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#FromStateToSundays: Week 15 Update

STARKVILLE – Following Mississippi State in the NFL in Week 15 had to start with an eye on the Bulldog’s rookies.

There was Baltimore’s Tyre Phillips, an offensive lineman who produced the Ravens’ longest rushing play of the day. By the way, Baltimore’s run game is currently leading the NFL, yet it was Phillips who scooped up a fumble at his own 8-yard line and carried it 22 yards for a first down.

On the defensive side of the ball, Cameron Dantzler made a potentially game-saving play to keep Minnesota in a tight game in the fourth quarter. Dantzler leapt to intercept a pass in the end zone with under three minutes to play. He produced Minnesota’s highest overall defensive grade from Pro Football Focus (90.7), which ranked No. 9 in the NFL this week. Meanwhile, his coverage grade (91.0) ranked fourth in the NFL and led all rookies in Week 15.

Over the past three weeks, Dantzler leads all NFL cornerbacks in overall defensive grade (91.6), coverage grade (91.5), passer rating when targeted (14.0) and interceptions (2).

And Kansas City’s Willie Gay Jr. cannot be forgotten. He made just one tackle, but it was his play in coverage that stood out. Gay’s career-high 87.6 coverage grade ranked fourth among rookies in Week 15 and he had a key pass breakup in the fourth quarter.

On the defensive line, Montez Sweat and Jeffery Simmons continue to be on a tear in their second NFL seasons. Simmons recovered his NFL-leading third fumble of the year and added three total pressures. Sweat batted a pass, leading to an interception, in the fourth quarter. His six batted passes rank second in the NFL and he boasts the No. 3 coverage grade among defensive linemen who have played 50 percent of snaps.

Three former Bulldogs were named to the Pro Bowl on Monday night. Philadelphia’s Fletcher Cox has now been selected in six straight seasons, the second-longest Pro Bowl streak in Eagles franchise history, one behind Pro Football Hall of Famer Reggie White. His six nominations are tied for fifth in franchise history.

For the second year in a row, Chris Jones will represent the Chiefs in the Pro Bowl. He is tied for the No. 9 overall defensive grade in the NFL this season (89.5) and the No. 6 pass rush grade (92.2) per PFF.

Green Bay’s versatile offensive lineman, Elgton Jenkins earned his first career Pro Bowl nod. Jenkins is the first Green Bay lineman to start at guard, center and tackle in the same season since 1970 NFL-AFL merger. He posted the Packers’ second-highest pass blocking grade this week while starting at center.

JOHNATHAN ABRAM | LAS VEGAS RAIDERS – S | AT MSU: 2017-18
Season: 11 G, 11 GS, 55 TKL, 22 AST, 77 TT, 2 INT, 2.0 TFL, 4 QBH, 5 PD
Last Week: DNP vs. Los Angeles Chargers (L, 27-30)

DENICO AUTRY | INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – DT/DE | AT MSU: 2012-13
Season: 12 G, 11 GS, 19 TKL, 10 AST, 29 TT, 7.5 SK, 9.0 TFL, 9 QBH
Last Week: 1 GS, 3 TKL, 1 AST, 4 TT, 1.5 SK, 1.0 TFL, 2 QBH vs. Houston Texans (W, 27-20)

  • Posted a 7-yard sack and added a half sack for a loss of five

HUNTER BRADLEY | GREEN BAY PACKERS – LS | AT MSU: 2012-17
Season: 14 G, 1 AST
Last Week: 1 G vs. Carolina Panthers (W, 24-16)

FRED BROWN (PS) | DENVER BRONCOS – WR | AT MSU 2010-15
Season: 1G
Last Week: DNP vs. Buffalo Bills (L, 19-48)

DEION CALHOUN (PS) | CINCINNATI BENGALS – OG | AT MSU: 2014-18
Season: 1 GS, 1 G, 1 Pressure Allowed
Last Week: DNP vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (W, 27-17)

TOMMY CHAMPION (PS) | SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – OT | AT MSU: 2017-19
Season: Practice Squad
Last Week: DNP at Washington Football Team (W, 20-15)

BRIAN COLE II (PS) | MIAMI DOLPHINS – S | AT MSU: 2017-19
Season: Practice Squad
Last Week: DNP vs. New England Patriots (W, 22-12)

LOGAN COOKE | JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – P | AT MSU: 2014-17
Season: 13 G, 49 Punts, 2,334 Yds, 47.6 AVG, LONG 67, 18 In-20, 46 KO, 2,782 Yds, 25 TB
Last Week: 
DNP Baltimore Ravens (L, 14-40)

FLETCHER COX | PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – DT | AT MSU: 2009-11
Season: 14 G, 14 GS, 27 TKL, 13 AST, 40 TT, 6.5 SK, 9.0 TFL, 9 QBH, 1 PD, 1 FF
Last Week: 1 GS, 2 TKL, 2 AST, 4 TT at Arizona Cardinals (L, 26-33)

  • Earned Pro Bowl honors for the sixth straight year, the second-longest Pro Bowl streak in franchise history, one behind Pro Football Hall of Famer Reggie White
  • The six overall nominations are tied for fifth among all players in Eagles history.

CAMERON DANTZLER | MINNESOTA VIKINGS – CB | AT MSU: 2016-19
Season: 10 G, 9 GS, 33 TKL, 10 AST, 43 TT, 2 INT, 3.0 TFL, 3 PD, 1 FF, 1 FR
Last Week: 1 GS, 3 TKL, 3 TT, 1 INT, 1 PD vs. Chicago Bears (L, 27-33)

  • Made an interception in the end zone with under three minutes to play in a three-point game
  • Two interceptions are tied for the second-most by a rookie defender this season
  • Produced Minnesota’s highest overall defensive grade (90.7), which ranked No. 9 in the NFL this week
  • Coverage grade (91.0) ranked fourth in the NFL and led all rookies in Week 15

WILLIE GAY JR. | KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – LB | AT MSU: 2017-19
Season: 14 G, 6 GS, 21 TKL, 8 AST, 29 TT, 1.0 SK, 2.0 TFL, 1 QBH, 3 PD
Last Week: 1 G, 1 TKL, 1 TT, 1 PD at New Orleans Saints (W, 32-29)

  • Defended a pass in the fourth quarter
  • Posted a career-high 87.6 coverage grade per PFF, which was the Chiefs’ second-highest and No. 4 among NFL rookies in Week 15

J.T. GRAY | NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – DB | AT MSU: 2014-17
Season: 14 G, 7 TKL, 7 TT, 2 FR
Last Week: 1 G, 2 TKL vs. Kansas City Chiefs (L, 29-32)

  • Made two special teams tackles
  • Posted a season-high 81.5 special teams grade per PFF

FARROD GREEN (PS) | INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – TE | AT MSU: 2015-19
Season: 1 G
Last Week: DNP vs. Houston Texans (W, 27-20)

GERRI GREEN (PS) | LAS VEGAS RAIDERS – LB | AT MSU: 2014-18
Season: Practice Squad
Last Week: DNP vs. Los Angeles Chargers (L, 27-30)

STEPHEN GUIDRY (IR) | DALLAS COWBOYS – WR | AT MSU: 2018-19
Season: Opted Out
Last Week: DNP vs. San Francisco 49ers (W, 41-33)

BRAXTON HOYETT (PS) | BALTIMORE RAVENS – DT | AT MSU: 2014-18
Season: 1 G
Last Week: DNP vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (W, 40-14)

GABE JACKSON | LAS VEGAS RAIDERS – OG | AT MSU 2009-13
Season: 14 G, 14 GS, 1 TKL, 24 Pressures Allowed
Last Week: 1 GS, 1 Pressures Allowed vs. Los Angeles Chargers (L, 27-30)

ELGTON JENKINS | GREEN BAY PACKERS – OG | AT MSU: 2014-18
Season: 13 G, 13 GS, 77.4 Pass Block Grade, 10 Pressures Allowed
Last Week: 1 GS, 0 Pressures Allowed vs. Carolina Panthers (W, 24-16)

  • Posted Green Bay’s second-highest pass block grade (84.4)
  • Earned his first Pro Bowl honor
  • Is the first Green Bay lineman to start at guard, center and tackle in the same season since 1970 NFL-AFL merger

CHRIS JONES | KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – DT | AT MSU: 2013-15
Season: 12 G, 12 GS, 23 TKL, 12 AST, 35 TT, 6.5 SK, 2.0 TFL, 2 FF, 24 QBH, 2 PD
Last Week: 1 GS, 2 QBH at New Orleans Saints (W, 32-29)

  • Earned his second career Pro Bowl honor
  • Tied for the No. 9 overall defensive grade in the NFL this season (89.5) and the No. 6 pass rush grade (92.2) per PFF
  • Tied for fifth in the league with 24 QB hits this season

JAQUARIUS LANDREWS (IR) | NEW YORK GIANTS – S | AT MSU: 2017-19
Season: Injured Reserve
Last Week: DNP vs. Cleveland Browns (L, 6-20)

BENARDRICK MCKINNEY (IR) | HOUSTON TEXANS – LB | AT MSU: 2011-14
Season: 4 G, 4 GS, 21 TKL, 17 AST, 38 TT, 1.0 TFL, 1 PD
Last Week: DNP at Indianapolis Colts (L, 20-27)

PERNELL MCPHEE | BALTIMORE RAVENS – LB | AT MSU: 2009-10
Season: 13 G, 11 GS, 25 TKL, 8 AST, 33 TT, 2.0 SK, 2.0 TFL, 13 QBH, 1 PD
Last Week: 1 GS, 1 TKL, 1 AST, 2 TT vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (W, 40-14)

TYRE PHILLIPS | BALTIMORE RAVENS – OT | AT MSU: 2017-19
Season: 9 G, 8 GS, 1 FR, 14 Pressures Allowed
Last Week: 1 G, 1 FR, 0 Pressures Allowed vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (W, 40-14)

  • Recovered a fumble and ran it 22 yards for a first down on a third-and-seven
  • Run was the Ravens’ longest rushing play of the day and extended a drive that resulted in a touchdown

DAK PRESCOTT (IR) | DALLAS COWBOYS – QB | AT MSU: 2011-2015
Season: 5 G, 5 GS, 151-222, 1,856 YDS, 9 TD, 99.6 QBR, 18 RUSH, 93 YDS, 3 TD
Last Week: DNP vs. San Francisco 49ers (W, 41-33)

MARTINAS RANKIN | KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – OT | AT MSU: 2015-17
Season: Injured Reserve
Last Week: DNP at New Orleans Saints (W, 32-29)

WILL REDMOND | GREEN BAY PACKERS – S | AT MSU: 2012-15
Season: 12 G, 1 GS, 19 TKL, 7 AST, 26 TT, 2 QBH, 1 PD
Last Week: 1 G vs. Carolina Panthers (W, 24-16)

CHAUNCEY RIVERS (PS) | BALTIMORE RAVENS – OT | AT MSU: 2017-19
Season: Practice Squad

Last Week: DNP vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (W, 40-14)

JEFFERY SIMMONS | TENNESSEE TITANS – DL | AT MSU: 2016-18
Season: 13 G, 13 GS, 24 TKL, 23 AST, 47 TT, 3.0 SK, 3.0 TFL, 12 QBH, 1 FF, 3 FR, 5 PD
Last Week: 
1 GS, 1 TKL, 1 AST, 2 TT, 2 QBH, 1 FR vs. Detroit Lions (W, 46-25)

  • Recovered a fumble on the Tennessee 20-yard line in the third quarter
  • Tied for the NFL lead with three fumble recoveries
  • Added three total pressures

DARIUS SLAY | PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – CB | AT MSU: 2011-12
Season: 13 G, 12 GS, 50 TKL, 5 AST, 55 TT, 2.0 TFL, 5 PD
Last Week: DNP at Arizona Cardinals (L, 26-33)

PRESTON SMITH | GREEN BAY PACKERS – LB | AT MSU: 2011-14
Season: 14 G, 11 GS, 27 TKL, 11 AST, 38 TT, 4.0 SK, 7.0 TFL, 9 QBH, 2 PD, 1 FR, 1 TD
Last Week: 1 G, 1 TKL, 1 AST, 2 TT, 1.0 SK, 1.0 TFL, 1 QBH vs. Carolina Panthers (W, 24-16)

  • Made a sack for a loss of four yards to help limit Carolina to a field goal on the drive
  • Added three total pressures

TOMMY STEVENS (PS) | CAROLINA PANTHERS – QB | AT MSU: 2017-19
Season: Practice Squad
Last Week: DNP at Green Bay Packers (L, 16-24)

MONTEZ SWEAT | WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM – DE | AT MSU: 2017-18
Season:  14 G, 14 GS, 23 TKL, 15 AST, 38 TT, 7.0 SK, 10.0 TFL, 16 QBH, 6 PD, 1 INT, 2 FF, 1 TD
Last Week: 1 GS, 1 AST, 1 TT, 1 QBH, 1 PD vs. Seattle Seahawks (L, 15-20)

  • Batted a pass that led to an interception in the fourth quarter
  • His six batted passes rank second in the NFL according to PFF
  • No. 3 in coverage grade this season (79.9) among defensive linemen who have played 50 percent of snaps according to PFF

DARRYL WILLIAMS (PS) | KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – OT | AT MSU: 2015-19
Season: Practice Squad
Last Week: DNP at New Orleans Saints (W, 32-29)

K.J. WRIGHT | SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – LB | AT MSU: 2007-10
Season: 14 G, 14 GS, 55 TKL, 21 AST, 76 TT, 2.0 SK, 10.0 TFL, 3 QBH, 1 INT, 8 PD, 1 FF, 2 FR
Last Week: 1 GS, 8 TKL, 8 TT, 1.0 TFL at Washington Football Team (W, 20-15)

  • Made a tackle for loss on Washington’s second drive of the game

ISAIAH ZUBER (PS) | NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – WR | AT MSU: 2019
Season: 4 G, 2 REC, 29 YDS, 2 RUSH, 21 YDS
Last Week: DNP at Miami Dolphins (L, 12-22)