It was another defensively focused week for the Florida Gators of the NFL. There were consistent performances from around the league, but one former Gator shined in his first career start.
After spending the majority of his rookie season on injured reserve for the New England Patriots, Duke Dawson (corner, Denver Broncos) was traded to Denver. Dawson got his first career start on Sunday in the Broncos’ 20-13 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. He had four tackles (two solo) and a critical fumble recovery when his teammate, Justin Simmons, intercepted a pass by Phillip Rivers but fumbled on the return.
Jonathan Bullard (defensive lineman, Arizona Cardinals), formerly of the Chicago Bears, made his second start of the season for Arizona. Bullard contributed seven tackles (five solo) including a tackle-for-loss, as the Cardinals picked up their first victory of the season, 26-23 over the winless Cincinnati Bengals.
Marcus Maye and Brian Poole were the New York Jets’ starting safety tandem in the team’s 31-6 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Maye had five tackles (four solo), while Poole had four tackles (four solo) and a forced fumble.
Joe Haden (corner, Pittsburgh Steelers) and Dante Fowler Jr. (linebacker, Los Angeles Rams) also had decent outings in their teams’ defeats. Haden made six tackles (five solo) including a tackle-for-loss in Pittsburgh’s 26-23 loss to division rival Baltimore. Fowler collected four tackles (two solo) and 1.5 tackles-for-loss in the Rams’ heartbreaking 30-29 defeat to the Seahawks on Thursday night.
Jon Bostic (linebacker, Washington Redskins) had another solid day of tackling ball carriers. He made seven tackles (five solo), while Quinton Dunbar (corner, Washington Redskins), accounted for four tackles (three solo) and defended a pass in the 33-7 loss to New England.
Again, Demarcus Robinson (wide receiver, Kansas City Chiefs) and Trey Burton (tight end, Chicago Bears) were the only two offensive players worth noting, and each had mediocre days. Despite being targeted six times, Robinson had three catches for 31 yards in the Chiefs’ 19-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Burton caught three passes on four targets for 16 yards in the Chicago Bears’ 24-21 defeat to the Oakland Raiders in London.