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How did former Virginia football players perform in Week 1 of the NFL Season?

Analyzing how the former ‘Hoos performed on Sunday.

Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears Photo by Todd Rosenberg/Getty Images

Six Virginia Cavaliers alumni suited up for Week 1 in the NFL, as TE Jelani Woods remains on injured reserve for the Indianapolis Colts as he rehabs a torn hamstring and S Juan Thornhill was ruled out by the Cleveland Browns due to a calf injury.

How the ‘Hoos performed

Morgan Moses held down the right tackle spot for the Baltimore Ravens as they cruised to a 25-9 victory over the Houston Texans. While Moses struggled on occasion in pass protection against Houston’s stud rookie Will Anderson Jr., he earned the team’s highest run-blocking grade and the second-highest grade on the Baltimore offense per PFF.

Moses’s highlight of the game came when he absolutely blew up safety Jalen Pitre to clear the way for a JK Dobbins touchdown.

Brent Urban also made a cameo along the Ravens defensive line, rotating in for 12 snaps. On just eight pass-rushing opportunities, he recorded two QB hurries against C.J. Stroud, an efficient performance.

In Cleveland, safety Rodney McLeod stepped into a starting role due to Thornhill’s absence due to injury and was one of just three Browns to play every defensive snap. McLeod played a key role in helping the secondary shut down Bengals star Joe Burrow, who was unable to get anything going through the air under heavy rainfall. McLeod finished with three tackles and allowed just two receptions for eight yards when targeted.

Dontayvion Wicks spent more time on the field than anyone expected in his NFL debut, leading the entire Packers WR room in snaps with 37. His role will likely diminish upon the return of Christian Watson, but it was good to see the rookie have that level of trust placed in him by head coach Matt LaFleur. Wicks was targeted twice, but was unable to record his first NFL catch.

It was a quiet Eagles debut for wideout Olamide Zaccheaus, who only saw the field for seven snaps in Week 1 as the Philadelphia offense struggled against New England. The shifty slot receiver wasn’t targeted once and seems to be the fourth WR for the Eagles behind A.J. Brown, Devonta Smith and Quez Watkins.

The Jets didn’t play Bryce Hall at all in the secondary, but he came up with some big plays on special teams – most notably a key block on Xavier Gipson’s game-winning punt return TD. Hall made a great effort to catch up to Gipson from the opposite side of the field and knock Bills linebacker Tyler Matakevich out of the play, clearing a lane for Gipson to stroll into the end zone.