NFL Update: Week One
by Andrew Tie, GoHeels.com
Searcy gets career firsts
Bills safety Da’Norris Searcy had a monstrous day against Tom Brady and the Patriots. Searcy received more playing time with usual starter Jairus Byrd out.
He stepped up to notch eight tackles, one sack and a 74-yard touchdown on a fumble recovery.
“We knew we had a tall task ahead of us,” Searcy said about replacing Byrd. “We felt like we made plays but we still left a few out there.”
His sack and touchdown were both career firsts for the third-year pro.
“Coaches made a great call to put me in the right position, and I just seized the moment,” Searcy said of his sack on Brady.
Quinn off to great start
Robert Quinn continues to make strides every year he’s been in the league. He went from five sacks his first year to 10.5 last year. And now, he’s off to a great start in his third year after a huge game with three sacks and two forced fumbles.
“To me, he’s got more ability than almost anybody in the league,” fellow defensive end Chris Long said. “Pass-rushers, I put him easily in my top five in the league right now. Rob is going to show you this year that he’s one of the top three pass-rushers in the league.”
Coach Jeff Fisher was also impressed by Quinn’s play Sunday.
“It was an exceptional job,” Fisher said. “We thought that they were going to get the tackle some help, and they did at times, and when they didn’t, he was able to take advantage of it.”
It’s too bad Jonathan Cooper is out, because it would’ve been fun to watch Cooper slide over and help protect against Quinn’s great pass rush.
Matchup to watch this week
With a week of the NFL in the books, let’s look at ahead to Week Two matchups. Robert Quinn will face Garrett Reynolds and the Atlanta Falcons, so there could be some potential one-on-one matchups there.
Sylvester Williams (Broncos) going to face Hakeem Nicks (Giants) should also be a fun game to watch.
And though there isn’t a much in the way of Tar Heels facing each other, Bruce Carter (Cowboys) and Zach Brown (Titans) had nine and eight tackles, respectively, in Week One, so both are showing off their play-making abilities early.
Updates from former Heels
The Bengals gave the bulk of the carries to BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but Giovani Bernard continues to make a case for himself. Green-Ellis rushed for 25 yards and a touchdown on 14 attempts, but Bernard had a much higher average with 22 yards on four attempts.
Hakeem Nicks also had a solid game, catching five passes for 114 yards. As he comes off an injury-riddled year, Nicks is out to prove he’s still a legitimate threat for the Giants.
T.J. Yates did officially win the backup spot in Houston.
- Connor Barth, Tampa Bay, PK – out for the season on injured reserve
- Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati, RB – 4 rushes for 22 yards, 1 rec. for 8 yards
- Travis Bond, Minnesota, OG – currently on the practice squad
- Zach Brown, Tennessee, LB – 8 tackles, 2 sacks
- Bruce Carter, Dallas, LB – 9 tackles, 1 sack
- Jonathan Cooper, Arizona, OG – out with a broken leg, could return late in the season
- Quinton Coples, New York Jets, DE – currently out with an ankle injury
- Greg Little, Cleveland, WR – 4 receptions for 26 yards, including a long of 10
- Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants, WR – 5 rec. for 114 yards
- Julius Peppers, Chicago Bears, DE – Started, but did not record a tackle in Chicago’s win over Cincinnati
- Kevin Reddick, New Orleans, LB – recorded one tackle in New Orleans’ win over Atlanta
- Garrett Reynolds, Atlanta, OG – started at right guard in the Falcons’ loss to New Orleans
- Robert Quinn, St. Louis, DE – 3 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 FF
- Da’Norris Searcy, Buffalo, SS – 8 tackles, 1 sack, 74-yard TD on FR
- Brandon Tate, Cincinnati, WR/KR – won the job as Cincy’s starting kick returner but did not have any returns vs. Chicago
- Ryan Taylor, Green Bay, TE – backup tight end and standout special teams player for the Packers
- Cam Thomas, San Diego, DT – intercepted the first pass of the game, which led to a San Diego touchdown; finished with three tackles and two pass deflections
- Greg Warren, Pittsburgh, DS – currently in his ninth season as Pittsburgh’s deep snapper
- Brennan Williams, Houston, OT – out with an injury
- Sylvester Williams, Denver, DT – 1 tackle for loss in Broncos’ win on opening Thursday night
- T.J. Yates – officially won the backup quarterback job in Houston