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Pro Dawgs Report: Week 1

How did former Dawgs fare in Week 1 of the NFL season?

San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images

It is officially Week One of the NFL season, and wouldn’t you know it, the pro rosters are packed with former Dawgs! Some made moves, others stayed put, and some (John Ross) decided to hang up their cleats. Here’s a handy little report to break down all the Dawgs and their performances in Week 1.

The season kicked off with a stunning 21-20 victory for Detroit over Kansas City at Arrowhead. Trent McDuffie had 6 solo tackles (8 in total) plus a forced fumble for the Chiefs. Levi Onwuzurike suited up for the Lions after being deactivated due to a back surgery last season. He started the game, but exited early due to cramps, recording two quarterback pressures.

On Sunday in the early games, plenty of former Dawgs made their presence felt on the defensive side of the ball. Tampa Bay has by far the most former Dawgs on their active roster, with 4. The three on the defensive line (Vita Vea, Greg Gaines, and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, hereafter referred to as Three Dawg Night) made a difference in Tampa’s 20-17 win over Minnesota. Vea recorded 4 tackles, 3 solo, and one for a loss, while Tryon-Shoyinka recorded 1 tackle, plus a fumble recovery. On offense, tight end Cade Otton caught 2 passes for 19 yards. For the Vikings, defensive back Byron Murphy recorded 6 tackles, 2 of them being solo tackles in a close loss.

For the Panthers, despite their 24-10 loss to the Falcons, linebacker Shaq Thompson had a solid game, recording 5 tackles, 3 of them solo tackles, facing Falcons tackle Kaleb McGary on the opposite side of the line of scrimmage. Arizona’s star safety Budda Baker turned in an exact copy of Thompson’s stat line in their loss against the Washington Commanders, totaling 5 tackles, 3 solo. Linebacker Corey Littleton, who recently signed with the Houston Texans, recorded 1 tackle in a 25-9 loss against Baltimore.

Perhaps the strangest pro Dawg sighting this week was former quarterback Jake Browning coming into the game for Cincinnati, after Cleveland jumped out to a 24-3 lead, which would hold and end up being the final score. He threw one pass, which ended up being incomplete, and rushed for a 1 yard loss. Tight end Drew Sample played in the game but didn’t record any stats.

In the afternoon games featuring pro Dawgs, Patriots defensive back Myles Bryant recorded 6 tackles, 5 solo against the Eagles in a 25-20 loss for New England.

In Seattle, tight end Will Dissly was the second leading receiver for the Hawks, recording 2 receptions for 17 yards in a 30-13 loss for the Hawks. The story of the game (and perhaps for the entire weekend) though was the debut for Puka Nacua. The 5th round pick out of BYU by way of Washington stood in for Cooper Kupp and dominated becoming just the second pick that late in the draft to have 100+ yards in their first game (Allen Hurns). If you play fantasy football, he’ll almost certainly be one of the top waiver pick-ups this week.

In the game between the Raiders and Broncos, defensive back Marcus Peters recorded 3 tackles, all solo. Chicago’s Kyler Gordon recorded 1 tackle and 1 pass deflection in a 38-20 Bears loss to the Packers at home.

Monday’s game features Bills safety Taylor Rapp in his Buffalo debut against the Jets. It will be a tough test for him, and the entire Buffalo secondary as they go up against Aaron Rodgers and the Jets in his New York debut, so we will see if he, and indeed that entire unit are up to the challenge.