Middle linebacker and former Georgia star Alec Ogletree featured in the Rams’ 9-3 upset win over the Seattle Seahawks in the first regular-season NFL game in Los Angeles since 1994. The one-time first-round selection leads a bevy of former Bulldog defenders who shined in Week 2. Past offensive players, however, had a day to forget.
Ogletree received many plaudits after the victory for his emerging leadership over the hard-nosed unit. He recorded 8 tackles, and an assist in the win. The four-year pro capped off the performance with a game-clinching fumble recovery.
Seattle had a chance to claim victory with :57 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Operating from the Rams 35-yard line, running back Christine Michael fumbled an 8-yard pass from quarterback Russell Wilson. Ogletree made the hit and fell on top of the loose ball to secure the win. The former second-team All-SEC player’s 19 tackles to begin the season is a career-high in back-to-back games.
Panthers UGA defensive duo, linebacker Thomas Davis and end Charles Johnson, were also in on a turnover in Carolina’s 46-27 rout of the 49ers. They were credited with a hit on San Francisco running back Carlos Hyde that caused a first-quarter fumble. Linebacker Shaq Thompson scooped up the takeaway for a 9-yard score, the Panthers’ first of five touchdowns on the day. Davis and Johnson each picked up three solo tackles in the victory.
Also in the NFC South, Saints defensive tackle John Jenkins had a solid afternoon. Although he recorded just one solo tackle, the 350-pound run-stopper did his part in shutting down the Giants to 64 rushing yards on 32 carries. It was New York’s fewest team rushing yards at MetLife Stadium since a Week 15 matchup against the Redskins (49) in 2014.
Also having a productive afternoon was Dolphins safety Reshad Jones. The former three-year letterman and 2015 Pro Bowler notched four tackles and five assists in Miami’s 31-24 defeat to the Patriots.
Offensively, it was a quiet Sunday for many former Bulldogs. Quarterback Matt Stafford tossed for 260 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception on 22 of 40 passes in the Lions’ 16-15 last-minute loss to the Titans. Inaccuracy plagued the former Georgia signal-caller all day. Stafford’s 55 percent completion rate was his lowest since going 18 of 46 in a 34-9 loss to the Patriots in Week 11 of 2014.
Running back Todd Gurley also put up pedestrian numbers in the Rams’ win over the Seahawks. Last year’s NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year picked up 51 yards on the ground on 19 carries, and snagged one out of the air for a 19-yard pickup. Gurley is averaging a paltry 2.72 yards per rush to begin the season.
Bengals star receiver A.J. Green only reeled in 38 yards on 2 receptions in Cincinnati’s 24-16 loss to the Steelers. Green was targeted just eight times after tying for a career-high 12 catches in the team’s opener.
Chiefs wide receiver Chris Conley made the best effort as an offensive player in their 19-12 loss to the Texans, though it was a defensive endeavor. The 2014 graduate executed a touchdown-saving play on Texans corner Kevin Johnson after he returned a Spencer Ware fumble 53 yards to the Kansas City 14-yard line. Conley dashed across the field to cut Johnson’s angle off and force him out of the bounds, saving a score. The wideout finished with 15 yards on two catches, the longest a 10-yard grab.
Rookie Malcolm Mitchell experienced the most memorable play of the week, though its one Patriots fans would like to forget. The fourth-round draftee was on the receiving end of a 15-yard catch in which New England quarterback Jimmy Garropolo was knocked out of the game due to a sprained AC joint. It was Mitchell’s only reception of the day.