Last week in the NFL was a big one for former Utah football players.
Not only did Alex Smith notch his first victory as a starting quarterback in 734 days, Matt Gay made the most of his opportunity by booting the game-winning kick for the Los Angeles Rams against the team that drafted him in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
After being drafted last season in the fifth round by the Buccaneers, former Utah kicker Gay was left without a team entering the 2020 NFL season after the Bucs waived him before the start of the season.
So when he found himself attempting a 40-yard field goal with 2:37 remaining in a tie between Los Angeles and Tampa Bay, his primary focus was just helping the Rams get the win.
In true Gay fashion, he split the uprights, giving the Rams a 27-24 lead that eventually turned into the final score.
"You can't write it," Gay said postgame. "It's one of those stories that you're sitting on the practice squad, and then the first game you're activated, you're going back to the place you were last year and the place you felt like you should have been and play on prime time on Monday Night Football. There was a lot of emotion for me coming back in."
On the other hand, Smith kept Washington right in the thick of the NFC East division with a 20-9 victory over Cincinnati. The victory put Washington into a three-way tie for second place at 3-7, all chasing Philadelphia at 3-6-1.
Smith didn't put up gaudy stats in the win, but he did do enough by completing 68% (17-of-25) of his passes for 166 yards and a touchdown.
Washington will now face off with Dallas in a massive showdown in Thanksgiving. A win or a loss has the potential to either vault a team into first place or last place in the division.
Utah starters in the NFL...
*Garett Bolles, OT — Denver Broncos
*Tim Patrick, WR — Denver Broncos
*Marcus Williams, S — New Orleans Saints
*Mitch Wishnowsky, P — San Francisco 49ers
*Eric Rowe, S — Miami Dolphins
*Jaylon Johnson, CB — Chicago Bears
*Sam Tevi, OT — Los Angeles Chargers
*Julian Blackmon, S — Indianapolis Colts
*Matt Gay, K — Los Angeles Rams
*Alex Smith, QB — Washington Football Team
10:30 a.m. MST (Thursday)
*Detroit (4-6) vs. Houston (3-7) / CBS — John Penisini, DL, Detroit
2:30 p.m. MST (Thursday)
*Dallas (3-7) vs. Washington (3-7) / FOX — Bradlee Anae, DE, Dallas; Francis Bernard, LB, Dallas; Alex Smith, QB, Washington; Nate Orchard, DL, Washington; Jared Norris, LB, Washington
11 a.m. MST (Sunday)
*Atlanta (3-7) vs. Las Vegas (6-4) / CBS — Devontae Booker, RB, Las Vegas
*Buffalo (7-3) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (3-7) / CBS — Zack Moss, RB, Buffalo; Sam Tevi, LT, Los Angeles Chargers
*Cincinnati (2-7-1) vs. New York Giants (3-7) / FOX — Jackson Barton, OT, New York Giants
*Indianapolis (7-3) vs. Tennessee (7-3) / CBS — Julian Blackmon, S, Indianapolis
*New England (4-6) vs. Arizona (6-4) / FOX — Leki Fotu, DL, Arizona; Kylie Fitts, LB, Arizona
*New York Jets (0-10) vs. Miami (6-4) / CBS — Eric Rowe, S, Miami
2 p.m. MST (Sunday)
*Denver (4-6) vs. New Orleans (8-2) / FOX — Garett Bolles, OT, Denver; Tim Patrick, WR, Denver; Marcus Williams, S, New Orleans; Chase Hansen, LB, New Orleans
*Los Angeles Rams (7-3) vs. San Francisco (4-6) / FOX — Terrell Burgess, S, Los Angeles Rams; Matt Gay, K, Los Angeles Rams; Mitch Wishnowsky, P, San Francisco
6 p.m. MST (Sunday)
*Green Bay (7-3) vs. Chicago (5-5) / NBC — Jaylon Johnson, CB, Chicago
6 p.m. MST (Monday)
*Philadelphia (3-6-1) vs. Seattle (7-3) / ESPN — Cody Barton, LB, Seattle; Marquise Blair, S, Seattle
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