While DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson football’s most famous alum still playing this NFL season, enjoyed another outstanding performance for the Houston Texans this Sunday, a number of former Tiger cornerbacks posted standout performances this week to lead a fine defensive effort for Clemson grads in the pros.
The strong secondary play started on Thursday, as the Tennessee Titans faced the Pittsburgh Steelers and former Tiger Coty Sensabaugh, now in his seventh pro season. Sensabaugh played for the Titans for the first four years of his career, and he exacted revenge on his old team with three tackles and his first interception in three seasons. He also almost returned the pick for a touchdown, going 32 yards and setting up the Steelers for a field goal.
On Sunday, Mackensie Alexander followed up his first career interception in Week 10 with two tackles and a defended pass, giving him five on the season. That total ranks him fourth on a Vikings defense that is among the league’s best in yards allowed per passing attempt and passer rating.
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For the Washington Redskins, corner Bashaud Breeland defended three passes against the New Orleans Saints’ vaunted air attack. That gives him 10 total on the season, on pace to tie his career high, and he is now tied for 13th in the league in that statistic. ProFootballFocus graded Breeland’s performance as the fifth best defensive effort in the NFL in Week 11.
For the Miami Dolphins, rookie Cordrea Tankersley has been a standout performer in his first season out of Clemson. Since stepping into the starting lineup in Week 4, Tankersley has collected 26 tackles, 22 solo, which ranks fifth on the team, and he leads the Miami secondary with seven passes defended.
In Week 11, Tankersley tied his season-high in tackles from a week ago with six stops and had a personal best two passes defended. PFF rated him Miami’s fifth best defensive player in the team’s 30-20 loss to Tampa Bay.
How they fared
Dwayne Allen, TE, New England Patriots: 2 catches on 2 targets for 24 yards, his first multi-reception game of the season
Stephone Anthony, LB, New Orleans Saints: Appeared in his first game since Week 4, but did not record any stats and left early with a knee injury
Mackensie Alexander, CB, Minnesota Vikings: 2 tackles, both solo, and 1 pass defended
Isaiah Battle, OT, Seattle Seahawks: Released and re-signed by the Seahawks to their practice squad
Vic Beasley Jr., LB, Atlanta Falcons: Yet to play
Andre Branch, DE, Miami Dolphins: 1 tackle, 1 pass defended, his first of the season
Bashaud Breeland, CB, Washington Redskins: 3 tackles, 3 passes defended, tied for 13th in the NFL in that category
Jaron Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals: 1 catch on 3 targets for 22 yards
Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: 2 catches on 4 targets for 30 yards
Chandler Catanzaro, K, New York Jets: Bye week
Kevin Dodd, LB, Tennessee Titans: DNP, snapping a two-game stretch in which he made appearances
Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals: DNP as a healthy scratch, another indicator that he has been pushed out of the lineup
Wayne Gallman, RB, New York Giants: 6 rushing attempts for 19 yards, 1 catch for 3 yards
Marcus Gilchrist, S, Houston Texans: 2 tackles in his seventh straight start, has recorded a stop every game this season
B.J. Goodson, LB, New York Giants: DNP for a third straight week
T.J. Green, S, Indianapolis Colts: Bye week
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans: 4 catches on 9 targets for 76 yards and 1 touchdown, leads the NFL in targets and touchdowns, third in receiving yards
Adam Humphries, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2 catches on 4 targets for 11 yards
Grady Jarrett, DT, Atlanta Falcons: Yet to play
Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Kansas City Chiefs: 2 tackles, his first since Week 4
Jayron Kearse, S, Minnesota Vikings: 1 tackle, his third straight game with at least one stop
Shaq Lawson, DE, Buffalo Bills: 4 tackles, all solo, and a forced fumble, his first of the season
Jordan Leggett, TE, New York Jets: Bye week, injured reserve
Charone Peake, WR, New York Jets: Bye week, injured reserve
Bradley Pinion, P, San Francisco 49ers: Bye week
D.J. Reader, DT, Houston Texans: 1 tackle, now has 36 on the season
Coty Sensabaugh, CB, Pittsburgh Steelers: 3 tackles, 1 pass defended, 1 interception
Tyler Shatley, G, Jacksonville Jaguars: Played but did not start for the second week in a row
Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Miami Dolphins: 6 tackles, 4 solo, and 2 passes defended, a new career high
Sammy Watkins, WR, Los Angeles Rams: 3 catches on 4 targets for 36 yards
Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans: DNP, injured reserve
Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers: 5 catches on 8 targets for 38 yards, all career highs in his young career