Leonard Floyd one of the many former Georgia defenders who shined in week 1 of the NFL season
It was a good weekend to be a former Georgia defender in the NFL. A number of former Georgia standouts had strong debuts to start the 2019 NFL season.
Roquan Smith and Leonard Floyd both had standout efforts for the Chicago Bears, albeit in a 10-3 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Smith looked much improved in his second season as he racked 5 tackles and 1 tackle for loss. Floyd meanwhile sacked Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers twice in the game. The two both look poised to have big seasons for Chicago.
In week 2, Floyd and Smith will get a chance to square off against their former defensive coordinator in Vic Fangio, who is now the head coach for the Denver Broncos.
“I’m super-excited going against coach Vic,” Floyd told reporters. “I’m looking forward to playing at a high level so he can notice me.”
In Thomas Davis’ first game for the Los Angeles Chargers, the 14-year veteran showed that he can still perform at a high level. He racked up a team-best 14 tackles as the Chargers opened their season with a 30-24 overtime win against the Indianapolis Colts. This was the first season Davis is not a member of the Carolina Panthers, the team that drafted him back in 2005.
In that same game, Justin Houston also notched a sack for the Colts in his debut with Indianapolis. Houston finished the game with 4 tackles.
Jordan Jenkins of the New York Jets actually produced some points for his defense, as his sack of Josh Allen led to a safety. However, it wasn’t enough to give the Jets a win, as they lost 17-16 to the Buffalo Bills.
On the offensive side of the ball, Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley finished with 97 rushing yards in his debut. There had been a lot of concerns about Gurley’s health this offseason, but he looked strong in the Rams’ win over the Panthers. Gurley didn’t find the end zone, but he did much of his work in the fourth quarter, as 64 of his 97 rushing yards came in that quarter.
As for the top former Georgia pass catcher, that honor goes to Chris Conley, who hauled in 6 catches for 97 yards and a touchdown in his first game with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Conley had to deal with a quarterback change, as Nick Foles was injured. Conley’s efforts were not enough to lead the Jaguars past the Mecole Hardman and the Kansas City Chiefs. Hardman did not have a catch in the game but did return two kickoffs for a total of 45 yards.
Matthew Stafford had a great game for the Detroit Lions, as he threw for 385 yards and 3 touchdowns. But due to some late-game clock mismanagement from the Detroit coaching staff, Stafford had to settle for a tie with the Arizona Cardinals.
For each week, were going to award a Top Dawg award, which will go to the former Bulldog that has the best week in the NFL. And while Stafford, Conley and Davis are all worthy choices, we’re going to go with Floyd for his pass-rushing performance against Green Bay.
Top Dawg in the NFL
Week 1: Leonard Floyd, OLB Chicago Bears
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