Week 1 of the NFL is in the books, and plenty of Michigan Wolverines had notable performances, including a few players making their NFL debut.
Let’s get into it:
Hutch and Danna showed out in season opener
The NFL season kicked off with the Detroit Lions beating the defending champs, holding the Kansas City Chiefs to just 20 points in a 21-20 win. The Lions defense did a solid job against the best quarterback in the league, and Aidan Hutchinson was a big reason for that.
According to PFF, Hutchinson had seven pressures, four quarterback hurries and three quarterback hits, totaling four total tackles on the night. He showcased a quick spin move against offensive tackle Jawann Taylor, who appeared to be aligned in an illegal formation most of the night to prepare to block Hutchinson.
The Lions never sacked Mahomes, but Hutchinson and the front seven never let him get comfortable in the pocket.
Another former Wolverine, Mike Danna, had the lone of sack of the night, with this play being one of his six total tackles.
Hutchinson and Danna were teammates for two seasons at Michigan, with NBC cameras catching them catching up after the Lions win.
Former Michigan teammates Mike Danna and Aidan Hutchinson caught up postgame in Kansas City pic.twitter.com/9YPGSkRmZr— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) September 8, 2023
A few standout plays from defenders on the 2021 team
A solid defensive group was a big reason for Michigan’s success in 2021, and a few of the best players from that defense made some big plays in Week 1.
David Ojabo got his second professional sack, hitting C.J. Stroud and forcing a fumble, bringing back some flashbacks from The Game in 2021. That was one of his three tackles in a 25-9 win for the Baltimore Ravens.
Dax Hill logged an interception for the first time in his NFL career, picking off Deshaun Watson. Even though the Cincinnati Bengals lost to the Cleveland Browns, Hill had a solid game, racking up six total tackles, two tackles for loss and a pass defended to go along with that interception.
Wolverines debuting in Week 1
Nine Michigan players were drafted in the 2023 NFL draft, and several of those players made their NFL debuts this week. Here’s how the ones that saw game action and registered statistics fared:
-D.J. Turner: Two solo tackles in Bengals loss
-Mazi Smith: Two total tackles, including a tackle for loss in Cowboys win
-Zach Charbonnet: Three carries for 11 yards in Seahawks loss
-Mike Morris: Three tackles, two solo in Seahawks loss
-Jake Moody: 3-of-3 on field goals, 3-of-3 on extra points, with his longest field goal being 41 yards (Moody continues to be money)
Jake Moody hits his first career field goal attempt from 41 YDS! 〽️ pic.twitter.com/CXQFoX37Os— JD 〽️ (@MGoJDBlue) September 10, 2023
Other notable performances
-Kwity Paye racked up four tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss in the Colts loss
-Nico Collins led the Texans with six catches and 80 yards in a loss to the Ravens
-Josh Metellus had six tackles and a pass defended in a Vikings loss to the Buccaneers
-Jabrill Peppers had six tackles, three solo, a pass deflection and a forced fumble in a Patriots loss to the Eagles
Cesar Ruiz gets PAID
It’s been a good week for former Michigan offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz. Not only did he and the Saints win their week 1 game over the Titans, he also got a hefty pay raise.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Saints signed Ruiz to a four-year contract extension. The deal is worth a maximum of $44 million, with $30 million guaranteed.
Props to Ruiz — who started in 40 of the 46 games he appeared in over his first three seasons — for earning that extra cash by working hard and playing well in New Orleans.