ASN’s NFL Top 10: Jamie Collins leaps to the forefront with blocked kick


Week 6 of the NFL was a week of firsts for ASN-affiliated wide receivers —  T.Y. Hilton of the Colts, Roddy White of the Falcons and Quinton Patton of the 49ers all scored their first touchdowns of the season. For Patton, a third-year receiver, the score was particularly sweet — it was the first of his pro career.

Beyond the firsts, Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had his second-highest passing game of the season while Jaguars receiver Bryan Walters had a breakout game across offense and special teams. Jamie Collins of the Patriots made one of the plays of the week.

And then there was the week’s biggest surprise among ASN-affiliated players — Lions strong safety James Ihedigbo (UMass) was an unexpected scratch in Detroit’s game against the Bears. Ihedigbo missed two days of practice with a quad injury, but practiced Friday.

This week’s top 10 most notable performances:

1. Jamie Collins, New England Patriots

Collins, the linebacker from Southern Miss, earned raves from NBC’s Cris Collinsworth throughout Sunday night’s win against Indianapolis. Then this happened:

That set the Internet atwitter with Deadspin proclaiming: Jamie Collins is a freak. It’s worth noting that Collins  set a record in the broad jump (11 feet, 7 inches) and had the second-best vertical leap (41.5 inches) at the 2013 NFL Draft Combine.

2. Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets

Fitzpatrick accounted for three of the Jets four touchdowns in a 34-20 victory against the Redskins. Fitzpatrick’s 18-yard touchdown run up the middle in the third quarter was his first running touchdown of the season, and it gave the Jets a 20-13 lead. Fitzpatrick (Harvard) also completed touchdown passes of 35 yards to Brandon Marshall and two yards to Eric Decker. Fitzpatrick’s 253 passing yards were his second-highest of the season. He threw one interception.

3. Bryan Walters, Jacksonville Jaguars

Walters (Cornell) caught eight passes for 87 yards, including a long of 29 — all season highs. The wide receiver matched his games-played totals of 2013 (Seahawks) and 2011 (Chargers) and has already surpassed his previous season-best in number of receptions and total yards. In four games so far, he’s caught 18 passes for 223 yards. On Sunday, he also returned three kickoffs an average of 26.3 yards and had a punt return of 7 yards in Jags’ loss to Houston.

4. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts

Hilton (FIU) led all Colts receivers with six receptions for 74 yards in a loss to New England. The highlight was a 3-yard touchdown reception toward the end of the second quarter that put the Colts ahead, 21-17. The touchdown was Hilton’s first of the season. He is ranked No. 17 on the NFL’s receiving list with 33 catches for 456 yards for the season.

5. Rashad Jennings, New York Giants

Jennings (Liberty) had his best running game of the season despite the Giants’ 27-7 loss to the Eagles on Monday Night Football. He carried the ball 13 times for 63 yards – tying a season-high for carries and setting a season-best for yards. He also caught three passes for 20 yards.

6. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons

The veteran wide receiver out of UAB scored his first touchdown of the season and Atlanta’s first touchdown of the game when he caught a 7-yard pass at the 14:17 mark of the second quarter. White had three receptions for 23 yards in Atlanta’s 31-21 loss to the Saints on Thursday.

7. Quinton Patton, San Francisco 49ers

Patton’s 21-yard touchdown reception was his first score of the season. The catch was one of two for 38 yards for the third-year receiver out of Louisiana Tech in San Francisco’s 25-20 victory against Baltimore. Patton’s game-winning reception came with 10:59 to play in the game.

8. Anthony Levine Sr., Baltimore Ravens

The safety Levine from Tennessee State forced the first fumble of his four-year NFL career on Sunday in a loss to San Francisco. Unfortunately for the Ravens, the 49ers recovered the fumble and retained possession.

9. Antwon Blake, Pittsburgh Steelers

A fourth-year cornerback out of UTEP, Blake was credited with his highest tackle total of the season. Blake had 10 solo tackles and two assists in the Steelers 25-13 victory against Arizona on Sunday. Prior to Sunday, Blake did have a season-best 11 solo tackles against San Francisco in Week 2, and an interception for a touchdown against San Diego last week.

10. Josh McCown, Cleveland Browns

McCown (Sam Houston State) had a tough game, throwing an interception in the second quarter that Bronco Aqib Talid returned 63 yards for a touchdown and a 10-0 Denver lead. He also fumbled in the third quarter after being sacked. Denver recovered and kicked a field goal five plays later. McCown did complete two touchdown passes, and brought Cleveland back from certain defeat to tie the game at 23 on a Travis Coons field goal late in the fourth quarter. But McCown was sacked twice in an overtime drive that could have won the game. Denver defeated the Browns, 26-23.

Honorable mention

Charcandrick West (Abilene Christian) led all Chiefs rushers with nine catches for 33 yards and had a reception for six yards But he also had his first fumble of the season in a loss to Minnesota. … Ravens QB Joe Flacco (Delaware) completed 33 of 53 passes for 353 yards in the Ravens loss to the 49ers. He also three two interceptions, both of which resulted in 49er field goals. … Falcons linebacker Paul Worrilow (Delaware) took part in a team-high nine tackles (seven solo, two assists) in the Falcons 31-21 loss to the Saints on Thursday Night Football. … Steelers punter Jordan Berry (Eastern Kentucky) had a 79-yard punt against Arizona. He punted five times for an average of 39 yards. … Louisiana Tech grad Tramon Williams was credited with six tackles, a season-high, in the Browns’ 26-23 loss to the Broncos. … Bills LB Corey Graham (FIU) had a combined seven tackles and WR Chris Hogan (Monmouth) had two receptions for 31 yards in the Bills’ loss to the Bengals. … Andrew Sendejo (Rice) had seven tackles for the Vikings in a 16-10 victory against the Chiefs. … Louisiana Tech’s Allen Ryan had five punts (44.8 average), including a long of 57 in the Patriots’ victory against Indianapolis.

Photo and video courtesy of the New England Patriots via Twitter

Jill R. Dorson

Jill R. Dorson is a freelance writer based in San Diego.