Longhorns in the NFL: Phillips’ interception assists in Chargers’ victory

Isaac Gutierrez

As another week on the calendar has passed, so has a fresh batch of 16 NFL games. Week Two of the 2018 season is officially in the books, and with it, a myriad of performances from Texas’ many NFL alumni. Some of these players made their mark on their respective games, and some failed to live up to expectations. 

Here are how a few former Longhorns performed this week: 

Adrian Phillips

After the Chargers fell victim to the scalding hot Chiefs in Week One, this was a must win game for Los Angeles as it traveled to Buffalo to play what has arguably been the worst team in the NFL. As expected, the Chargers left the game with a 31-20 victory.

This win was due to the team’s stellar defensive performance in the first half. The Chargers’ ongoing pass rush and formidable secondary did not make things easy for Bills rookie quarterback Josh Allen in his first career start.

Nickelback Adrian Phillips played his part in the dominating performance, raking in one interception and five total tackles. Phillips’ playing time has taken a hit due to the arrival of rookie safety Derwin James, but through two games, the veteran has made the most of his time on the field.

Quandre Diggs

The Detroit Lions have been one of the league’s most disappointing teams through two weeks. Sitting with a record of 0–2, the team has not had many encouraging signs on either side of the ball. Cornerback Quandre Diggs has been an exception.

After Diggs returned an interception for a touchdown on the first play of Week One’s Monday Night Football game, he followed it up with another solid outing against the 49ers.

Though San Francisco won by a score of 30-27, Diggs ended the game with five total tackles and two deflected passes. While the Lions surely expect improved performances going forward, it is hard for Detroit fans to be upset with Diggs’ defensive effort thus far.

Michael Dickson

Rookie punter Michael Dickson played well in Week Two but failed to replicate the level of play he displayed in the season’s first week.

The Seahawks fell to the Bears in Chicago, 24-17. The Seattle offense was stagnant for much of the game, leading to many opportunities for Dickson to punt. He punted the ball seven times — one more than last week’s total — for an average of 45.1 yards per kick. Also, he executed a rare drop kick on a kickoff, an occurrence the NFL hasn’t seen since 2015.

The biggest difference in Dickson’s performance was how many times he pinned the opponent’s offense behind their own 20-yard line. This occurred just one time at Soldier Field, a dramatic fall from the four he posted in a historic Week One performance.

The 0–2 Seahawks have many reasons to be concerned about their team, but fifth-round pick Michael Dickson is not one of them. The fact that in a game in which he averages 45.1 yards per attempt is viewed as an underwhelming outing shows the talent of the rookie punter.