With a Monday night doubleheader wrapping up the first week of the 2020-21 NFL season, several former Georgia football players got the campaign started on the right foot with some notable performances. Here’s how some of the former Bulldogs fared in their season-opening efforts:
Todd Gurley (RB, Atlanta Falcons)
After making the high-profile switch this summer from the Los Angeles Rams to the Atlanta Falcons, Gurley was effective in his debut game. The former Georgia running back took 14 carries for 56 yards and a touchdown in Atlanta’s 38-25 season-opening defeat to the Seattle Seahawks. Although the volume of carries was not at the level that made him one of the league’s best running backs just a few years ago, he looked closer to the player that won the 2017 NFL Offensive Player of the Year award. Gurley and the Falcons will head to Dallas to face the Cowboys next week as they look to get back to .500 early in the season.
Leonard Floyd (LB, Los Angeles Rams)
In another debut for a new team, Floyd was part of a strong defensive performance as Los Angeles won the first game ever played at the new SoFi Stadium. In a highly anticipated Sunday night matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, Floyd picked up four tackles and a sack as the Rams held their opponents to just 17 points to open the new season. The Rams have struggled at linebacker in previous seasons, and it seems clear that Floyd’s arrival from the Chicago Bears will be part of the solution. Floyd and Los Angeles will now open up a two-game east coast road trip against Philadelphia and Buffalo with a 1-0 start in hand.
Matthew Stafford (QB, Detroit Lions)
Detroit’s franchise quarterback was impressive as the Lions narrowly fell to the Chicago Bears 27-23 at home on Sunday. Stafford went 24-for-42 for 297 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the defeat. In an all-important NFC North clash, Stafford’s team looked to have the win sealed as he led them to a 23-6 lead at the end of the third quarter before a Chicago comeback gave the Bears the victory. The Lions will look to rebound next week with another tough in-division test as they head to Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers.