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Long, short or somewhere in between, it was all about touchdowns for ASN-affiliated players in the NFL in Week 7.
New York Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie made the most amount of noise, returning an interception 58 yards for a touchdown — and celebrating most of the way down the field. But Chief Charcandrick West and Colt T.Y. Hilton scored critical touchdowns for their teams, as well.
Beyond the end zone, several ASN-affiliated players were able to convert opportunity into spectacular showings and further cement their professional futures.
On the injury front, Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown took a beating for at least the second time this season, leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury after taking multiple hard hits. McCown is listed as day-to-day.
But it was Rodgers-Cromartie’s fun-filled run that leads this Week 7’s Most Notable happenings in the NFL:
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, New York Giants
Rodgers-Cromartie was so sure he was going to score on his first interception of the season that he began celebrating at the 44-yard line, which was enough to call plenty of attention to his pick-six against the Dallas Cowboys. Rodgers-Cromartie (Tennessee State), easily beat Matt Cassel’s intended receiver along the sideline and had a clear 58-yard path into the end zone in the third quarter. The touchdown, his first of the season, put the Giants ahead, 17-13, before they went on to beat Dallas, 27-20. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Rodgers-Cromartie got his second interception, which he returned 12 yards, but the Giants were unable to convert that pick into a score.
DRC started celebrating his 58-yard pick-6 at the 40-yard line. #DALvsNYG (no @DeionSanders 2-step though) https://t.co/SSPt4s4TSl
— NFL (@NFL) October 25, 2015
Charcandrick West, Kansas City Chiefs
The NFL doesn’t present opportunity all that often. On Sunday, West (Abilene Christian), made the most of his shot. Starting in place of injured running back Jamaal Charles (ACL), West bulled his way up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown, highlighting a day during which he carried the ball 22 times for 110 yards. His longest run was for 36 yards and he also caught two receptions for 19 yards. West was starting for only the second time this season, and his touchdown gave the Chiefs a 16-3 lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Kansas City went on to win the game, 23-13.
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck-to-Hilton was a critical connection in the Colts' 27-21 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Hilton (Florida International) caught his longest touchdown of the season, an 87-yard reception on the left side. Hilton caught a the ball at about midfield before cutting around a New Orleans’ defender and running generally unhindered into the end zone. The touchdown at the 3:56 mark of the third put the Colts on the board. Less than four minutes later, he caught a 45-yard TD pass to cut the score to 27-14. Hilton caught four passes for 150 yards, far and away his best outing of the season.
Paul Worrilow, Atlanta Falcons
A third-year linebacker, Worrilow (Delaware) snagged his first interception of the season on Sunday in the Falcons 10-7 victory against the Tennessee Titans. He returned the pick 11 yards. Though Atlanta did not convert the interception into a score, it put an end to a 12-play Titan drive late in the second quarter. Worrilow had broken up a pass on the previous play. He also was credited with a combined five tackles.
Lucky Whitehead, Dallas Cowboys
Sunday was a day of firsts for Whitehead, a rookie wide receiver (Florida Atlantic). Whitehead ran the ball for the first time in a regular-season game – four carries for 35 yards – in Dallas’ 27-20 loss to the Giants. Whitehead also returned two kickoffs for a total of 44 yards.
Mike Tolbert, Carolina Panthers
Tolbert waited until Week 7 to get his first score — and one wasn’t enough. Tolbert (Coastal Carolina) scored on his only reception of the game Sunday, as well as on the run in the Panthers' 26-17 victory against the Philadelphia Eagles. Tolbert scored on the first possession of each half as the Panthers improved to 6-0 for the first time in franchise history.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets
The Jets couldn’t get past the New England Patriots on Sunday, but Fitzpatrick (Harvard) did his part, completing 22 of 39 passes for 295 yards and two touchdowns. The veteran quarterback also ran five times for 29 yards. His only blemish was a fumble. But Fitzpatrick kept the Jets offense moving throughout — New York amassed 372 combined yards compared to New England’s 353.
Josh McCown, Cleveland Browns
Lack of protection caught up with the Browns when McCown took a hard hit in the fourth quarter and left the game with a shoulder injury. McCown (Sam Houston State) was sacked four times in the Browns' 24-6 loss to the St. Louis Rams and was hit hard just five plays earlier. Before leaving the game, McCown completed 26 of 32 passes for 270 yards. He did fumble twice and lost both.
Jaquiski Tartt, San Francisco 49ers
It wasn’t much of a game for the 49ers, but Samford rookie safety Tartt had his best of the season — he was credited with nine tackles in a 20-3 Thursday Night Football loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Tartt, the highest drafted played ever to come out of Samford, had a season-high seven solo tackles plus two assists.
Chris Hogan, Buffalo Bills
The third-year wide receiver (Monmouth) had his best game in terms of total yards on Sunday. He caught six passes for 56 yards (previous high this season was three passes for 52 yards vs. Tennessee) in the Bills' 34-31 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in London on Sunday.
Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco (Delaware) completed 26 of 42 passes for 252 yards and a touchdown in the Ravens' 26-18 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football. Flacco also threw an interception. Flacco’s TD pass was to Kyle Juszczyk (Harvard), he second score of the season. … Jonathan Cyprien (Florida International) was the Jaguars’ second-leading tackler with seven solo tackles in a 34-31 victory against Buffalo in London on Sunday. … Veteran safety Corey Graham (New Hampshire) led all Bills tacklers with nine tackles, including eight solos against the Jaguars. … Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins (Southern Miss) was credited with a 12 tackles (six solo, six assists) and a sack against the Jets.
Above: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie makes his second interception against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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