George Atkinson III
The big winner from Friday’s game is undoubtedly Atkinson, who carried the ball five times for 97 yards, breaking off two big touchdown runs.
The first one was for 53 yards, and the second one went for 35 yards. On both carries, Atkinson displayed great vision, 4.3 speed and shifty moves. He’s been the forgotten RB, but he has everyone’s attention now.
Outside of GA3, the biggest surprise of the night was Cory James, the team’s sixth-round draft pick.
James showed off athleticism, instincts, looking solid in coverage, and he was quick to the ball. He finished the game with five tackles, including one for a loss. It was a nice debut for the rookie.
Dexter has been one of the standout players in training camp, and that continued on the field Friday. Outside of Sean Smith, who was fantastic in his limited playing time, McDonald was the best player in the secondary.
He was sound in coverage, showing improved technique from last season. He logged a pass deflection, and also came up with a few tackles.
Cowser has been one of the more impressive players from camp, and the same thing can be said for the first game.
There were questions about how his game would translate from division two to the NFL, but he hasn’t given any reason why he can’t be a quality player. He got to the quarterback several times, laying a big hit on one particular play. On another, his pressure forced a bad throw, leading to a Neiko Thorpe interception.
He has a serious chance to make the 53-man roster.
The hype for DeAndre Washington started to get a little out of hand, increasing expectations to somewhat of an unreasonable level. But that didn’t matter at all on Friday, because Washington went on to exceed those expectations anyway.
He looked good returning kicks, running the ball, and catching passes out of the backfield.
Toomer is considered on the roster bubble, but he may have solidified a place on the 53-man roster with Friday’s performance.
He had nine tackles, seven of them solo, with the next closest player having five total tackles. He was all over the field, showing that he can provide needed depth at the linebacker spot.
Toomer is known for his special teams contributions, and he was impressive there as well. He forced a fumble on a punt return, which was recovered by Johnny Holton.
Allen’s spot on the 53-man roster was presumed to be safe, but he was by no means a lock. But after the first game, maybe he should be.
Allen played the centerfield spot very well, coming up with one interception, nearly a second INT, and two pass deflections. In every series he played, he was sound in coverage, and he even made a few nice tackles. He’ll likely be the first safety behind Karl Joseph and Reggie Nelson.
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