Well it wasn’t always pretty, but somehow we made it through all 17 weeks of the NFL season. There were some bumps in the road along the way, as you would expect when trying to play through a pandemic, but overall I think it should be considered a big success that the league was able to play all of its games and deliver what should be an exciting playoffs in the next few weeks.
As usual, this past Sunday’s action featured a number of former Buckeyes making big plays. Not everyone was playing at full strength, as teams already solidified in the playoffs elected to rest their starters, but many Ohio State alum found ways to shine in the final week of the regular season.
J.K. Dobbins has slowly but surely emerged as the No. 1 guy in the Baltimore Ravens backfield. Splitting time all season with both Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards — as well as giving up some carries to the mobile Lamar Jackson — the rookie has really come on strong these past few weeks, with another huge performance in Week 17 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
He started his big afternoon with this short touchdown, solidifying the record for most rushing touchdowns by a rookie in Ravens franchise history — and throwing up the O-H right after!
.@Jkdobbins22 sets a franchise record for the most TDs by a Ravens rookie!— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) January 3, 2021
Tune in on CBS! pic.twitter.com/YMI3RTg0iq
He followed it up with this casual 72-yard TD run. Dobbins finished the afternoon with 13 carries for a season-high 160 yards and the two TDs. He has scored at least once in each of his last six games.
J.K. DOBBINS HAVE A DAY pic.twitter.com/sbG0VGGaeU— PFF College (@PFF_College) January 3, 2021
We move over to the Washington Football Team, where Chase Young was doing Chase Young things as he put a fitting capper on what should be a campaign that ends with a Defensive Rookie of the Year trophy.
No. 9⃣9⃣ is in the building— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) January 4, 2021
#WASvsPHI https://t.co/iMWJXQHtaH pic.twitter.com/LsfODtBhSK
In addition to the sack, Young picked up a pair of tackles, three QB hits, and a fumble recovery. The rookie edge rusher has been dominant all season, and is one of the big reasons why Washington’s defense was able to improve from 27th in 2019 to 2nd in 2020.
Big time play— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) January 4, 2021
#WASvsPHI https://t.co/iMWJXQHtaH pic.twitter.com/wnza7mmcO8
Other miscellaneous news and notes for Buckeye rookies...
- Damon Arnette had three tackles and a pass breakup for the Las Vegas Raiders.
- Jordan Fuller was second on the team with five total tackles for the Los Angeles Rams.
- Malik Harrison had a pair of tackles for the Ravens.
- Jonah Jackson started at left guard for the Detroit Lions.
Doubling back to Washington, who in addition to their best player on defense coming from Ohio State, their best player on offense is a Buckeye as well. After missing last week’s game, Terry McLaurin returned against the Eagles, catching seven passes for 40 yards and a TD.
15 plays, 91 yards. And a Terry McLaurin TD!@WashingtonNFL puts together an impressive opening drive. #WashingtonFootball— NFL (@NFL) January 4, 2021
: #WASvsPHI on NBC
: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app: https://t.co/11BxUJlrSI pic.twitter.com/XLqhWkgxAg
Sometimes you just have to pick yourself up. We’ve all been there.
Terry McLaurin with the self-high five pic.twitter.com/hdDr0Nw5cV— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 4, 2021
The Dallas Cowboys offense really fell apart once Dak Prescott went down, and Ezekiel Elliott’s season took a hit as a result. It was an up-and-down year for the RB, but he capped it off with one final touchdown against the New York Giants on Sunday.
Feeeeeeeeeed Zeke— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) January 3, 2021
: #DALvsNYG on FOX pic.twitter.com/FVtWUWSzqH
More importantly, Zeke was repping his squad as always.
Ezekiel Elliott’s Ohio State jacket >> pic.twitter.com/fs4xQqMUns— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) January 3, 2021
The New Orleans Saints came away with a whopping five interceptions against the Carolina Panthers this weekend, and two of them wound up in the hands of former Buckeyes. The first was by safety Malcolm Jenkins, who picked off Teddy Bridgewater in the end zone early in the second quarter.
Picked off in the endzone by @MalcolmJenkins ‼️ When will this man stop??— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) January 3, 2021
: #NOvsCAR on FOXpic.twitter.com/FW7eoqIuZY
That was followed up later in the third quarter by Marshon Lattimore, who picked off P.J. Walker to set his team up just outside the red zone.
LATTY #SAINTS ball! | : Fox pic.twitter.com/zQSNOD1Aj4— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) January 3, 2021
Curtis Samuel has been a Swiss army knife for the Panthers this season, and he crossed the 1,000-yard mark from scrimmage in the final game of the year. He was the team’s leading receiver on Sunday, catching seven passes for 118 yards.
Running it up to 1K⚡️ pic.twitter.com/ad4EzRp0YY— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) January 3, 2021
Other miscellaneous news and notes for Buckeye veterans...
- Dre’Mont Jones had six tackles, 1.5 TFLs and 1.5 sacks for the Denver Broncos.
- Jerome Baker had four tackles for the Miami Dolphins.
- Vonn Bell had three tackles for the Cincinnati Bengals.
- Pat Elflein, Corey Linsley and Andrew Norwell all started on their respective offensive lines.