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Tar Heels In The NFL: Week 15

Tar Heels In The NFL: Week 15

Compiled by Andrew Tie, GoHeels.com

Sly has best game of season
Earlier this month, an ESPN.com article said the Broncos would need some players to step up, such as Sylvester Williams. On Thursday night, Williams had, by far, his best performance in his rookie season, racking up five tackles and a sack.

Coming into the game, he only had seven tackles and zero sacks, so both this game set two career-highs for Williams. With Denver 23rd in the NFL in total yards given up per game, the emergence of Williams could be very timely with the playoffs approaching.

Coples returns to NC
In a homecoming of sorts, Quinton Coples was in Charlotte Sunday, just a few hours away from Chapel Hill and his hometown of Kinston. He didn't disappoint in his return, posting five tackles and one, big sack of Cam Newton.
 
As Coples has transitioned to the outside linebacker position, he's had some growing pains but has played well as of late and is adjusting well.

"There's just so much stuff you've got to get used to," Coples told ESPNNewYork.com. "A lot more attention to detail as far as seeing receivers crossing, running backs coming out of the backfield late; it takes away from you going straight forward and getting to the quarterback. It's been a good process, for the most part I've been successful coverage-wise, and just continuing to work on my craft and get better."

Matchups to watch this week
Chicago and Philadelphia are both still fighting for playoff spots, and they will face off on Sunday Night Football. That means Julius Peppers will have the task of disrupting Nick Foles and stopping LeSean McCoy.

In a game that should have plenty of local and national interest, the Panthers and Saints play on Sunday at 1 p.m. Don't forget that Kevin Reddick will be in that game, though.

Updates from former Heels
Cincinnati running back Gio Bernard ran in another touchdown in on Sunday, bringing his season total to five touchdowns on the ground.

Dallas linebacker Bruce Carter didn't play against Green Bay due to a hamstring injury sustained last week.

Statistics from Tar Heels
Gio Bernard, Cincinnati RB - 13 rushes for 33 yards, 1 TD, 2 rec. for 13 yards
Zach Brown, Tennessee LB - 2 tackles
Quinton Coples, New York Jets LB - 5 tackles, 1 sack
Greg Little, Cleveland WR - 4 rec. for 68 yards
Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants WR - 1 rec. for 5 yards
Julius Peppers, Chicago DE - 1 tackle
Robert Quinn, St. Louis DE - 5 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 FF, 1 FR
Da'Norris Searcy, Buffalo S - 4 tackles
Brandon Tate, Cincinnati WR - 4 KR for 32-yard avg.
Cam Thomas, San Diego DT - 1 tackle
Sylvester Williams, Denver DT - 5 tackles, 1 sack