The first week of the NFL season is always a bit of an eye-opener as training camp speculation subsides and we’re left with teams that were both over-looked and over-rated. While the Eagles certainly have some things to clean up, they still managed to win — as did several other former Eagles around the league. Carson Wentz squeaked out a win for Washington despite some (big) mistakes late in the game, and Jordan Hicks dominated in the open field for the Vikings but struggled in coverage.
Here’s how some former Eagles did in Week 1:
Carson Wentz’s mixed debut for Washington
The Commanders started the season 1-0 after a win over the Jaguars (and Doug Pederson) on Sunday, but Wentz’s debut as Washington’s QB1 had it’s expected ups and down.
.@cj_wentz ➡️ @JahanDotson = @Commanders touchdown! Carson Wentz is 11-for-15 with 2 TDs— NFL (@NFL) September 11, 2022
: #JAXvsWAS on FOX
: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/mY4ew2vyFN pic.twitter.com/ep7ohUZOAp
Things were going pretty well for the quarterback heading into halftime, and despite finishing the game with 313 passing yards and four touchdowns, he completed just over half of his passes (24-of-41), and threw two ill-timed interceptions.
Wentz locks on to Dotson early, stares it down and is perhaps slightly late with the throw. Allows DB playing off to drive down on the throw and intercept it. pic.twitter.com/K9CAAWw8Io— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) September 11, 2022
It started to look like the kind of late-game collapse we saw from the Wentz last season, he was making bad decisions while up just two points, 14-12, in the fourth quarter. But, this time, he managed to finish strong and answered with two more touchdowns to seal the win.
Other former Eagles for the Commanders include safety Jeremy Reaves who made two total tackles and DE Casey Toohill who had one tackle during the game.
Jordan Hicks, Vikings win big
The Vikings made a big splash on Sunday against the Packers, winning 23-7, and there were several former Eagles contributing to the win.
Linebacker Jordan Hicks signed with Minnesota early in the offseason, and instantly made an impact to their defense. Hicks tied his career-high 14 total tackles in the Week 1 win, and also recorded a strip sack. The LB was dominant in the open field, but did struggle in coverage, allowing eight catches on the eight passes targeting him.
Circling back on this now with PFF data to back it up.— Paul Hodowanic (@PaulHodowanic) September 12, 2022
Jordan Hicks was targeted 8 times in coverage and gave up 8 catches for 88 yards and a passer rating of 112.5. His 45.9 coverage grade was worst on the team. #Vikings https://t.co/irHPLe0mUR
Still, Hicks can clean that up and be the kind of all-over player they expect from someone who was on the field for 97 percent of the defensive snaps. Some other former Eagles for the Vikings include CB Chandon Sullivan, who had four tackles and lined up for 80 percent of the defensive snaps, and WR Jalen Reagor, who had a 7-yard punt return.
For the Packers, cornerback Rasul Douglas had four tackles through 41 defensive snaps, and lined up primarily in the slot, and Rudy Ford only saw special teams snaps in Week 1.
Zach Ertz scores a TD
The tight end was a bit of a question mark heading into the late-afternoon game on Sunday as he had been dealing with a calf injury, but he ended up being active and having an impact on the offense. Ertz finished the day with just two catches for 14 yards, but still managed to get into the endzone.
Kyler Murray throws a touchdown to Zach Ertz #BirdCityFootball pic.twitter.com/XOuVUx5Zwi— Pro Football Culture (@proftblculture) September 11, 2022
Dolphins beat the Patriots
Miami beat New England pretty handily on Sunday, winning 20-7.
In 2015, the Eagles signed RB Raheem Mostert and kept him around through training camp, but ended up releasing him early in the season. He was quickly signed by the Dolphins, but that only lasted a month before Mostert started on what would be a long journey around the league. The RB ended up finding his way back to Miami in early-2022, and in Week 1, recorded five caries for 16 yards, one catch for 16 yards, and a 16-yard kick return.
It’s so good to see Raheem Mostert back. This Dolphins offense is so #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/i3uUGpT5yj— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) September 11, 2022
Other former Eagles on the Dolphins include linebacker Duke Riley, who made four tackles, and safety Eric Rowe, who was inactive due to a pectoral injury.
For the Patriots, safety Jalen Mills had two tackles and WR Nelson Agholor — who ended up sticking around on the 53-man roster despite some chatter this offseason — and had three catches for 28 yards, but also gave up the ball on a fumble.
Nelson Agholor fumbles the football and the Dolphins recover.— Beyond the Monster (@BeyondtheMnstr) September 11, 2022
Tough start to the season for the Patriots.
Jordan Poyer gets new contract incentives
After the two sides failed to come to an agreement in the offseason, the Bills extended an olive branch to Jordan Poyer following an impressive Week 1 performance.
The Bills & S Jordan Poyer agreed to a reworked contract for 2022 that increases the amount he can earn via incentives from $500K to $2M, his agent @DrewJRosenhaus confirmed: “Jordan appreciates this good will gesture by the Bills as we continue to work for a contract extension.”— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 10, 2022
Coming off an All-Pro season, Poyer continued as a starter for the Bills in their dominating win over the Rams on Thursday Night Football. The safety was all over the field and recorded two tackles and an interception. He finished the 2021 tying his career-high of five interceptions, and is off to a quick start to meet or exceed that in 2022.
Colts vs Texans
With Frank Reich’s familiarity with former Eagles, there’s no surprise that the Indianapolis Colts have four Philly alumni on their roster. QB Nick Foles and OT Dennis Kelly (knee) didn’t see any snaps in Week 1, and safety Rodney McLeod interestingly only got 2 defensive snaps, but lined up for 18 special teams snaps (56 percent). McLeod wasn’t a starter and instead seems to be in a backup role to rookie Nick Cross, at least for now. OT Matt Pryor has solidified his spot along the line in Indy, and saw 87 percent of the offensive snaps and 16 percent of the special teams snaps in Sunday 20-20 tie against the Texans.
For Houston, linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill made 18 total tackles, the second-most in his career — his highest being 20 total tackles, also against the Colts back in 2021. Cornerback Tremon Smith finished the day with two total tackles, and punter Cameron Johnston booted the ball seven times for 318 yards, including a 52-yard long and averaging 45.4 yards per punt.
- The Buccaneers elevated DE Genard Avery from the practice squad ahead of Sunday night’s primetime game, and he was on the field for 67 percent of the special team snaps.
- In the Chargers 24-19 win over the Raiders, WR DeAndre Carter had three catches for 64 yards and a touchdown for Los Angeles, and WR Mack Hollins had a 16-yard catch for Las Vegas.
- With Jets’ QB Zach Wilson still recovering from the injury he sustained against the Eagles in the preseason, Joe Flacco is QB1 to start the season. The Jets lost big to Flacco’s former team, the Ravens, in Week 1, with the quarterback completing 37 of 59 pass attempts for 307 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Flacco, and the rest of the team for that matter, didn’t execute very well and certainly have some things to clean up.
- It was not a good week for former Eagles in Denver, who lost in just disastrous fashion against the Seahawks on Monday Night Football. Tight end Eric Tomlinson had one target but no catches, cornerback Ronald Darby had a decent showing with six tackles, one pass breakup, and one forced fumble, and linebacker Alex Singleton (on paper) was fine with nine total tackles. Singleton earned a starting role with Josey Jewell inactice, but struggled in coverage and was often targeted because of it.
They knew Alex Singleton was a mark. https://t.co/N8UnR1zXtW— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) September 13, 2022