Clemson University

Clemson in NFL: A former Tiger is getting plenty of punts for this woeful team

San Francisco 49ers punter and former Clemson Tiger Bradley Pinion (5) punts.
San Francisco 49ers punter and former Clemson Tiger Bradley Pinion (5) punts. AP

Former Clemson Tiger Bradley Pinion may not be the most exciting punter in the NFL — the Oakland Raiders’ Marquette King recently earned midseason All-Pro honors for — but nobody in the league has gotten the call more often than the San Francisco 49ers player.

Pinion leads the NFL in punts, punting yards, punts downed inside the 20-yard line, is second in average return yards and ranks third in fair catches, and he padded those stats this past week with eight kicks against the Arizona Cardinals, his second straight game with that many punts.

Pinion’s sky-high stats have a lot to do with the fact that his team, the 49ers, are one of the worst in the league at moving and scoring the football. Still, he has managed to rank sixth in the league in average net yards per punt, an indication that he truly is one of the best in the NFL.

Clemson’s other kicker in the NFL, place kicker Chandler Catanzaro for the New York Jets, also enjoyed a strong performance this week, going 2-for-2 on field goals and 4-for-4 on extra points for a perfect night. Catanzaro is now second in the league in extra points made while maintaining a perfect 100 percent conversion rate.

Outside of special teams, former Clemson wide receivers combined for three touchdowns this past Sunday, even as two of them only caught the one pass the entire game.

Los Angeles Rams receiver Sammy Watkins gashed the New York Giants defense for a 67-yard bomb that he turned into six points. It was the only pass he caught all day.

Jaron Brown, of the Arizona Cardinals, also only caught one pass, but his was much shorter: just three yards.

On the other end of the spectrum, Houston Texans wideout DeAndre Hopkins was targeted 16 times Sunday for six catches, 86 yards and a touchdown.

Hopkins now leads the NFL in receiving touchdowns, is second in targets, third in yards and fourth in receptions.

How they fared

Dwayne Allen, TE, New England Patriots: Bye week

Stephone Anthony, LB, New Orleans Saints: DNP for fifth straight week

Mackensie Alexander, CB, Minnesota Vikings: Bye week

Isaiah Battle, OT, Seattle Seahawks: DNP, has yet to play this year

Vic Beasley Jr., LB, Atlanta Falcons: 5 tackles, 4 solo, and 1 sack, his fourth on the year

Andre Branch, DE, Miami Dolphins: 3 tackles, 1 solo, after missing last week with an injury

Bashaud Breeland, CB, Washington Redskins: 2 tackles, 1 pass defended, his fifth straight appearance with at least one pass defended

Jaron Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals: 1 catch on 1 target for 3 yards, 1 touchdown

Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: Bye week

Chandler Catanzaro, K, New York Jets: 2 for 2 on field goals with a long of 45 yards, 4 for 4 on extra points

Kevin Dodd, LB, Tennessee Titans: Played for the first time in 5 games, recorded no stats

Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals: 2 catches for 14 yards, his first stats in two weeks

Wayne Gallman, RB, New York Giants: 9 rushing attempts for 41 yards, 1 lost fumble

Marcus Gilchrist, S, Houston Texans: 4 tackles, 3 solo

B.J. Goodson, LB, New York Giants: DNP, inactive with an ankle injury

T.J. Green, S, Indianapolis Colts: Played but recorded no stats

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans: 6 catches on 16 targets for 86 yards and 1 touchdown

Adam Humphries, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2 catches on 2 targets for 14 yards

Grady Jarrett, DT, Atlanta Falcons: 6 tackles, 4 solo, tied for a season high

Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Kansas City Chiefs: DNP for the fifth time this season

Jayron Kearse, S, Minnesota Vikings: Bye week

Shaq Lawson, DE, Buffalo Bills: 3 tackles, 1 solo, in his fourth straight start

Jordan Leggett, TE, New York Jets: DNP, placed on the injured reserve earlier this week

Charone Peake, WR, New York Jets: DNP, on the injured reserve

Bradley Pinion, P, San Francisco 49ers: 8 punts for 352 yards with an average of 44 yards, now first in the NFL in total punts and yards

D.J. Reader, DT, Houston Texans: 5 tackles, his third straight week with at least that many stops

Coty Sensabaugh, CB, Pittsburgh Steelers: Bye week

Tyler Shatley, G, Jacksonville Jaguars: Started for the fourth week in a row

Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Miami Dolphins: 3 tackles, 1 pass defended, now has 14 tackles and five passes defended in six career starts as a rookie

Sammy Watkins, WR, Los Angeles Rams: 1 catch on 2 targets for 67 yards, 1 touchdown

Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans: DNP with a torn ACL, placed on injured reserve

Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers: Bye week