Players with valley ties shine bright in first week of NFL action

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Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr warms up before before an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

(KSEE/KGPE) — It felt great to have a full slate of NFL games back on Sunday, and the schedule featured a bunch of guys with ties to the central valley, headlined by ex-Bulldog Derek Carr.

Carr and the Raiders opened their season in Carolina on Sunday, and the former Bulldog signal caller was solid in a 34-30 Raiders win. Carr threw for 239 yards and a touchdown, and completed more than 73 percent of his passes (22-of-30). The touchdown pass went to new Raider receiver Nelson Agholor, and might have been Carr’s best throw of the afternoon.

“My mindset is that we are equipped to accomplish what we need to accomplish,” said Carr afterwards. “I’m proud of our guys that we did it. I’m proud of our guys for coming back and winning that game. I’m so happy for our fans, everyone who struggled through COVID, lost their jobs, anything like that, just wanted to see the Raiders win. I’m proud of our guys for being able to pull through and do that.”

Derek’s former Bulldog teammate, Davante Adams, also got his 2020 season off to a great start. Against the Vikings, the ex-Bulldog had two touchdown catches, including a 24-yard tightrope act near the sideline in the second quarter. He finished with 14 receptions for 156 yards. The 14 catches tied a franchise record for most receptions in a single game (Don Hutson vs. Giants in 1942).

Hoover High grad Eric Kendricks had a team-leading ten tackles in defeat for the Vikings.

From a Hoover alum to a Firebaugh alum, Josh Allen led the Bills to a dominant 27-17 win over the Jets on Sunday. He accounted for 369 total yards and three touchdowns, two through the air and one on the ground.

Allen completed 33 of his 46 passes and finished with 312 yards passing, becoming the first Buffalo quarterback to top 300 yards throwing in a non-overtime game since 2014.


In Detroit, former Central High star Jaylon Johnson became the first rookie cornerback to start a season opener for the Bears since Walt Harris in 1996. And Johnson came up big during the game’s biggest play, deflecting a pass in the end zone that preserved a 27-23 Bears win.

The rookie from Fresno, who was a second round pick out of Utah in April’s draft, finished with six tackles and two pass deflections in the game, as the Bears came back from a 17-point fourth quarter deficit to win their opener.

Other former Bulldogs who saw action on Sunday included rookie linebacker Mykal Walker of the Falcons, who finished with three tackles in Atlanta’s 38-25 loss to the Seahawks. And safety Charles Washington had one tackle for the Arizona Cardinals in their 24-20 upset win over the 49ers.

Tulare Union High School alum Virgil Green had one reception for ten yards in the Los Angeles Chargers’ 16-13 win over the Bengals.

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