Auburn football may still be two weeks away, but Auburn fans were still able to see some former Tigers take the field on Sunday in the first week of the NFL season, including several from the 2020 draft class.
One of the more notable names to play on Sunday was Cam Newton, who led the New England Patriots to a 21-11 victory against the Miami Dolphins. In Newton’s Patriots debut, he went 15-of-19 with 155 passing yards and a 100.7 passer rating. Newton also led the Patriots in rushing, going for 75 yards on 15 attempts and scoring two touchdowns.
The latter of the two touchdowns gave Newton his 60th career rushing touchdown. Newton’s 75 rushing yards were also the most by a Patriots quarterback since 1977.
On the other side against Newton, former Tiger Noah Igbinoghene made his NFL debut for the Miami Dolphins after being selected in the first round of the 2020 draft. The cornerback now holds the distinction of being the youngest player to appear in a game in Dolphins history at 20 years and 291 days old, according to Brett Brecheisen of the Dolphins. Igbinoghene finished the game with two solo tackles.
“[Igbinoghene’s] a really good player,” teammate Byron Jones said to MiamiDolphins.com before the season started. “The thing you notice most is his maturity, the way he approaches the game. He’s in the meetings early, he stays late, he responds to coaching and criticizing, he’s taking notes.”
Igbinoghene returned kicks and punts during his time at Auburn and was seen returning punts during warm-ups before Sunday’s game, according to Safid Deen of The Sun Sentinel. This could be a role he takes on as the season continues.
Like Newton, former Tiger running back Peyton Barber had two rushing touchdowns on the day, helping the Washington Football Team complete a 27-17 comeback over the Philadelphia Eagles. In his first year in Washington after four years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Barber had 29 rushing yards on 17 attempts along with his two touchdowns.
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The fifth-year running back spearheaded Washington’s second-half comeback, scoring both of the team’s touchdowns in the second half. Barber led the team in carries on Sunday, so he could be looking toward a heavier workload in the future.
Second-year wide receiver Darius Slayton scored two touchdowns in the New York Giants’ Monday night loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, scoring the only two touchdowns for the Giants on the night in the 26-16 loss. Slayton led both teams in receiving, racking up 102 yards on six catches, including a 41-yard touchdown catch.
According to ESPN’s Field Yates, Slayton has led the NFL in touchdown receptions since Week 5 of last year, scoring 10 touchdowns since last October. The former Tiger is starting to cement himself as Giants quarterback Daniel Jones’ favorite target. Slayton has led the team in receiving yards and touchdowns since being drafted last season.
Las Vegas Raiders and former Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson went 2-for-2 on field goals and 4-for-4 on extra points on Sunday, including a career-long of 54 yards in the Raiders’ 34-30 win over the Panthers.
First-round draft pick Derrick Brown earned his first career start for the Panthers, notching three tackles, one tackle for loss and one swatted pass. Brown spent most of the day double teamed by the Raiders, but still showed flashes of talent that earned him that first-round selection.
Buccaneers and former Auburn players Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis combined for 11 solo tackles and one tackle for a loss in Sunday’s loss to the New Orleans Saints. Davis played a significant role in locking down one of the NFL’s premier receivers, New Orleans’ Michael Thomas, to 3 catches for 17 yards.
Cincinnati Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah caught four passes for 45 yards in the Bengals’ 16-13 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Bengals teammate and former Auburn Tiger Carl Lawson recorded five tackles, one tackle for loss and the first sack of the Bengals’ season.
Rookies Daniel Thomas and Jack Driscoll made their NFL debuts as well for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Eagles, respectively. Fellow rookie Marlon Davidson is recovering from a knee injury and missed the Atlanta Falcons’ game Sunday.
Highlights from around the league:
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