HBCU NFL players on the following teams will be hitting the field in the playoffs beginning next week – Brandon Parker (Las Vegas), Chester Rogers (Tennessee), Javon Hargrave and Mac McCain (Philadelphia), Antonio Hamilton and Josh Miles (Arizona) and Nick Leverett (Tampa Bay).
That’s after regular season NFL play wrapped up this week.
HBCU NFL Offense POW
In the final week of regular season play, Parker, the NC A&T product, helped the Raiders eek out a 35-32 overtime win vs. the LA Chargers to punch their ticket to the playoffs. It was said prior to the game that Parker would have to play the ‘game of his life’ to contain Chargers all-pro outside linebacker Joey Bosa.
Evidently, Parker did. He battled the talented edge rusher all game. He held Bosa to just two tackles, one a sack and forced fumble that Parker recovered.
Parker is the final week’s offensive player of the week.
The Raiders (10-7), the fifth seed in the AFC, will open the playoffs on the road vs. the 4th-seeded Cincinnati Bengals (10-7). The game is set for Saturday at 4:35 p.m.
HBCU NFL Defensive POW
Conversely, despite the best efforts of all-pro linebacker Darius Leonard, the Indianapolis Colts fell to 2-14 Jacksonville 26-11 to fall out of the playoffs.
Leonard, the SC State product, had only one solo tackle but added six assists. He had plenty to say after the excruciating loss.
“We didn’t do enough, that’s what it always just comes down to,” Leonard said after Sunday’s loss. “Defensively, just didn’t do enough, just disappointed at that. We didn’t find a way to take the ball away, didn’t find a way to get off the field.”
The Mac McCain tour heads to the playoffs
Mac McCain, the rookie defensive back out of NC A&T, saw his most extensive action of the season in Philadelphia’s 51-26 season-ending loss to Dallas Saturday.
He made two tackles on 11 defensive snaps for the Eagles. He was also in on 20 plays on special teams. Teammate and fellow MEAC product Javon Hargrave (SC State) was held out of the game.
McCain was initially signed as a free agent by Denver. He was waived twice by the Broncos and picked up twice by Philadelphia. He was finally waived by the Eagles and then signed to their practice squad on Dec. 13.
The Eagles (9-8) are the NFC’s seventh seed and will play at 2nd-seeded Tampa Bay (13-4) at 1 p.m. Sunday.
HBCU Special Teams POW
Chester Rogers out of Grambling won his fourth straight special teams player of the week award. He caught two passes and returned four punts for 23 yards. The Titans won 28-25 over Houston.
Tennessee (12-5) is the top seed in the AFC and has a first round bye in the playoffs.
Keep your eye out for
Antonio Hamilton (SC State) and Josh Miles (Morgan State) will be in action for Arizona Monday. The Cardinals (11-6) are the NFC’s fifth seed and will play at the 4th-seeded Los Angeles Rams (12-5) Monday. Their game will be at 8:15 p.m.
HBCU NFL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
For games of January 6 – 10, 2022
– #75 BRANDON PARKER, OT, Las Vegas (4th season, NORTH CAROLINA A&T) – In the Raiders’ 35-32 overtime win over the LA Chargers that clinched a playoff berth, Parker started at right offensive tackle and battled LA all-pro defensive end Joey Bosa. He held Bosa to just two solo tackles, one a sack (-10 yards), and a forced fumble. Las Vegas rushed for 174 yards and one TD and passed for 190 yards and two TDs. The line gave up three sacks (-18 yards). Parker played all 80 offensive plays (100%) and seven special teams’ snaps (21%).
– #53 DARIUS LEONARD, LB, Indianapolis (4th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – In 26-11 loss to Jacksonville that knocked the Colts from the playoffs, Leonard had seven total tackles, one solo and six assists. He was in on all 62 defensive snaps (100%) and seven special teams’ snaps (32%).
– #80 CHESTER ROGERS, WR/KR, Tennessee (5th season, GRAMBLING STATE) – In 28-25 win over Houston, Rogers had two receptions on two targets for 4 yards and 23 yards (5.7-yard average) on four punt returns with a long return of 10 yards. He fumbled and recovered. He logged ten plays on offense (15%) and five plays on special teams (19%).
OTHER TOP PERFORMANCES
– #18 KHADAREL HODGE, WR, Detroit (5th season, PRAIRIE VIEW A&M – In the Lions’ 37-30 win over Green Bay, Hodge played eight snaps on offense (14%) and nine on special teams (32%) without a stat.
– #71 TYTUS HOWARD, OG, Houston (3rd season, ALABAMA STATE) – In 28-25 loss to Tennessee, Howard started at left offensive tackle as the Texans rolled up 64 yards rushing and 301 yards passing and three TDs while giving up two sacks. He played 54 snaps (94%) on offense and three plays (11%) of special teams’ snaps.
– #60 TRENT SCOTT, OL, Carolina (3rd season, GRAMBLING STATE) – Started at right guard in the Panthers’ 41-17 loss to Tampa Bay. The Carolina offense rushed for 110 yards and passed for 219 yards and two TDs. He played on 43 offensive plays (60%) three on special teams (11%).
– #72 TERRON ARMSTEAD, OT, New Orleans (10th season, ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF) – In New Orleans’ 30-20 win over Atlanta, Armstead was not active.
#37 MAC McCAIN, DB, Denver (1st season, NORTH CAROLINA A&T) – In 51-26 loss to Dallas, McCain registered two defensive tackles, one solo. He was in for 11 plays on defense (18%) and 20 plays on special teams (65%).
– #90 GROVER STEWART, DT, Indianapolis (5th year, ALBANY STATE) – In 26-11 loss to Jacksonville, Stewart had three tackles, two solos, and a pass defended. He was in on 40 defensive plays (59%) and six special teams’ plays (27%).
– #36 DANNY JOHNSON, DB/KR, Washington (3rd season, SOUTHERN) – In 22-7 win over the New York Giants, Johnson had no stats in 25 plays on defense (42%) and seven on special teams (29%).
– #33 – ANTONIO HAMILTON, DB, Arizona (6th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – In 35-30 loss to Seattle, Hamilton had five solo tackles and one pass defended on defense on 51 plays (88%). He was also in on nine special teams (28%) without a stat.
– #95 JAVON HARGRAVE, DT, Philadelphia (5th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – In 51-26 loss to Dallas, Hargrave was not active.
– #41 ANTHONY LEVINE SR., DB, Baltimore (10th season, TENNESSEE STATE) – In 16-13 overtime loss to Pittsburgh, Levine had one assisted tackle on special teams. He played 29 snaps on special teams (91%)
– #27 BOBBY PRICE, DB, Detroit (2nd season, NORFOLK STATE) – In 37-30 win over Green Bay, Price played one snap on defense (1%) and 15 on special teams (54%).