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Wolverine Watch: NFL Week 1

How former Michigan players fared as the NFL regular season kicked off.

Pittsburgh Steelers v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The NFL kicked off its 100th season on Thursday night and it picked up where the 99th season left off - a clunker on the grandest stage. The Bears and Packers combined for only 13 total points seven months after the Patriots and Rams combined for 16. Despite the defensive struggle, Packers rookie Rashan Gary made his debut for Green Bay in Chicago. While Gary is still transitioning to the role of stand up linebacker in Mike Pettine’s 3-4 defense, he played six snaps, logging one hit and one hurry per Pro Football Focus.

13 more games kicked off Sunday afternoon across the nation with 21 former Wolverines pn on Week One rosters the league’s true opening day. Many were making debuts for their new teams including former Brady Hoke players Frank Clark and Devin Funchess. Clark made his debut in red and white for the Kansas City Chiefs in a 40-26 win in Jacksonville. Clark intercepted Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew in the fourth quarter, and accurately pointed out post game that he has more interceptions than Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey on the season. Clark’s old teammate Jarrod Wilson tied for the Jaguars team lead with five tackles.

For Funchess, the former Farmington Hills Harrison star made three receptions for 32 yards in his debut as an Indianapolis Colt, but injured his clavicle late in the fourth quarter loss to the Chargers. Colts coach Frank Reich announced Funchess is heading to injured reserve but did not rule him out for the season.

Jabrill Peppers also made a debut with his new ballclub. After being traded by Cleveland in the Odell Beckham Jr. deal last spring, the New Jersey native donned the New York Giants blue and white for the first time in New York’s 35-17 loss to the rival Cowboys. The 2016 Heisman Finalist tied for the team lead with seven tackles, but did not make his desired impact returning punts, returning just two kicks for seven yards. Peppers old defensive backfield mate Jourdan Lewis began his third season with the Cowboys, notching two tackles and a pass breakup in Dallas’ big home win. Fellow third year Wolverine Ben Gedeon had one tackle for the Vikings in their 28-12 win over the Falcons.

Five other Michigan D-Lineman played Sunday in addition to Clark. Brandon Graham began his tenth season in Philadelphia with two tackles, including one for a loss in the Eagles 32-27 comeback win over Washington. Ryan Glasgow collected one assisted tackle for the Bengals. Bryan Mone assisted on two tackles in his NFL debut as his Seahawks topped Glasgow’s Bengals 21-20. The Ravens obliterated the Dolphins 59-10 but Chris Wormley saw limited action, logging just one QB hit. Mo Hurst made the 11th start of his career, putting up a solo tackle and an assisted tackle in Oakland’s 24-16 win over Denver.

A number of Michigan offensive linemen saw action during Week One. Michael Schofield started for the Chargers in their 30-24 win over the Colts. Patrick Omameh made his debut for the New Orleans Saints, seeing action at guard in the Saints frantic comeback win over the Texans. Graham Glasgow rotated in and out at guard for the Detroit Lions as they tied the Arizona Cardinals 27-27. On the opposite sideline, Mason Cole did not get the start for the Cardinals, but did end up running a play as an eligible receiver where Kyler Murray attempted to find him in the redzone.

Two rookies from Michigan’s 2018 defense made their debuts on Sunday Night Football. Steelers first round pick Devin Bush led his team with 11 tackles (7 solo, 4 assists) but New England romped to a 33-3 victory in Foxborough. Chase Winovich only logged one tackle for the Patriots, but did draw the cameras when he was caught jawing with Ben Roethlisberger after the Steelers QB threw an interception in the fourth quarter.

The Patriots were paced by the ageless wonder, Tom Brady, entering his 19th season as starter and 20th in the league. The 42 year old went 24 for 36 with 341 passing yards and three touchdowns as New England celebrated its sixth Super Bowl win prior to kickoff Sunday night. Brady is primed for another big season with the team’s addition of Antonio Brown on Saturday. Brady also made a little bit of history. On December 9, 2001 Brady played the Cleveland Browns and safety Devin Bush Sr. during his first year as starter. Less than 18 years later, Brady saw Devin Bush Jr. on the opposite side of the field.

Seahawks S Lano Hill was active, but did not see any snaps for the Seahawks. Inactive players on the week included Cowboys DL Taco Charlton, Steelers TE Zach Gentry and Rams CB David Long. Broncos TE Jake Butt is on injured reserve and cannot return earlier than Week 8.

Week two matchups involving former Wolverines squaring off include:

Cardinals vs Ravens (Wormley vs Cole)

Chargers vs Lions (Schofield vs G. Glasgow)

Vikings vs Packers (Gedeon vs Gary)

Seahawks vs Steelers (Hill vs Bush)