With the 2019 season underway, a host of Oklahoma Sooners are already making waves in the NFL. The number of former OU players in the professional ranks has grown rapidly through the three seasons I’ve been writing this feature. Judging by the first couple of weeks of 2019, a few new names look to be in the mix all season-long.
But we begin this week with a familiar name in Adrian Peterson. It doesn’t matter what Father Time thinks, because the 13-year veteran still has something left in the tank — despite being held out as a healthy scratch for the first time in his career in Week 1. The current vibe in Washington isn’t quite ideal for the future Hall of Famer, but AD continues to do work and make history despite his uncertain role and future in the nation’s capital.
Peterson made the start in Washington’s 31-21 loss against the Cowboys this past Sunday in place of the injured Derrius Guice and found the end zone in first quarter. This particular touchdown, which was number 107 in Peterson’s stellar career, vaulted him past Cleveland Browns great Jim Brown for 5th all-time in NFL history.
After passing Barry Sanders and Marshall Faulk last season, AD is now behind only Emmitt Smith, LaDainian Tomlinson, Marcus Allen and Walter Payton. Peterson could conceivably move up one more spot on the list this season, with only three more touchdowns needed to tie Sweetness’s career total of 110.
Speaking of touchdowns, here’s a throwback to one of AD’s best. Can’t believe this was 10 years ago.
Kyler Murray in his second NFL start dueled it out against fellow Heisman-winning QB Lamar Jackson in a battle of the birds. This time, however, Murray’s comeback would fall short (of a tie, I suppose).
The Cardinals fell to the Ravens, 23-17, with the rookie Murray finishing with 349 yards on 25-of-40 passing. Kyler also became just the second player ever to throw for 300 yards in his first two starts, with 2011 NFL Rookie of the Year Cam Newton being the only other.
Kyler Murray went on the road, played a 1 pm East Coast game, averaged 8.7 yards per attempt, didn't throw a pick, and took just 3 sacks on 43 drop backs against a tough defense.— Jim Sannes (@JimSannes) September 16, 2019
Baltimore wasn't at full health, but the Cardinals very much exceeded expectations this week.
After shaking off the rough first three quarters in his opening game last week against Detroit, Murray looks to be getting in the groove in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense. There will be good weeks and some bad this season, but so far Kyler is showing glimpses that he could be a special quarterback for years to come.
On the other side of the matchup, Marquise Brown continued his promising start as an NFL wideout, catching 8 passes for 86 yards to follow up his breakout Week 1 performance in the Ravens win. Hollywood and his QB seem to be on the same page, as evident on this picture-perfect connection downfield.
Oh look, a running back throwing dimes to Marquise Brown with perfect touch and ball placement. Who knew? ♂️ pic.twitter.com/GO3FHflT0B— Jared Feinberg (@JrodDraftScout) September 15, 2019
Hollywood’s former Sooner cohort Mark Andrews led all pass catchers in the game with 112 yards on 8 receptions as the Ravens moved to 2-0 on the season. With their combined talents to go with John Harbaugh’s scheme, Jackson and Andrews could soon grow to become the most formidable QB-TE duo in the league.
Another TD pass for Lamar Jackson, his 6th this season. This one to Mark Andrews.— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 15, 2019
Lamar had 6 TD passes in his rookie season. Already with 6 this season.pic.twitter.com/Vl1LWChL1B
It’s going to be a thrill watching the dynamic trio of Lamar Jackson, Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews for years to come in Baltimore. With an offense that’s explosive, a defense always among the NFL’s best, it’s not a stretch to conceivably see this Ravens squad contending in the AFC for the next decade.
Safety Tony Jefferson grabbed a solo tackle and assisted on three for B’More in the win. After the game, some of the many Sooners, including Ravens starting offensive tackle Orlando Brown, came together for a nice moment.
Baker Mayfield and the Browns took a while to get going on Monday Night Football against the Jets, but this late-third-quarter pass to Odell Beckham Jr. went the distance.
Baker made some nice throws on the road in New York and finished with 325 yards, a touchdown and an interception on 19-of-35 passing. The Week 2 outing earned him a place behind only Patrick Mahomes and Andrew Luck for the most passing yards through the first 16 games of an NFL career.
Speaking of the Browns, Austin Seibert was a busy man on Monday night, going 3/3 with a long of 48 yards.
Gerald McCoy recorded one solo and three assisted tackles for his new team, the Panthers, in a loss against his former team, the Bucs, on Thursday night.
Kenny Stills, the newest wide receiver for the Texans, caught two balls for 38 yards in the loss against the Jags. Hopefully, Kenny gets a fresh start and playoff appearance in his new environment. His speed and field-stretching ability would be ideal in this offense if this offense had an actual offensive line.
Dede Westbrook on the other side of this matchup caught just 1 pass for 3 yards from Jaguars backup QB Gardner Minshew. Slow start for Dede following the loss of starting quarterback Nick Foles to injury in Week 1. But the 2016 Biletnikoff winner has too much talent to be quiet in this offense for long.
These Sooners also saw action for their respective teams this weekend:
Blake Bell (TE - Chiefs), Devante Bond (LB - Buccaneers), *Orlando Brown (OT - Ravens), *Jordan Evans (LB - Bengals), *Cody Ford (OT - Bills), *Lane Johnson (RT - Eagles), Steven Parker (DB - Dolphins), Jordan Phillips (DT - Bills), *Tress Way (P - Washington), *Daryl Williams (OT - Panthers), *James Winchester (LS - Chiefs)
The following Sooners were inactive or did not play in Week 2:
Rodney Anderson (RB - Bengals, IR), Curtis Bolton (LB - Packers), Aaron Colvin (CB - Washington), Bobby Evans (OG - Rams), Dimitri Flowers (FB - Jaguars), Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (LB - Rams), Samaje Perine (RB - Bengals), Ben Powers (OG - Ravens), Dru Samia (OG - Vikings), Sterling Shepard (WR - Giants, concussion), Trent Williams (OT - Washington)