The final week of the NFL regular season produced some big performances from former LSU stars who haven’t played much this season.
Cleveland rookie linebacker Jacob Phillips, who injured a knee in the opener, returned in Week 4, aggravated it in Week 5 and missed a month of the season, had a team-leading 10 tackles in the Browns’ 24-22 win over Pittsburgh on Sunday that clinched a playoff spot for Cleveland for the first time since 2002.
Tampa Bay Bucs linebacker Kevin Minter, an 8-year veteran who has been used in a backup role, stepped in for former LSU star Devin White (who was on the COVID-19 list) and had a team-high 9 tackles including 6 solo in the Bucs’ playoff-clinching 44-27 win over Atlanta.
Finally, Minnesota rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson had 9 catches in a 37-36 win over the Lions to give Jefferson 79 receptions for the season, breaking the Vikings’ single-season rookie record of 69 set by Hall of Famer Randy Moss in 1998.
Here’s what all the former LSU standouts did in Week 17:
Buffalo Bills 56, Miami Dolphins 26
Bills – CB Tre’Davious White on inactive list resting for playoffs, LS Reid Ferguson snapped for 8 of 8 extra points and 4 punts. Dolphins – LS Blake Ferguson snapped for 2 of 2 extra points, 2 of 2 field goals and 5 punts, DT Davon Godchaux on injured reserve (biceps) likely out for the rest of the season.
Baltimore Ravens 38, Cincinnati Bengals 3
Ravens – LB Patrick Queen 4 tackles (2 solo) 1 TFL. Bengals – QB Joe Burrow out for the season (torn knee ligaments).
Cleveland Browns 24, Pittsburgh Steelers 22
Steelers – OL Jerald Hawkins is a backup right tackle. Browns – LB Jacob Phillips 10 tackles (8 solo), 1 TFL,1 QB hit, WR Jarvis Landry 5 catches for 51 yards, 1 rushing attempt for a 3-yard TD, WR Odell Beckham Jr. out for the season with torn ACL, CB Greedy Williams on injured reserve list.
Minnesota Vikings 37, Detroit Lions 35
Vikings – WR Justin Jefferson 9 catches for 133 yards, DE Danielle Hunter on injured reserve (neck). Lions – DT Frank Herron no stats.
New York Giants 23, Dallas Cowboys 19
Cowboys – DB Rashard Robinson on inactive list.
Tampa Bay Bucs 44, Atlanta Falcons 27
Bucs – RB Leonard Fournette 5 carries for 13 yards, 2 catches for 14 yards, LB Devin White placed on COVID-19 list, LB Kevin Minter 9 tackles (6 solo), 1 PBU. Falcons – LB Deion Jones 4 tackles, 3 solo, WR Russell Gage 9 catches for 91 yards, 1 TD and 1 rush for 11 yards.
Green Bay Packers 35, Chicago Bears 16
Bears – LB Barkavious Mingo 1 tackle (1 solo), 1 PBU.
Las Vegas Raiders 32, Denver Broncos 31
Raiders – DE Arden Key 2 tackles, TE Foster Moreau 1 catch for 7 yards. C Lloyd Cushenberry started on an offensive line that produced 446 yards and allowed 2 sacks.
Indianapolis Colts 28, Jacksonville Jaguars 14
Jaguars – WR DJ Chark on inactive list, LB K’Lavon Chaisson 3 tackles (2 solo), 1 QB hit.
Los Angeles Chargers 38, Kansas City Chiefs 21
Chiefs – RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle) on inactive list, CB Tyrann Mathieu on inactive list to rest for playoffs, RB Darrel Williams 1 catch for 2 yards. Chargers – DT Breiden Fehoko played but no stats, OG Trai Turner on inactive list with knee injury.
Los Angeles Rams 18, Arizona Cardinals 7
Cardinals – CB Patrick Peterson 4 tackles (3 solo), Rashard Lawrence 2 tackles (1 solo). Rams – DT Michael Brockers no stats, OT Andrew Whitworth injured knee out for the year.
Seattle Seahawks 26, San Francisco 49ers 23
Seahawks – S Jamal Adams 3 tackles (3 solo), 1 TFL, TE/DE Stephen Sullivan no stats, OG Damien Lewis and C Ethan Pocic both started on an offense line that allowed 2 sacks, helped produce 276 yards and 20 4th quarter points.
New Orleans Saints 33, Carolina Panthers 7
Saints – OLB Kwon Alexander DNP sustained season- ending torn Achilles tendon last week, C Will Clapp no stats. Panthers – CB Donte Jackson 5 tackles (2 solo), 1 PBU.
Tennessee Titans 41, Houston Texans 38
Titans – CB Kristian Fulton 1 tackle (1 solo).
Washington 20, Philadelphia Eagles 14
Washington – OT Saahdiq Charles injured reserve (kneecap), TE Thaddeus Moss injured reserve (foot). Eagles – S Jalen Mills no stats, LB Duke Riley no stats.