At one point Sunday, New England Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell thought he would be the reason his team lost to the New York Jets.
In the end, he was the reason the Patriots won.
Mitchell, a rookie from Georgia, caught two touchdown passes Sunday, including the game-winner, as the Patriots beat the Jets 22-17. Mitchell caught a 4-yard pass from Tom Brady to tie the game at 10 in the second quarter and later grabbed an 8-yard strike to seal the game. Both scores came against Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis.
“I think I might have been praying on the field that we would get another chance to make a play to put our team in position to win,” Mitchell told NESN.com. “Fortunately, I got an opportunity to do that, but if it was any other guy, I would have been just as happy. … I’m just glad our defense gave us an opportunity to have a chance to win that game.”
Mitchell, a fourth-round pick, has three touchdown catches in the last two games. While New England has a solid core of receivers and tight ends, he is making his presence known at the right time.
“Malcolm’s done a good job for us all year, all the way back to the spring and OTAs, and all the way through training camp,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick told NESN.com. “He missed some time in camp after he got injured. He’s always hung with it, mentally staying on top of it. He’s just getting a little bit better every week.”
As a redshirt senior in 2015, Mitchell started all 13 games for the Bulldogs and had 58 receptions for 865 yards (14.9 average).
Mitchell’s top-notch performance was one of many for former SEC standouts in the NFL during Week 12. Here’s a look at some others.
Matthew Stafford, quarterback, Detroit Lions: Stafford, the first overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft out of Georgia, threw for 232 yards and a touchdown, and also rushed for 30 yards as Detroit defeated Minnesota 16-13 on Thursday.
Jordan Reed, tight end, Washington Redskins: Reed, the former Florida tight end, caught 10 passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-26 loss to Dallas on Thanksgiving Day.
Dak Prescott, quarterback, Dallas Cowboys: Prescott, a rookie from Mississippi State, threw for 195 yards and a touchdown and ran for 39 yards and a score in the Cowboys’ win over the Redskins. With Prescott behind center, Dallas is 10-1 this season and owns a 10-game winning streak.
Derrick Henry, running back, Tennessee Titans: The rookie from Alabama led the Titans with 60 yards and a touchdown in a 27-21 win over the Chicago Bears.
Marcell Dareus, defensive tackle, Buffalo Bills: Dareus, who played at Alabama, had eight tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss and two quarterback hits in Buffalo’s 28-21 win over Jacksonville.
Malik Jackson, defensive tackle, Jacksonville Jaguars: Jackson had two sacks in the Jaguars’ loss to Buffalo. The former Tennessee star also had five tackles.
Justin Houston, linebacker, Kansas City Chiefs: Houston, who played at Georgia, led the Chiefs with 10 tackles, three sacks, five tackles for loss and three quarterback hits in a 30-27 overtime win over Denver.
Eric Berry, safety, Kansas City Chiefs: Berry, a former first-round pick from Tennessee, had nine tackles in Kansas City’s overtime win over Denver.
Eli Manning, quarterback, New York Giants: Manning, from Ole Miss, threw for 197 yards and three scores in the Giants’ 27-13 win over Cleveland.
Odell Beckham Jr., wide receiver, New York Giants: Beckham scored two touchdowns in the 27-13 win over the Cleveland Browns. The former LSU star caught six passes for 96 yards.
Mark Ingram, running back, New Orleans Saints: Ingram, a former Heisman winner at Alabama, ran for 146 yards and a touchdown as tge Saints beat the Los Angeles Rams 49-21.
Mark Barron, linebacker, Los Angeles Rams: – Barron had 14 tackles, including two tackles for loss, in the Rams’ 49-21 loss to New Orleans. Barron was an All-American safety at Alabama.
Mike Evans, wide receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Evans, a first-round pick out of Texas A&M in 2014, caught eight passes for 104 yards and two scores in the Buccaneers’ 14-5 win over Seattle.
Benardrick McKinney, linebacker, Houston Texans – McKinney, a second-round pick out of Mississippi State in 2015, had 12 tackles, a sack and two quarterback hits in the Texans’ 21-13 loss to San Diego.
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