Alontae Taylor

Tennessee Defensive Back Alontae Taylor completing catching drills before the Tennessee vs Vanderbilt football game on Nov. 27, 2021 in Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, TN. 

After an incredible first half of the season, former Vols across the NFL show no sign of slowing down, posting staggering numbers through week 12. Here’s a recap of former Tennessee players that made their presence known throughout the league this week.

Week 11 was a peculiar week for 49ers wide receiver Jauan Jennings. Jennings was targeted twice, but struggled to haul in a pass for the first time this season. The second-year wide out bounced back from his quiet week, scoring his first NFL touchdown off a tipped pass in the back of the endzone. Jennings’ 5-yard touchdown was the only touchdown in the 49ers-Saints game.

Steelers veteran cornerback Cameron Sutton had a major slip up in the beginning of Pittsburgh’s Monday night matchup against Indianapolis, jumping offsides on a field goal that gave the Colts a fresh set of downs. Sutton turned his game around, sealing the game with a pass breakup on a fourth-down pass inside the final minute of regulation, sealing the 24-17 win for the Steelers.

Running Back

Alvin Kamara - New Orleans Saints

Saints Pro Bowl running back Alvin Kamara celebrated becoming the second-player in franchise history to reach 9,000 career all-purpose yards in week 11, but was held to just 13 yards on seven carries and six catches for 47 yards in Sunday’s loss to the 49ers.

Cordarrelle Patterson - Atlanta Falcons

After a historic week 11 performance in Chicago, breaking the NFL record for most kick-off touchdown returns, Falcons’ pro running back Cordarrelle Patterson rushed for 52 yards on 11 attempts in Sunday’s 19-13 loss to the Commanders. His biggest run was a breakaway dash through Washington’s defense for 21-yards. Patterson also hauled in three of his five targets for 19 yards.

Wide Receiver

Jauan Jennings - San Francisco 49ers

Second-year wide receiver Jauan Jennings had an exciting performance in San Francisco’s shut out 13-0 win over New Orleans on Sunday. Jennings secured six catches for 49 yards, clutching up for quarterback Jimmy Garrapolo on third down conversions. The 2020 seventh round pick caught a 13-yard pass on third-and-10 and then a 12-yard pass on back-to-back plays and another 12-yard pass on third-and-one on the drive he ended with an endzone grab.

Joshua Palmer - Los Angeles Chargers

Following an exciting week 11 performance with two touchdown receptions, Chargers wide receiver Joshua Palmer caught five passes for 56 yards in Los Angeles’ nail-biting 25-24 win in Arizona. Palmers largest conversion was an 18-yard reception from quarterback Justin Herbert

Velus Jones Jr. - Chicago Bears

The Bears’ rookie wide receiver continued to work his way around Chicago’s lineup, getting two carries on 12 offensive snaps, and making a tackle in punt coverage in Sunday’s 31-10 loss to the Jets.

Offensive Line

Trey Smith - Kansas City Chiefs

Offensive lineman Trey Smith started at right guard for Kansas City, facing off with Los Angeles’ star defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Smith held the three-time AP Defensive Player of the year to just three tackles and one quarterback hit in a Chiefs 26-10 home win over the defending Super Bowl Champions.

Linebackers

Darrell Taylor - Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks linebacker Darrell Taylor took the field for 18 snaps on defense, but did not record any stats in Seattle’s overtime loss to Las Vegas. Taylor still managed to swarm headlines, storming the field to celebrate with his teammates as Seattle forced a turnover on the opening snap of the game. Taylor went under the referees’ radars, turning from celebration to a blocking body on the field after he realized the play was not over.

Jalen Reeves-Maybin - Houston Texans

Texans lineback Jalen Reeves-Maybin played a season-high 51 snaps on defense, finishing with six tackles in Houston’s 30-15 loss to Miami. Reeves-Maybin played 36 snaps all season on defense, being concentrated to a mostly special teams role on the Texans roster.

Defensive Tackles

Shy Tuttle - New Orleans Saints

Saints defensive tackle Shy Tuttle swarmed Jimmy Garrapolo and the 49ers offense, tallying five tackles and one sack on New Orleans’ defense.

Cornerbacks

Alontae Taylor - New Orleans Saints

Cornerback Alontae Taylor was a force to be reckoned with in the Saints’ defensive backfield, securing four tackles in Sunday’s loss.

Cameron Sutton - Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers star cornerback Cameron Sutton had one tackle and forced an incomplete pass on Monday Night Football in Indianapolis. Sutton’s vital pass breakup came in the final minute of regulation, swatting away Matt Ryan’s desperate fourth down attempt, and turning the ball back over to Pittsburgh to seal its fourth win of the season.

Justin Coleman - Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks veteran cornerback Justin Coleman made an appearance for 12 snaps on Seattle’s special teams and recorded one tackle in the Seahawks’ 40-34 overtime loss to the Raiders.

Long Snapper

Morgan Cox - Tennessee Titans

Long snapper Morgan Cox continued a perfect season of executions for the Titans, executing three field goals, two extra points and five punts in Tennessee’s 20-16 loss to Cincinnati.

Punter

Michael Palardy

Patriots punter Michael Palardy had an extraordinary performance in New England’s 33-26 loss to Minnesota on Thanksgiving Night. Palardy punted three times for a 41-yard overall average and 37.3-yard net average with a 56-yard long boot in Minneapolis.

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