Notre Dame NFL Roundup: Week One

Bryan Driskell

The opening week of the NFL meant a high number of former Irish players were making their 2020 debuts. Here’s a rundown of how they performed:

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 34, HOUSTON TEXANS 20

Houston and the defending champion Chiefs started the 2020 season. Former Irish wide receiver Will Fuller led all receivers with eight catches for 112 yards. Fuller had a long of 31 yards. Center Nick Martin was the starting center and a team captain for the Texans.

BALTIMORE RAVENS 38, CLEVELAND BROWNS 6

The Ravens have two former Irish stars on their roster, All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley and wide receiver Miles Boykin. Stanley went down in the third quarter with an ankle injury during the Ravens win.

Boykin hauled in three passes for 37 yards on four targets.

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS 34, CAROLINA PANTHERS 30

Rookie cornerback Troy Pride Jr. got the start for the Panthers, registering seven tackles (4 solo) in the loss. Pride played 58 snaps on defense and seven more on special teams. He was beat for a 23-yard touchdown and had a blown assignment that resulted in Las Vegas getting a 45-yard gain.

Carolina long snapper J.J. Jansen is also a Notre Dame alum.

BUFFALO BILLS 27, NEW YORK JETS 17

Former Irish safety Matthias Farley was named a special teams captain for the Jets. Farley had one special teams tackle in the Jets loss. Running back Josh Adams carried the ball twice for eight yards, including a 2-yard touchdown to cap the game’s scoring.

CHICAGO BEARS 27, DETROIT LIONS 23

The matchup between the Bears and Lions had four former Irish players on the field.

For the winning Bears, rookie tight end Cole Kmet played 20 offensive snaps and six special teams snaps. Kmet was targeted just once and was held without a catch in the Bears win. Former Irish guard Alex Bars played one offensive snap and five special teams snaps.

Brothers Romeo Okwara and Julian Okwara both played for the Lions. Romeo played 29 defensive snaps and 10 special teams snaps, and he had one tackle on defense. Julian played just seven defensive snaps, but he did play 11 special teams snaps.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 27, INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 20

Former Irish great Quenton Nelson, now members of the Colts, was pitted against former Notre Dame star tight end Tyler Eifert of the Jaguars.

Eifert caught one pass for eight yards in the game, and it came during Jacksonville’s go-ahead touchdown drive in the fourth quarter.

Nelson anchored a rushing attack that went for 88 yards and 4.0 yards per carry. Quarterback Philip Rivers was not sacked once on 46 drop back attempts. Former Irish star defensive tackle Sheldon Day did not play in the game after being put on injured reserve earlier in the week.

GREEN BAY PACKERS 43, MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Minnesota features two for Notre Dame stars, safety Harrison Smith and tight end Kyle Rudolph.

Rudolph caught two passes for 28 yards in a losing effort, while Smith made four tackles for the Vikings.

Former Notre Dame receiver Equanimeous St. Brown was listed as an inactive for the Packers.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, 21, MIAMI DOLPHINS 11

Former Notre Dame tight end Durham Smythe got the start for the Dolphins. He played 13 offensive snaps on offense and nine special teams snaps in the losing effort.

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 16, CINCINNATI BENGALS 13

Chargers 2019 first round pick Jerry Tillery, a former Notre Dame All-American, registered his first sack of the season to go with two quarterback hurries and two tackles in the win. Fellow defensive lineman Isaac Rochell also registered a pair of tackles.

Safety Alohi Gilman played 17 special teams snaps for the Chargers.

For the Bengals, rookie defensive end Khalid Kareem made his first career tackle while playing 10 snaps on defense. Kareem also played four special teams snaps.

Chargers starting linebacker Drue Tranquill - a former Irish captain - went down with a devastating leg injury. It is likely that his 2020 season is over.

ARIZONA CARDINALS 24, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 20

The defending NFC Champions took a loss in the first game of the 2020 season.

Right tackle Mike McGlinchey began his second season with the team, and he helped lead the way to 123 yards on the ground for the Niners.

LOS ANGELES RAMS 20, DALLAS COWBOYS 17

The Cowboys had two former Notre Dame stars in their starting lineup. All-Pro right guard Zack Martin helped the Cowboys rush for 136 yards in the season-opening loss. Former Irish linebacker Jaylon Smith registered 11 tackles and had a pass break up in the Cowboy defeat.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS 26, NEW YORK GIANTS 16

Rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool made his NFL debut, hauling in two passes for 39 yards, which included an impressive sideline grab for 28 yards. Teammate Stephon Tuitt had a sack and a quarterback pressure in the victory.

Former Notre Dame All-American Julian Love had three tackles for the Giants. Wide receiver Golden Tate was inactive.

———————

Become a premium Irish Breakdown member, which grants you access to all of our premium content, our premium message board and gets you a FREE subscription to Sports Illustrated! Click on the link below for more

BECOME A MEMBER

Be sure to stay locked into Irish Breakdown all the time!

Join the Irish Breakdown community!
Subscribe to the Irish Breakdown podcast on iTunes.
Follow me on Twitter: @CoachD178
Follow me on Parler: @BryanDriskell
Like and follow Irish Breakdown on Facebook

Sign up for the FREE Irish Breakdown daily newsletter