I have to apologize again for doing so very little on the 2015 College Football season. I never did get around to doing my all-America teams, but I feel obligated to at least do the house calls. After all, the main reason for this blog being named House of Dread is to recognize and celebrate the touchdowns by players with dreads. Thanks mostly to the 28 TD scored by College Football's best player (with or without dreads) (the last of the 28 in photo above, a 1-yard dive that upped Alabama's lead over Clemson to 45-33 with 1:07 remaining in the championship game) - Heisman winner Derrick Henry - Alabama, for the 2nd time in the 5 years I've done a feature on house calls, was the Division 1 team that had more TD scored by players with dreads than any other.
2015 was an up and down kind of season for TD by players with dreads - up, as in the NFL; and down, as in College Football. The 190 regular season touchdowns by the NFL's players with dreads were an increase of 11 over the previous season and just 3 short of the record high 193 scored in 2013. As for the colleges (I keep track of only Division 1), Alabama's nation-leading total of 29 marks the first time a team has taken the crown with less than 30 TD.
The number of teams that had 10 or more TD by players with dreads also decreased, from 36 in 2014 to only 27 in 2015 (although the number with 20 or more went up from 6 to 7). Henry was responsible for almost all of the Tide's TD by players with dreads; but he got a tiny bit of help from his understudy, freshman RB Bo Scarbrough (#9 in photo below, assisting Henry in the traditional drenching of Coach Saban near the end of the 45-40 win over Clemson). Scarbrough's Week 12 TD vs. Charleston Southern plus the 28 by Henry accounted for Alabama's total of 29.
Here now are all 27 teams with at least 10 TD scored by players with dreads in 2015.
- ALABAMA - RB Derrick Henry 28, RB Bo Scarbrough 1
- CINCINNATI - RB Mike Boone 9, RB Tion Green 8, WR Chris Moore 7
- ARKANSAS - RB Alex Collins 20, WR Keon Hatcher 2, WR Damon Mitchell 1
- MISSISSIPPI - WR Quincy Adeboyejo 7, WR Damore'ea Stringfellow 5, RB Eugene Brazley 3, WR Markell Pack 3, DT/RB Robert Nkemdiche 3, S Trae Elston 2
- RICHMOND - RB Jacobi Green 22
- COASTAL CAROLINA - RB De'Angelo Henderson 19, WR John Israel 2
- FLORIDA STATE - RB Dalvin Cook 20, WR Ja'Vonn Harrison 1
- BOWLING GREEN - RB Travis Greene 17, WR Robbie Rhodes 1
- MEMPHIS - RB Doroland Dorceus 11, RB Jarvis Cooper 5, S Reggis Ball 1, WR Daniel Hurd 1
- NOTRE DAME - WR Will Fuller 14, WR Chris Brown 4
- WISCONSIN - RB Dare Ogunbowale 8, RB Corey Clement 5, WR Robert Wheelwright 4, RB Caleb Kinlaw 1
- SAM HOUSTON STATE - RB Donovan Williams 8, RB Jalen Overstreet 7, CB Darion Flowers 1, S Tyrel Stokes 1
- TOWSON - RB Darius Victor 15, CB Donnell Lewis 2
- WILLIAM & MARY - RB Kendell Anderson 16
- CENTRAL MICHIGAN - WR Corey Willis 5, WR Anthony Rice 4, RB Jahray Hayes 4, RB Martez Walker 2
- TENNESSEE - RB Alvin Kamara 11, WR Von Pearson 3, RB Joe Young 1
- UCLA - RB Paul Perkins 15
- JMU - RB Khalid Abdullah 13, S Raven Greene 1
- NORTHERN IOWA - RB Tyvis Smith 7, WR Daurice Fountain 5, WR Brandon Smith 1
- GRAMBLING - WR Verlan Hunter 8, WR Ka'Jandre Domino 3, CB Ja'Terious Pouncey 1
- MASSACHUSETTS - RB Marquis Young 7, WR Marken Michel 4, RB Sekai Lindsay 1
- MISSISSIPPI STATE - WR De'Runnya Wilson 10, G Justin Malone 1, RB Ashton Shumpert 1
- USC - RB Ronald Jones 9, WR Isaac Whitney 2
- RUTGERS - WR Janarion Grant 5, RB Josh Hicks 5
- ST. FRANCIS (PA) - WR Terell Smith 8, WR Daniel Adams 2
- TEXAS - RB D'Onta Foreman 5, WR Armanti Foreman 2, CB Holton Hill 1, LB Malik Jefferson 1, WR Marcus Johnson 1
- VIRGINIA TECH - TE Bucky Hodges 7, RB Trey Edmunds 3
1. Derrick Henry scores the first of Alabama's 65 touchdowns, breaking through the line and into the clear on 4th and 1 for a 37-yard run and a 7-0 lead over Wisconsin midway through 1st quarter at Arlington, TX on Sept. 5. Henry rushed for 147 yards and 3 TD on just 13 carries in the Crimson Tide's season-opening 35-17 win.
2. 4 months later Derrick Henry also scored the first TD of the national championship game, scoring on this 50-yard run on 3rd and 1 midway through 1st quarter on Jan. 11. Derrick scored at least one TD in all 15 of Alabama's games, and 7 of his 28 TD came on runs on 30 or more yards. He made the dread stars list 11 times and finished the season with 2,219 yards. No wonder he won the Heisman.
3. Not as big as Derrick Henry but not that much smaller at 6-2 and 228 pounds, Bo Scarbrough runs over 215-pound LB Zane Cruz at the goal line on 3rd and goal as he scores his 1st TD in an Alabama uniform (and only TD of the season) on a 1-yard run, upping the Tide's lead over Charleston Southern to 49-0 late in 2nd quarter in Week 12.
There's a rumor going around that Alabama has a freshman QB with dreads that might win the starting job. If that happens, and if Scarbrough also moves into the starting lineup, the Tide will have a great chance of being the team with the most TD scored by players with dreads again in 2016.
One week later .....
5. Junior WR Quincy Adeboyejo makes a 16-yard TD catch on 1st and 10 with 4:30 remaining in the 1st quarter (left photo) then gets wide open deep 3 minutes later and easily scores a 50-yard TD reception (right photo) as Ole Miss jumps out to a 28-0 lead over Fresno State. He added a 44-yard TD catch in the 2nd quarter and finished with 5 catches for 120 yards .....
Through 2 games the Rebels had scored 21 TD, and 11 of them were by players with dreads. But then reality set in - that is, they started playing SEC teams; and the torrent of TD by players with dreads slowed to a trickle. There were just 12 more TD by players with dreads over the final 11 games for a total of 23, with Adeboyejo leading the way with 7.
7. Earlier in the game 1st team all-AAC CB Deatrick Nichols scored on on pick six for South Florida, but this time he gets beat deep by Cincinnati senior WR Chris Moore for a 54-yard TD reception to cut the Bulls' lead to 51-20 during 3rd quarter at Tampa in Week 12. It was Moore's 7th and last TD of the season and the 26th TD catch of his career, making him UC's all-time leader in TD receptions (surpassing the previous record of 25 set by Mardy Gilyard). If all goes well for Moore, he'll be making his 2016 house calls in a Baltimore Ravens uniform.
8. After breaking a tackle at the 2-yard line, sophomore RB Mike Boone dives into the end zone (left photo) for the first of Cincinnati's 24 TD by players with dreads. The 1-yard run upped the Bearcats' lead to 21-7 over Alabama A&M during 2nd quarter of the season opener, and they went on to win 52-10. Two weeks later Boone scores the 1st TD of the game just 2:13 after the opening kickoff on a 4-yard run (right photo) for a quick 7-0 lead over Miami (Ohio). He finished with 118 yards on only 4 carries as UC won their big rivalry game over Miami for the 10th straight time, 37-33. As he scored 9 TD for the 2nd straight season Boone averaged a whopping 7.2 yards per carry (749 yards on 104 carries).
Travis finished his career as Bowling Green's all-time leading rusher with 3,852 yards, and his 17 TD in 2015 upped his career total to 43.
10. With Florida State trailing for the first time all season, 24-23 at home to Miami in the 4th quarter in Week 6, superstar sophomore RB Dalvin Cook scores his 3rd TD of the game on a 23-yard run to put the Seminoles back in front with 6:44 remaining, and FSU holds on to win 29-24. When Cook earlier capped FSU's opening drive with a 72-yard TD, it marked the 9th year in a row that there has been at least one TD by a player with dreads in the big Miami-FSU rivalry game. Dalvin scored all 3 of the Seminoles' TD in this game as they beat the Hurricanes for the 6th straight time. Cook finished the night with 222 yards rushing on 22 carries and caught 3 passes for 47 yards. For the season he rushed for 1,691 yards on 7.4 yards per carry. Another season like that in 2016 might get him a seat at the Heisman ceremony at the end of the season.
12. In my Week 14 report I mentioned that Grambling had three WRs with dreads; but after now seeing this photo (on left) of sophomore Chad Williams, I decided I'm not yet ready to welcome him to the house. It looks like he's on his way to having dreads, but he's not there yet. Even without Williams' 10 TD catches, Grambling was still one of the teams with at least 10 TD by players with dreads. Junior WR Verlan Hunter's 24-yard TD reception (photo on right, during the 2nd quarter of a 49-21 loss to Alcorn State in the SWAC championship game on Dec. 5) was his 8th TD catch of the season and the last of the Tigers' 12 TD by players with dreads.
Beverly, by the way, held up quite nicely after the disastrous beginning, even scoring a TD of his own on a pick six in Week 4. He'll be in jersey #1 for the Miners in 2016.
18. After making the leaping catch on 3rd and 11, Mississippi State junior WR De'Runnya Wilson hangs onto the ball (barely) as Auburn CB Carlton Davis tries to strip it from him right at the goal line. Wilson then celebrates by telling the Auburn fans to be quiet after his 17-yard TD catch makes the score 14-0 midway through 2nd quarter in Week 4. The Bulldogs held on to win 17-9. This was Wilson's 2nd TD of the season. He finished with 10, one of only two WRs with dreads to have 10 or more TD catches .....
20. The first 3 of Texas' 10 TD by players with dreads came against Rice in Week 2 - one by each of the Foreman twin brothers and this defensive score by freshman LB Malik Jefferson. After the Rice RB, distracted by a defender about to clobber him as the QB pitched him the ball, failed to catch the ball, Jefferson scooped up the fumble and cruised 26 yards to the house to up the Longhorns' lead to 35-14 midway through 3rd quarter at Austin. After being drubbed by Notre Dame in their season opener, the Longhorns won their home opener over Rice 42-28.
You probably have noticed the number of players with dreads on the Texas roster has increased dramatically since Coach Strong came to town. It'll be a big disappointment if the Longhorns aren't on the house calls list again next season.
22. It may have been senior night, but freshman RB Joe Young also had something to celebrate, as he scores his 1st TD in a Tennessee uniform on an 8-yard run on 2nd and goal to increase the Volunteers' lead to 53-14 over Vanderbilt midway through 4th quarter in Week 13. Sadly though, it looks like this will be the only TD Young ever scores, as an offseason neck injury has apparently ended his career: http://www.rockytopinsider.com/2016/05/24/report-vols-running-back-joe-youngs-career/
Not surprisingly the number of individual players with dreads to score at least 10 TD also dropped a bit from 2014, from 21 to only 13 in 2015. Blame that mostly on the wide receivers, as there were only 2 (compared with 6 in 2014) with 10+ TD catches.
With Derrick Henry (of course) at the top of the list, here are all 13 players with dreads to reach double figures in TD in 2015.
Alabama RB Derrick Henry 28
Richmond RB Jacobi Green 22
Arkansas RB Alex Collins 20
Florida State RB Dalvin Cook 20
Coastal Carolina RB De'Angelo Henderson 19
Bowling Green RB Travis Greene 17
William & Mary RB Kendell Anderson 16
UCLA RB Paul Perkins 15
Towson RB Darius Victor 15
Notre Dame WR Will Fuller 14
Memphis RB Doroland Dorceus 11
Tennessee RB Alvin Kamara 11
Mississippi State WR De'Runnya Wilson 10
Brooks' cutting off his dreads was not the reason Clemson failed to reach the 10-TD mark by players with dreads for the first time since 2009. He scored all 5 of his TD before he lost his dreads late in November. No, the main reason Clemson had only 8 TD by players with dreads in 2015 was that star WR Mike Williams suffered a neck injury in the season opener and was out the rest of the year. Thankfully Williams is healthy now, so Clemson should get back above 10 TD next season.
2015 NFL HOUSE CALLS
In all there were 190 TD scored by players with dreads during the regular season, which includes the 3 TD that Julio Jones scored (in Weeks 7, 15, and 16) while he had his hair in dreads. If you don't want to include those, your final total was 187. Here now is the whole list of the 52 players with dreads who made all those house calls.
Devonta Freeman (ATL)
DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)
DeAngelo Williams (PIT)
Todd Gurley (STL)
Larry Fitzgerald (ARIZ)
Sammy Watkins (BUF)
Chris Ivory (NYJ)
LeGarrette Blount (NE)
Martavis Bryant (PIT)
Travis Benjamin (CLEV)
Dwayne Harris (NYG)
Jamaal Charles (KC)
Isaiah Crowell (CLEV)
T.Y. Hilton (IND)
Eddie Lacy (GB)
Seth Roberts (OAK)
Markus Wheaton (PIT)
Joique Bell (DET)
DeSean Jackson (WASH)
Matt Jones (WASH)
Khiry Robinson (NO)
Andre Ellington (ARIZ)
Chris Johnson (ARIZ)
Julio Jones (ATL)
Marshawn Lynch (SEA)
Rashad Ross (WASH)
Brandon Bolden (NE)
Jonathan Grimes (HOU)
Keshawn Martin (NE)
Dexter McCluster (TEN)
Cordarrelle Patterson (MIN)
Jay Ajayi (MIA)
Omar Bolden (DEN)
Travaris Cadet (NO)
Kaelin Clay (BAL)
Chris Conley (KC)
Boobie Dixon (BUF)
Donteea Dye (TB)
Najee Goode (PHIL)
Dwight Lowery (IND)
Tre Mason (STL)
C.J. Mosley (BAL)
Brandon Pettigrew (DET)
Dontari Poe (KC)
Andre Roberts (WASH)
Denard Robinson (JAC)
Bradley Roby (DEN)
Danny Trevathan (DEN)
Desmond Trufant (ATL)
Jason Verrett (SD)
Roddy White (ATL)
Ramik Wilson (KC)
Although Devonta Freeman had the most TD, the team he played for did not take the team crown. I mentioned a couple of times during my news reports that I was pretty sure the Pittsburgh Steelers were the team with the most TD scored by players with dreads, and they were. Thanks mostly to the injury to star RB Le'Veon Bell that moved DeAngelo Williams into the starting lineup, the Steelers led the NFL with 23 TD by players with dreads, which was 4 more than the Falcons' NFC-leading 19. In 2014 NFC players with dreads finished with a 94-85 lead over the AFC in touchdowns; but thanks mainly to to injuries to Marshawn Lynch (3 TD) and Kelvin Benjamin (0 TD, missed the entire season) and the poor season by Eddie Lacy, the AFC's players with dreads kicked the NFC's ass in 2015 - to the tune of 105-85. The top scoring division was the AFC North with 36, with the AFC East edging the NFC West for 2nd place.
Here now are the 190 TD by players with dreads listed by team and division.
AFC EAST (30) NFC EAST (19)
BUF 10 DAL 0
MIA 1 NYG 6
NE 11 PHIL 1
NYJ 8 WASH 12
AFC NORTH (36) NFC NORTH (12)
BAL 2 CHI 0
CIN 0 DET 5
CLEV 11 GB 5
PIT 23 MINN 2
AFC SOUTH (22) NFC SOUTH (25)
HOU 13 ATL 19
IND 6 CAR 0
JAC 1 NO 5
TEN 2 TB 1
AFC WEST (17) NFC WEST (29)
DEN 3 ARIZ 15
KC 8 STL 11
OAK 5 SF 0
SD 1 SEA 3
PLAYOFF TD (5) - Martavis Bryant 1, Chris Conley 1, Larry Fitzgerald 1, Ted Ginn (CAR) 1, Eddie Lacy 1
1. Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins scores the 1st TD of the season by a player with dreads, going up to make the catch just above the reach of rookie CB Marcus Peters on 2nd and goal late in 1st quarter in Week 1 at Houston. The 4-yard TD catch cut the Chiefs' lead to 14-6. Hopkins scored both of the Texans' touchdowns in the season opener and had 9 catches for 98 yards, but they still lost 27-20 .....
Even though Jamaal missed the final 11 games of the season after tearing his ACL in Week 5, he still led AFC West players with dreads with 5 TD.
4. Playing his 1st game of the season in Week 6 after serving a 4-game suspension, WR Martavis Bryant gets his 1st TD of the season, going high to catch the pass from QB Landry Jones on 3rd and goal and somehow landing in the end zone: http://www.steelers.com/videos/videos/HIGHLIGHT-L-Jones-finds-Bryant-for-a-8-yard-TD/c14f9c4a-9f45-470c-bf0e-fef026221a1a
The 8-yard TD catch put the Steelers ahead to stay at 12-10 during 3rd quarter. Bryant iced the game with another highlight-reel TD on an 88-yard catch and run late in the 4th. He finished with 6 catches for 137 yards, and Steelers defeated the Cardinals 25-13.
6. After missing the Rams' first 2 games to be sure he was fully recovered from his knee injury and then not scoring in the first 3 games he played, rookie RB Todd Gurley finally gets his first 2 TD of the season in Week 7, trotting into the end zone (left photo) on a 1-yard run late in 3rd quarter for a 17-6 lead over the Browns and then adding a 16-yard score (right photo) midway through the 4th. Gurley rushed for over 100 yards for the 3rd straight game, finishing with 128 on 19 carries and 35 yards on 4 catches in the 24-6 home win. Todd didn't stop there, going on to score 8 more times in the Rams' final 9 games to finish as the top scorer among NFC West players with dreads with 10 TD - a title he might hold continuously throughout his career.
8. Rookies accounted for 19 of the 190 TD by players with dreads. WR Donteea Dye makes his contribution to the total in Week 7, beating S Kyshoen Jarrett and scoring a 7-yard TD on his 1st ever NFL reception, upping the Tampa Bay lead over Washington to 17-0 during 2nd quarter. Buccaneers would build the lead to 24-0 and then blow the lead and lose 31-30. This was Dye's only TD of the season, and it was the first by a player with dreads for the Buccaneers since LeGarrette Blount was first getting his dreads started in 2012.
9. Devonta Freeman gets past Jaguars LB Paul Posluszny on 2nd and goal from the 5-yard line and just gets the ball to touch the pylon before going down, completing an 80-yard opening drive in Week 15 and snapping his streak of 4 games without a TD. Freeman picked up 101 total yards in the game to just barely make the dread stars list, and the Falcons won 23-17 to end their 6-game losing streak. In the 15 games Devonta played (he missed Week 12 due to a concussion) Falcons went 6-3 when he scored a TD and 2-4 when he didn't. His 14 TD were 3 more than all other NFC South players with dreads combined.
10. You might remember this play from Monday Night Football in Week 10 - that is, unless the lack of offense by the Texans and Bengals had caused you to fall asleep. Early in 4th quarter on 2nd and 10 DeAndre Hopkins doesn't beat the coverage by CB Adam Jones but plays the ball better than Jones and makes a spectacular one-handed catch for the 22-yard TD, somehow hanging on as Jones tries to knock the ball loose: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eg_CmBwZUwk
Nice! It was the only TD of the night as the Texans won 10-6 to hand the Bengals their 1st defeat of the season.
After Falcons DE Tyson Jackson cut off his dreads before 2016 training camp, Desmond admitted he was tempted to cut his off too, complaining that it was just too hot. Hopefully he'll change his mind, but don't be surprised if you look up one day this season and see #21 without dreads.
13. Bears WR Alshon Jeffery gives chase to no avail as CB Jason Verrett, after picking off a Jay Cutler sideline pass intended for Jeffery on 2nd and 7, races 68 yards in front of the Bears' bench to the house, escorted by LB Melvin Ingram at the end, to up the Chargers' lead to 13-0 during 2nd quarter on Monday night in Week 9. It was Verrett's 1st career TD, but the night didn't end happily for him, as the Chargers blew the lead and lost 22-19 .....
16. Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald scored a career low 2 TD in 2014; but he surpasses that total in one day at Chicago in Week 2, first making an 8-yard TD catch as CB Kyle Fuller defends (top photo on right) to put the Cardinals ahead (to stay) 21-14 in 2nd quarter, then making a 28-yard TD catch against LB Shea McClellin (left photo) on a trick play early in the 3rd quarter, then stretching out to score a 9-yard TD on a WR screen pass (bottom right photo) to put the icing on the cake with 2:42 remaining in the game. He was named NFC offensive player of the week, finishing with 8 catches for 112 yards and 3 TD in Arizona's 48-23 victory. Fitzgerald went on to make 6 more TD catches to put his career total at 98 as he heads into his 13th NFL season in 2016.
17. Leading by 3 late in the 4th quarter in Week 10 and needing to pick up a 1st down to keep the Seahawks from getting the ball back, the Cardinals give the ball to RB Andre Ellington on a draw play on 3rd and 4; and after eluding S Kam Chancellor at the Seattle 40-yard line and getting a great block from WR Brittan Golden at the 20, he not only gets the 1st down, he takes it all the way to the house for a 48-yard TD to make it 39-29 on the last play before the 2-minute warning. It was the last of 3 touchdowns on the season for Ellington, who gained a season high 88 total yards in the game. Cardinals, who saw a 25-10 lead vanish when the Seahawks went on a 19-0 run in a span of 6:52, came back to get the huge 39-32 road win to take a 3-game lead in the NFC West.
THE GAME WINNER
18. With the Raiders trailing by 4 late in the 4th quarter in Week 12, WR Seth Roberts beats the coverage by Titans CB Coty Sensabaugh on 1st and 10 and catches the pass from QB Derek Carr for the game-winning 12-yard TD with 1:21 remaining, completing a 90-yard drive. Roberts made the dread stars list for the first and only time, finishing with 6 catches for 113 yards and 2 TD in the Raiders' 24-21 road win. It also was Roberts' 2nd game-winner of the season, as his 1st TD of the season had come with 26 seconds to go to beat the Ravens in Week 2. With his 5 TD for the season, he tied Jamaal Charles for the most TD by an AFC West player with dreads.
19. You may have noticed Dontari Poe's name on the list of players who made house calls; but that 1 TD by the Chiefs' 346-pound DT didn't come when the Chiefs were on defense. It came at San Diego in the 1st quarter in Week 11. After RB Charcandrick West was stopped for no gain on 3rd and goal from the 1-yard line, Poe, lining up as the FB, gets the handoff on 4th and goal and plunges into the end zone to give the Chiefs a 6-0 lead, causing both him and a lot of Chiefs fans everywhere to break into laughter. With his 1st career TD, Dontari enters the NFL record book as the heaviest player to ever score a rushing TD. Chiefs went on to whip the Chargers 33-3.
20. On 2nd and goal early in 4th quarter at Pittsburgh in Week 15, WR Markus Wheaton, lined up in the slot, beats CB Bradley Roby on a quick out, and, after bobbling the ball before making the catch, leaves behind the fallen Roby and scores a 9-yard TD to tie the game at 27. It was the 4th of Wheaton's 5 TD on the season. Markus had 6 catches for 62 yards as the Steelers stormed back from a 27-10 deficit for a huge 34-27 win over the Broncos five days before Christmas to keep their AFC playoff hopes very much alive. Of course, the Broncos got the Steelers back a few weeks later, didn't they.
(The dreads are sick, that is, not necessarily the touchdowns)
21. After being hit by the Jaguars' defense at the 1-yard line on a line plunge on 2nd and goal, Jets RB Chris Ivory bounces off the hit and reaches the ball over the goal line before going down for his 2nd 1-yard TD of the game and his 7th TD of this season, upping the Jets' 1-point lead to 21-13 late in 3rd quarter in Week 9. S Johnathan Cyprien grabs Ivory's facemask in a last-ditch attempt to keep him out of the end zone, and that made Chris very angry. At the :05 mark of the video of the play (and on the replay at :40) you notice him throwing a punch at Cyprien: http://www.newyorkjets.com/videos/videos/Ivory-Stretches-Across-for-6/9c3fa00d-d75a-497b-8421-9ed3034e96a3
Luckily he did not get thrown out of the game. It was a struggle all day for Ivory. Despite the 2 TD, he finished with just 26 yards rushing on 23 carries. Jets held on to win 28-23. Ironically Ivory and Cyprien are teammates now, after Chris signed with the Jaguars as a free agent.
22. You're supposed to look the ball in. but Sammy Watkins makes this TD catch in Week 12 with his eyes closed. Chiefs CB Sean Smith doesn't have bad coverage but doesn't locate the ball; and as he goes down (and S Eric Berry comes over too late) Sammy makes the 21-yard TD catch on 2nd and 20 to up Buffalo's lead to 16-7 with 2:29 to play until halftime. After a huge 1st half, Watkins did very little in the 2nd half, finishing with 6 catches for 158 yards and 2 TD in a 30-22 loss to the Chiefs. Sammy hardly ever had his dreads reduced during 2015, but he didn't have them flowing full blast either very much like he did in this game. So, if you want to enjoy seeing those dreads (and you have 9 minutes), here's a video of Watkins' duel against the Chiefs DBs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0m-c4xBCzfY
23. After making the catch at the 1-yard line on 2nd and goal in Week 3, Travis Benjamin uses his superior strength (lol) while in the grasp of CB D.J. Hayden to reach the ball into the end zone before Hayden can get him on the ground. The 4-yard TD catch cut the Raiders lead over the Browns to 27-20 midway through the 4th quarter and was Benjamin's 5th TD of the season already. Unfortunately he had a key turnover (a muffed punt) a couple of minutes later, helping the Raiders hang on for the win.
24. The Browns' 11 TD by players with dreads were accounted for by Travis Benjamin (6), and RB Isaiah Crowell, who dropped from 8 TD in his rookie season to 5 in 2015. The photo on left was his 2nd TD of the season, as he barely gets into the end zone on a 22-yard catch and run on 2nd and 6 to put the Browns in the lead with 3:03 remaining in the 4th quarter in Week 5. After Ravens came back to tie, Browns won in OT 33-30. He had a much easier time in Week 14, scoring the first of his 2 TD against the 49ers standing up on a run up the middle on 2nd and goal. The 1-yard TD came 5 plays after he began the Browns' second drive of the day with a 50-yard run. Isaiah made the dread stars list, finishing with 145 yards rushing on 20 carries as the Browns got their 3rd (and last) win of the season 24-10. Here are his highlights from the game: http://www.clevelandbrowns.com/media-center/videos/Week-14-Isaiah-Crowell-highlights/30dbb620-ca36-4246-9800-e741364c8957
25. Packers RB Eddie Lacy almost pulls a DeSean Jackson here but gets the ball into the end zone a fraction of a second before letting go of it. The 25-yard catch and run was Lacy's 3rd TD of the season and gave the Packers a 7-0 lead over the Bears during the 1st quarter in Week 12. Surprisingly it would be their only TD all night. Despite Lacy making the dread stars list with 139 total yards, the Bears spoiled Thanksgiving for Packers fans, winning at Lambeau Field 17-13. After scoring 11 and 13 TD in his first 2 seasons, Lacy scored only 5 times in 2015, but that was still more than any other NFC North player with dreads.
26. WR Andre Roberts becomes the 4th player with dreads on the Redskins to take one to the house, as he scores his only TD of the season on a 99-yard kickoff return to tie the game at 14 in Week 11 at Charlotte. Panthers dominated from then on, however, whipping the Redskins 44-16. Although December was a happy time for Redskins fans, it wasn't for Roberts. He missed the team's final 6 games after undergoing surgery for a knee injury (torn meniscus). After finishing with a career-low 11 receptions, Redskins released him halfway through his 4-year contract, and he now is hoping to win a job with the Lions for 2016.
By the way, the player Bolden is leaving behind at the 10-yard line (left photo) is RB Zurlon Tipton, who died tragically a couple of months ago. Probably would still be alive if he didn't own a gun.
28. Playing in just his 2nd NFL game after being signed away from the Lions' practice squad, Ravens rookie WR Kaelin Clay, just a few yards away from his 1st TD, checks the rear view mirror and sees the beautiful sight of nobody in a Browns uniform nearby. After Browns' opening drive ends with a punt on Monday night in Week 12, Clay takes the punt return 82 yards to the house for an early 7-0 lead. The Ravens and Browns both struggled in 2015, but their 2-game series was one of the most entertaining of them all. A total of 123 points were scored, and both games were decided on the final play, with Browns winning in Baltimore in OT and then the Ravens winning improbably in Cleveland on a return of a blocked FG attempt. Clay averaged 10.6 on his punt returns in 7 games with the Ravens; but unfortunately he won't be doing that again in 2016. He's on IR and very unlikely to play at all after breaking his foot in practice two weeks ago.
29. Deion Sanders must have loved this ..... Already in the clear just past midfield on a kickoff return, Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson starts celebrating when he gets to the 30-yard line and enters the end zone with his hand behind his head. The 101-yard return was Patterson's 2nd kickoff return TD of the season and the 4th of his career; but all the theatrics were for entertainment purposes only. They had no effect on the outcome - because the return came after the Seahawks' 5th TD of the game, and all it meant was that the Vikings lost the Week 13 game 38-7 instead of 38-0. As bad as that loss was, the Vikings' loss to the Seahawks on the same field a month later was far more painful.
30. WR Dwayne Harris scored a career high 6 TD in his 1st season with the Giants. Most likely this one was his most satisfying. After the Cowboys score a TD to tie the game with 7:14 remaining in Week 8, Harris returns the ensuing kickoff 100 yards, getting past the kicker at the Giants' 40-yard line and finding nothing but green in front of him for the final 60 yards. The Giants won 27-20, their first win in franchise history on a game-winning kickoff return in the 4th quarter of a game. What made it so satisfying for Harris, of course, was that it came against the Cowboys, the team that drafted him in 2011 but did not re-sign him during the offseason, allowing him to come to the Giants. The TD earned Dwayne NFC special teams player of the week honors: http://www.newsday.com/sports/football/giants/dwayne-harris-named-nfc-special-teams-player-of-the-week-1.11020562
This was the last of the 13 TD Benjamin scored (10 receptions, 3 punt returns) in his 4 seasons with the Browns, including a career high 6 in 2015. A free agent during the offseason, he and the Browns had a big difference in opinion about how much he should be paid; so Travis took his talents to the west coast and from now on will be making several (hopefully) house calls in a San Diego Chargers uniform.