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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Football

Former Cougars in NFL see mixed success so far


Former Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver has fared well in the NFL, recording 11 total tackles so far with the Buffalo Bills. | File photo

Former Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver has fared well in the NFL, recording 11 total tackles so far with the Buffalo Bills. | File photo

With 15 members in the NFL, Houston is well-represented. However, not every former Cougar has fared well through five weeks of play.

Here’s who is doing well in their professional career and who isn’t:

Quarterback Kyle Allen – Carolina Panthers

Since being named starter for the Panthers after Cam Newton ‘s foot injury, Allen has played well in the NFL.

In his Sept. 29 game against the Arizona Cardinals, his first as starter, Allen completed 19 of 26 passes for 261 yards en route to a 38-20 win over former college teammate Kyler Murray.

Most recently, the 23-year-old led the Panthers to a 34-27 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars at home. He completed 17 of 30 passes and tossed for 181 yards.

Allen’s game against the Jaguars happened to involve another former Cougar, Jacksonville cornerback D.J. Hayden.

Cornerback D.J. Hayden – Jacksonville Jaguars

Hayden, who has played in all five games for the 2-3 Jaguars, has performed well in 2019, tallying 14 total tackles so far in the season.

The native Houstonian’s best outing so far came against the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 19, a game where Hayden had four solo tackles in Jacksonville’s 20-7 win at home.

Against Allen and the Panthers, the seventh-year veteran had two total tackles, two passes defended and a quarterback hit.

When he returned to Houston on Sept. 15 for the Jaguars’ 13-12 loss to the Texans, Hayden had two quarterback hits, including one on quarterback Deshaun Watson that forced a punt and made the rounds on social media.

Defensive tackle Ed Oliver – Buffalo Bills

Oliver, although still a rookie and only five games in, has been effective for the Bills, who picked the defensive tackle No. 9 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Since going pro, the first-rounder has recorded 11 total tackles and a pass defended.

His best game so far, much like Hayden, came against Tennessee.

In the Bills’ 14-7 win over the Titans on Sunday, Oliver had six total tackles, including three solo in the rookie’s most recent game.

One of Oliver’s biggest moments of the season, however, came against the New England Patriots, when he hit quarterback Tom Brady and almost record his first sack of the season.

Quarterback Case Keenum – Washington Redskins

Although Keenum started the season out hot, throwing for over 600 yards and five touchdowns in the Redskins’ first two games, his year has gone downhill.

After throwing three interceptions in the Redskins’ Sept. 23 loss to the Chicago Bears and a rough first half Sept. 29 against the New York Giants, Keenum was benched in favor of rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

Haskins has since been replaced by Colt McCoy, and Washington head coach Jay Gruden, who pulled Keenum, has been fired after starting the season 0-5.

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