Tar Heels in NFL: Howell leads Washingon past Dallas, throwing for one TD and running for another

Sam Howell couldn’t have started his NFL career much better. His first professional pass in a regular-season game went for a 16-yard touchdown play. More importantly, he led the Washington Commanders to a 26–6 home victory Sunday over their rival Dallas Cowboys and was given the game ball from Coach Ron Rivera after the game.

Tar Heels in NFL: Loss by Coach Jeff Saturday’s Colts caps a frustrating Week 16 that started with Carter’s 50 yards

Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was back on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ bench. The hopes of making the playoffs for Coach Arthur Smith’s Atlanta Falcons ended. Interim Coach Jeff Saturday’s Indianapolis Colts lost their fifth straight. Texans defensive back M.J. Stewart Jr. suffered a concussion. It was that kind of week with few highlights other than wins by the teams of two offensive linemen who played every offensive snap — Houston’s Charlie Heck and New Orleans’ James Hurst — and Michael Carter’s 50 totals yards to start the NFL week in the New York Jets’ 19–3 Thursday home loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Tar Heels in NFL: Trubisky is efficient, turnover-free in Steelers win; Hollins has TD reception in wacky Raiders win

Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky knew after throwing three interceptions a week earlier in a loss that he had to play a clean game if the Pittsburgh Steelers were going to rebound. Mission accomplished. In his first start since Week 4, he led three long, time-consuming drives and was efficient in a turnover-free game to lead the Steelers to a 24–16 road victory Sunday over the Carolina Panthers.

Tar Heels in NFL: Colts hold off Raiders in Saturday’s NFL coaching debut; Hurst hurt

There were many doubters when the Indianapolis Colts named Jeff Saturday their interim coach, but there was no doubt that his debut went well. The Colts held on to win 25–20 on the road against the Las Vegas Raiders to snap a three-game losing streak in their first game under Saturday, who is the first NFL head coach since 1961 with no college or pro coaching experience. His only previous coaching experience was as the head coach for Hebron Christian Academy in Dacula, Ga., going 20–16 over three seasons.

Tar Heels in NFL: Hollins plays well; Dalton makes NFL debut; Ezeudu gets first NFL start; Fox has best NFL game

On a day that UNC alums didn’t put up big numbers, there were some nice stories with defensive end Jalen Dalton finally making his NFL debut, rookie offensive lineman Joshua Ezeudu making his first NFL start and rookie linebacker Tomon Fox playing his best professional game. Wide receiver Mack Hollins was one of the few bright spots for the Las Vegas Raiders in their 24–0 road loss to the New Orleans Saints. Hollins caught seven passes on eight targets for a team-leading 64 yards, including a 14-yard reception. Star wide receiver Davante Adams, who battled through sickness last week, only had one catch on five targets for three yards.