Stephon Gilmore got the message loud and clear.
A week after Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan issued a challenge to his players, especially his secondary, Gilmore, a former South Carolina standout, came up with two interceptions in the Bills’ 16-12 win over Cincinnati on Sunday.
“He’s responded,” Ryan said, via the Buffalo News. “These last few weeks, he’s been as good as any corner in the league. That’s what we need him to do, and that’s what type of play you need from him.”
Gilmore has been criticized of late for his play, especially in games against AFC East rivals. Gilmore may be playing for a new contract in 2017, and there are six weeks left for him to show management he belongs on next year’s roster.
“Every game is a statement game for me,” he told reporters. “I go out there and try and play my hardest every game.”
Sunday’s was his second game this season with multiple interceptions and he became the 22nd player in franchise history to have at least two multiple-interception games. He has 13 career interceptions, becoming the 20th player in franchise history with that many.
Gilmore’s performance was one of many that stood out for former SEC players in the NFL during Week 11. Here are other former SEC players who had noteworthy performances.
Dak Prescott, quarterback, Dallas Cowboys: Prescott continues to impress. The former Mississippi State star won his ninth game in a row as a rookie and threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns in the Cowboys’ 27-17 win over Baltimore.
Matthew Stafford, quarterback, Detroit Lions: Stafford led the Lions to a 26-19, come-from-behind win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Stafford, the former Georgia Bulldogs standout, threw for 278 yards.
Mike Gillislee, running back, Buffalo Bills: Gillislee, a former Florida running back, led the Bills with 72 yards rushing in the 16-12 win over Cincinnati on Sunday.
Mike Evans, wide receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Evans, a former first-round pick out of Texas A&M in 2014, caught six passes for 105 yards as Tampa Bay beat Kansas City 19-17.
Ramik Wilson, linebacker, Kansas City Chiefs: Wilson led the Chiefs with nine tackles in the 19-17 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday. Wilson was a fourth-round draft pick out of Georgia in 2014.
Jared Cook, tight end, Green Bay Packers: Cook led the Packers with six catches for 105 yards in a 42-24 loss to Washington on Sunday night. Cook was a third-round pick of South Carolina in 2009.
Malcolm Mitchell, wide receiver, New England Patriots: The rookie from Georgia led the Patriots with four catches for 98 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. New England beat the San Francisco 49ers 30-17.
Eric Reid, safety, San Francisco 49ers: Reid, a safety in his fourth season from LSU, led the 49ers with seven tackles in the 30-17 loss to the New England Patriots. All seven tackles by the former first-round pick were unassisted.
Dont’a Hightower, linebacker, New England Patriots: Hightower, a former first-round pick out of Alabama, had six tackles and a sack as the Patriots beat San Francisco 30-17.
Todd Gurley, running back, Los Angeles Rams: Gurley rushed for 76 yards and a touchdown on Sunday in the Rams’ 14-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Gurley was the 10th overall pick by Los Angeles out of Georgia in 2015.
Alec Ogletree, linebacker, Los Angeles Rams: Ogletree, a first-round pick out of Georgia in 2013, had 11 tackles in Los Angeles’ 14-10 loss to Miami.
Mark Barron, linebacker, Los Angeles Rams: Barron also had 11 tackles in the Rams’ loss on Sunday. Barron was an All-American safety at Alabama and was drafted by Tampa Bay in 2012.
Eli Manning, quarterback, New York Giants: Manning threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns. The former Ole Miss star helped New York beat Chicago 22-16.
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