Week one of the NFL season is mostly in the books outside of a Monday Night Football doubleheader that is going to be very light on Huskies, with Hau’oli Kikaha and Senio Kelemete both on the New Orleans Saints roster.
The biggest statistical impact made by any Husky was Jermaine Kearse, who led the New York Jets with five catches for 59 yards in their loss to the Buffalo Bills. Kearse is going to see a bunch of targets as the top option in the passing game next to Jeremy Kerley. The quality of those targets remains to be seen (you won’t see quality out of those targets; the Jets’ quarterback situation is terrible and Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen will be slinging it in Gang Green next season).
Shaq Thompson notched a pair of tackles for the Carolina Panthers, with one of them being a sack. Thompson was drafted several years ago to be a replacement to Thomas Davis, but he has found it tough to unseat the veteran of three ACL tears who seems to still only get stronger every season.
Danny Shelton had been held out of Cleveland’s last several preseason games and on limited duty in practice due to a knee injury but was a surprise start for the Browns. He was in the game for most run downs at nose tackle but only tallied a single tackle. Pittsburgh’s superstar running back LeVeon Bell was held to only 32 yards rushing, and Shelton was part of that.
Desmond Trufant had four tackles against the Bears, starting Mike Glennon at quarterback and missing their top receiver in Cameron Meredith due to a torn ACL. Assumed no. 2 receiver Kevin White also went down with an injury. It’s fair to say that Trufant will face bigger tests later in the season. He came out healthy, which is the biggest hope for him in his first real game back from a season-ending injury.
Marcus Peters had the unenviable task of defending Chris Hogan with Tom Brady throwing to him. Kansas City plays a man-heavy scheme which usually means the corners are shadowing receivers around the field no matter where they line up. New England's favorite deep threat, Hogan, was limited to just the catches for 17 yards.
Both Kevin King and Budda Baker saw the field for their respective teams, with King taking the field after the starter went down with cramps. Baker was involved on special teams and got a handful of snaps defensively (judging by a cursory search on Twitter, snap counts have yet to be released). Defense nerds everywhere are going to love watching the Cardinals move Budda Baker and Tyrann Mathieu around defensively.
Kasen Williams was targeted for the Browns but wasn’t able to reel in the catch. Elijah Qualls was inactive for the Eagles as a healthy scratch. Dwayne Washington backed up Ameer Abdullah with Zach Zenner injured. Washington carried the ball six times for 22 yards.
Last but not least, Mason Foster was all over the field for the Washington Redskins, leading the team in tackles with eight.
This is going to be a weekly feature. If there are players you are specifically interested in let me know and I will try to find the time to look at their performance a little more closely. Leave a comment or tweet to me @KnibbeBen.