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Knights in the NFL – Week 17

Twelve former Rutgers players started games this season while there are 23 on NFL rosters this season. Ray Rice is your Knight of the Week but who takes home the Knight of the Year honors?

The regular season is officially over in the National Football League. It was another good season for our former Rutgers Scarlet Knights now playing in the NFL. In all, twelve former Rutgers players started games this season while there are 23 on NFL rosters this season.

Let’s take a look at how the active players performed this past week.

Ray Rice takes home the Knight of the Week honors after gaining 77 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. While the numbers are not necessarily what we have come to expect from Rice, his touchdown helped the Baltimore Ravens top the Cincinnati Bengals by a score of 13-7.  Rice ended the regular season with 1,220 yards and five touchdowns. The Ravens will take on the Kansas City Chiefs this coming weekend in the Wild Card Round of the NFL playoffs.

Brian Leonard was put on injured reserve for the Bengals with an ankle injury. Clark Harris handled the Cincinnati long snapping duties.

Defensive back, Nate Jones recorded three tackles in the Denver Broncos 33-28 loss to the San Diego Chargers. Ryan Neill is on injured reserve for the Chargers.

Heading into Week 17, the Indianapolis Colts needed a win to make the playoffs. With their 23-20 win over the Tennessee Titans, the Colts now host the New York Jets this coming weekend. Against the Titans, linebacker Gary Brackett made three tackles while Eric Foster recorded four.

Tennessee wide receiver Kenny Britt had five receptions for 85 yards including a touchdown. Defensive back Jason McCourty started for the Titans and made five tackles and three pass deflections in the loss. McCourty ended a year in which he played in 12 games including 6 starts. He recorded 47 tackles, 10 pass deflections, and two interceptions.

Jeremy Zuttah started at center for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their 23-13 win over the New Orleans Saints. Zuttah started nine games while appearing in 15.

George Johnson was on the active roster but listed as inactive for the Bucs.

St. Louis Rams defensive lineman Gary Gibson started all 16 games this season. On Sunday, Gibson and the Rams missed out on the playoffs by losing to the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 16-6. Gibson did not record any stats in the loss.

Shaun O’Hara was inactive for the New York Giants season finale against the Washington Redskins. The Giants won 17-14 but needed a Chicago win over Green Bay in order to make the playoffs. That did not happen. O’Hara has dealt with a foot injury all season.

Rookie Anthony Davis was in his usual right tackle position for the San Francisco 49ers during their 38-7 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Davis started all 16 games for San Francisco.

Devin McCourty, rookie cornerback for the New England Patriots, recorded one tackles, two pass deflections, and his seventh interception of the season as New England topped the Miami Dolphins, 38-7.  McCourty finished his rookie campaign with 82 tackles, seven interceptions and one sack. The Patriots have the #1 overall seed in the AFC playoffs this year and have a bye in the first round.

With the New York Jets resting many of their regular players on Sunday, Jamaal Westerman got a chance to show his skills. Westerman recorded three tackles (one for a loss) and recovered a fumble in the Jets 38-7 win over the Buffalo Bills. Westerman had been inactive the previous five games.

Courtney Greene recorded nine tackles in the Jacksonville Jaguars disappointing 34-17 loss to the Houston Texans. Greene and the Jaguars will miss the playoffs. Greene starting 11 games while appearing in 14 this season finished with 78 tackles, four pass deflections, and one interception.

Offensive lineman Kevin Haslam is on injured reserve for Jacksonville while wide receiver Tiquan Underwood was inactive.

Key Notes from the Season

Shaun O’Hara and Devin McCourty were named to the Pro Bowl.

– Five former Knights are headed to the playoffs (Rice, Brackett, Foster, D. McCourty, and Westerman).

Ray Rice amassed over 1,750 total yards from scrimmage for the second straight season.

Anthony Davis, Devin McCourty, and Gary Gibson started all 16 of their teams’ games this year.

– The 57 tackles by Nate Jones this season were a career high.

–  Eric Foster had a career high 3.5 sacks.

–  Kenny Britt had a career year. Despite missing games with a hamstring injury, Britt tied a career high with 42 receptions. His 775 receiving yards and nine touchdowns are both career highs.

Knight of the Year

New England Patriots rookie cornerback Devin McCourty is our Knight of the Year. The first round pick started all 16 games for New England and is a top candidate for Rookie of the Year. His Pro Bowl selection was well deserved after a season in which he recorded 82 tackles, one sack, and seven interceptions. McCourty also forced two fumbles. He had 110 return yards on his seven interceptions. McCourty will hope to not play in the Pro Bowl, meaning the Patriots would be in the Super Bowl. New England has the No. 1 overall seed and home field advantage in the AFC.

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