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Pack in the Pros

Jaylen Samuels Snags 7 Receptions in 1st NFL Start

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Former NC State Swiss Army Knife Jaylen Samuels started the first game of his NFL career on Sunday in the Steelers 24-21 loss to the Raiders.

Even though Samuels was technically going to get the start, it was projected to be a running back-by-committee situation, splitting carries with Stevan Ridley. The end result was much more lopsided than the projection, with Samuels playing 48 snaps, and Ridley playing 8.

Truthfully, JaySam wasn’t very effective running the ball, picking up 28 yards on 11 carries (2.5 yards per carry), but he was more effective than Ridley, who averaged 0.8 yards per carry. Samuels shined the most in the passing game, pulling in all 7 balls that were thrown his way for 64 yards. All but 2 of his receptions were behind the line of scrimmage, and he managed to pick up an impressive 76 yards after the catch against the Raiders.

James Conner hasn’t been ruled out of Pittsburgh’s crucial matchup against New England this Sunday, so we will have to wait and see what his involvement will look like.

Pack in the Pros

Joe Thuney Starts 50th Straight Game, On his way to a 3rd Straight Super Bowl

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Former NC State All-American Offensive Lineman Joe Thuney started his 50th consecutive game for New England yesterday, in the Patriots’ 37-31 victory over the Chiefs. Thuney has started every single regular season and postseason game since entering the league as a rookie.

The Pat’s and Thuney are on their way to their 3rd consecutive Super Bowl.

Thuney’s NFL young NFL career: 3 seasons…3 Super Bowls.

The three Super Bowl appearances is the 2nd most ever by a former NC State football player.

Jim Ritcher – 4
Joe Thuney – 3
Mike Cofer – 2
Perry Williams – 2
Mike Jones – 2
Torry Holt – 2
Russell Wilson – 2
J.R. Sweezy – 2
Steven Hauschka – 2
(Bill Cowher – 2 – as a head coach)

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Bradley Chubb Named to 2018 PFWA All-Rookie Team

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Former NC State consensus All-American Bradley Chubb didn’t take long to establish himself in the NFL, officially being named to the PFWA (Pro Football Writers of America) 2018 All-Rookie Team.

2018 PFWA ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
Offense
QB – Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
RB – Saquon Barkley, New York Giants; Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos
WR – Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons; DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers
TE – Chris Herndon, New York Jets
C – Billy Price, Cincinnati Bengals
G – Will Hernandez, New York Giants; Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis Colts
T – Mike McGlinchey, San Francisco 49ers; Braden Smith, Indianapolis Colts
Defense
DL – Bradley Chubb, Denver Broncos; Marcus Davenport, New Orleans Saints; Da’Shawn Hand, Detroit Lions; Daron Payne, Washington Redskins
LB – Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts; Roquan Smith, Chicago Bears; Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas Cowboys
CB – Jaire Alexander, Green Bay Packers, Denzel Ward, Cleveland Browns
S – Jessie Bates, Cincinnati Bengals; Derwin James, Los Angeles Chargers
Special Teams
PK – Jason Sanders, Miami Dolphins
P – Michael Dickson, Seattle Seahawks
KR – Tremon Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
PR – Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals
ST – Zeke Turner, Arizona Cardinals (PFWA)

Chubb finished his rookie campaign with 12 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 60 total tackles. His 12 sacks broke Von Miller’s Bronco’s rookie sack record of 11.5 set back in 2011. Chubb earned Rookie of the Month honors in October, when he tallied 5.5 sacks over a three week span.

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Bradley Chubb Makes PFF’s 2018 All-Rookie Team

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Former NC State Consensus All-American Bradley Chubb finished with 12 sacks in his first season in the NFL, breaking the Broncos’ Rookie Sack Record, and tying for the 7th most in NFL history by a rookie.

ProFootballFocus released their 2018 All-Rookie Team today, and Chubb made the cut, and it was because of more than his ability to sack the quarterback. Here’s what they had to saw about the former Nagurski Award winner.

EDGE DEFENDER

Bradley ChubbDenver Broncos

Chubb takes the headlines from the rookie defensive linemen class based on sack totals alone, but as we’ve proven, sack totals aren’t predictive of future sack totals, so a better indicator of potential future play for the former NC State standout is his rookie-leading 58 total pressures, something that correlates over much better from year to year.  That’s something that should excite Broncos fans for some time. (PFF)

PFF 2018 All-Rookie Team

QB – Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
RB – Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
WR – D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers
WR – Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons
Flex Offense – Robert Foster, Buffalo Bills
TE – Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens
OT – Mike McGlinchey, San Francisco 49ers
Interior OL – Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis Colts
Interior OL – James Daniels, Chicago Bears
Interior OL – Will Hernandez, New York Giants
OT – Braden Smith, Indianapolis Colts

Edge Defender – Marcus Davenport, New Orleans Saints
Edge Defender – Bradley Chubb, Denver Broncos
Interior DL – Da’Shawn Hand, Detroit Lions
Interior DL – Vita Vea, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
LB – Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas Cowboys
LB – Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts
CB – Jaire Alexander, Green Bay Packers
CB – Denzel Ward, Cleveland Browns
S – Derwin James, Los Angeles Chargers
S – Jessie Bates, Cincinnati Bengals
Flex Defense – Justin Reid, Houston Texans

K – Jason Sanders, Miami Dolphins
P – Michael Dickson, Seattle Seahawks
R – Tremon Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
Special Teamer – Zeke Turner, Arizona Cardinals (PFF)

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Philip Rivers and the Chargers Defeat the Ravens 23-17 to Advance

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Former NC State quarterback Philip Rivers led the Chargers to a 23-17 victory over the Ravens yesterday in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, setting up a matchup against the Patriots in the Divisional Round next weekend.

Rivers had a quiet performance, completing 22 of his 32 passes for 160 yards (0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions).

His 9-yard run and celebration thereafter were probably my favorite moments of the game.

You gotta love this guy.

Rivers’ record in the playoffs is now 5-5, but he will have to go up to New England, and beat Tom Brady and Patriots to bump that to a winning record.

This will be the 8th time Rivers has faced Brady, and he’s yet to walk away with a victory.

“It’s exciting to get another chance,” Rivers said. “I think it just goes to show, unless you’re the Patriots and I know there’s some other teams that get in the postseason a lot, it’s hard. They’ve been in the conference championship I think seven or eight in a row or whatever, but for most of us it’s not that easy to get in and when you get in and now you know you’re one of eight teams, that’s all you can ask for is a chance.” (Chargers)

Rivers is joined by two other former NC State football players in Defensive Tackles Justin Jones (Rookie) and T.Y. McGill (4th season).

McGill recorded a tackle for loss against the Ravens, and Jones finished with 2 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and 1 sack.

The Chargers and the Patriots are set to kickoff next Sunday at 1:05pm on CBS.

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