Week 1 of the 2014 NFL season kicked off on Thursday with the Packers traveling to Seattle to take on the defending world champion Seahawks. Former Buckeye Corey Linsley, a rookie, got the start at center for Green Bay. Linsley did very well, particularly going up against a stout defense like Seattle's. Pro Football Focus premium stats gave Linsley a positive grade overall for his performance, noting just one quarterback hurry allowed by Linsley. Packers veteran and former Buckeye A.J. Hawk contributed on defense as well. The linebacker had four tackles and four assists in Green Bay's 16-36 loss to the Seahawks.
Here was Linsley intro'ing himself on national television in his first ever game as a pro:
Cincinnati kicked off the season against the Ravens, and kicker Mike Nugent contributed 15 points to the Bengals' 23-16 win in Baltimore. Nugent scored Cincinnati's only points until A.J. Green caught a touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter to establish the lead that resulted in a win. Nugent connected on five of six field goal attempts.
Former Buckeye Santonio Holmes took the field for the first time as a Chicago Bear on Sunday as the Bears welcomed the Buffalo Bills to Soldier Field. Holmes contributed less than might be expected on a day when his teammate Alshon Jeffery had to leave the game due to a hamstring injury. Holmes had 21 receiving yards in a 23-20 overtime loss to the Bills.
The New England Patriots traveled to Miami and ended up losing their season opener to the Dolphins. Former Buckeye Nate Ebner had one tackle for the Patriots, while Brian Hartline had 26 receiving yards for Miami in the Dolphins' 20-33 win over the Pats.
The Oakland Raiders took on the New York Jets, featuring former Buckeye Nick Mangold at center, in the Meadowlands. The Jets allowed two sacks on quarterback Geno Smith in the 14-19 win over the Raiders.
Malcolm Jenkins signed with the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason, and took the field for Philly today at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jenkins had four solo tackles and Philadelphia's defense shut out the Jags in the second half of a 34-17 win for the Eagles.
The Cleveland Browns traveled to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. Former Buckeye Donte Whitner had 12 solo tackles and one assist in Cleveland's 27-30 loss. Rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier also started for the Steelers, posting five solo tackles and one assist with one tackle for loss.
Rookie running back Carlos Hyde had an impressive regular season NFL debut for the San Francisco 49ers. Hyde's 50 rushing yards and touchdown helped the 49ers defeat the Cowboys in Dallas 28-17. The touchdown was everything we grew used to seeing in Columbus, but perhaps more impressively, in the run setting up the score -- on Hyde's first ever NFL carry no less -- he threw Cowboys defensive back Barry Church off him like oh so many Big Ten defenders:
Rookie Panthers receiver Philly Brown made his NFL debut against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon. Brown had 36 punt return yards, with a long of 23 yards. He also even had his first ever NFL tackle on special teams. The Panthers beat the Bucs in Tampa Bay 20-14.
The Colts and the Broncos faced off in the first Sunday Night Football action of the season. Rookie Jack Mewhort got the start for the Colts at left guard. Mewhort had an outstanding evening, drawing high praise from NBC color commentator Cris Collinsworth. He also followed in Linsley's footsteps in terms of representing 'THE' Ohio State University:
For the Broncos, rookie cornerback Bradley Roby had an excellent game. Roby had seven solo tackles, a fumble recovery, and an excellent game clinching pass deflection near the end of the game.
Here's Roby icing things against perennial Pro Bowler Reggie Wayne:
Bradley Roby caps a stellar NFL debut with the game clinching breakup on Reggie Wayne: http://t.co/xvdPDWG5uz— Land-Grant Holy Land (@Landgrant33) September 8, 2014
He was consistently solid in coverage. The Colts fell to the Broncos with a final score of 24-31.
What was your favorite moment from a former Buckeye during Sunday's games?