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8 Former NC State Players Advance to the NFL Playoffs

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Out of the 18 former NC State football players that ended the 2018 season on an NFL roster, 8 of them advanced to the playoffs that begin today with the Wild Card round.

Rookie Running Back Nyheim Hines and Quarterback Jacoby Brissett and the Colts (10-6) will kick off the 1st game of the NFL Playoffs. Indianapolis claimed the last Wild Card spot, and will face off against their AFC South foe Houston (11-5) on the road at 4:35 this afternoon. The Colts enter the game as 1.5 point underdogs. The 2 teams split the series in the regular season, with each team winning on the road. The Colts lost 37-34 in overtime in Indy on September 30th, and won 24-21 in Houston on December 9th.

Hines collected 12 receptions for 79 yards and 2 touchdowns combined in the Colts two games versus the Texans this season.

Brissett didn’t take a snap against Houston in the regular season.

Quarterback Russell Wilson and Offensive Guard JR Sweezy and the Seahawks (10-6) will face off against the Cowboys (10-6) down in Dallas for the night cap tonight at 8:15pm. Seattle enters the game as a 2-point underdog. The Seahawks made it into the playoffs as the top Wild Card in the NFC. Seattle defeated Dallas 24-13 at home in Week 3 in their lone matchup in the regular season.

Wilson was solid against the Boys in the regular season victory, completing 16 of his 26 passes for 192 yards and 2 touchdowns (0 interceptions), with a QB Rating of 109.8.

Sweezy started in all 15 of the games he played in this year, including the game against the Cowboys.

Quarterback Philip Rivers, Defensive Tackle Justin Jones and Defensive Tackle T.Y. McGill and the Chargers (12-4) will face-off against the Ravens (10-6) on Sunday at 1:05pm in Baltimore. Los Angeles made it into the playoffs as the top Wild Card team in the AFC, and enter the game as 2.5 point underdogs. The Chargers fell to the Ravens 22-10 at home in Week 16 in their 1 matchup in the regular season.

Rivers’ worst game of the 2018 regular season came against the Ravens at home in Week 16, posting a QB Rating of 51.7. He completed 23 of his 37 passes for 181 yards and 2 interceptions (0 touchdowns). Jones saw action in 15 games this year, and recorded 1 tackle against Baltimore as a reserve. McGill played in 6 games for Los Angeles this year, but was inactive against the Ravens.

Offensive Guard Joe Thuney and the Patriots (11-5) earned a 1st round bye after winning the AFC East. Thuney has started every regular season and playoff game for New England since being drafted as a rookie three years ago.

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NC State NFL Preseason Week 2 Report: Thursday & Friday

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Week 2 of the 2019 NFL Preseason kicked off on Thursday night, and quite a few former NC State players shined over the past two nights.

Quarterback Ryan Finley was exceptional on Thursday night, completing 20 of his 26 pass attempts for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns (0 interceptions) in the Bengals 23-13 victory over the Redskins. His QB Rating on the night was an impressive 115.9.

At this point, it looks like Finley has established himself as Andy Dalton’s backup.

Linebacker Germaine Pratt had 3 tackles, 1 Pass Deflection, and 1 QB Hit in Cincinnati’s 23-13 victory over Washington.

Wide Receiver Kelvin Harmon was targeted twice in the Redskins 23-13 loss to the Bengals, and insanely called for offensive pass interference on both plays.

And YES, this insane catch by Harmon was challenged by the Bengals, and flipped to offensive pass interference.

Harmon reminded the Twitterverse that there are no 50/50 balls thrown his direction. They are 90/10 balls.

Harmon’s coach Jay Gruden doesn’t want him to change a thing.

Quarterback Jalan McClendon was 2-2 for 12 yards in Washington’s 23-13 loss to Cincinnati.

It was cool to see 4 former Wolfpack players chatting it up on Thursday.

Quarterback Mike Glennon was dang near perfect on Thursday night, completing 11 of 14 for 175 yards and 2 touchdowns (0 interceptions) in the Raiders 33-26 victory over the Cardinals.

Glennon is solidifying himself as Derek Carr’s backup.

Punter AJ Cole had a boot on Thursday, averaging 49.4 yards per punt (5 punts) in Oakland’s 33-26 win over Arizona. Cole dropped 3 of his 5 punts inside the 20.

Place Kicker Stephen Hauschka made 1 of his 2 field goal attempts in the Bills 27-14 victory over the Panthers on Friday night, and was 3-3 on extra points. He made a 30-yard field goal, and missed a 48-yarder.

Defensive End B.J. Hill had 2 tackles in the Giants 32-13 victory over the Bears last night.

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AJ Cole is the Last Punter Standing in Oakland

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Former NC State punter AJ Cole went to Rookie Minicamp with hardly any expectations of being signed. Honestly, the percentage of players there that get a contract are miniscule.

But in the end, Cole was one of the few from that were invited to Training Camp, still with no guarantee of a roster spot.

But uncertainty became certainty for Cole yesterday, when the Raiders waived Johnny Townsend, their punter from 2018, leaving the former Wolfpacker as the final punter still in the Oakland Raiders camp.

“To sign some players, you have to let some players go,” (Jon) Gruden (head coach) said Tuesday. “Hate to see Johnny [Townsend] go. We still think he’s a really good punter. A.J. Cole deserves to be our guy at this point.”

“Well, he has a tremendous leg,” (Rich) Bisaccia (Special Teams Coordinator) said. “He has a natural hang to him, kind of even on his bad ball he can kind of get away with it. He’s a high-hit guy on his contact on the ball and he’s really improved his holding as he’s come along. And he can kickoff, so it gives us a little bit of an advantage that way with having the ability to have two guys that can kickoff through preseason.” (Raiders)

Cole’s 220 punts rank 3rd in NC State history, his 9,288 punting yards ranks 2nd, and his 42.2 yard average ranks 3rd.

 

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Trea Turner Extends On-Base Streak to 20 Games

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Former NC State All-American Shortstop Trea Turner extended his on-base streak to 20 games last night, going 2-4, with a home run accompanied by 4 RBI’s.

Turner is in a league of his own over the past 4 years.

For a little of perspective of where Turner’s on-base streak stands in MLB history, check out the all-time list below.

Longest on-base streaks in Phillies history

Player Year(s) Games BA during
1. Mike Schmidt 1981-82 56 .330
2. Chuck Klein 1930 49 .409
3. Bobby Abreau 2000-01 48 .330
4. Odubel Herrera 2017-18 45 .355
5. Chuck Klein 1931 44 .412
6. Pete Rose 1982 41 .317
Don Hurst 1929 41 .342
8. Willie Montanez 1974 40 .377
9. Jimmy Rollins 2005-06 38 .379
Scott Rolen 1998-99 38 .286

On the year, Turner is hitting .290 with 11 home runs and 25 stolen bases.

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NC State NFL Preseason Week 1 Report: 8/11/19

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The 1st Week of the 2019 NFL Preseason has wrapped up, and quite a few former NC State players were in action on Friday and Saturday.

If you missed our report from Thursday night, check it out here.

Running Back Jaylen Samuels looked like the ghost of Le’Veon Bell on Friday night in the Steelers 30-28 victory over the Bucs.

Samuels finished with 2 carries for 22 yards, and 1 reception for 9 yards.

Quarterback Ryan Finley was 13-18 for 109 yards, with 1 touchdown and 1 interception (QB Rating: 82.9) in the Bengals 38-17 loss to the Chiefs. On his scoring drive, he was 12 of 13 for 100 yards. Finley is fighting to be Andy Dalton’s backup. After a rough go of it when he arrived in Cincinnati, this was a good step in that direction. He’s been primarily leading the 2nd team offense as of late.

Linebacker Germaine Pratt had 2 tackles in the Bengals 38-17 loss to the Chiefs.

Quarterback Mike Glennon was 17 of 25 for 200 yards with 2 interceptions (0 touchdowns/QB Rating: 58.8) in the Raiders 14-3 victory over the Rams.

Punter A.J. Cole had 4 punts that went for an average of 43 yards, pinning 2 of them down inside the 20-yard line (Long: 49 yards) in the Raiders 14-3 victory over the Rams

Defensive End Kentavius Street had 4 tackles and 2 tackles for loss in the 49ers 17-9 victory over the Cowboys.

Cornerback Dontae Johnson had one pass deflection in the 49ers 17-9 victory over the Cowboys.

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