The Falcons came out of Week 1 victorious, eclipsing a .500 record for the first time in five years. It was a slop fest, but Atlanta should never apologize for an ugly win. Of course, there are things to be cleaned up; however, the Falcons aren’t feeling bad for themselves today. This piece isn’t about what they did, though. It’s about how former players fared in Week 1 around the NFL.
In his first game in nearly 23 months and Jaguars debut, Ridley logged eight catches for 101 yards and a score, 92 of which came in the first half. He was clearly Trevor Lawrence‘s go-to target and is set to have a big campaign with Jacksonville. It’s great to see him come back. Falcons fans everywhere should be rooting for Ridley.
TE Hayden Hurst
The Falcons squared off with Hurst, who now plays for the Panthers after spending the 2022 season with the Bengals. The tight end logged 41 yards and a score on five catches. He actually caught Bryce Young‘s first career touchdown pass and proceeded to throw it into the stands. Hurst came out following the game and said he ‘blacked out’ but got the ball back.
The Yale product continues his impressive career in Jacksonville. After totaling 192 tackles in 2021 and 184 in 2022, Oluokun recorded 12 in Week 1. The Jaguars had their hands full with the Colts but came out victorious, holding Indianapolis off 31-21.
EDGE Dante Fowler Jr.
The Cowboys absolutely dominated the Giants, and Fowler had a hand in that, logging a pair of quarterback hits and beating Evan Neal a couple of times. He’s in more of a rotational role behind Demarcus Lawrence and Micah Parsons, but Fowler is making the most of it.
Oliver joined the 49ers this offseason and was expected to man the slot but lost his job prior to the start of the season. It didn’t last long, though. Oliver took over the nickel position in the second half, bumping Deommodore Lenoir outside with Ambry Thomas on the sideline. Oliver totaled five tackles in that half. The 49ers dominated the Steelers, behind a hell of a performance from the defense.
In possibly the upset of Week 1, Cominsky helped the Lions beat the Chiefs in the league’s season opener, logging two tackles, one of which was on third down and kept Patrick Mahomes from scrambling for the first down. He had several impressive plays along the Detroit defensive front. Since leaving Atlanta, he’s carved out a nice role with the Lions.