Lavonte David leads top performing Huskers in the NFL

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Lavonte David walks the sideline during a 2014 game against the Carolina Panthers.

The regular season ended this past weekend for more than a dozen former Huskers in the NFL. Eleven more will continue their quest for a Super Bowl title starting Saturday, and we'll cover them later this week.

Linebacker Lavonte David had probably the best season of any Nebraska player to not make the playoffs.

His 147 combined tackles, including 10 for a loss, ranked No. 3 in the league. He also forced and recovered a pair of fumbles. 

David, who signed a 5-year, $50.25 million contract extension in the offseason, continued to cement his place as one of the biggest "two-way threats" in the NFL. He intercepted three passes, which tied him for third among all linebackers. He also had 16 pass defenses.

He was the only linebacker during the regular season to record both double-digit pass defenses and tackles for loss.

David was snubbed for the Pro Bowl, which infuriated some of his teammates. David has never made the Pro Bowl in his five-year career, but he is a first alternate this season.

Rookie Ameer Abdullah had the best season of any former Husker with the ball in his hands.

Abdullah led the league in kickoff return yardage, breaking a Detroit Lions franchise record with an average of 29.1 yards-per-return. As an all-purpose back, Abdullah had 143 carries for 597 yards — a 4.2-yard average — and two touchdowns, plus 25 catches for 183 yards and a score.

A pair of former Husker specialists also had strong seasons.

Ravens punter Sam Koch was selected to the Pro Bowl. He finished second in the league in net punt yardage (42.9 yards) and had the second fewest average return yards (5.0) against him.

ESPN's Kevin Seifert wrote Koch has "changed the punting game" with his wide variety of different punts. 

Giants kicker Josh Brown had the best season of his career. He made 94 percent of his field goals (30 of 32), his highest mark since entering the league in 2003. That percentage also tied for the league lead.

Controversial former Husker Richie Incognito saw a resurgence in his NFL career. Incognito reappeared in the league after the 2013 bullying scandal that resulted in him getting booted by the Miami Dolphins.

Incognito was picked up by the Buffalo Bills in the offseason, and he played every offensive snap for them in 2015. He'll be a free agent after this season, but has said he wants to return to the Bills.

Incognito played two seasons for the Huskers in 2002 and 2003, earning Freshman All-American and All-Big 12 honors during that time. Incognito was dismissed from the team prior to the 2004 season for continued violations of team rules, something that plagued him throughout his time in Lincoln.

* * *

There are several other former Huskers that wrapped up their NFL seasons last weekend. Here's a roundup of how each one performed in 2015:

OL Matt Slauson, Chicago Bears: Started all 16 games and played 100 percent of the Bears' offensive snaps. He only allowed two sacks and won the local media's "Good Guy" Award.

DE/OLB Randy Gregory, Dallas Cowboys: Suffered a high ankle sprain in the season opener and played in only seven games during his rookie season. He recorded 11 tackles with no sacks.

CB Josh Mitchell, Indianapolis Colts: Spent the season on injured reserve after signing with the Colts as an undrafted free agent.

DT Ndamukong Suh, Miami Dolphins: Signed a record contract with the Dolphins during the offseason and started all 16 games. His six sacks ranked him No. 5 among defensive tackles, and his 61 combined tackles were good for fourth at his position.

DE Prince Amukamara, New York Giants: Missed five games with a pectoral injury but still finished third on the Giants with 63 tackles. Amukamara also had an interception and defended 10 passes.

WR Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets: Played in 12 games with six starts. His 22 receptions for 315 yards were each the third most on the Jets among wide receivers. Enunwa had a catch in each of his last seven games, with multiple grabs in five of the last seven.

OL Brent Qvale, New York Jets: Played in all 16 games, mostly on special teams. Qvale did make one start this season.

RB Roy Helu Jr., Oakland Raiders: Injuries and inconsistent play plagued Helu all season. He played in nine games with only 17 rushing attempts for 39 yards. He also had nine receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown.

FS Larry Asante, Oakland Raiders: Played in all 16 games with two starts. He made 30 tackles and defended a pair of passes.

WR Kenny Bell, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Spent the season on injured reserve with a hamstring injury he suffered in the preseason.

S Daimion Stafford, Tennessee Titans: Played in all 16 games with two starts. He had 25 combined tackles, a sack and five pass defenses.

CB Zack Bowman, Miami Dolphins: Played in 10 games with no starts. He intercepted a pass and defended two others.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.