Takeaways: NFL Utes Thrive in Week 1
The NFL kicked off this last week with numerous former Utes in action. Between position switches, comebacks, highly-anticipated debuts, and more, there was no shortage of reasons to be excited about if you’re a Ute fan.
Here are some of the takeaways of the performances for Week 1 of the NFL season.
Blair is thriving after moving to nickel
The hard-hitting Marquise Blair was showing he had a bright future at safety with the Seattle Seahawks in 2019, but the Seahawks added Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs — all but assuring Blair a backup role. And then came an experiment… Blair was given an opportunity at nickel back and he ran with it, quickly becoming the surprise of their camp. He rewarded his coaches with their faith in him on Sunday, as he recorded seven tackles and a forced fumble. The Seahawks went on to beat the Atlanta Falcons 38-25. Blair looks as though he’ll be a big defensive factor, going forward.
Welcome to the NFL, Jaylon Johnson
Jaylon Johnson had a day to remember as he got trucked by Detroit receiver, Marvin Jones Jr., while trying to make an open-field tackle. Detroit quarterback Matt Stanford threw his way frequently to test him and overall it didn’t go well for the Lions. Johnson finished the day with six tackles and two pass breakups — one of those being the final play in which prevented a Lion’s game-winning touchdown. It was the type of play for Johnson that NFL quarterbacks are going to have to get used to and he stole the moment from one of the better quarterbacks in the league.
After first TD, Moss was held in check
Overall, Zack Moss had a day that won’t go down as one of his best. He had nine carries for 11 yards, but his counterpart, Devin Singletary didn’t run away with the job, either (nine carries for 30 yards). Moss also added three receptions for 16 yards and his first NFL touchdown, where he improvised and worked himself open in the end zone. Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw it to where only Moss could get it and it put Buffalo on the board, 14-0. The Ute-Great also affected another touchdown, as the Jets sold hard on the play fake and Allen walked in easily for a two-yard touchdown.
It wasn’t a typical Zack Moss performance, but those days are coming — and so are many many more touchdowns. Get ready, NFL defenses.
Welcome back Smith. Everyone is your fan
Alex Smith still has a ways to go, but his remarkable journey continued on Sunday, by making Washington’s 53-man roster. Currently the third-string quarterback, don’t be surprised to see Smith eventually get action in a meaningful game. When he does, it’ll mark the greatest comeback in arguably sports history, as his leg was nearly amputated and his life was on the line. Whatever is to come of his future and 2020 season, Smith is an inspiration for everyone… Oh, and his head coach Ron Rivera, has already gone on record saying he’s comfortable putting Alex in a game. Wow. Just… wow. We’re all rooting for you, Alex.