Crimson Tide in the NFL: Week 2

Tzali Nislick, Contributing Writer

One day after Alabama football put up big numbers in a win against The University of Louisiana Monroe, former Crimson Tide football players put up their own numbers in the NFL. Let’s look at which Alabama football alumni had big games in The Crimson White’s second edition of “Crimson Tide in the NFL.” 

Player of the Week: Tua Tagovailoa 

What started as a relatively pedestrian afternoon for Tua Tagovailoa (2017-2019) resulted in a legendary performance for the third-year NFL quarterback. He led the Miami Dolphins back from a 21-point fourth quarter deficit to improve to 2-0 on the year.  

Tagovailoa finished the day completing 72% of his passes for 469 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. The yards and touchdowns are both career highs and the six passing touchdowns are tied for the second-most in a single game in NFL history. 

Tagovailoa has received a lot of criticism about his arm strength, but he had no problem delivering two strikes of 48 yards and 60 yards for touchdowns to Tyreek Hill in the fourth quarter, the latter tying the game. A seven-yard touchdown to Jaylen Waddle (2018-2020) with 14 seconds remaining capped off the historic comeback for Tagovailoa and the Dolphins. 

Jaylen Waddle’s Career Day 

Tagovailoa couldn’t have done it without Waddle, who also put up astronomical numbers against the Baltimore Ravens. Waddle had 11 receptions for a career-best 171 yards and two scores. His second score was the game-winning touchdown with 14 seconds left in the fourth quarter.  

Waddle now has 10 or more receptions in eight of his 18 career NFL games, an astounding feat. He’s up to 15 receptions for 240 yards and three touchdowns on the young season.  

Mac Jones and Damien Harris roll through Pittsburgh 

After a slow start to the season, Mac Jones (2018-2020) and Damien Harris (2015-2018) came through in the New England Patriots’ first win against the Pittsburgh Steelers.  

Jones threw for 252 yards, one touchdown and one interception. His touchdown came on a beautiful 44-yard deep ball to Nelson Agholor late in the first half. Harris carried the ball 15 times for 71 yards and one touchdown. After scoring 15 touchdowns last season, he found the end zone for the first time in 2022.  

Steelers running back Najee Harris (2017-2020) didn’t find much room to run, but he contributed through the air with 40 receiving yards on five receptions, totaling 89 all-purpose yards for the day.  

Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (2015-2017) stayed hot with his second interception of the season.  

Trevon Diggs Gets Revenge 

When LSU came to Tuscaloosa and beat the Crimson Tide in 2019, it was in large part thanks to the Tigers’ wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, who got the best of Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs (2016-2019). In their first rematch since that game, it was Diggs who won the battle.  

Chase was held in check on the day with five receptions for 54 yards. Most of that was because of Diggs — who when covering the Cincinnati Bengals’ star wideout — only allowed two catches for 14 yards according to Pro Football Focus. Diggs’ vengeful performance played a significant role in the Dallas Cowboys winning the game against the defending AFC champions. 

Looking Ahead 

There are two Monday Night Football games tonight, between the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills as well as the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles. 

The first matchup features Derrick Henry (2013-2015), while the second game features Irv Smith Jr. (2017-2018), Dalvin Tomlinson (2013-2016), Jalen Hurts (2016-2018) and DeVonta Smith (2017-2020).

Questions or comments? Email Austin Hannon (Sports Editor) at [email protected]