The Wolverine

October 2022

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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62 THE WOLVERINE OCTOBER 2022 BY CLAYTON SAYFIE D etroit Lions rookie defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, the No. 2 over- all pick in this past spring's draft and the runner-up for the 2021 Heisman Trophy, was a bit underwhelming in his NFL debut. He didn't register a sack or hit on Philadelphia Eagles quarter- back Jalen Hurts, though he was cred- ited with 3 pressures. Pro Football Fo- cus (PFF) graded him 120th out of 121 among edge players for his pass rush in Week 1, when the Lions lost 38-35 to the Eagles. Hutchinson followed that up with a stellar performance in Week 2, helping lead the Lions to a 36-27 win over the Washington Commanders. Hutchinson was tied fourth on the squad with 6 tackles, including tying for the team lead with 5 solo stops. Three of his tackles were sacks, too, all in the first half. One week after appearing pedes- trian, Hutchinson — who was battling a lower-body injury but played through it — looked anything but. "You learn from stuff and you move on. I didn't think I played bad in the first game, but definitely I had a lot more op- portunity, I felt, in this game and I made the most of it," Hutchinson said. He's the first Lions rookie to record 3 sacks in a game and, at 22 years and 40 days old, is the fourth-youngest player in NFL history to do so, behind only Nick Bosa (2019), Vernon Maxwell and Greg Townsend (both in 1983). He's also the youngest player in franchise history to have multiple sacks in a contest. "He played better than he did last week. You know, he was much more de- tailed with how he rushed and much more disciplined — kind of really with everybody," Lions head coach Dan Campbell said. "And so, he did, he was better, but so was everybody around him, which helps him be better. That's really the best way to answer it. "I'm fired up. I am. I love it. Three sacks, I hope we get three more and he gives us three more next week. And I haven't seen the tape, but just from what I saw out there and how everything was run and the stunts, I thought he did a great job. I did. I'm not down on him or something. I thought he did a great job, but I thought all those guys did, too. They all funneled into each other." Hutchinson agreed that the entire pass rush operation was to credit for his big plays. "It's everyone just doing their jobs and I got a lot of the fruits of it this week, so I'm just blessed, and I thought I made the most of my opportunities this week," Hutchinson said. "It's a full team effort on that defensive line. "Sacks are a very tedious thing, so you need everyone clicking, and I thought we were clicking today." Hutchinson was humble following his inspired showing, perhaps because he dedicated the performance to Hudson Gazsi, a 5-year-old who was recently diagnosed with leukemia. "He's a big Lions fan, he's from my area," the Plymouth, Mich., native said of Gazsi. "I sent him a video before the game. He was cheering me on. I'm just happy to have good games to spread causes to kids like that. Just raise a lot of awareness for things like that." FORMER WOLVERINES IN THE NFL Through Sept. 19 • Tom Brady (Played at U-M from 1995-99), QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Completed 59 percent of his passes for 402 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 in- terception for the 2-0 Buccaneers, who have wins over the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints … Now the oldest quarterback to start an NFL game, with the 45-year-old playing in his 23rd pro- fessional season. • Ben Bredeson (2016-19), OL, New York Giants: Started two games at left guard for the 2-0 Giants. Hutchinson is the first Lions rookie to record 3 sacks in a game and, at 22 years and 40 days old, is the fourth-youngest player in NFL history to accomplish that feat. PHOTO BY JEFF NGUYEN/COURTESY DETROIT LIONS MICHIGAN IN THE PROS Aidan Hutchinson Makes History

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