by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
December 26th, 2021 will be remembered as a day in which the NFL's litany of LSU Tigers enjoyed a historic day from all over the league:
The major headlines have to go to Joe Burrow, leading Cincy to a season sweep over division nemesis Baltimore by way of a riotous 525 passing yards, 4 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions while completing 37/46 attempts....
....yes that's right, no typo....37 completions against the Ravens' defense, shredding a divisional rival with poise, precision and terminal velocity....going for the jugular all day long.
The Bengals didn't just beat the Ravens....they shoved their defenders face-first in their own shit....absolutely tearing them to pieces through the air, Burrow finding one pocket of space after another to destabilize Baltimore's mental psyche. Routinely stepping up from pressure with the grace of a swan in mid-flight, the LSU G.O.A.T made a grab for destiny....
Burrow and co provided an onslaught reminiscent of LSU's 2019 offense, where a variety of weapons were involved,
constantly dominating whenever Joe threw it their way, playing every snap at 0-0...wanting, no, demanding revenge after last year.
The former #1 overall pick hit 7 different receivers for multiple receptions, piling up a ridiculous record-setting performance led by Tee Higgins' 194 yards & 2 TDs from 12 catches.
The high octane talent out of Clemson was brilliant all day, headlined by a jaw-dropping jump grab between Kevon Seymour and Brandon Stephens on either side, leaping high above to rip one out of the air at the goal-line.
There were 3 Bengals receivers who averaged over 17 yards per reception on the day, displaying how much Joe trusts his guys, rocketing 50/50 ball after 50/50 ball up for his teammates to own....and Higgins, Chase, Boyd, as well as running back Joe Mixon all racked up 70+ yards each to send a defiant message to the rest of the AFC North.
In just 2 seasons, Joe now possesses the all time single game Bengals record for passing yards, overtaking Cincy legend Boomer Esiason's mark of 490. Simultaneously, Burrow holds the 4th all time NFL mark!
The former LSU Tiger just needed 29 more yards to pass LA Rams' great Norm Van Brocklin's 554 yards from 1951, with only two names ahead of him on the list (ahead by a pair of yards): The Oilers' Warren Moon & former Texan Matt Shaub's 527 (Moon in 1990 & Shaub during 2012 vs the Chiefs and Jaguars respectively).
Joe also became the first quarterback in NFL history to have multiple outings of 400+ yards against the same team....a statistic that will greatly bruise the ego of the Ravens' proud defensive tradition.
Was this comment by a Ravens' coach the catalyst for Joe's supersonic outburst???
Perhaps, because after merely the first half, Burrow recorded 18/21, 299 yards, 3 TD passes and a perfect passer rating of 158.3
You got his jacket size, now?
Burrow became just the third player in NFL history to pass for 500 yards, complete 4 TD passes and fail to throw an interception.
125 of Burrow's haul went to 2018-2019 LSU teammate Ja'marr Chase, the Pro Bowler reeling in 7 total catches. Chase now has 4 performances of 100+ yards, 8 appearances of 5+ catches, 5 games over 20.2 yards per catch, all as he records 1,163 yards, 68 catches and 10 TDs during his NFL debut season.
The Cincy pair were far from the only NFLSU Tigers to have a big day:
Joining Chase in this season's Pro Bowl, Minnesota Vikings' WR Justin Jefferson continued his historic career, even in a familiar, close defeat to the LA Rams.
Due to his 116 yards and 8 catches, Jefferson followed up a monumental, record breaking rookie year by becoming the most prolific receiver over the first two seasons of a career, making even more NFL history as he plays in a scattershot offensive set up.
Now at 97 catches, 1,451 yards and 9 TDs in 2021, there is no opponent that can stop him at this point, either in the air, after the catch, or over the middle....Jefferson does it all and he makes it look so effortless.
2020: Jefferson becomes the all time rookie receiver since the NFL-AFL merger (June 1966). Only the 5th player to pass 1,000 yards by his 12th regular season game.
2021: Jefferson becomes the all time receiver over a player's first two campaigns.
Just imagine if Justin had been drafted by Tampa, Green Bay, Kansas City, Seattle...or even the LA Rams...
If he were on the Rams, he would be teamed up with Odell Beckham Jr, the Tiger Legend who's record he just passed. But on Sunday, they were opponents, as OBJ looked to return from injury with a strong showing.
Catching 37 yards for 1 TD, OBJ now has 4 TDs in his last 5 appearances.
Another NFLSU receiver joined Chase & Jefferson's iconic antics by raising his own game to another level....although his name might not be too familiar:
Helping to replace some of the production from Tiger Legend Leonard Fournette, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, LSU's track champion Cyril Grayson rushed/caught 95 total yards for the Bucs, creating a huge division-sealing win, the first time Tampa Bay has won the NFC South since 2007.
Grayson's 81 yards receiving from 3 total targets is his career high, plus the mark eclipses his 50 total yards throughout 2021, while his 3 targets were the most on the year (4 total).
Though the Bucs' Devin White put up 4 total tackles, he had a quiet night in comparison to LSU's 2011 Tiger Kevin Minter. Proving to still be violently capable, now approaching his 10th NFL season, Kevin Minter racked up 6 tackles, 1 Sack and 1 TFL.
Of course, the greatest Tiger defender of all time had to get in on the Boxing Day act:
Super Bowl winner Tyrann Mathieu grabbed yet another turnover, scooping up a fumble to help destroy Pittsburgh in a 26 point victory, clinching the AFC West.
This was Mathieu's 5th turnover of the year, following his 2 INT season opener, now Tyrann, who once led college football in fumble recoveries, looks to create havoc on every snap as the Chiefs aim for a 3rd straight trip to the Super Bowl.
His offensive Tigers teammates, running backs Darrell Williams and Clyde Edwards-Helaire combined for over 100 yards and a touchdown scored by Clyde, just returning from injury.
In limited reps, Edwards-Helaire put up only 31 yards; regardless, his touchdown became pivotal in the grand context;
Meanwhile, Darrell Williams plastered the Steelers' defense for 85 total yards, leading Kansas City in rushing for the game with 55 yards, while taking 30 from Mahomes in the aerial game.
Now, Darrell is at 453 yards this regular season, the most of his Chief's career to go alongside 6 touchdowns; Despite only appearing in 10 of 15 possible games, Clyde Edwards-Helaire matches Darrell's 6 TDs, both at 4 rushing and 2 receiving, yet Clyde still leads the tandem in rushing at 517.
Elsewhere, Atlanta Falcons & former LBU Linebacker Deion Jones picked up his 7th double digit tackling display of 2021, producing 10 tackles, 8 as a solo artist and breaking up a pass over 90% of the Falcons' defensive snaps, contributing to a rare victory over Detroit (20-16). Jones now has a ridiculous 123 tackles on the season, ranking 10th in the NFL overall.
Patriots' DL machine Davon Godchaux posted 10 tackles, 6 solo vs Buffalo who are, of course, missing their perennial Pro Bowler DBU monster Tre'davious White, out for the year with a torn ACL.
Godchaux came up big for the Patriots, able to keep the division lead tied with Buffalo at the top at 9-6, however....since the Bills own the tie-breaker over New England, the Boxing Day outcome was big time for the Patriots.
His Tigers & Pats teammate Jalen Mills snatched up 6 solo stops vs the Bills as well, yet another Tiger turning into a long-time NFL lifer and putting together quite the career;
Winning a Super Bowl as a starter at Philadelphia, Mills now has 323 tackles (just 66 assisted), 5 INTs, 1.5 sacks, 1 defensive TD, and is now playing as a starter for Bill Belichick in his 5th NFL season.
The former 7th Round pick is, without a doubt, proof of the "LSU Draft steal".
OUR OTHER NFLSU COVERAGE
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Copyright 2021 Uninterrupted Writings Inc
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