just before it reached the receiver, gaining possession for the Steelers, which proceeded to drive down the field and score a touchdown.

Haden also had the game-sealing interception with 36 seconds left, as Murray threw into coverage in desperate attempt to convert a fourth-and-17 from deep in his own territory.

Haden has four interceptions on the season (tied for the second-best total of his career) and averages 4.5 tackles per game (second-best rate of his career).

Dante Fowler Jr. (edge rusher, Los Angeles Rams) is quietly having the best campaign of his career.

In Sunday’s 28-12 victory over divisional rival Seattle, Fowler made four tackles (two solo), including one for a loss and 1.5 sacks in addition to three quarterback hits.

In his fourth NFL season, Fowler has career highs in starts (11), tackles (44), tackles for loss (13), sacks (9.0) and quarterback hits (13).

Eddy Piñeiro (kicker, Chicago Bears) also tasted victory last week in a 31-24 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Piñero converted all of his kicks for the second-straight week, making his only field goal (36 yards, first quarter) and all four extra point attempts.

Unfortunately for Jacoby Brissett (quarterback, Indianapolis Colts), his team can’t leave its losing ways.

Brissett completed 19 of 36 passes for 251 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-35 loss at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Aided by the return of running back Marlon Mack, Brissett and the Colts were in great position to win with a 35-21 lead with just over five minutes left in the third quarter.

However, Indianapolis consistently failed to convert third downs from that point (going an underwhelming 6 of 16), allowing the Bucs plenty of opportunity to come back.

Injury Report:

Some players sat out of Week 14 due to injuries sustained the week prior, but Sunday also saw players sustain fresh knocks.

Jarrad Davis (linebacker, Detroit Lions) is questionable to play in Week 15 against Tampa Bay after sustaining an ankle injury in a 20-7 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Quinton Dunbar (corner, Washington Redskins) left a 20-15 loss to the Green Bay Packers with an injured hamstring. He is questionable for Week 15 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Jon Bullard (defensive tackle, Arizona Cardinals)is finished for the season, as he was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.

Brian Poole (safety, New York Jets) didn’t participate in his squad’s 22-21 win over the Miami Dolphins because of a concussion.

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

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