VFL shines in NFL week 11: Sutton plays key role on SNF


With Cordarrelle Patterson and Alvin Kamara unavailable for their teams on Sunday, this week’s “VFL Standouts” focus on solid defensive play from a few defensive VFLs.

CB Cameron Sutton, Steelers

Sutton made one of the best plays in all NFL action on Sunday when he managed an interception following a deflection from teammate Cameron Hayward. The game couldn’t have come at a better time, as the interception allowed Pittsburgh to get the ball back into the red zone after a touchdown. (See the game below)

Sutton’s speed in chasing the spilled ball was remarkable, and his ability to make sure the ball didn’t hit the ground made it one of the best games of Week 11.

In addition to the pick, Sutton had 10 tackles, a season high, and recorded one pass deflection. The VFL’s tackling tally has led his team in prime time, and although the Steelers fell right next to Los Angeles, Sutton’s interception brought Pittsburgh to life at the best possible time. The Steelers capitalized on turnover with a touchdown from Pat Freiermuth a handful of games later to tie the game at 34.

The Chargers beat Pittsburgh 41-37 in a Sunday night thriller, but Sutton’s performance was a bright spot in an overall lackluster night for the Pittsburgh defensive unit without TJ Watt.

The 26-year-old continues his year of career with his Sunday night performance, as the VFL have 30 tackles and one interception this year, both tied for season highs.

WR Marquez Callaway, Saints

Callaway continued his career year with his seventh touchdown in New Orleans’ 40-29 loss to the Eagles. The score makes it three straight games with a touchdown, all coming from quarterback Trevor Siemian who replaced an injured Jameis Winston in Week 8.

Callaway’s touchdown was his only catch against the Eagles, but it sparked the Saints’ fourth-quarter comeback attempt.

The Saints ultimately failed, but New Orleans gave Philadelphia a fight with a 22-point fourth quarter.

Callaway’s season totals are 25 catches for 372 yards and six touchdowns. The VFL is third on the team in catches and second in yards to Denote Harris, but leads the team in scores. Callaway is also leading all other legacy Flights to receive touchdowns.

WR Jauan Jennings, 49ers

Jennings played his highest snaps percentage total against the Jaguars at 48%. The VFL gap only made one take for four yards, but Jennings got involved in a scuffle that caused the former volunteer to burst out laughing.

Nicknamed “The Dog” at UT, Jennings lived up to his “never back down” mentality against the Jags.

Jennings made five catches for 38 yards and one touchdown in the second year, and he’s seen just under 50% offensive snaps in the last two games (47% and 48%).

Below is a list of all other VFLs and how they evolved in week 11.

* Note * Only included players who were ACTIVE in NFL Week 11.

BY Derek Barnett, Eagles– Barnett recorded an assisted tackle in Philadelphia’s 40-29 victory over New Orleans.

DB Justin Coleman, Dolphins–After recording an interception in the previous two weeks, Coleman made three tackles and played 37% of defensive snaps in Miami’s 24-17 win over the Jets.

P Dustin Colquitt, Falcons– Colquitt was called up for five punts in Atlanta’s shutout loss to New England. He finished with a total of 269 on his five punts, averaging 53.80 yards per punt.

LS Morgan Cox, Titans–Cox scored an extra point and two baskets in Tennessee’s 22-13 loss to Houston.

DT Malik Jackson, Browns– Jackson had a productive day in Cleveland’s 13-10 win over Detroit, as the VFL made three tackles, one for a loss, and had a deflection pass.

FB Jakob Johnson, Patriots– Johnson played 41% of offensive snaps and 46% of special teams snaps in New England’s 25-0 shutout win over the Falcons on Thursday night. Johnson pulled off a tackle on the special teams.

DT Kahlil McKenzie, Ravens– McKenzie didn’t play a snap in Baltimore’s 16-13 win over Chicago. McKenzie remains on the Ravens’ 53-man roster heading into Week 12. The VFL defensive tackle has three tackles this year.

CB Emmanuel Moseley, 49ers– Moseley recorded a tackle in San Francisco’s resounding 30-10 win over Jacksonville and played 74% defensive snaps as the starting cornerback.

P Michael Palardy, Dolphins– Palardy kicked the ball four times for 137 yards in his team’s 24-17 victory over the enemy in the Jets Division. Palardy averaged 47.75 yards per punt in the win.

WR Josh Palmer, loaders–VFL rookie spreader Josh Palmer recorded a catch for 17 yards and a rush for six yards in the Chargers’ thrilling 41-37 win over the Steelers in Sunday Night Football. Palmer has seized in each of the last six games. The No.5 has 13 catches for 143 yards and one touchdown so far in his rookie campaign.

LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Lions–Maybin continued his strong 2021 campaign with seven more tackles in Detroit’s 13-10 loss to Cleveland. Maybin has played 65% of defensive snaps for the fourth time this season and the second week in a row.

OL Trey Smith, Chiefs– Smith played 100% offensive snaps for the Chiefs for the 11th straight week. The rookie also recorded six special teams shots in Kansas City’s 19-9 win over Dallas.

BY Darrell Taylor, Seahawks– Taylor played 39 defensive snaps (47%) but did not record any defensive stats in Seattle’s 23-13 loss to division rivals Arizona. Taylor also played four special teams snaps in the loss.

DL Shy Tuttle, Saints–One of three New Orleans Flights made five tackles in the Saints’ 40-29 loss to the Eagles. Tuttle saw the ground for 34% of defensive snaps and 21% of special team snaps.

BY Kendal Vickers, Raiders–Vickers remains on Vegas ’53-man roster, but did not record any stats in the Raiders’ 32-13 loss to the Bengals. This year, Vickers is yet to record a tackle and only saw the field in Game 6 of the Raiders against the Broncos.

VFL Record in the NFL Week 11: 10-8

Photo credit: U

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