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Clemson Football

NFL: Which former Clemson Tigers played well in Week 3?

October 1, 2020

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Up to this point in the NFL season, Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell had been the only rookie from the Clemson 2020 draft class to start a game. Well, that changed on Sunday when Cincinnati Bengals receiver Tee Higgins, a 2nd round pick (No. 32 overall), and Las Vegas Raiders guard John Simpson, a third pick (No. 109 overall), got their first starts. 

Higgins finished his first start with five catches for 40 yards and two touchdowns. Both touchdowns were from the arm of former LSU and number one overall pick, Joe Burrow. The Cincinnati Bengals (0-2-1) and Philadelphia (0-2-1) fought to a 23-23 overtime tie. 

After the game, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor talked about his decision to start Higgins.

"Tee has been playing football now for about six weeks,” said Taylor. "He's just getting better and better every single day. He missed the first part of training camp, and now he's starting to get his legs back under him. He's got the confidence of our whole group, and he went out and made some big plays for us."

Higgins' teammates Mackensie Alexander and defensive tackle D. J. Reader had stats of eight tackles and one for loss and two tackles and a pass breakup, respectively, for the Bengals defense. Rookie safety K'Von Wallace also had a tackle for the Eagles. 

The only NFL 53-man roster with more Tigers than the Bengals are the Jon Gruden led Clemson/Las Vegas Raiders with Simpson, Hunter Renfrow, Trayvon Mullen, Clelin Ferrell and injured Tanner Muse. The Raiders (2-1) suffered their first loss on the road to the New England Patriots 36-20. 

Simpson stepped in for injured Richie Incognito in Week 2 when the veteran suffered an in-game injury. Incognito wasn't able to go this week, and Simpson got his first career start. 

Renfrow had his best game of the season by leading the team in receptions (6), reception yards (84) to go with his 13-yard touchdown reception. He was inches from another touchdown when a late first half 26-yard touchdown reception was reversed. Renfrow rolled in the endzone but replay revealed he was touched down at the 1-yard line. 

A second-year pro, Mullen continues to flourish as a starter, and Raiders' fans were gushing over his play during and after his five-tackle, one tackle for loss and three pass breakups performance. 

Ferrell made four tackles and had one quarterback pressure on the evening.

Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans (0-3) faced another tough opponent in the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0) and former teammate Ray-Ray McCloud at Heinz Field this week. After losses to the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs, the top teams in the NFL, the Texans (0-3) fell 28-21 to the Steelers. 

Watson completed 19 of 27 passes for 264 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Carlos Watkins registered two tackles and a sack from his defensive tackle position. 

McCloud returned two kickoffs for 47 yards and added another 23 yards on a pair of punt returns for the Steelers. 

Terrell was out for the winless Falcons due to a positive COVID-19 test, the first positive test of any player, since the start of the season. Grady Jarrett left the game on Sunday with a hip injury but made his presence known before the exit. He made four tackles including a sack, two tackles for loss and two quarterback pressures. 

The previously undefeated Arizona Cardinals (2-1) suffered a bad loss at home to the winless Detroit Lions (1-2). DeAndre Hopkins racked up catches (10) and now has a franchise-record three-game total of 32. On Sunday, he averaged 13.7 yards per catch. 

The New York Giants (0-3) suffered another defeat losing 36-9 to the San Francisco 49ers (2-1). Dexter Lawrence finished the evening with four total tackles including a 0.5 tackle for loss. 

The Los Angeles Chargers were defeated by the winless Carolina Panthers (1-2). Mike Williams caught a 17-yard pass before nursing a hamstring injury and remaining on the sideline. 

Tennessee Titans receiver Adam Humphries had four receptions for 41 yards in the undefeated Titans 31-30 win over the Minnesota Vikings (0-3). The Titans are 3-0. 

Five-year veteran, DeShawn Williams, was lifted off the Denver Broncos practice squad and played in his fifth career game. He previously spent four years and saw action in as many games with the Cincinnati Bengals. Williams made two tackles and batted down a Tom Brady pass to prevent a third-down conversion by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1). The Broncos are 0-3.  

B.J. Goodson made three tackles for the 2-1 Cleveland Browns as they took down Washington 34-20 in Cleveland. Washington is 1-2.

On Thursday night, the Miami Dolphins (1-2) got their first win and dropped the Jacksonville Jaguars to (1-2) with a 31-13 road win. Christian Wilkins and Shaq Lawson, both starters, finished the night with two tackles and three tackles with a 0.5 tackle for loss, respectively.

On Monday night, the defending Super Bowl champions, Kansas City Chiefs (3-0), took control of the much-anticipated matchup with the Baltimore Ravens (2-1) early and surprisingly, won easily on the road 34-20. 

Sammy Watkins was back after missing last week's contest and led the team in receptions with 7 for 62 yards. 

In other NFL news. WRU veteran Jaron Brown was signed to the Arizona Cardinals practice squad and could join the 53-man roster to help replace injured Christian Kirk. Brown started his pro career with the Cardinals in 2013 as an undrafted free agent. He played five seasons with the Cardinals and the past two with the Seattle Seahawks. 

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