Across The Shield: Eli Apple and Sam Hubbard Strong-Arm Steelers, Bosa Brothers Keep Making Sacks and Bradley Roby, Nick Vannett Achieve Firsts with Saints

By Matt Gutridge on November 30, 2021 at 9:50 am
Eli Apple and Sam Hubbard
Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer/USA TODAY NETWORK

Eli Apple and Sam Hubbard came up with takeaways to lead the Cincinnati Bengals to a big win for the second week in a row.

It was another former Buckeye who struck the first blow for the Bengals as Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati offense methodically marched 75 yards in the game's opening drive against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Burrow scored on an eight-yard scramble to give the home team a 7-0 lead.

Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers tried to answer, but Eli Apple intercepted Big Ben's second pass of the game and returned it 50 yards to the visitor's 5-yard line.

The stage was set for a blowout that was led by the Bengals' defense. Sam Hubbard helped secure the victory by recovering a fumble and dropping Big Ben for a sack in the third quarter.

A 41-10 victory gave the Bengals (7–4) a sweep of the Steelers (5–5) for the first time since 2009.

Bosa brother double

Joey and Nick Bosa both added to their sack totals on Sunday. Nick's six-yard sack of Kirk Cousins occurred in the second quarter of the San Francisco 49ers’ 34-26 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. His 11th sack of the season contributed to San Francisco winning its third straight game and clawing back into the playoff discussion.

Joey Bosa's strip sack of Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater extended his sack streak to four games. The eldest Bosa brother also has a league leading four strip sacks on the season.

But that wasn't enough for the Los Angeles Chargers, who lost at Denver, 28-13. And Bridgewater got revenge on Joey later in the game.

Haven't seen a rejection that stiff since my futile dating days in high school.

Samuel returns

Curtis Samuel has been sidelined this season due to a groin injury and illness, but made his return against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football. The dynamic receiver saw his first action since playing against the New Orleans Saints on the third of October. 

Playing on a snap limit, Samuel was able to snag one catch for nine yards and had a four-yard carry. No. 10 also made a key block on what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown.

Terry McLaurin had a quiet game in the Washington Football Team's 17-15 victory with four catches for 41 yards. 

Turkey day touchdown machine

Ezekiel Elliott scored on a one-yard run for his fourth career Thanksgiving Day touchdown, on which he also tied Michael Irvin with 65 career touchdowns for the Cowboys.

Zeke’s touchdown wasn't enough as Dallas lost to the Las Vegas Raiders when Daniel Carlson made a 29-yard field goal in overtime to give the Raiders a 36-33 victory.

Early reports after the Thanksgiving loss indicated the Cowboys might rest Zeke against the Saints on Thursday.  

On Sunday, the former Buckeye running back gave some insight on the situation.

“No one has come to me and asked me to rest. If they bring it up to me, I've just got to go with what they think is best for the team, and leave it at that,” Elliott said, via Nick Eatman of the team website.

Elliott's knee has been bothering him since he injured it against the Carolina Panthers in Week 4. Zeke added: “I've been dealing with it for almost two months now. It has gotten a little better, but it does get stiff. It's a long season. We plan on playing late into the playoffs.”

A decision on if Elliott plays against the Saints may not be made until game day against New Orleans.

Firsts for Roby and Vannett

With the Saints trailing 10-0 late in the second quarter, Bradley Roby recorded his first interception of the season when he stepped in front of Josh Allen's pass intended for Stefon Diggs.

The Saints did not take advantage of the turnover and went into halftime trailing 10-0. The Buffalo Bills extended the lead to 24-0 until Nick Vannett caught his first touchdown pass of the season.  

The Saints have lost four consecutive games and dropped to 5–6. Sean Payton's team is flirting with not making the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 season.

Sermon on the shelf

Trey Sermon's rookie season continues to be injury-riddled. On Sunday, he rolled his ankle while covering on special teams. 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday that Sermon could be placed on short-term injured reserve, which would mean he’d be out for at least three weeks.

Sermon has rushed for 167 yards and a touchdown on 41 carries in his rookie season.

Highlight show

Need more Buckeye action from Week 12? The clips below share some of the highs and lows.

Buckeyes Around The NFL
ELI APPLE CB BENGALS 2 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PBU 34 tackles, 2 INT, 5 PBU, 2 TFL, 1 FR
DAMON ARNETTE CB RAIDERS Released 4 tackles, 1 PBU
JEROME BAKER LB DOLPHINS 3 tackles, 1 TFL 64 tackles, 1 sack (10 yards), 2 TFL, 8 QBH, 1 INT, 2 PBU, 1 FF
VONN BELL S BENGALS 3 tackles 65 tackles, 4 TFL, 3 PBU, 2 FF, 1 FR
JOEY BOSA DE CHARGERS 4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 QBH, 1 FF 36 tackles, 7.5 sacks (50 yards), 4 TFL, 15 QBH, 4 FF
NICK BOSA DE 49ERS 2 tackles, 1 sack (6 yards), 1 TFL, 1 QBH 36 tackles, 11 sacks (79 yards), 16 TFL, 23 QBH, 1 PBU, 2 FF
NOAH BROWN WR COWBOYS 6 catches, 53 yards 12 catches, 143 yards
BARON BROWNING LB BRONCOS 7 tackles, 1 PBU 23 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 QBH, 1 PBU
PARRIS CAMPBELL WR COLTS IR (foot) 10 catches, 162 yards, 1 TD
JONATHON COOPER LB BRONCOS 1 tackle 21 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 TFL, 5 QBH
WYATT DAVIS OG VIKINGS Inactive 5 games played
TAYLOR DECKER OT LIONS Started at LT 3 starts
NATE EBNER DB GIANTS Inactive 2 tackles
PAT ELFLEIN C PANTHERS Started at C 5 starts
EZEKIEL ELLIOTT RB COWBOYS 9 rushes, 25 yards, 1 TD; 6 catches, 24 yards 160 rushes, 720 yards, 8 TD; 38 catches, 228 yards
LUKE FARRELL TE JAGUARS Inactive 6 catches, 49 yards
JUSTIN FIELDS QB BEARS Inactive 115/198 passing, 1,361 yards, 4 TD, 8 INT; 56 rushes, 311 yards, 1 TD
JORDAN FULLER S RAMS 7 tackles, 2 PBU 80 tackles, 2 TFL, 4 PBU
DaVON HAMILTON DT JAGUARS 1 QBH 23 tackles, 1 sack (12 yards), 1 TFL, 2 QBH, 1 PBU
JOHNATHAN HANKINS DT RAIDERS 3 tackles, 1 PBU 28 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 QBH, 1 PBU
MALIK HARRISON LB RAVENS Played 19.5 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 QBH
CAMERON HEYWARD DT STEELERS 8 tackles, 1 sack (6 yards), 1 TFL, 1 QBH 57 tackles, 5.5 sacks (40.5 yards), 5 TFL, 9 QBH, 1 INT, 6 PBU, 1 FF, 1 FR
JUSTIN HILLIARD LB GIANTS IR (ankle) 2 games played
JALYN HOLMES DE SAINTS 1 tackle, 1 TFL 5 tackles, 2 TFL
MALIK HOOKER S COWBOYS 5 tackles 23 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PD
SAM HUBBARD DE BENGALS 2 tackles, 1 sack (4 yards), 1 TFL, 1 QBH, 1 FR 46 tackles, 7.0 sacks (29.0 yards), 10 TFL, 11 QBH, 3 PBU, 2 FR
CARLOS HYDE RB JAGUARS 6 rushes, 16 yards 62 rushes, 227 yards; 10 catches, 60 yards
JONAH JACKSON OG LIONS Started at LG 11 starts
MALCOLM JENKINS S SAINTS 3 tackles 55 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 5 PBU, 1 TD
CAMERON JOHNSTON P TEXANS 5 punts, 47.2 avg., 2 inside 20 60 punts, 46.5 avg, 27 inside 20
DRE'MONT JONES DT BRONCOS 3 tackles, 1 QBH 21 tackles, 2.5 sacks (14.5 yards), 5 TFL, 6 QBH, 1 PBU, 2 FF
JAMARCO JONES OT SEAHAWKS Inactive 1 start, 7 games played
MICHAEL JORDAN OG PANTHERS Started at LG 6 starts, 7 games played
MARSHON LATTIMORE CB SAINTS 5 tackles, 1 PBU 40 tackles, 1 INT, 10 PBU
TYQUAN LEWIS DT COLTS IR (knee) 15 tackles, 2.5 sacks (3.5 yards), 3 TFL, 6 QBH, 1 INT, 2 PBU
COREY LINSLEY C CHARGERS Started at C 11 starts
TERRY McLAURIN WR WFT 4 catches, 51 yards 58 catches, 786 yards, 5 TD
JAKE McQUAIDE LS COWBOYS Played at LS 1 tackle
JOSH MYERS C PACKERS IR (knee) 5 starts
JEFF OKUDAH CB LIONS IR (leg) 4 tackles, 1 PBU
BILLY PRICE C GIANTS Started at C 10 starts
ISAIAH PRINCE OT BENGALS Played 10 games played
BRADLEY ROBY CB SAINTS 8 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PBU 16 tackles, 1 sack (7 yards), 2 TFL, 3 QBH, 1 INT, 2 PBU
CURTIS SAMUEL WR WFT 1 catch, 9 yards, 1 carry, 4 yards 5 catches, 28 yards; 1 carry, 4 yards
TREY SERMON RB 49ERS Played, injured 31 rushes, 136 yards; 1 catch, 23 yards; 1 FC, 2 tackles
KENDALL SHEFFIELD CB FALCONS Inactive 3 games played
TOMMY TOGIAI DT BROWNS Inactive 2 tackles
NICK VANNETT TE SAINTS 1 catch, 11 yards, 1 TD 2 catches, 31 yards, 1 TD
SHAUN WADE CB PATRIOTS Played 2 games played
DENZEL WARD CB BROWNS 1 tackle, 1 INT, 1 PBU 29 tackles, 0.5 sack (2 yards), 2 QBH, 2 INT, 8 PBU, 1 TD
PETE WERNER LB SAINTS 3 tackles 38 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 QBH
CHASE YOUNG DE WFT IR (knee) 26 tackles, 2 sacks (7 yards), 4 TFL, 4 QBH, 1 PBU, 2 FF
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