The scenario in the final game of the regular season was different for all of the former Bulls on NFL rosters.
For some players, there was little on the line. Others where playing with the hopes that they could capture the remaining playoff spots. And for some Bulls, Week 17 would be the last professional game of football they would play for a bit.
Let's not only look back on how these players did this week, but since the regular season has concluded, let's review how their overall seasons went.
Jason Pierre-Paul- Tampa Bay Buccaneers OLB
Pierre-Paul had an average performance against the Atlanta Falcons. Three tackles, one of them for a loss, nothing special. However, he didn’t need to be as the Bucs had already locked up their spot in the playoffs and were only playing to secure the highest possible playoff spot. The Bucs made sure that happened by putting on an absolute show on offense. With the win, the team managed to secure the five seed in the NFC.
in the #ProBowl for this first time since 2013.— NFL (@NFL) December 26, 2020
What a season it's been for Jason Pierre-Paul! @UDWJPP
: #TBvsDET -- TODAY 1pm ET on @nflnetwork
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While Pierre-Paul had an average Week 17 game, the same can not be said about his overall season. To put it bluntly, not only is he clearly the best Bull in the NFL, but he is one of the best players in the league. He has returned to the elite form he had back in 2011 and with impressive stats like 34 tackles, nine-and-a-half sacks, six pass deflections, and two interceptions, he has earned his third Pro Bowl selection.
Pierre-Paul and the Bucs will be playing this Saturday against the Washington Football Team in the Bucs first playoff game in 13 years.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling- Green Bay Packers WR
MVS had a quiet, but good day. He recorded two catches for a total of 87 yards and a touchdown. That touchdown would be one of several the Packers scored in their 35-16 victory against the Chicago Bears, a victory that secured them the number one playoff spot in the NFC.
.@AaronRodgers12 sees the blitz and floats it to Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 72-yard TD! #GoPackGo— NFL (@NFL) January 3, 2021
: #GBvsCHI on FOX
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This season, MVS caught a total of 33 passes from Aaron Rodgers for 690 receiving yards and a career best six touchdowns. So while nothing special, he has been no slouch and he has been a productive member on the Packers starting roster.
By securing the one seed, MVS and the Packers have earned a first round playoff bye. They will play in two weeks against the lowest ranked team remaining in the NFC.
Aaron Lynch- Jacksonville Jaguars, DE
Lynch did not participate in any plays in the Jaguars’ loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
The veteran’s overall season was much like the Jaguars season, not productive. Lynch only dressed for eight games and only recorded five tackles.
Lynch and the Jaguars played their last game this season, finishing dead last in the league, securing them the chance to draft Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Austin Reiter- Kansas City Chiefs, C
With the top-seed in the AFC and a first-round bye already secured, the Chiefs decided to sit their starters in Week 17, including Reiter.
It has been a pretty good year for Reiter, as a he started 15 games on a team that enters the postseason favored to defend their Super Bowl title.
Deadrin Senat- Atlanta Falcons, DT
Senat was inactive for the Falcons’ loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The big defensive tackle Senat dressed for only five contests this year and recorded just two tackles.
D’Ernest Johnson- Clevaland Browns, RB
Johnson dressed for the Browns’ win over the Pittsburg Steelers, but did not have any carries.
Carries are hard to come by when Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, arguably the most dynamic one-two punch in the league, are ahead of you on the depth chart. Nonetheless, he was able to add to his stat sheet by averaging over five yards a carry for 187 yards this season.
With the win, Johnson and the Browns are heading to the playoffs for the first time since 2002. They will face the Steelers once again.
Marlon Mack- Indianapolis Colts, RB
Mack, of course, is still recovering from a torn Achilles suffered in Week 1. With the emergence of Jonathan Taylor as Indy’s featured back, Mack will more than likely be finding a new home as he is set to become a free agent this offseason.