Week 12 was surely the Week of the Quarterback for ASN-affiliated players.
Between Thanksgiving Day and Monday, both Tony Romo and Josh McCown suffered collarbone injuries (Romo for the second time this season), Ryan Fitzpatrick finally put together a convincing game, Ben Roethlisberger was both impressive and injured and longtime backup Austin Davis proved he could play with the big boys.
On Thanksgiving Day, Romo’s season ended with a re-broken collarbone. And the Cowboys suffered their eighth loss. Despite the new injury, Dallas owner Jerry Jones stands behind the team’s decision to bring Romo back.
“We felt that the risk was worth the potential of having him be the impact that he can be and is on our team and really having a fairy-tale turnaround and doing something that was special,” Jones told the Dallas Morning News.
Romo (Eastern Illinois) will miss the rest of the season. The Cowboys fell to the unbeaten Carolina Panthers, 33-17.
McCown (Sam Houston State) left the Monday night game with a collarbone injury after completing 21 of 38 passes for a touchdown and giving way to Davis.
In the good news department, Fitzpatrick commemorated his 100th NFL game with a victory that showed he might have the stuff to take the Jets to the postseason, making him ASN’s most notable player this week.
Whew, it’s about time! At least that’s probably what the Jets thought about Fitzpatrick’s stunning outing on Sunday. Just a few weeks removed from thumb surgery, the Harvard grad had his most convincing game of the season, throwing four touchdown passes and no interceptions in the Jets’ 38-20 rout of the Miami Dolphins. Fitzpatrick, according to the New York Post, was awarded the game ball. The Jets improved to 6-5, putting them squarely in the AFC playoff hunt, a fact not lost on Fitzpatrick. “You want to be playing meaningful games in December, and that’s kind of where we’re at right now,” he said after the game. Fitzpatrick, who connected with Brandon Marshall for two touchdowns, completed 22 of 37 attempts for 277 yards.
Big Ben capped his best game in terms of passing yards with a concussion. Yes, the Steelers quarterback was injured for the third time this season. Roethlisberger self-reported concussion symptoms after a hit late in the fourth quarter and has been placed in the NFL’s concussion protocol, according to media reports. Prior to leaving the game, Roethlisberger had completed 36-of-55 attempts for 456 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Those 456 yards are the most allowed by Seattle’s defense this season. The Seahawks beat the Steelers, 39-30.
A perennial backup who jumped Johnny Manziel on the Browns’ depth chart, Davis saw his first action of the season against Baltimore and engineered a fourth-quarter scoring drive that tied the game at 27 that culminated with a 42-yard scoring pass to Travis Benjamin. The Browns’ last-second game-winning field goal attempt was blocked and returned by the Ravens for the winning touchdown. Davis (Southern Miss) completed seven of 10 passes for 70 yards and ran with the ball once for seven yards.
Hilton got a chance to dance in the end zone Sunday when he caught two touchdown passes in the Colts’ 25-12 victory against Tampa Bay. Hilton gave the Colts their first lead of the game when he snagged a 19-yard Matt Hasselbeck pass in the third quarter. He scored again on 3-yard reception in the fourth quarter. The touchdowns were Indianapolis’ only two of the game – it scored the remainder of its points on field goals. Hilton (Florida Internatinal) caught six passes for 95 yards, his second-best performance of the season.
A tight end out of Harvard, Brate scored his third touchdown of the season and had his best game in terms of receiving yards in the Bucs’ 25-12 loss to the Colts. Brate caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Jameis Winston with 2:00 to play in the second quarter, giving the Bucs a 12-6 lead. Brate started the season on the Saints practice squad, but was picked up by the Bucs when starting tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins injured his shoulder.
Grimes (William & Mary) recovered a fumble on the Texans’ first scoring drive of the second half. After teammate Cecil Shorts III was tackled, the ball came loose and Grimes fell on it to preserve possession. Six plays later, Houston scored on a 34-yard field goal at the 6:09 mark of the third quarter. Grimes also had one reception for eight yards and seven carries for 25 yards in the Texans’ 24-6 victory against the New Orleans Saints.
A second-year defensive end, Mack tied a season high with two sacks on Sunday in the Raiders’ 24-21 victory against the Tennessee Titans. Mack (Buffalo) helped the Raiders limit Tennessee to 249 net yards and only 57 offensive plays. Mack, who also had two sacks in Week 3, was credited with six tackles (three solos, three assists).
It’s been seven weeks since Gates scored his last touchdown and on Sunday, he doubled his TDs for the season, catching two scoring passes in the Chargers’ 31-25 victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Gates, who has struggled with a sore hip, scored on consecutive drives in the second quarter, catching touchdown passes of nine and 12 yards within 56 seconds of each other. For the game, Gates (Kent State) had four catches for 57 yards.
It’s never too late for your first touchdown. Jennings, a veteran receiver, caught his first touchdown pass of the season on Sunday, a 5-yard catch in the Dolphins’ 38-20 loss to the Jets. Jennings (Western Michigan) reeled in a pass over the middle late in the fourth quarter for the score. For the game, Jennings caught two passes for nine yards.
The rookie tight end didn’t get his first touchdown of the season, but he is becoming a key cog in the Giants offense. Tye (Stony Brook) caught six passes for 74 yards, season bests in both catches and yards. Tye’s 28-yard catch in the fourth quarter set up the Giants’ second touchdown of the game. New York lost to the Washington Redskins, 20-14.
San Francisco 49ers TE Vance McDonald (Rice) scored his second touchdown in two games, this one on an 8-yard reception in a 19-13 loss to the Cardinals. … CB Quinten Rollins had a sack in the Green Bay Packers’ Thanksgiving Day loss to the Chicago Bears. Rollins (Miami Ohio) was also credited with three tackles. … CB Jude Adjei-Barimah (Bowling Green) was credited with nine tackles in the Bucs’ loss to Indy. … LB Frank Zombo (Central Michigan) had his best game of the season, recording four tackles in the Kansas City Chiefs’ 30-22 victory against the Buffalo Bills. … Jets CB Buster Skrine (Chattanooga) was one of two players to have a team-leading seven tackles (five solos, two assists) in their win vs. Miami. … Seahawks RB Thomas Rawls (Central Michigan) scored a touchdown and carried the ball 21 times for 81 yards in the Seahawks’ win against Pittsburgh. … Steelers K Chris Boswell (Rice) scored 10 points against Seattle on field goals of 44, 25 and 22 yards. He also made an extra point. … Ravens CB Lardarius Webb (Nicholls State) led Baltimore with seven tackles in its Monday night victory against the Cleveland Browns.