NFL football is back! Some of the top performers from Week One happen to be FSU alum, which should come as no surprise to Seminole fans. ’Noles in the Pros is also back and we’ll recap the highs and lows from former Florida State players after every week this season.
New Orleans Saints: Jameis Winston, QB
After the Saints listed Jameis Winston as the starter for Week one, every FSU fan had their calendars marked for September 12th, the day famous Jameis shows why he can be a top NFL quarterback under head coach Sean Payton. Winston came out rolling in the upset win against the Packers, signing off with 148 yards while completing 14 of his 20 pass attempts, per cbssports.com.
He had a career high five touchdowns passes with the help of an incredible performance by his offensive line, giving him ample time for decision making and letting the runnings backs go to work. The Saints ultimately won the matchup 38-3 after holding Aaron Rodgers to 133 yards and two interceptions. The coaching staff seems to be very confident with Winston at the helm. If he can control his decisiveness and keep an efficient TD to INT ratio Winston has the ability to lead this Saints team back to the playoffs and possibly contend for an MVP.
Minnesota Vikings: Dalvin Cook, RB
The Minnesota Vikings faced off against a substandard, unproven Cincinnati Bengals squad in which they were favorited. Pro-bowl running back Dalvin Cook was facing a brand new Bengals defensive line that was ultimately an issue for the Vikings. Penalties didn’t fair in the Vikings favor; they committed 12 for 116 yards having to face third and long more than ten times.
After an exciting back and forth matchup on the defesinve end, the Vikings climbed their way back into the game late in third quarter. Cook had his first and only touchdown of the day in the fourth quarter, leading to a game tying field goal by Greg Joseph. The Chef finished the game with 61 yards on the ground, 43 receiving yards, and one touchdown, via startribune.com. Although he had over 100 yards combined, Cook had a costly fumble in overtime that led to a Bengals 33 yard field goal to win the ball game.
Los Angeles Rams: Jalen Ramsey, CB
2020 All-Pro defensive back Jalen Ramsey did not disappoint in the Rams season opener. Ramsey ranked third in allowed completion percentage last year and kept the ball rolling, allowing only five receptions on the night. The former All-American was targeted eight times and gave up just 35 yards while adding three tackles for loss, per ramswire.com.
Ramsey had this matchup marked on his calendar after the Bears slander and Darnell Mooney antics last season when a Wikipedia page depicted Mooney as Jalen Ramsey’s father. He fired back saying “ Can’t wait till week 1 so all these lame a** Bears fans can st** about they number 2 WR.” It’s safe to say Ramsey got the last laugh as the Rams advance to 1-0 on the season.
Carolina Panthers: Brian Burns, DE
Former first round pick Brian Burns of the Carolina Panthers has entered his third season in the league and looks to make a huge leap in head coach Matt Rhule’s defensive scheme. Burns finished his sophomore campaign with 21 QB hits, nine sacks, eight tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles.
Burns got the start at defensive end on Saturday against the New York Jets, and finished the ball game with one sack, one tackle for loss, and one QB hit. He’ll be a asset for the Panthers as the season moves on while on the hunt for his first double digit sack season.
Los Angeles Chargers: Derwin James, SS / Asante Samuel Jr., CB
After a long awaited comeback from Derwin James the Chargers were thought to slowly ease the star safety back into the mix but defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill played him in 100% of the snaps in the win versus the Washington Football Team. James finished the game allowing just one completion on three targets, while adding two QB hurries, per espn.com. Hill has been known to present a versatile defensive strategy that can have James lining up in the box or have him deep presenting a huge headache for offensive coordinators.
Second round pick Asante Samuel Jr. started the game as CB2 for the Chargers, accounting for 47 of their 55 snaps. Samuel Jr. finished the matchup with four solo tackles, and one stuff. He will gradually become a bigger part in Hill’s defense as they look to match up against a very skilled Dallas Cowboys offense next week in Los Angeles.