Stephon Gilmore shined on Sunday despite his Buffalo Bills falling 24-10 to the New York Giants.
Gilmore made two tackles, broke up a pair of passes, and intercepted Eli Manning on his last throw of the game (see it here).
The former South Pointe Stallion teamed with rookie corner Ronald Darby to hold Giants standout receiver Odell Beckham Jr., to just 38 yards on five catches. According to Pro Football Focus, Gilmore allowed just two completions to Beckham Jr., for eight yards when he was guarding the former LSU Tiger. Syracuse.com pointed out that Beckham had at least 79 yards in 11 of his last 12 contests.
Gilmore’s interception was Manning’s first in 143 pass attempts. Gilmore has now intercepted both Manning brothers in the last two seasons, after picking off one of Peyton’s passes last December.
There was also a second appearance of the season for Rock Hill’s Jonathan Meeks, who played nine special teams snaps and was named a team captain by coach Rex Ryan. He made his 2015 debut last week after being called up from the Bills’ practice squad.
Walker contributes up front during Broncos’ win
Fort Mill’s Vance Walker is enjoying his time playing with arguably the best defensive line in football right now. He played his part in Sunday’s 23-20 win over Minnesota that got the Broncos to 4-0, making three tackles, including one for a loss. Denver sacked Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater seven times.
Walker started and played 34 snaps for the Bronco defense (59 percent), according to Football Outsiders. Broncos’ defensive lineman Christian Wolfe returns from suspension this week, which should challenge Walker’s starting job, but he’ll take confidence from Denver coach Gary Kubiak complimenting his effort against Minnesota.
Northwestern’s Cordarrelle Patterson had one catch for nine yards for the Vikings, and returned a pair of kickoffs for 20 combined yards.
Watson plays well in Saints’ overtime win
Benjamin Watson caught all three passes tossed his way for 30 receiving yards during New Orleans’ 26-20 overtime win against Dallas. On Monday, Watson was in a good mood after the Saints’ first win of the season following an 0-3 start.
“Given the situation, we were in desperate need of a win,” he told reporters. “So a lot of jubilation and anytime you win a game in such dramatic fashion it’s really emotionally draining, so again we are a family and we pull for each other and excited to see your teammate do well and to have fun out there playing and see the fans into it because we gave them something to cheer about.”
Texans struggle in blowout loss to Atlanta
Northwestern’s Johnathan Joseph made a pair of tackles but couldn’t prevent Houston from taking a 48-21 thumping from undefeated Atlanta. Joseph’s Texans have a short turnaround with a game Thursday night against Indianapolis. Asked by reporters if he would watch the Falcons game tape, Joseph said yes.
“You want that bitter taste in your mouth. You want to be upset. You want to go into that game Thursday a little pissed off. It's nothing you can hide from. We're all grown men. I think it's something we can definitely look [at] and learn from.”
South Pointe’s Jadeveon Clowney made two tackles and broke up another pass, while playing 83 percent of the defensive snaps Sunday. Pro Football Focus gave Clowney a +1.3 grade, one of the Texans’ five-best from the game. Clowney has 10 tackles and three passes defended in his first four games this season.
The season continues to go pretty well for seventh-year Rock Hill veteran cornerback Phillip Adams, who made four tackles during the Falcons’ win. Adams played 44 snaps on defense (57 percent), and 11 more on special teams.
Lanning fills in for the Bears on short notice
York’s Spencer Lanning signed for Chicago on Saturday after an injury to starting punter Pat O’Donnell. Lanning, who spent the two past seasons punting for Cleveland, hit three punts for an average of 45.6 yards with one downed inside the 20, but most crucially handled the snap cleanly on the Bears’ game-winning 49-yard field goal by Robbie Gould with two seconds left in the game (see it here). Gould helped teach Lanning how to hold kicks after he first came into the league in 2011, 2012.
“I don't think he's afraid of missing,” Lanning told the Daily Herald’s Joe Aguilar. “He's going to go at it and pick the best spot he can. There's a certain air of confidence. So when we got to the 42, it was like, as long as we don't lose the ball, it's over.”