Utes in the NFL: Week 1


University of Utah senior defensive back Marquise Blair (13) celebrated after an incompletion (play however was called back) during an NCAA Football game vs. Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, CA on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018.(Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Eric Jensen, Sports Writer


Week one of NFL action is in the books. While your team may not have won, 20 former Utah football players took to their first game for this NFL season and had some solid performances. Let’s spin around the NFL to check out how they did.


Zack Moss– Buffalo Bills 

The newly minted NFL rookie saw his first NFL touchdown on Sunday. That being said, Moss was not an otherworldly difference-maker in week one. He only put up 27 total yards on 12 touches. His touchdown was a leisurely stroll into the endzone. He did not make a lot happen for himself, and Devin Singletary was still the primary ball carrier in Buffalo.

Team note: The Bills demolished a Jets team that simply wasn’t ready to play on Sunday. You can’t take a whole lot out of this win other than the fact Josh Allen still struggles in the deep passing game. The Bills face another lackluster defense next week in Miami.


Jaylon Johnson – Chicago Bears

Johnson had a great opening day showing for the Bears. The former All-American started for the Bears on the opening weekend and made his presence known. Not only did he have the game-winning pass break up for Chicago, but he also had a pass breakup that led to an interception for the Bears.

Team note: The Bears won a messy game versus the Lions last week. Even though Mitch Trubisky looked good at times, there are still some things that need to be cleaned up on this Bears team. They will head to New York to take on the Giants next Sunday.


Marquise Blair – Seattle Seahawks 

Blair posted 7 combined tackles in his second-year debut with the Seahawks. Blair played 70 percent of the defensive stats for the Seahawks. Blair also forced a fumble in week one, making him one of the best Seattle defensive players in week one. Though Blair is listed as a safety, he saw almost all of his time at corner in this game. It’s hard to say who Blair was matched up on exactly though as the Seahawks play a zone scheme. That said, coverage was a slight issue as the Seahawks gave up 450 passing yards. PFF gave Blair a 40 (failing) week one coverage grade. That said, this is the first week.

Team note: The Seahawks went off offensively in week one. If they truly are letting Russ cook- a popular term in NFL circles for allowing Russell Wilson to move the offense through the passing game, then the NFC is in real trouble. The Seahawks are featured on Sunday Night Football next week, as they will take on the New England Patriots.


Devontae Booker– Las Vegas Raiders 

It is hard to steal touches from one of the league’s best week one backs in Josh Jacobs who hardly ever left the field. That said, Booker put up 52 total yards – an ok contribution. He did have a costly fumble for the Raiders, though.

Team note: The Raiders offense looks the same as it ever did. Short passing and using the ground attack. Derek Carr is still too afraid to throw the ball downfield or really challenge defenses, and the best part of this team is Josh Jacobs, which does not bode well for Booker, who will already be seeing a limited role as the Raiders third back.


Tim Patrick – Denver Broncos 

Tim Patrick’s role on the Denver Broncos will very much be the slot and fourth position wide out on the team. However in week one due to a Courtland Sutton injury, he was forced into the role of being the number two. Patrick didn’t do much with that roll. He didn’t get much separation and certainly didn’t produce after the catch. 29 yards on four catches.

Team note: Without Courtland Sutton, the Broncos really did become a run-first team., running the ball on first down almost 50 percent of the first downs they got. Patrick doesn’t really fit in as a contributor to this offense truthfully. He’ll have one or two big plays every three weeks, and then he will disappear for the next three. While he provides good depth for the Broncos, they seem to refuse to throw past the first down marker in week one.


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