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UConn in the NFL: Week 14

Ryan Griffin leads all former Huskies with a monster day.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Before the 2018-19 season began, many expected Ryan Griffin to emerge as an elite tight end for the Houston Texans. After the retirement of CJ Fiedorowicz, the window was wide open for Griffin to take that #1 spot in the depth chart.

Things didn’t quite go as planned. Aside from a solid 6-catch day against the Dallas Cowboys in early October, it seems like the stats have been underwhelming so far. And yet the Texans have been rolling. After losing their first three games, Houston won an astonishing nine in a row heading into this weekend.

As the Texans squared off against the Indianapolis Colts, it was quickly apparent that tight ends would be a major part of the game plan. Rookie tight ends Jordan Atkins and Jordan Thomas combined for 6 receptions and 71 yards while Ryan Griffin led all receivers with 5 receptions for 80 yards.

Furthermore, Griffin caught all five passes thrown his way for an average of 16 yards per target. The Texans ultimately fell short as the Colts were able to hang onto a three point lead, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort by the UConn alum.

Around the league, cornerback Byron Jones had an uncharacteristically pedestrian outing. The Cowboys allowed 23 points to their rival Philadelphia Eagles - about 5 points higher than their season average - and most of that offense came in the air.

Carson Wentz, who has been struggling with injury all season, threw for 3 touchdowns, but was held to one of his worst quarterback Ratings of the season at just 53.0. The Cowboys held on for a key victory in the homestretch of the regular season.

Fullback Anthony Sherman was called upon for his first rush of the season. The play only went for two yards, but it’s nice to see him utilized in the run game. He also recorded his first drop of the season, going 0-for-1 on the day and now 6-for-7 on the season.

Finally, Shamar Stephen recorded two tackles in the Seattle Seahawks 21-7 destruction of the Minnesota Vikings. Stephen improves to 22 combined tackles on the season and Seattle suddenly finds themselves in prime position for an NFC Wild Card bid.