Football Sports

How Houston alumni are performing so far this NFL season

Former Houston quarterback Case Keenum has found an NFL home with the Washington Redskins in 2019. | File photo

Former Houston quarterback Case Keenum has found an NFL home with the Washington Redskins in 2019. | File photo

As the NFL’s 100th season begins to pick up steam, it is a good time to check in with how some former Cougars in the pros have started off the 2019 campaign.

Quarterback Case Keenum, Washington Redskins

When it comes to Cougars in the NFL, Case Keenum is the first name that comes to the mind of many.

The all-time school leader in passing yards (19,217), passing completions (1,546) and passing touchdowns (155) has had an up-and-down career as a pro, but Keenum has started off the 2019 season with strong numbers despite the lack of team success.

Through the first two weeks of the season, Keenum has thrown five touchdowns and zero interceptions while throwing for a total of 601 yards.

In his most recent game came against the Dallas Cowboys, Keenum threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately for Keenum, Washington was defeated 31-21.

Keenum’s next game will be Monday night when Washington hosts the Chicago Bears.

Defensive tackle Ed Oliver, Buffalo Bills

Oliver is beginning his first season as a pro after being drafted ninth overall in the 2019 NFL draft.

The 2017 AAC Defensive Player of the Year has not started off his career with eye-popping numbers, tallying a total of four tackles as a pro and zero sacks so far, but he has flashed his potential.

During the Bills’ game against the Giants, a batted pass by the Houston native led to a Buffalo interception.

His team, however, is off to a strong start as the Buffalo Bills are one of only nine teams remaining in the NFL that are undefeated at 2-0.

Oliver tallied two tackles in the Bills’ most recent game against the New York Giants. Buffalo won the game 28-14.

The Bills and Oliver’s next game will be on Sunday afternoon as Buffalo hosts the Cincinnati Bengals.

Defensive back D.J. Hayden, Jacksonville Jaguars

Although Hayden was only with the Cougars for two seasons in 2011 and 2012, he left a strong impact as he had a total of 127 tackles and six interceptions, including three that were returned for touchdowns.

Hayden returned to Houston on Sunday afternoon as his Jacksonville Jaguars traveled to NRG Stadium, where UH recently played, to take on the Texans.

Even though the Jaguars are 0-2, Hayden has recorded seven tackles and a sack so far this season.

In Sunday’s game against the Texans, Hayden combined for three tackles, including a sack on quarterback Deshaun Watson and a deflected pass.

Hayden on Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans has four tackles.

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