Pro-Style Pigskins: Week 17 Edition of Illinois Fighting Illini in the NFL

Former Illinois wide receiver Brandon Lloyd (#84) waves to the crowd as his Pro Bowl selection is announced to Denver Broncos' fans at Mile High at Invesco Field during Sunday's loss to the San Diego Chargers. While the Broncos finished a miserable 4-12, Lloyd had a career season, leading the NFL with 1,448 receiving yards.

The regular season has come to a close in the NFL.

For some former Illini, it’s time to pack up and start preparing for next year.

For others, it’s playoff time.

Here is a look at how former Illini fared in the NFL fared during the final week of the regular season.

Cornerback Vontae Davis

Davis and the rest of the Miami secondary really struggled against the Patriots’ Tom Brady and his pass attack. Davis recorded 3 tackles and a pass breakup in the rout.

Wide Receiver Greg Lewis

Lewis did not have a reception as the Vikings capped off their disappointing season with a loss to the Lions in Detroit.

Running Back Rashard Mendenhall vs. Offensive Lineman Tony Pashos

Mendenhall only had 36 yards, but still had two touchdowns as the Steelers rested their starters for most of the game having secured their playoff birth prior to Week 17.

Pashos is out with an injury.

Punter Steve Weatherford, Offensive Lineman Brandon Moore and Tight End Jeff Cumberland

Weatherford had an outstanding game, averaging more than 41 yards per punt and downing 4 of his 6 punts inside the opponent’s 20.

Moore and the rest of the line helped the Jets rush for 276 yards and allowed only one sack in a dominant performance.

Cumberland had his first reception of the year after the first string players sat down.

Cumberland caught a three-yard pass from backup quarterback Mark Brunell.

Wide Receiver Arrelious Benn vs. Running Back Pierre Thomas

Both Benn and Thomas were out for the game due to season-ending injuries suffered earlier in the season.
Thomas is recovering from a serious ankle injury, while Benn will soon undergo surgery for a torn ACL.

Offensive Lineman David Diehl

New York only had 82 yards rushing in the game, but that was due to the success of the passing game, not from a lack of effort from Diehl and his fellow lineman.

New York did not give up a single sack in the game while protecting the New York quarterbacks as they threw for 243 yards.

Kicker Neil Rackers and Safety Eugene Wilson

Rackers followed the example set by current Illini kicker Derek Dimke in the same stadium last week, making both his field goals and four PATs.

Wilson lead the team with six tackles.

Cornerback Alan Ball and Defensive Lineman Josh Brent

Both defenders had so-so days. Ball and Brent recorded 2 tackles apiece in the win.

Wide Receiver Brandon Lloyd

Lloyd finished the regular season leading the NFL in receiving yards.

It is a shame the rest of the Broncos could not get their act together as Denver finished the season 4-12.

Lloyd wrapped up the season with 73 yards receiving and a touchdown.

His final season stats were 1,448 yards receiving, an average of more than 90 yards a game, and 11 touchdowns.

Lloyd will play for the AFC in the Pro Bowl.

Linebacker Will Davis

Davis is out for the season after fracturing his leg.

Tight End Michael Hoomanawanui and Linebacker Brit Miller

Hoomanawanui did not have a reception in the game.

Miller had one tackle on special teams.

That’s it for this week’s Pigskins.

Good luck to all the former Illini in the playoffs.

Until next week.

Topics: Alan Ball, Arrelious "Rejus" Benn, Arrelious Benn, Brandon Lloyd, Brandon Moore, Brit Miller, David Diehl, Eugene Wilson, Greg Lewis, Illini, Illinois, Jeff Cumberland, Josh Brent, Michael Hoomanawanui, Neil Rackers, NFL, Pierre Thomas, Pro Bowl, Rashard Mendenhall, Steve Weatherford, Super Bowl, Tony Pashos, Vontae Davis, Will Davis

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