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Utes in the NFL: Week 1 Review, Week 2 Preview

Sep 15, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY – The University of Utah football program was well represented in the first week of the 2020 NFL regular season as the former Utes put on a show for their respective teams, coming away key plays and many "firsts" for the Utah rookies.

The Utes had six rookies earn playing time in week one with former All-American and second round draft pick Jaylon Johnson starting for the Chicago Bears. Johnson was the first Bears rookie to start at cornerback on opening day since Walt Harris in 1996 and the first non-first round draft pick for the Bears to start at CB in an opener since Mike Richardson in 1983.

In the Kyle Whittingham era at Utah, the Utes have had eight drafted rookies start in a season opener with Johnson joining Mitch Wishnowsky (San Francisco, 2019), Matt Gay (Tampa Bay, 2019), Marcus Williams (New Orleans, 2017), Garett Bolles (Denver, 2017), Jeremiah Poutasi (Tennessee, 2015), Star Lotulelei (Carolina, 2013) and Zane Beadles (Denver, 2010).

Johnson was outstanding in his professional debut, finishing the game with six tackles and two passes defended. The Fresno, Calif., native showed his speed and athleticism throughout the game, providing the tight coverage Utah fans are used to seeing from him, ending the game with a knockdown in the end zone with no time left on the clock to secure the Chicago win.  

Utah's former secondary had a stellar weekend with Williams and Marquise Blair coming away with big plays for the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively.

Williams notched his 11th interception as a Pro Ute in New Orleans win over Tampa Bay, picking off Tom Brady in the second quarter and returning it for 17 yards to set up the Saints' second touchdown of the game. Blair racked up seven tackles in Seattle's win over Atlanta, also forcing a fumble in the third quarter on a fourth down attempt with the Seahawks regaining possession and scoring on their next drive.

For the former Utes on the offensive side of the ball, rookie and All-American Zack Moss showed his versatility as a running back on Sunday in Buffalo's win over the Jets, scoring his first career touchdown as a pro. He finished with nine carries for 11 yards and three receptions for 16 yards, scoring on a four-yard catch in the first quarter.

NFL Regular Season Week 1 Recap

Player, Team Game Result Highlights
Bradlee Anae, Dallas at L.A. Rams L, 20-17 Played on ST
Cody Barton, Seattle at Atlanta W, 38-25 Played on ST, Sub at LB
Marquise Blair, Seattle at Atlanta W, 38-25 7 tackles, 1 FF
Garett Bolles, Denver vs. Tennessee L, 16-14 Started at LT
Devontae Booker, Las Vegas at Carolina W, 34-30 4 rush, 29 yds; 3 rec, 23 yds
Terrell Burgess, L.A. Rams vs. Dallas W, 20-17 Played on ST
Kylie Fitts, Arizona at San Francisco W, 24-20 Played on ST, 1 tackle
Leki Fotu, Arizona at San Francisco W, 24-20 Sub on DL
Chase Hansen, New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay W, 34-23 Played on ST
Jaylon Johnson, Chicago at Detroit W, 27-23 Started at CB; 6 tackles, 2 PD
Zack Moss, Buffalo vs. New York Jets W, 27-17 9 rush, 11 yds; 3 rec, 16 yds (1 TD)
Tim Patrick, Denver vs. Tennessee L, 16-14 Started at WR; 4 rec, 29 yds
John Penisini, Detroit vs. Chicago L, 27-23 Sub on DL
Eric Rowe, Miami at New England L, 21-11 5 tackles
Sam Tevi, L.A. Chargers at Cincinnati W, 16-13 Started at LT
Marcus Williams, New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay W, 34-23 Started at FS; 1 tackle, 1 INT, 1 PD
Mitch Wishnowsky, San Francisco vs. Arizona L, 24-20 4 punts, 178 yds (44.5), 3 IN20, 51 LG

Note: ST = Special Teams

As the Utes head into week two of the regular season, several former Utah athletes will go head to head again.

How To Watch The Utes In NFL Week Two:

Day Game Time TV Utes To Watch
Sun., Sept. 20 NY Giants at Chicago 11 a.m. CBS #33 Jaylon Johnson (Chicago)
#72 Jackson Barton (NY Giants)
Sun., Sept. 20 Atlanta at Dallas 11 a.m. FOX #56 Bradlee Anae (Dallas)
Sun., Sept. 20 Detroit at Green Bay 11 a.m. FOX #91 John Penisini (Detroit)
Sun., Sept. 20 Minnesota at Indianapolis 11 a.m. FOX #32 Julian Blackmon (Indianapolis)
Sun., Sept. 20 Buffalo at Miami 11 a.m. CBS #20 Zack Moss (Buffalo)
#21 Eric Rowe (Miami)
Sun., Sept. 20 San Francisco at NY Jets 11 a.m. FOX #6 Mitch Wishnowsky (San Francisco)
Sun., Sept. 20 L.A. Rams at Philadelphia 11 a.m. FOX #26 Terrell Burgess (L.A. Rams)
Sun., Sept. 20 Denver at Pittsburgh 11 a.m. CBS #72 Garett Bolles (Denver)
#81 Tim Patrick (Denver)
Sun., Sept. 20 Washington at Arizona 2:05 p.m. FOX #11 Alex Smith (Washington)
#95 Leki Fotu (Arizona)
#49 Kylie Fitts (Arizona)
Sun., Sept. 20 Kansas City at L.A. Chargers 2:25 p.m. CBS #69 Sam Tevi (L.A. Chargers)
Sun., Sept. 20 New England at Seattle 6:20 p.m. NBC #57 Cody Barton (Seattle)
#27 Marquise Blair (Seattle)
Mon., Sept. 21 New Orelans at Las Vegas 6:15 p.m. ESPN #43 Marcus Williams (New Orleans)
#42 Chase Hansen (New Orleans)
#23 Devontae Booker (Las Vegas)

Note: All Times MT