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Rebels in the Pros: Week 9 was an offensive flurry

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DK, AJ, and the gang went streaking!

NFL: Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

We are officially halfway through the 2020 NFL season. It has been a unique season to date, but all things considered, it has gone pretty well. As for NFL Rebels, the story continues to play out on the next level as it does in Oxford — the offense is great, while the defense does a fine job.

Here is how they fared:

Offense

  • Well, well, well... here we are again. The two of the league’s top-five wide receivers are former Rebels and continued to ball out on Sunday. Let’s start with A.J. Brown, who averaged 25.25 yards per catch on four catches, continued to make defenders look silly and earned his title of YAC King once again.

He added a touchdown in the second quarter for good measure and carried a Chicago defensive back on his back for the final five yards.

Brown also paid homage to T.O. with a big ole goalpost bear hug after the score.

  • As is per usual, where there is thunder, there is lightning. D.K. Metcalf provided that spark of electricity for the Seahawks as best he could in a losing effort. He passed the 100-yard receiving mark for the fourth time in 2020 and remained Russell Wilson’s favorite target. When the two connect on the deep ball, it’s a thing of beauty

The big, strong, fast, physical receiver dominated smaller, weaker, slower defensive backs once again. He also mixed in some soft hands to remind all eight teams that selected a wide receiver in front of him in the NFL Draft that he’s the complete package.

And then Metcalf capped his day with a touchdown, just for good measure.

He caught seven of nine targets for 108 yards and the score.

  • The team that Metcalf and the Seahawks fell to on Sunday also has an Ole Miss influence. Bills tight end Dawson Knox was active this week, but didn’t see a reception. He did, however, help contribute to one of the week’s best touchdown celebrations.
  • Fort Knox’s New York tight end counterpart Evan Engram continued his up-and-down season with the 2-7 Giants in their win over their equally as incompetent NFC East rival Washington Football Team. Eazy had an embarrassing moment when he couldn’t haul in a pass early in the first half, adding to his troubles holding onto the ball this year.

But just when the haters started to creep in, No. 88 burnt man-to-man coverage from the slot and laid out for six.

Engram finished with five catches for 48 yards and the touchdown.

  • One of the most recent developments for Ole Miss alumni came in Indianapolis last week when Jordan Wilkins quietly became the Colts’ lead back in Week 8. He didn’t have quite the same success, as quarterback Phillip Rivers finished with 43 pass attempts, but the former Rebel received the majority of touches in a loss to Baltimore. He had 11 carries for 39 yards.
  • Leading the way, the offensive line remained sturdy. Unfortunately, Bears right tackle Bobby Massie is out at least four weeks with a knee injury he suffered in Week 9, and his career may be in jeopardy. However, Laremy Tunsil did not allow a sack for the ninth-straight week and Greg Little was in the mix at left tackle for Carolina.

Defense

  • On the other side of the ball, it’s not that things aren’t going well, but there is a lack of Rebels who play defense on the next level. Mike Hilton remains out with a shoulder injury, and he is the standout.
  • Of those who did see action in Week 9, it was the Panthers who led the charge on the box score. Marquis Haynes didn’t practice for much of the week, but he played a big role in the team’s close loss to the Chiefs. The defensive end / linebacker mix recorded a tackle and a quarterback hit on Patrick Mahomes, but it was his presence on the second-level that really stood out. Defensive coordinator Eric Washington used Haynes as a spy for Mahomes throughout much of the game and he only ran the ball twice all game.
  • Carolina took a lead into the locker room at halftime, in part because of a forced fumble that didn’t allow Kansas City to get another deep ball off before the clock expired. On the recovery end was no other than Myles Hartsfield!
  • I’LL SAY IT AGAIN— D.J. JONES IS FOREVER UNDERRATED. He may not standout from a statistical standpoint, nor is he the ‘flashy’ player, but I’ll be damned if San Francisco’s defensive line is better without him. He consistently blows people up and creates chaos.