Los Angeles Rams fans have been highly critical of Taylor Rapp's play at safety this season. They say he doesn't cover well. Gives up too many big plays. That he's been a liability.
Rapp quieted them on Sunday.
Shut it down.
In a 38-11 victory over the New York Giants, the 6-foot, 208-pound Rapp came up with a full smorgasbord of secondary highlights: his first 2 interceptions of the season, 5 tackles, 3 pass break-ups and a quarterback hit.
A third-year pro appearing in his 30th NFL outing, the former University of Washington player from Bellingham now has 5 career interceptions for the Rams and the franchise continues to view him as a player with considerable upside.
"It's not listening to the outside noise," Rapp said of his outing. "No matter what happens on the outside, it's about taking care of us, taking care of our business, just playing our ball, and that's all that matters."
On Sunday, Rapp had the top performance of all of the one-time Huskies now playing across the NFL.
The Rams safety had the unique experience of playing against and covering a pair of former UW teammates in receivers Dante Pettis and John Ross.
Pettis, who came off the Giants' practice squad and made his first appearance of the season, had 5 catches for 48 yards. Yet on Rapp's second interception, Pettis, the intended target, had to make the tackle.
Also in this game at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, former Huskies turned up on each defensive line. Greg Gaines had 2 tackles for the Rams, same as Danny Shelton for the Giants.
Former UW cornerback Keith Taylor had the best game of his NFL career, with the rookie picking up a team-best 10 tackles and 3 pass defends for the Carolina Panthers in a 34-28 loss to Minnesota.
Ex-Husky linebacker Cory Littleton was similarly proficient for the Las Vegas Raiders, picking up a team-best 11 tackles, plus a pass defense, a quarterback hit and a half sack in his team's 34-24 victory at Denver.
The Arizona Cardinal clobbered Cleveland 37-14 on the road to remain unbeaten in six games and a pair of former UW defensive backs made contributions. Cornerback Byron Murphy had 6 tackles and a pass defend, while safety Budda Baker came up with a pair of tackles.
Ex-Husky tight end Will Dissly caught a 1-yard TD, finishing with 2 for 8 yards overall, and one-time UW cornerback Sidney Jones had 6 tackles before leaving with a chest injury in the Seattle Seahawks' 23-20 overtime loss at Pittsburgh.
In Detroit, defensive tackle Levi Onwuzurike, a rookie from the UW, had a pass defend in the Lions 34-11 loss to Cincinnati, with the winless Lions dropping to 0-6 on the season.
Former Husky defensive tackle Vita Vea supplied 3 tackles and a sack and outside linebacker Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, a rookie from the UW, added 2 tackles in the Tampa Buccaneers' 28-22 victory at Philadelphia. Former Husky Jaydon Mickens returned 3 punts for 21 yards for the winners.
And finally, former UW running backs Salvon Ahmed ran 7 times for 22 yards and Myles Gaskin 5 times for 9 yards in the Miami Dolphins' 23-20 loss to Jacksonville, which became a first-time winner under coach Urban Meyer. Gaskin also caught 2 passes for 5 yards and Ahmed 1 for 15. Both are dealing with reduced roles.
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