Tracking Terps NFL Success: Week 4

Pat Donohue, Staff Writer
Terrapin Sports Report

Terps across the NFL continue to make plays this season. In Week 4, several Maryland alumni made their presence felt, and a few helped their team earn victories, while the others experienced narrow defeats.

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Here’s a look at how former Maryland football players performed in Week 4 of the NFL regular season.

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USA TODAY Sports

Stefon Diggs -- Minnesota Vikings, WR

This was an ugly 14-7 game between the Vikings and Lions that ended with Detroit prevailing, but Diggs had himself another solid performance. The NFL’s leader in receiving touchdowns entering the game didn’t find the end zone against Detroit, but Diggs did haul in five receptions for 98 yards. He is now tied for second in the NFL with four touchdown receptions, second to only Jordy Nelson of the Green Bay Packers (five), and first in the league in receiving yards with 391. Diggs’ 17.8 yards per reception is the most among wideouts that have at least 15 receptions so far this year. Perhaps what makes Diggs’ output so far this season even more impressive is that he has had to play three of his four games with backup quarterback Case Keenum, as starter Sam Bradford recovers from a knee injury. His teammate and rookie sensation, Dalvin Cook, was lost for the season on Sunday after tearing his ACL, so Diggs could be in line for even more targets moving forward, but opposing defenses will also hone in on Diggs more when game planning. It will be interesting to see if his production increases or decreases as a result.

Yannick Ngakoue -- Jacksonville Jaguars, DE

Ngakoue got back to his ways of getting after the quarterback in Jacksonville’s 23-20 overtime loss to the New York Jets. Maryland’s single-season sack leader recorded two sacks in Week 4 and now has four this season and 12 in his one-and-one-quarter-year career. Ngakoue’s four sacks are second on the Jaguars only to former All-Pro defensive lineman Calais Campbell, who has 5.5. Jacksonville’s defense has been up and down so far this year, but Ngakoue continues to be one the Jaguars biggest playmakers on that side of the ball.

Sean Davis -- Pittsburgh Steelers, SS

After leaving the game with a minor injury in Week 3, Davis came back strong in Week 4 and recorded five solo tackles and defended a pass. Playing not far from where he played college ball, Davis finished second on his team in total tackles as the Steelers trounced the Baltimore Ravens on the road. Through the first month of the season, Davis has been great in about half of his games this season, which still has him third in total tackles (17) and second in solo tackles (15) for Pittsburgh. The Steelers hope to continue to see growth out of their second-round pick from last year.

Vernon Davis -- Washington Redskins, TE

Davis continues to make a case for why he should possibly be Washington’s starting tight end over the oft-injured, but dynamic Jordan Reed. After hauling in all five of his targets for 58 yards and a touchdown while starting in place of an inactive Reed in Washington’s upset over Oakland in Week 3, Davis put together a nice encore performance on Monday Night Football in Week 4. The former Terps great didn’t get the start this time, but he was much more effective than Reed, finishing with two receptions for 89 yards, including a big 69-yarder that set up a Redskins touchdown two plays later. Reed only had three receptions for 21 yards and is on his way to being left in the dust by Davis.

Torrey Smith -- Philadelphia Eagles, WR

This was certainly Smith’s worst game with the Eagles so far, as he was only able to haul in one reception for 9 yards on three targets. Smith continues to have issues with his hands in 2017, dropping numerous passes for Philadelphia this season. He had a chance for a huge play in Week 4 after he got behind the defense with his speed and Philly quarterback Carson Wentz delivered him a perfect ball. But Smith let the ball go right through his hands while in stride. His efficiency needs to improve or Smith will be in jeopardy of losing his starting position in Philadelphia. He has just 10 receptions for 134 yards on 19 targets so far this year.

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