Week 16 was a festive affair as the majority of games took place on both Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Many teams were visited by Playoff Santa while others were eliminated from contention. Five former Oregon State players clinched playoff spots, and they could be joined by another if the Bucs find a miracle on New Year’s Day.
The Giants and Eagles game technically had two Beavers in Josh Andrews and Isaac Seumalo, but neither player saw the field as Philadelphia saw some linemen return to action. No matter, we will still touch on that NFC East battle. First, let’s recap which former players are on practice squads or injured reserve.
Practice Squad Players/Injured Reserve Players:
- Jordan Poyer - S Cleveland Browns - Jordan Poyer is on Injured Reserve with a lacerated kidney.
- Scott Crichton - DE/DT Minnesota Vikings - Scott Crichton is currently on Injured Reserve.
- Kyle Peko - DT Denver Broncos - Kyle Peko is currently on the Broncos Practice Squad.
- Dylan Wynn - DT Cleveland Browns - Dylan Wynn is currently on the Injuryed Reserve.
- Obum Gwacham - DE New Orleans Saints - Obum Gwacham is on Injured Reserve with an undisclosed ailment.
- Connor Hamlett - TE Cleveland Browns - Connor Hamlett is on the Browns practice squad.
- Markus Wheaton - WR Pittsburgh Steelers -Markus Wheaton is on Injured Reserve with a shoulder injury.
Beavers on Bye: None
Isaac Seumalo - G Philadelphia Eagles - Isaac Seumalo was relegated to a backup role on Thursday as Lane Johnson returned from a 10-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs. He didn’t log his normal amount of snaps given the relative health of the Eagles offensive line.
Josh Andrews - G Philadelphia Eagles - Josh Andrews was inactive on Thursday as both Lane Johnson and Brandon Brooks started against the Giants.
Johnny Hekker - P LA Rams - The Rams suffered an embarrassing loss on Saturday as they fell to a one-win 49ers team. Ironically enough, the 49ers only previous victory came against the Rams in week one. Los Angeles’ weird season keeps getting stranger, but at least Johnny Hekker is justifying his Pro Bowl status.
Hekker punted eight times against the 49ers, dropping four inside the 20-yard line and sending one 53 yards through the air. The former Beavers punter broke the all-time NFL record for punts downed inside the 20 with an even 50. The previous record was set at 46, but where’s the fun in breaking a record by only one number?
Hekker just keeps getting better and better as the Rams circle the drain. He’s heading to the Pro Bowl for the third time while breaking numerous records, and he has been nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. Hekker takes part in countless initiatives, most notably helping the developmentally disabled in both St. Louis and Los Angeles. He works with the Play 60 program, the Make-A-Wish program, and the Special Olympics. That’s a busy schedule for Hekker, who learned to help the less fortunate from his father.
The NFL will announce the winner during the annual NFL Honors Award Ceremony that takes place the night before the Super Bowl.
Sean Mannion - QB LA Rams - Sean Mannion was Jared Goff’s backup as the Rams fell to the 49ers. He almost the saw the field as a starting quarterback, but Goff made a full recovery from his concussion in week 15.
Matt Moore - QB Miami Dolphins - Once again, Matt Moore kept his team in playoff contention with a big time performance. He may not have thrown four touchdowns like in week 15, but Moore still passed for 233 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Besides, he didn’t need to do everything as Jay Ajayi and Kenyan Drake combined for 261 rushing yards. Although he did throw a big block on Drake’s 45-yard touchdown run.
Moore definitely struggled a little early as he threw some passes behind his receivers and generally looked to be out of sync. His interception was even a little underthrown. However, Moore gained confidence, and rhythm by extension, after halftime and helped Miami build up a solid lead. Unfortunately, the Dolphins defense collapsed and allowed Buffalo to take a three point lead with 1:20 left in the fourth quarter.
Never fear; Matt Moore is here! Needing a field goal to stay alive against Buffalo, Moore led a crucial fourth-quarter drive to force overtime with two key throws. Ajayi took over in overtime with some huge runs, and the Dolphins kicked the winning field goal to eliminate the Bills.
D.J. Alexander - LB - Chiefs - D.J. Alexander was used primarily on special teams during this AFC West matchup, covering kickoffs and blocking on punts. He didn’t record any stats but almost recovered a fumble in the third quarter.
Steven Nelson - CB Chiefs - The Chiefs defense was downright fantastic on Christmas night, holding the Broncos offense to 10 points and only 246 total yards. The secondary in particular limited a dangerous receiving group with a strategy of using only PAC-12 players at cornerback.
Marcus Peters (Washington) held down the right side, Terrance Mitchell (Oregon) held down the left, and Steven Nelson (Oregon State) took care of the slot. Now, Nelson wasn’t tested that often as Trevor Siemian opted to attack Mitchell, who has only been a starter for one game. Nelson basically guarded Jordan Norwood half of the time and blitzed Siemian from his corner position the rest of the time.
Nelson finished with two solo tackles on the day, one deflected pass that wasn’t credited, and one bad gamble where he dove for an interception but gave up a big completion. Apart from that play, he was very solid on the day.
Terron Ward - RB Atlanta Falcons - Terron Ward was inactive as the Falcons clinched a division crown and a playoff berth.
Andy Levitre - Guard Falcons - The Falcons offense kept rolling on Christmas Eve, dropping a division foe in Carolina and clinching a playoff spot. Andy Levitre was solid as ever during the game, keeping Matt Ryan clean and opening up big running lanes for Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. The Falcons ran for 152 yards on the day, helping Ryan and the offense remain balanced. Just another routine performance for the stellar lineman.
Mike Remmers - T Carolina Panthers - Saturday morning, the Panthers were eliminated from playoff contention with a lopsided loss to Atlanta. Mike Remmers, and the offensive line in general played very well as they protected Cam Newton all game long. This protection was wasted, however, as Newton threw two uncharacteristic interceptions to set the Falcons up in scoring range. Remmers did give up a sack on a really impressive play by the Falcons defense. Defensive end Courtney Upshaw was being held at bay by Remmers late in the fourth quarter, but he just jumped up in the air and reached over the offensive lineman to grab Newton and pull him down with sheer momentum. It was quite the athletic play.
As a run blocker, Remmers was fantastic, leading the way on multiple runs by Newton and Jonathan Stewart. He even bulldozed his way up the sideline on a 20-yard run by Fozzy Whittaker.
Remmers did set his team back five yards with a penalty for ineligible man downfield. This penalty came after Newton dropped the snap and disrupted the timing of a screen play.
Derek Anderson - QB Carolina Panthers - Derek Anderson didn’t see the field as Cam Newton stayed healthy against the Falcons.
Jacquizz Rodgers - RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Starting running back Doug Martin was a surprise inactive on Sunday, which GM Jason Licht called a “football decision”. In his stead, Jacquizz Rodgers became the starter.
His first carry went for 13 yards and served as a nice precursor of things to come. The Bucs’ offensive line didn’t open up too many holes during the game, but Quizz showed off some tough running straight up the middle and some fancy spins to avoid tacklers.
He was the man on one third-quarter drive where he started with a 12-yard catch before adding in runs of nine and 11 yards. Quizz capped the drive off with a three-yard touchdown run to put the Bucs within six points.
Quizz carried the ball 15 times for 63 yards, notched the second touchdown of 2016, and averaged 4.2 yards-per-carry. He also added two receptions for 15 yards.
Dirk Koetter won’t say if Doug Martin or Quizz will start Sunday against the Panthers, which bodes well for the former Oregon State back. The last time he played the Panthers, Quizz carried 30 times for 101 yards and caught five passes for 28 yards.
Brandin Cooks - WR - Saints - Brandin Cooks had a solid game on Saturday as the Saints derailed Tampa Bay’s chances of a playoff berth. Cooks made some big catches down the field and along the sideline, tying with Michael Thomas for receiving yards. Unfortunately, he also fumbled once, but the Saints maintained possession after the ball bounced out of bounds. Cooks moved the ball well all game, but his biggest catch was a 42-yard bomb between Vernon Hargreaves and Chris Conte that set the Saints up inside the Red Zone.
Cooks would have had a better day statistically, but he did drop an easy pass on third-and-three that could have gone for much more given his speed. Nonetheless, he caught five passes for 98 yards during a big victory.
Stephen Paea - DL Browns - Stephen Paea was unfortunately inactive as the Browns notched their first win in over a full year. This continues a random trend where Paea is active for multiple games in a row before being listed as inactive for a game.
Week 17 of the NFL season starts and ends Sunday as every team wraps up their regular season schedule in the same six-hour period. BeaverBlitz will keep you updated during this, the final week for most teams.