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How former Memphis Tigers are doing on offense in the 2023 NFL season



(Image Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

In September, I wrote about my expectations for the Memphis alumni for this current NFL season. There are currently 11 Former Tigers in the league. Using Pro Football Focus’ (PFF) advanced metrics as well as box scores, here’s how they grade out through 12 weeks. (note that all stats and grades are from week 12 and prior)


Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys, Grade: C

In the preseason, Cowboys fans had lofty expectations for Pollard. These expectations were largely due to the departure of Ezekiel Elliot from Dallas. In the past Pollard has always been the lightning to the thunder of Elliot. Pollard’s 70.1 PFF rushing grade is 38th out of all eligible rushers. He hasn’t been bad but it’s becoming apparent that he excels as a change of pace back and is not meant to be a lead back on an elite rushing offense.

Season Stats: 160 attempts, 669 yards, 4 touchdowns, 39 receptions, 233 rec yards

Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Philadelphia Eagles, Grade: F

Due to the emergence of Eagles running back D’Andre Swift and the mobile play style of quarterback Jalen Hurts, Gainwell has taken a backseat as the third runner on the team. When he has played, it hasn’t looked great.

Averaging only 3.5 yards per carry behind the best offensive line in the league is a tell tale sign of his declining efficiency. And out of the 59 running backs who meet the snap count requirement to be graded by PFF, Gainwell’s 50.4 offense grade ranks 59th. It’s obviously been a tough year so far for the former stud at Memphis.

Season Stats: 57 attempts, 202 carries, 2 touchdowns, 18 receptions, 88 rec yards

Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Commanders, Grade: D

Gibson is in the midst of his third season in a row of declining production. When he has played, he’s looked capable (PFF offense grade of 69.0; good for 35th). But being given only 36 carries all year compared to Brian Robinson Jr.’s 153 makes it tough for Gibson to produce.

Season Stats: 36 attempts, 158 yards, 0 touchdowns, 33 receptions, 285 rec yards

Dylan Parham, IOL, Las Vegas Raiders, Grade: B-

The most effective way to evaluate offensive line play is by watching the tape. Unfortunately for Parham, he may not receive a fair evaluation from me as my grade for him is strictly based on box scores and PFF. As a pass blocker, Parham has been solid. A 65.8 pass block grade has him at 39 among all guards.

But he’s always been on the smaller side for the position with his 285-pound frame, which is a largely why he normally struggles in the run game. Parham’s 56.7 run block grade ranks 72nd in the league.

Season Stats: 1 sack, 19 pressures, 16 hurries, 4 penalties

Calvin Austin III, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers, Grade: C+

Austin has the ability to be a spark for an offense that desperately needs it. This 72 yard touchdown catch against the Raiders in week three is his only highlight reel play of the season.

Pittsburgh’s offense ranks bottom 5 in nearly every category which led them to fire offensive coordinator Matt Canada. This creates optimism that Austin will be used to his strengths and not be used on an end around on 4th and 1.

Season Stats: 16 receptions, 170 yards, 1 touchdown, 8 carries, 30 yards.


Jake Elliot, Philadelphia Eagles, Grade: A+

Elliot has been the best kicker in the league this season. His incredible efficiency and clutch timing has helped the Eagles to a league best 10-1 record. In the sunday primetime window of week 12, Elliot showed off the boot with this 59 yard bomb to send the game to overtime.

Season Stats: 19/21 FG, 6/7 from 50+ yards, 33/34 XP, long 59

Riley Patterson, K Detroit Lions, Grade: B-

Other than a horrific missed 26 yarder (that cost one poor bettor $4,000), Patterson has been solid. Apart from that mishap, he is 11/11 from 5o or less yards which is as much as you can ask for from a kicker.

Season Stats: 13/15 FG, 31/32 XP, long 53