In the second week of the NFL season, a number of former Tar Heels made some significant contributions to their respective teams. There was an interception, a first career reception, and a triumphant return home. Let’s take a look at some of these and other noteworthy performances by former Tar Heels in the second week of the NFL regular season.
James Hurst (Baltimore)
In his second game of the season, Hurst started and played the entire game at left guard for the Ravens. He helped lead his team to their second victory of the year in part by helping them gain 132 yards on the ground. Also, he played a large part in protecting Joe Flacco and limiting Cleveland to only two sacks in the game.
Gio Bernard and Russell Bodine (Cincinnati)
The Tar Heel duo could not help the Bengals score their first touchdown of the season, but they did contribute some offensive production for the team. Bodine started and played at center for Cincinnati, while Bernard rushed for 10 yards and added 16 receiving yards as well.
Tre Boston (Los Angeles Chargers)
Though many people might not have been in attendance to see his performance, Boston was solid for the Chargers in his second game of the season at starting free safety. In their loss to Miami, he recorded six solo tackles and three assisted tackles.
Ryan Switzer (Dallas)
Switzer did not factor into the Cowboys’ passing game on Sunday, but he did return a punt for 19 yards. He will look to get his first NFL reception next week against the Arizona Cardinals.
Mitch Trubisky didn’t play in Sunday’s blowout at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but Connor Barth did connect on his only point attempt in the game.
However, the biggest Tar Heels news to come out of Chicago this weekend was that they would be bringing in former UNC wide receiver Bug Howard for a tryout. If Howard can make the team, maybe we will see a Trubisky to Howard connection in the near future for the Bears.
Windy City..✈️— Bug Howard (@ThaBugMan) September 17, 2017
Robert Quinn (Los Angeles Rams)
Quinn was active for the Rams in their first loss of the season to Washington. He recorded 1⁄2 sack and two tackles in the game (one solo, one assisted) from the outside linebacker spot.
Zach Brown (Washington)
On the other side of the field, Brown was leading Washington’s defense to a decisive road victory over the Rams. For the second week in a row, Brown led the team in tackles with 10 total. After making the Pro Bowl the previous year, Brown is already putting together a strong case to return.
Mack Hollins (Philadelphia)
Staying in the NFC East, despite the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Hollins recorded his first career receptions on Sunday. He had three total catches in the game for 32 yards of offense and continued to play a role on the Eagles’ special teams.
SB Nation’s Bleeding Green Nation has been a big fan of Hollins since he was drafted by Philadelphia. They have made a strong case for Hollins to see more playing time, especially in the receiving game, in recent articles (especially after Sunday’s performance).
Da’Norris Searcy (Tennessee)
Searcy started at strong safety on Sunday against the Jaguars in place of injured starter, Johnathan Cyprien. He made the most of his start by getting a big interception in the game (his first of the season) and he had three total tackles (one solo and two assisted).
Julius Peppers (Carolina)
The guy just doesn’t appear to be slowing down at all. In his first game back in Charlotte with the Panthers, Peppers received a rousing introduction on Sunday (see below), and he certainly didn’t disappoint with his play on the field.
In their 9-3 victory on Sunday over the Buffalo Bills, Peppers played in about 60 percent of the team’s defensive snaps. He led the team with two sacks on Tyrod Taylor, which raised his career total to 146. He also had six tackles in the game (four solo and two assisted).
This was a special moment. @juliuspeppers_ 's return! pic.twitter.com/K4VkoRZbDA— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) September 17, 2017
Joel Berry and Luke Maye
Berry and Maye were honored by the Panthers on Sunday before the game, along with members of South Carolina’s womens’ team, for recently winning NCAA National Championships. Along with being recognized, both players were given the opportunity to hit the “Keep Pounding” drum.
Before the game, Maye (who has also shown he has a good fastball at baseball games) was showing off his cannon for an arm to the Panthers front office, in case basketball didn’t work out for him after college.
Huntersville-native & @UNC_Basketball national champ @luke_maye & his brother Drake warming up the arm...ya know, just in case #KeepPounding pic.twitter.com/bVRSqWKLeF— Matt Harris (@MHarrisWSOC9) September 17, 2017