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Buckeyes in the NFL Week 1: Chase Young’s impressive rookie debut, Jerome Baker leads the league in tackles

Former Buckeyes left their mark and then some in Week 1 of the NFL

Philadelphia Eagles v Washington Football Team Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Against all odds, the NFL not only kicked off its 2020 season over the weekend, but it did so successfully. Ahead of Week 1, the league reported zero positive COVID-19 tests.

Now that games have been played, hopefully we don’t see these numbers change too drastically in the coming days. If they don’t, it will certainly offer a glimmer of desperately needed hope that yes... football is, in fact, back for good.

This is exceptional news for Ohio State fans, because if Week 1 is any indication of how Buckeyes in the NFL are going to perform this season, then we might not even need the Big Ten to give us our Ohio State-fix. (Big Ten, if you’re reading this, that’s not true. Please give us football back)

Rookies

Let’s begin with the top performances by the rookies, because it took exactly one week, hell, one quarter for Chase Young, J.K. Dobbins and Jordan Fuller to make a name for themselves at the professional level.

Chase YoungWashington Football Team

As a surprise to absolutely no one, Young recorded his first sack and forced fumble just 12 minutes into his NFL debut against the Philadelphia Eagles. In a 27-17 comeback win for Washington, Young finished the game with four total tackles and 1.5 sacks. The team as a whole recorded eight total sacks.

J.K. DobbinsBaltimore Ravens

In a performance that made every NFL GM who let him fall to the No. 55 overall pick in the Draft cringe with regret, Dobbins scored two touchdowns in his first game as a Baltimore Raven, beating the Cleveland Browns 38-6. He totaled seven carries for 22 yards.

Jordan FullerLos Angeles Rams

Selected in the sixth round of the NFL Draft, Fuller, like Dobbins, dropped way below his market value, which was made especially clear in his debut with the LA Rams. The former Ohio State safety led the team with eight total tackles, including a critical fourth-down tackle early in the fourth quarter, maintaining the Rams’ lead and eventual victory over the Cowboys.

Rookies honorable mention:

Malik Harrison (Baltimore Ravens) started at linebacker and recorded four tackles and a pass deflection.

DaVon Hamilton (Jacksonville Jaguars) recorded two tackles off the bench.

Damon Arnette (Las Vegas Raiders) totaled five tackles and one pass deflection, however he did get burned by Carolina Panthers WR Robby Anderson on a 75-yard touchdown pass.

Veterans

The rookies certainly weren’t the only Buckeyes making noise on Sunday.

Dwayne Haskins and Terry McLaurin— The Washington Football Team

In his first game as The Washington Football’s QB1, Haskins helped lead his offense to five scoring drives in the game’s final 31 minutes, coming from behind to beat the Eagles 27-17, while McLaurin led the team with five catches for 61 yards. Haskins ended the game with 17 of 31 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown.

However, a quarterback’s job extends far beyond their performance on the field, and Haskins happened to excel in all aspects of the position on Sunday.

Washington was down 17-7 at halftime, however head coach Ron Rivera, who was diagnosed with cancer in August, has to get an IV during halftime and couldn’t speak to the team. So Haskins took over and gave the team an “energizing” locker-room speech. After the game, his teammates credited said speech for their 20-0 comeback.

Ezekiel Elliott— Dallas Cowboys

Elliott rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, and racked up three catches for 31 yards and a touchdown in his season opener, making it the 14th time in his professional career that he scored more than one touchdown in a game.

He also earned a lot of media attention for his new “Feed Me” tattoo on his stomach, which he revealed after he flew past four Rams defenders and broke two tackles before launching himself into the end zone in pure Zeke fashion.

Joey Bosa— Los Angeles Chargers

In the Chargers’ 16-13 win against the Cincinnati Bengals, Bosa began his fifth year in the NFL with five total tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack of his former Ohio State teammate, Joe Burrow.

“He was my scout team quarterback so he is used to being chased by me,” Bosa said.

Jerome BakerMiami Dolphins

While the Dolphins may have lost to the New England Patriots 21-11 on Sunday, Baker had the most productive game of his NFL career with with 16 total tackles— the most of any player in the league in Week 1— and one sack. The highlights of his day came in the first-quarter when he boomed through the Patriots offensive line to Cam Newton for a 9-yard sack.

And also late in the third quarter after stripping wide receiver N’Keal Harry at the one-yard line before knocking the ball through the endzone for a touchback, preventing a Patriots touchdown.

Parris CampbellIndianapolis Colts

Campbell’s rookie season was subpar due to injuries, so he was long overdue for a breakout performance which came Sunday when he caught six passes for a team-high 71 yards along with a 9-yard run in the Colts’ season opener against the Jaguars

Cam HeywardPittsburgh Steelers

Monday’s games saw some serious Buckeye action as well, led by former Ohio State defensive lineman Cam Heyward, who kicked off his 10th NFL season with the first interception of his career. This milestone comes just one week after the Steelers signed Heyward to a four-year contract extension worth $65.6 million, making him the NFL’s highest-paid player over 30.

Honorable Mentions:

New England Patriots

DL John Simon4 tackles, 1 tackle for loss

Cincinnati Bengals

S Vonn Bell 8 tackles

DE Sam Hubbard— 9 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss

Cleveland Browns

CB Denzel Ward— 3 tackles

Houston Texans

CB Bradley Roby— 6 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss

Indianapolis Colts

S Malik Hooker 5 tackles

Denver Broncos

DE Dre’Mont Jones— 3 tackles

TE Nick Vannett— 1 reception, -6 yards

Las Vegas Raiders

DT Johnathan Hankins— 1 tackle

LB Raekwon McMillan— 1 tackle

Philadelphia Eagles

P Cameron Johnston: 5 punts, 53.6 yards per, 3 inside-20s

Chicago Bears

WR Ted Ginn Jr.— 0 receptions, 1 target

Minnesota Vikings

DT Jalyn Holmes— 2 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss

Carolina Panthers

WR Curtis Samuel—5 receptions, 38 yards; 1 carry, 9 yards

New Orleans Saints

S Malcolm Jenkins— 6 tackles, 1 pass breakup

CB Marshon Lattimore— 2 tackles, 1 pass breakup

WR Michael Thomas— 3 receptions, 17 yards

San Francisco 49ers

DE Nick Bosa— 6 tackles, 1 forced fumble

Seattle Seahawks

RB Carlos Hyde—7 carries, 23 yards, 1 touchdown