UNC in NFL: Tracking the Tar Heels in Week Four

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 01: Giovani Bernard
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 01: Giovani Bernard /
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CHARLOTTE, NC – SEPTEMBER 24: Julius Peppers
CHARLOTTE, NC – SEPTEMBER 24: Julius Peppers /

Peppers continues to amaze in his return to the Panthers.

After coming off a poor performance against the Saints in Week 3, Peppers exploded back onto the scene with a two-sack performance in Week 4.

The pressure off of the edge came in the right time for the Panthers as they faced Tom Brady and the Patriots in Foxboro.

If you sampled a random group of people and asked them the age of #90 in the video above, I doubt many would say 37.

Peppers abused right tackle Marcus Cannon, who is one of the best in the league at his position and 8 years his junior.

His sack total for the season has now grown to 4.5 through four games, this places the Tar Heel great at fifth in the NFL.

Peppers needs only 2.5 sacks over the next 12 games to tie Chris Doleman for fourth all-time in career sacks.

What makes Peppers performance against the Patriots more amazing is that he was almost inactive for the game. Peppers dealt with a shoulder injury the entire week and the Panthers brought up Bryan Cox from the practice squad for insurance.

Julius Peppers’ return to Carolina has been an astounding success. He currently leads the team in sacks even though he plays around 30 snaps a game.

Julius Peppers would be the first person to give up his stats for team success, but it looks like he won’t have to.

The Panthers are sitting pretty at 3-1 and atop the NFC South.

CARSON, CA – OCTOBER 01: Tre Boston
CARSON, CA – OCTOBER 01: Tre Boston /

Giovani Bernard

Gio Bernard went off this week and found himself in the end zone for the second time in as many games.

In Sunday’s matchup against the Browns, Bernard rushed three times for 12 yards and caught three balls for 67 yards.

His reception total included this 61-yard touchdown, the longest reception of his career:

This reception was also the longest pass caught by a Bengal this season. Bernard now holds the title for the longest rush and reception of any player in Cincinnati this year.

Hopefully, this performance leads to more touches for Benard in the future.

Zach Brown

Brown had 9 tackles this week against the Chiefs, bringing his season total to 42.

His 42 tackles through four weeks lead the NFL. What is more impressive is that Brown has made 20 straight tackles without missing one, the second-longest streak in the NFL.

Watch Brown track down rookie stud Kareem Hunt:


Tre Boston

Boston recorded 7 tackles this week against the Philadelphia Eagles. Though he continues to impress in the run game, his coverage lapses across the middle are concerning.

These problems plagued him in college and were part of the reason the Panthers cut him this offseason.

He has become a vocal leader for the Chargers and continues to make appearances on NFL Network.

Nazair Jones

The rookie defensive tackle got his first taste of a quarterback this week by notching half a sack on Jacoby Brissett.

His day was not done as he notched two more tackles and got his hand on a pass.

Many in Seattle are excited about the prospects of their third-round pick, and he continues to produce.

Jones may be a Seahawk on the field, but he’s still a Tar Heel off of it. Jones offered his support for Mitch Trubisky in this tweet:

Next: Which QB will UNC Face vs Notre Dame?