Across The Shield: Jordan Fuller Makes Four Pass Breakups, Justin Fields Leads Game-Winning Drive, Nick Bosa and Johnathan Hankins Have Two-Sack Games

By Dan Hope on November 28, 2023 at 10:10 am
Johnathan Hankins
Tim Heitman – USA TODAY Sports

Going into Week 12, Jordan Fuller had only two pass breakups for the entire season and had never recorded more than two PBUs in a single NFL game. The former Ohio State safety doubled those totals on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

Fuller recorded four pass breakups – tied for the third-most passes defensed in a game by any NFL player this season – to help lead the Los Angeles Rams to a 37-14 win in Arizona. 

One of those pass breakups forced a turnover on downs on Arizona’s side of the field that led to a Rams touchdown in the final two minutes of the first half, while he also recorded two third-down pass breakups.

Fuller also recorded three tackles while Pro Football Focus credited him with allowing just two catches for 14 yards on six targets. In recognition of his excellent showing patrolling the back end of the defense in a blowout win for his squad, Fuller earns our Pro Buck of the Week award as Ohio State’s top NFL performer in Week 12.

Pro Bucks of the Week
Week Player Stats
Week 1 Saints CB Marshon Lattimore 1 INT, 3 PBU, 2 tackles
Week 2 Texans QB C.J. Stroud 30-47 passing, 384 yards, 2 TD
Week 3 Saints WR Chris Olave 8 catches, 104 yards
Week 4 Broncos OLB Jonathon Cooper 5 tackles, 1 sack, 2 QB hits, 35-yard fumble return TD
Week 5 Bears QB Justin Fields 15-29 passing, 282 yards, 4 TD; 11 carries, 57 yards
Week 6 Bengals DE Sam Hubbard 7 tackles, 1 sack, 5 QB hits
Week 7 Dolphins LB Jerome Baker 11 tackles, 1 TFL, 22-yard interception return TD
Week 8 Broncos OLB Baron Browning 4 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks, 3 QB hits, 1 FF
Week 9 Texans QB C.J. Stroud 30-42 passing, 470 yards, 5 TD; 10 rushing yards
Week 10 Texans WR Noah Brown 7 catches, 172 yards
Week 11 Alouettes WR Austin Mack 6 catches, 103 yards, 1 TD in Grey Cup win
Week 12 Rams S Jordan Fuller 4 PBU, 3 tackles

Fields leads game-winning drive

A roller-coaster night for Justin Fields ended with the former Ohio State quarterback leading a game-winning drive for the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football.

Fields started the night off in fantastic fashion, completing all 12 of his passing attempts in the first quarter for 100 yards while making multiple impressive plays under pressure.

For the game as a whole, Fields completed 27 of his 37 passing attempts – good for his second-highest completion percentage of the season (73%) – for 217 yards while rushing for 59 yards on 12 attempts.

Fields nearly fumbled the game away in the fourth quarter, losing possession of the football on back-to-back drives. In between those two fumbles, the Minnesota Vikings scored their only touchdown of the game to take a 10-9 lead.

But Fields got a chance to redeem himself when the Bears got the ball back still down 10-9 with 2:29 to play, and the third-year quarterback took advantage of the opportunity. Fields accounted for 65 total yards with both his arm and his legs on the Bears’ final drive, putting his team in position for a game-winning field goal with a 36-yard connection with DJ Moore on a deep ball over the middle of the field with just over a minute left on the clock.

It was the third game-winning drive of Fields’ NFL career.

Buckeyes feast on Thanksgiving

The NFL’s Thanksgiving Day slate of games was full of standout performances from former Ohio State players.

Nick Bosa had his third multi-sack game in a row as he was credited with two sacks – one solo sack and a pair of combined sacks – while tying his season-high with five total tackles. He was dominant as a pass rusher in the 49ers’ 31-13 win over the Seattle Seahawks, tallying five total quarterback hits and nine total quarterback pressures, while he also made a fourth-down tackle for loss to force a turnover on downs on the Seahawks’ final drive of the game.

Johnathan Hankins also had a two-sack game – just the second of his 12-year NFL career – in the Dallas Cowboys’ 45-10 win over the Washington Commanders. His only previous game with two or more sacks also came against Washington back in 2014, when he recorded 2.5 sacks against Washington as a member of the New York Giants.

On the other side of the ball, Curtis Samuel became the first receiver with 100 yards in a game against the Cowboys all season as he caught nine passes for 100 yards – his highest totals in any game since 2020.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba made the play of not just the day but the entire week as he made a spectacular one-handed catch for a 34-yard gain in the Seahawks’ loss.

Baker shines on Black Friday

Former Ohio State linebacker Jerome Baker was one of the biggest stars of the NFL’s first-ever Black Friday game as he led the Miami Dolphins with six total tackles, including a tackle for loss, and recorded both a tip-drill interception and another pass breakup in the Dolphins’ 34-13 win over the New York Jets.

Garrett Wilson led the Jets in defeat with seven catches for 44 yards, highlighted by his third touchdown catch of the season.

Olave goes for 114 yards in one half

Chris Olave tied for the second-most receiving yards among all NFL players in Week 12 despite playing less than three full quarters.

In the first half of the New Orleans Saints’ game against the Atlanta Falcons, Olave caught seven passes for 114 yards, highlighted by a 50-yard catch on which he beat his former Ohio State teammate Jeff Okudah for a jump ball.

Unfortunately for Olave, his day came to an early end when he suffered a concussion in the third quarter. With Olave in the locker room for the end of a game in which they were already without fellow former Ohio State receiver Michael Thomas, the Saints suffered a 24-15 loss.

Okudah and Pete Werner both finished the game with eight total tackles for their respective teams, with Werner delivering one of the defensive highlights of the game on a 4th-and-2 run stuff.

Stroud tops 300 for fourth straight game

C.J. Stroud’s historic rookie season continued in Week 12 as he became the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to throw for more than 300 yards in four straight games.

The former Ohio State quarterback completed 26 of 36 passing attempts for 304 yards and two touchdowns in the Houston Texans’ loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. His mobility was on full display as both of his touchdown passes came on plays he extended outside the pocket while he also ran for 47 yards – his most in an NFL game so far – and a touchdown on six rushes.

His best throw of the day was one that didn’t even count. Stroud threw a ball nearly 70 yards through the air to connect with Tank Dell on a deep bomb late in the first quarter, but it was negated by an illegal shift penalty against the Texans.

Stroud has now thrown for 3,266 yards this season, the most ever for a rookie quarterback through 11 NFL games. With six weeks still remaining in the regular season, Stroud is already the first NFL quarterback from Ohio State to ever throw for more than 3,000 passing yards in a season; the previous record for passing yards in an NFL season by a Buckeye quarterback was 2,767 by Mike Tomczak in 1996 with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Career day for Farrell

Luke Farrell had the best game of his NFL career in the Jaguars’ win over the Texans as he caught three passes for a career-high 55 yards, highlighted by a career-long 42-yard catch on which it took a bevy of Houston defenders to bring him down.

Farrell doubled his previous career-high on that catch alone as he had never had more than 21 receiving yards in an NFL game before Sunday. Known more for his blocking than pass-catching, Farrell’s 55 yards were the most he’s had in a game since high school, as he never had more than 44 receiving yards in a game at Ohio State.

Quick Hits

  • Cameron Heyward recorded his first sack of the season in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ win over the Cincinnati Bengals and celebrated it by giving an O-H to the Cincinnati crowd.
  • Dre’Mont Jones also showed his school spirit with a demonstrative “THE” during his introduction as a member of the Seahawks’ starting defense on Thanksgiving night.
  • Tanner McCalister made his NFL debut in the Cleveland Browns’ loss to the Denver Broncos, playing four snaps on special teams after the team called him up from their practice squad.
  • Stroud celebrated his third touchdown run of the year with an elaborate celebration mimicking a scene from the movie “Baby Boy.”
  • Fuller, Taylor Decker and Terry McLaurin were all nominated for the NFL’s Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, which honors players “who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field.” Ohio State is the only college with three nominees for this year’s award.
  • Joey Bosa was unable to play in the Los Angeles Chargers’ Sunday night loss to the Baltimore Ravens after he was placed on injured reserve with a sprained foot, but he was seen inside SoFi Stadium enjoying some Raisin Bran.
  • Nick Bosa wasn’t interested in eating any turkey after the 49ers’ Thanksgiving win.
  • Marshon Lattimore (ankle) and Michael Thomas (knee) were both placed on injured reserve by the New Orleans Saints last week, which means they will both be sidelined for at least three more games after missing the Saints’ loss to the Falcons on Sunday.
  • Former Ohio State running back Eddie George was named Tuesday as a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the second time in three years.

Statistics for every former Ohio State player from Week 12 and for the entire 2023 NFL season can be found in the table below compiled by Eleven Warriors researcher Matt Gutridge. (Note: The table only includes players who finished their college careers at Ohio State.)

Buckeyes Around the NFL
ELI APPLE CB DOLPHINS Did not play 31 tackles, 1 QB hit, 6 PD
JEROME BAKER LB DOLPHINS 6 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 2 PD 64 tackles, 1.5 sacks (0 yards), 2 TFL, 4 QB hits, 2 INT, 3 PD, 1 TD
VONN BELL S PANTHERS 3 tackles 47 tackles, 1 QB hit 1 INT, 2 PD
JOEY BOSA OLB CHARGERS Injured reserve (foot) 20 tackles, 6.5 sacks (59 yards), 6 TFL, 8 QB hits, 1 PD, 1 FF, 1 FR
NICK BOSA DE 49ERS 5 tackles, 2 sacks (16.5 yards), 2 TFL, 5 QB hits 32 tackles, 7.5 sacks (54 yards), 8 TFL, 29 QB hits, 2 PD, 1 FF, 1 FR
NOAH BROWN WR TEXANS Inactive 21 catches, 439 yards, 1 TD
BARON BROWNING OLB BRONCOS 2 tackles, 1 QB hit 13 tackles, 3 sacks (21 yards), 3 TFL, 5 QB hits, 1 PD, 2 FF
PARRIS CAMPBELL WR GIANTS 1 catch, -2 yards 20 catches, 104 yards; 8 KR, 191 yards
JONATHON COOPER OLB BRONCOS 5 tackles, 1 QB hit 51 tackles, 5.5 sacks (42.5 yards), 1 FF, 5 TFL, 10 QB hits, 1 PD, 2 FR, 1 TD
TAYLOR DECKER OT LIONS Started at LT 9 starts at LT
J.K. DOBBINS RB RAVENS Injured reserve (Achilles) 8 carries, 22 yards, 1 TD
EZEKIEL ELLIOTT RB PATRIOTS 9 carries, 46 yards; 2 catches, 6 yards 95 carries, 377 yards, 2 TD; 20 catches, 114 yards
LUKE FARRELL TE JAGUARS 3 catches, 55 yards 10 catches, 111 yards
JUSTIN FIELDS QB BEARS 27/37 passing, 217 yards; 12 carries, 59 yards 143/202 passing, 1,587 yards, 12 TD, 6 INT; 77 carries, 400 yards, 1 TD
JORDAN FULLER S RAMS 3 tackles, 4 PD 67 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 6 PD, 3 FF
JOHNATHAN HANKINS DT COWBOYS 4 tackles, 2 sacks (18 yards), 2 TFL, 2 QB hits 22 tackles, 2 sacks, (18 yards), 2 TFL, 2 QB hits, 2 PD
MALIK HARRISON LB RAVENS Inactive 18 tackles, 1 QB hit
ZACH HARRISON DE FALCONS 1 tackle 20 tackles
CAMERON HEYWARD DT STEELERS 4 tackles, 1 sack (6 yards), 1 TFL, 1 QB hit 18 tackles, 1 sack (6 yards), 4 TFL, 2 QB hits
RONNIE HICKMAN S BROWNS 1 tackles 5 tackles
MALIK HOOKER S COWBOYS 6 tackles 42 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 2 PD, 1 FF
SAM HUBBARD DE BENGALS 4 tackles, 1 TFL 42 tackles, 4 sacks (24 yards), 5 TFL, 13 QB hits, 1 FR
JONAH JACKSON OG LIONS Inactive 6 starts at LG
PARIS JOHNSON JR. OL CARDINALS Started at RT 12 starts at RT
CAMERON JOHNSTON P TEXANS 4 punts, 48.0 average, 2 inside 20 30 punts, 46.2 average, 14 inside 20
DAWAND JONES OT BROWNS Started at OT 8 starts at RT, 10 games played
DRE'MONT JONES DE SEAHAWKS 2 tackles 25 tackles, 2.5 sacks (13 yards), 4 TFL, 9 QB hits
MARSHON LATTIMORE CB SAINTS Injured reserve (ankle) 48 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 INT, 8 PD
TYQUAN LEWIS DE COLTS 2 tackles, 1 sack (6.5 yards), 2 QB hits, 1 PD 16 tackles, 3 sacks (19.5 yards) 4 TFL, 9 QB hits, 3 PD
COREY LINSLEY C CHARGERS Non-football illness (heart) 3 starts at C
TANNER McCALISTER FS BROWNS Played on special teams 1 game played
LIAM McCULLOUGH LS FALCONS Played at LS 1 tackle, 10 games played at LS
TERRY McLAURIN WR COMMANDERS 4 catches, 50 yards 60 receptions, 694 yards, 2 TD, 1 FR TD
JAKE McQUAIDE LS LIONS Played at LS 3 games played at LS
THAYER MUNFORD OT RAIDERS Played on special teams 6 starts, 11 games played
JOSH MYERS C PACKERS Started at C 11 games started at C
JEFF OKUDAH CB FALCONS 8 tackles 36 tackles, 1 TFL, 4 PD
CHRIS OLAVE WR SAINTS 7 catches, 114 yards 66 catches, 771 yards, 3 TD
NICHOLAS PETIT-FRERE OT TITANS Injured reserve (shoulder) 2 starts at OT, 3 games played
ISAIAH PRINCE OT FALCONS Released 2 games played
BRADLEY ROBY CB EAGLES 3 tackles, 1 QB hit 10 tackles, 1 QB hit, 1 FF
JEREMY RUCKERT TE JETS 2 catches, 18 yards 10 catches, 86 yards
CURTIS SAMUEL WR COMMANDERS 9 catches, 100 yards 47 catches, 443 yards, 2 TD; 4 carries, 20 yards, 1 TD
TREY SERMON RB COLTS Played at RB 8 carries, 24 yards
KENDALL SHEFFIELD CB 49ERS Released 4 tackles, 1 TFL
TYREKE SMITH LB SEAHAWKS Practice squad 1 tackle
JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA WR SEAHAWKS 2 catches, 41 yards 38 catches, 406 yards, 2 TD
C.J. STROUD QB TEXANS 26/36 passing, 304 yards, 2 TD; 6 carries, 47 yards, 1 TD 249/391 passing, 3,266 yards, 19 TD, 5 INT; 29 carries, 132 yards, 3 TD
MICHAEL THOMAS WR SAINTS Injured reserve (knee) 39 catches, 448 yards, 1 TD
NICK VANNETT TE CHARGERS Inactive 1 start at TE, 3 games played
SHAUN WADE CB PATRIOTS 1 tackle 16 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PD
DENZEL WARD CB BROWNS Inactive 29 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 INT, 10 PD, 1 FF
PETE WERNER LB SAINTS 8 tackles 68 tackles, 0.5 sacks (4 yards), 1 TFL, 1 QB hit, 1 INT, 1 PD, 1 FR
GARRETT WILSON WR JETS 7 catches, 44 yards, 1 TD 64 catches, 695 yards, 3 TD; 1 carry, 6 yards; 0/1 passing
LUKE WYPLER C BROWNS Inactive 3 games played
CHASE YOUNG DE 49ERS Played at DE 19 tackles, 6.5 sacks (45.5 yards), 7 TFL, 12 QB hits, 1 PD
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