The 2022 NFL season officially kicked off last week and with that do did the NFL careers of three Gopher rookies who saw their first official NFL game action. But the vets also showed out and proved why they are still in the league, or are well on their way to becoming stars in this league. Here is how the Gophers did in their Week 1 games, and a look ahead to Week 2.
Week 1 @ Dallas Cowboys
Week 2 @ New Orleans Saints
Antoine Winfield Jr—CB
Winfield was back to his old tricks on the Tampa defense intercepting Dak Prescot in the second quarter of the Buccaneers win over Dallas.
Antoine Winfield Jr. picks off Dak Prescott!— PFF TB Buccaneers (@PFF_Buccaneers) September 12, 2022
Bucs defense looking scary pic.twitter.com/UvaoLs9mXA
He would play all 69 snaps on defense and record six tackles with five of them solo and add an additional pass defense on top of his interception. Not bad for Week 1.
Welcome to the NFL Ko Kieft. The rookie saw 16 snaps in his first NFL game and was a monster run blocking at times in the game including creating some huge holes for Leonard Fournette on one of the Buc’s drives. He lined up as a fullback several times and helped the Buccaneers offensively. He will see plenty more playing time over the course of the season.
GET OUT OF THE WAY MY NAME IS KO KIEFT pic.twitter.com/e5hvmLBvZu— Evan Winter (@evan_winterAtoZ) September 12, 2022
This next one sure looks oftly familiar...
Ko Kieft made sure LVE had a miserable night pic.twitter.com/ccyuSKJKJf— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) September 13, 2022
Week 1 vs Indianapolis Colts
Week 2 @ Denver Broncos
Murray was dressed for the game but did not play a snap in the game.
Johnson was inactive as he continues to learn the Houston playbook after joining the Texans on waivers during final cuts.
Blake Cashman- LB
Cashman recorded a pair of tackles including one solo tackle on special teams, but did not play any snaps on defense for the Texans in their tie.
Week 1 @ New York Jets
Week 2 vs Miami Dolphins
The first Gopher NFL touchdown of the season went to the now #7 on a gorgeous bomb from Lamar Jackson.
How Rashod Bateman got so wide open for his 55-yard touchdown. pic.twitter.com/NCK64ulTlf— Ryan Mink (@ryanmink) September 12, 2022
Bateman would play 37 offensive snaps, the most of any Ravens wide out. He finished the game with two catches for 59 yards on five targets in an easy 24-9 win.
Faalele dressed for the game but did not see any action for the Ravens in their win.
Week 1 vs Cleveland Browns
Week 2 @ New York Giants
Wilson played 31 snaps for the Panthers in their loss to the Browns on Sunday and had four tackles, two solo and one of those was a sack of Browns QB Jacoby Brissett.
Week 1 vs Green Bay Packers
Week 2 @ Philadelphia Eagles (MNF)
Ezezi was inactive for the Vikings game and did not dress.
Week 1 @ Minnesota Vikings
Week 2 vs Chicago Bears
Campbell played all 62 defensive snaps for the Packers on Sunday, but they weren’t great snaps as Green Bay would lose to the Vikings. He did pick right up again where he left off in 2021 leading the team with 11 tackles, 5 of them solo and one a tackle for loss. Unfortunately for him his secondary teammates didn’t help out much.
Week 1 vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 2 @ Detroit Lions
Benjamin St. Juste—CB
St. Juste played 61 of the 70 total defensive snaps for the Commanders in their win over the Jags. He recorded four tackles, all solo and a QB hit on Trevor Lawrence that forced an intentional grounding penalty.
Week 1 vs Denver Broncos-MNF
Week 2 @ San Francisco 49ers
The rookie made his NFL debut and played 19 snaps for the Seahawk defense that seems to befuddle Russell Wilson repeatedly Monday night. But Mafe did not record a stat in his 19 snaps.
Week 1 @ Tennessee Titans
Week 2 vs Carolina Panthers
Coughlin dressed but did not see any defensive snaps or record any special teams stats in the Giants win over the Titans.
Week 1 vs Kansas City Chiefs
Week 2 @ Las Vegas Raiders
Williams is coming back off his horrific injury a year ago and played 10 snaps for the Cardinals in their blowout loss to KC. He didn’t record a stat.