After a bye week for the UConn football team, we take a look at the impact that former UConn players had for their respective teams in Week 6 of the NFL season.
Byron Jones, Dallas Cowboys
Byron Jones continued his stellar cornerback play for the Cowboys in the team’s Week 6 40-7 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jones recorded one assisted tackle and three passes defended against a Blake Bortles-led offense that was unable to find any sort of rhythm on Sunday. The Jaguars’ offense was averaging a modest 20.4 PPG coming into Week 6, with weapons like T.J. Yeldon out of the backfield and ascending receivers Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook.
This was a critical game for the Cowboys, as their win tied them tied for second place with the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East with a 3-3 record. A loss would have put the Cowboys at 2-4, just one game ahead of the struggling New York Giants. Jones and the Cowboys proved they are still a respectable team in the NFC with their dismantling of the Jaguars.
Ryan Griffin, Houston Texans
Tight end Ryan Griffin had a solid Week 5 for the Texans, contributing six catches for 65 yards against the Cowboys. However, he failed to haul in any of his five targets this week against the Buffalo Bills in Week 6. The Bills’ defense is always solid, as they forced second-year stud quarterback Deshaun Watson to throw two interceptions, and held former Pro-Bowl running back Lamar Miller to only 3.1 yards per carry.
The Texans’ defense also performed well on Sunday, holding the Bills’ offense to only 13 points. A Texans field goal with 1:34 left in the fourth quarter followed by an interception return for a touchdown on the next possession propelled the Texans to a 20-13 victory. Hopefully, Griffin can contribute more to his team’s play next week.
Anthony Sherman, Kansas City Chiefs
In Week 6, fullback Anthony Sherman and the Chiefs took their undefeated record into Gillette Stadium on Sunday night to face five-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. This game was in primetime, as it featured two of the best teams in the AFC, with everyone all but expecting an offensive shootout. The Patriots ended up winning the game 43-40 on a 28-yard field goal as time expired, ending the Chiefs’ bid for an undefeated season. The teams combined for an astounding 946 yards.
Given that statistic, it would be reasonable to expect some sort of yardage output from Anthony Sherman. Unfortunately, he was only able to record one catch for negative two yards and did not record any rushing yards. Sherman has now caught passes in back-to-back weeks, however, has yet to receive a carry in the 2018 season. I’m sure all eyes will be on Sherman next week—not any of the other Chiefs’ Pro-Bowl weapons—to see if he can make more of a contribution against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Shamar Stephen, Seattle Seahawks
Shamar Stephen and the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Oakland Raiders in Week 6, 27-3. The defensive tackle definitely had his name called on Sunday, as he recorded one sack and one tackle. That was Stephen’s first sack of the year, and he has now recorded nine tackles. The Seahawks’ defense was matched up with notable players for the Raiders such as Derek Carr, Marshawn Lynch, Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson. With the help of Stephen’s sack and other stellar defensive play for the Seahawks, the Raiders’ offense looked out of sync all day.
Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Atlanta Falcons
Cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson and the Atlanta Falcons were victorious over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 6, 34-29. Wreh-Wilson made a clear impact on Sunday as he racked up four tackles, his first four of the season. He was matched up with talented Buccaneers receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson. Wreh-Wilson has only been active for two games this year for the Falcons, but he hopes to see more playing time with his solid play in Week 6.
Andrew Adams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Safety Andrew Adams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 6, 34-29. Adams and the rest of the Buccaneers’ secondary was faced with a tall task on Sunday trying to contain the Falcons’ high-powered offense. The Falcons pose threats with Julio Jones, rookie Calvin Ridley, Mohamad Sanu, and of course, 2016 MVP Matt Ryan. Adams tallied one tackle on the afternoon, his first of the new campaign. He was a healthy scratch for Weeks 1-3 before seeing the field in Week 4 against the Chicago Bears, yet was unable to record a tackle.
Folorunso Fatukasi, New York Jets
Folorunso Fatukasi and the New York Jets beat the Indianapolis Colts in Week 6, 42-34. The defensive tackle recorded three tackles for his team, increasing his season total to five to go along with one sack and a fumble recovery. Fatukasi and the rest of the defensive line did not have their best showing, as they let up over 120 yards on the ground, averaging 5.5 yards per carry.
Geremy Davis (LAC) and Obi Melifonwu (OAK) are the remaining UConn football graduates who are on their respective team’s 53-man rosters but didn’t see any action this week.
As the UConn football team is once again struggling to be competitive this season with a current record of 1-5, it’s great to see some graduates making an impact for their team at the sport’s highest level.
Sam Newton is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.