After Week 1 of the NFL's regular season, many former Gators had huge performances for their respective professional teams. Here’s a look at how some of those players did this weekend in this edition of Gators in the NFL:
While many former Gators defenders had standout showings to start the season, none were as noticeable as Detroit Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis in his NFL debut.
Davis led the team with nine tackles, all of which were solo, and recovered a fumble in the Lions’ 35-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
Atlanta Falcons defensive back Brian Poole recorded a team-high-tying seven tackles in Sunday’s 23-17 win against the Chicago Bears. Poole also sacked Bears’ quarterback Mike Glennon in the victory. His teammate, safety Keanu Neal, made five tackles, four solo, in the win, as well.
In the Indianapolis Colts' 46-9 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, linebackers Jon Bostic and Antonio Morrison provided bright spots in the Colts' blowout defeat. Bostic was second on the team with seven tackles (five solo) with one of his being an assisted tackle for a loss on Rams running back Todd Gurley, while Morrison recorded four tackles (three solo).
New York Jets safety Marcus Maye made seven tackles (four solo, three assisted) in his NFL debut in a 21-12 loss against the Buffalo Bills, and Oakland Raiders defensive back Reggie Nelson had eight tackles (five solo, three assisted) and a pass breakup in the Raiders’ 26-16 win against the Tennessee Titans.
New Orleans linebacker Alex Anzalone also had a strong debut this week. In Monday night’s 29-19 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Anzalone made two solo tackles — including one on former FSU running back Dalvin Cook — and allowed two catches for seven yards in his zone of coverage.
Finding the end zone:
A couple of former Gators scored touchdowns in the first week of the season.
New England Patriots running back Mike Gillislee made a statement in the Patriots’ 42-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Gillislee found the end zone three times on Thursday and ran for 45 yards on 15 carries. He split carries with James White and seems to be New England’s main option at running back.
While Gillislee may have been the only Gator to score an offensive touchdown, he wasn’t the only one to get into the end zone.
In the Jacksonville Jaguars' 29-7 win against the Houston Texans, defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. recovered a fumble and returned it 53 yards in the second quarter to put the Jaguars ahead by 19. One quarter later, he forced a fumble from Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson. Fowler Jr. finished the game with three solo tackles, two for a loss, and a sack.
Fowler Jr. is in his third season in the league, and his second year playing after he tore his ACL as a rookie in the summer of 2015.
You can follow Jake Dreilinger on Twitter @DreilingerJake, and contact him at [email protected].