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Tar Heels In The NFL: Week 14

Tar Heels In The NFL: Week 14

Compiled by Andrew Tie

Bernard nearly reaches 100 on the ground

It's been a solid rookie year for Bengals RB Giovani Bernard. He's shown some electrifying playmaking ability and has put together a case for Offensive Rookie of the Year. On Sunday, Bernard rushed for 99 yards on 12 rushes and had 49 yards on four catches. That's more than nine yards per touch.
"Everything was really open today," Bernard told Cincinnati.com. "It starts up front. Offensive line guys did a great job all throughout the day, all quarters, all snaps, they really held their own against a tough D-line."

Bernard continues to add a different dimension to the Bengals offense with his versatility and shiftiness.

Nicks makes some big plays
At the end of the first half against the Chargers, Eli Manning threw up a Hail Mary. On the receiving end, Hakeem Nicks jumped up and snagged the ball out of the air for a 43-yard gain. Unfortunately, he was six yards short of the end zone.

"I thought I was in the end zone until I got up and everybody was just looking at me," Nicks told reporters. "I was thinking, ‘Why isn't anyone celebrating?'"

Nicks also had a huge 51-yard reception in the first quarter. He ended the game with five catches for 135 yards, his third 100-yard game of the year.

Matchups to watch this week
In week 15, here are some matchups to watch. Gio Bernard and Brandon Tate will play on Sunday Night Football as Cincinnati travels to Pittsburgh. That game will be on NBC at 8:30 p.m.
Another interesting game will be the Packers-Titans game. With Aaron Rodgers potentially coming back, it could pose a big challenge for Zach Brown and the Titans defense. Packers TE Ryan Taylor has also seen an increased role on offense as of late.

Updates from former Heels
Quinton Coples picked up his third sack of the year against Oakland. That's two sacks in two weeks for him.

Brandon Tate had some nice returns for the Bengals, averaging 28 yards on kickoffs and 18 yards on punts. His 18 yards on punt returns is an especially impressive number, and it was helped by a long of 43.

Statistics from Tar Heels
Gio Bernard, Cincinnati RB - 12 rushes for 99 yards, 4 rec. for 49 yards
Zach Brown, Tennessee LB - 5 tackles
Quinton Coples, New York Jets LB - 3 tackles, 1 sack
Greg Little, Cleveland WR - 2 rec for 14 yards
Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants WR - 5 rec. for 135 yards
Robert Quinn, St. Louis DE - 3 tackles, 1 TFL
Da'Norris Searcy, Buffalo S - 1 FR
Brandon Tate, Cincinnati WR - 3 KR for 28-yard avg., 4 PR for 18-yard avg.
Ryan Taylor, Green Bay TE - 2 rec. for 7 yards
Cam Thomas, San Diego DT - 1 tackle