Arizona, Cleveland, Green Bay, and Washington were all off this week. Each of the four teams on their bye include a former Tar Heel on the roster and for the Redskins, its a player on a Reserve/Not with Team status in Kentwan Balmer who has yet to see the field in 2012. Below is the top four performances from Heels who did play Sunday in week ten.
Bruce Carter LB Dallas Cowboys
Bruce Carter was a force that could not be stopped Sunday in the Cowboys 38-23 win over the Eagles. Carter has continued to thrive replacing an injured Sean Lee as the anchor to defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s 8th ranked defense. The former Tar Heel LB recorded a game high 10 tackles and played a big part helping hold the Eagles to just 91 yards rushing. All of Carter’s ten tackles were unassisted, with most of them resulting in him winning a one on one with the ball carrier. Dallas outscored Philadelphia 21-6 in the fourth quarter and seemed to overwhelm rookie quarterback Nick Foles. The rookie QB came in for an injured Mike Vick in the second quarter.
Zach Brown LB Tennessee Titans
Tennessee came out and had a great bounce back game against the Dolphins in Miami a week after getting blown out at home 51-20. The Titans beat the Dolphins 37-3 behind a dominating performance by their defense. Former Tar Heel star Zach Brown contributed 4 tackles and an interception in a game the Titans forced four turnovers and held Miami to 54 yards rushing. Brown would have added another pick-six and defensive touchdown if he would have been able to shake QB Ryan Tannehill who chased him down Tennessee also held the Dolphins to just 2 of 13 on third down conversions. Rookie Zach Brown now has 55 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, and now one interception on the season thus far.
Connor Barth K Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay was able to overcome a halftime deficit and beat the San Diego Chargers 34-24 at home. Kicker Connor Barth accounted for 10 of the 34 points scored by the Bucs with two field goals and four extra points. Barth hit a 40-yard FG in the second quarter and a 45-yard FG late in the fourth quarter pretty much sealed the win for Tampa Bay. Barth’s second field goal increased the Bucs lead to ten points making it a two possession game with about 2 minutes left in the game. The former Tar Heel kicker is now 9 of 12 converting field goals of 40 yards or more on the season.
Robert Quinn DE St. Louis Rams
St. Louis went on the road Sunday and surprised many as they tied the 49ers 24-24. The Rams defense played well enough to win convincingly through three quarters while holding San Francisco to just seven points. Then the fourth quarter came and the Niners scored 17 points to force overtime. Rams defensive end Robert Quinn finished the game with 3 tackles and 1.5 sacks, giving him eight and a half sacks on the season. The former Tar Heel Quinn is tied for sixth in the NFL in sacks and at this rate he may be headed to his first Pro-Bowl by seasons end in year two of his NFL career.