Longhorns in the NFL: McCoy gets his shot

Isaac Gutierrez

The NFL season is now 12 weeks old. The most recent week of games was not lacking in entertainment, or notable storylines involving former Longhorns, including one of the most beloved in recent memory getting the chance to show what he’s made of.

Here is a rundown of several former Texas football players that headlined Week 12:

Colt McCoy

In the NFL, health is the most unpredictable factor that contributes to team success. One unlucky play and a team can have their whole season derailed with an injury to a key player. This became the reality for the Washington Redskins when quarterback Alex Smith went down with a gruesome injury on Nov. 18 against the Houston Texans.

While this was the worst case scenario for the team, it did serve to benefit one former Texas Longhorn, Colt McCoy. After riding the bench for the last few years, McCoy was thrusted into the starting lineup to finish the season in Smith’s absence.

McCoy’s first chance to show his might on the field came during the team’s recent game against the Dallas Cowboys. However, it didn’t go very well.

McCoy finished the game with 268 passing yards, two touchdowns, three interceptions and a 68.8 passer rating, but it was not enough for Washington to find victory over the surging Dallas Cowboys.

Jordan Hicks

This season has proven to be a breakout year for Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Jordan Hicks. Despite his team’s lack of success, Hicks has put up career-best numbers on a consistent basis. This is why it was so disheartening to see Hicks go down with a calf injury that caused him to miss the Eagles’ recent game against the New York Giants.

It looks like this injury will force him to miss the Eagles’ upcoming game against the Redskins and possibly even more time. Hicks has been an important part of the Philadelphia defense so it will be difficult for the Eagles to adjust moving forward.

Kenny Vaccaro

The Tennessee Titans suffered their second blowout in two weeks after dropping Monday’s matchup against the Houston Texans. Losing by a score of 34-17, the game wasn’t particularly competitive.

The Deshaun Watson-led Texans diced up the Tennessee defense. While the Titans did not perform well as a unit, there were a few positives to be taken away from the team’s defensive performance, the play of Kenny Vaccaro being one of them.

Vaccaro finished the game with eight total tackles, his highest mark of the season. Vaccaro was fantastic in run support during the game, alleviating some of the team’s poor effort on the second level of their defense.

The rest of the Titans defense will have to match the level of play shown by Vaccaro if they wish to keep their playoff hopes alive in the coming weeks.