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July 25, 2021

Locals in the NFL: Julian Blackmon's first career INT helps seal Colts win

AROUND THE SHIELD — Indianapolis Colts linebacker Anthony Walker had just finished answering questions about his teammate Julian Blackmon when the former Utah defensive back entered the interview room.

“And now,” he said, his voice in a crescendo, “the man, the myth, the legend. The one who y’all were just talking about: Julian Blackmon.”

If you ask Blackmon, he should have had a takeaway long before the fourth quarter came around. He may have missed that opportunity, but he wasn’t about to let one that literally fell from the sky slip away.

Early in the fourth quarter of the Colts’ 19-11 win over Chicago, wideout Anthony Miller tried to make an acrobatic catch but only ended up hitting the ball up enough for it to fall right into the arms of Blackmon who was standing at the 6-yard line. It was the former Utes’ first career interception.

And with that, the Bears’ scoring threat was gone.

Blackmon may have just been in the right place at the right time, but that was actually the norm for the rookie on Sunday. He led the team with three passes defended in his second career start.

“Very excited about Julian’s progress,” Colts head coach Frank Reich said. “Physically, mentally, in our scheme. Just the way he is in the huddle.”

Blackmon suffered an ACL tear in December in his final collegiate game. There were some question over when the three-time All-Pac-12 safety and All-America would be able to help. He was inactive for Week 1, made his debut in Week 2, and in a short time, the rookie proved he could be an effective starter in the NFL.

“It’s always fun playing football, especially coming off of injury,” Blackmon said. “There’s a lot more work to be done.”

Former Ute defensive back Jaylon Johnson had two tackles and two pass breakups for the Bears.

Denver 37, New York Jets 28 (Thursday night)

Denver may have found a new No. 1 wide receiver: former Ute Tim Patrick.

Patrick led the Broncos with six catches, 113 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Jets on Thursday night.

Patrick waited his turn as the Broncos changed the offense around him with changing QBs and new wideouts coming in; but with Courtland Sutton on injured reserve, the former Ute got his chance to shine. And he did just that.

“I really like Tim,” said Broncos coach Vic Fangio after Thursday’s win. “I think Tim is a quality NFL receiver. He’s got size, he’s big, tough, competitive at the ball, good runner with the ball after the catch. I’m not surprised by Tim, I think he’s a quality NFL receiver and I’m really glad that we have him.”

Patrick’s third-quarter touchdown gave the Broncos a 24-16 lead. It was Patrick’s first career 100-yard game.

“I just felt like the ball came my way in tough situations and I made the plays and it helped us get the win,” Patrick said.

Cleveland 49, Dallas 38

It wasn’t a great day for the Cowboys, who were down by as many as 27 in their 49-38 loss to the Browns, but there was a time when Dallas still had hope for a miracle comeback. And that came when former Bingham High tight end Dalton Schultz bowled his way into the end zone in the fourth quarter.

As Schulz caught the pass that would end up being a 26-yard touchdown, he was struck in the back by a would-be tackler, but he didn’t go down — the defender did. That led to Schultz reaching the end zone and the Cowboys cutting the lead to 11 with 6:31 left.

Schultz continued what has become a breakout season by having four catches and 78 yards on Sunday.

Former BYU pass rusher Sione Takitaki had four tackles in the Browns’ win.

Tampa Bay 38, LA Chargers 31

Future Hall-of-Famer Tom Brady had a near-perfect game throwing for 369 yards and five touchdowns. The one truly bad mark? A pick-six by none other than former BYU defensive back Michael Davis.

In the first quarter, Davis broke on a sideline pass by Brady. Davis beat everyone to the ball, picking it off and returning it 78 yards for a touchdown.

Davis added six tackles and a pass breakup in the loss.

Philadephia Eagles 25, San Francisco 49ers 20

On Sunday Night Football, former BYU linebacker Fred Warner had five tackles and a QB hit in the 49ers’ loss to the Eagles.

Seattle 31, Miami 23

Former Utah State standout Bobby Wagner led the Seahawks with 12 tackles in their win over the Dolphins. Former Utah and Brighton High linebacker Cody Barton added four tackles and a pass breakup for Seattle.

Former BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy had four tackles for the Dolphins.

New Orleans 35, Detroit 29

Former BYU QB Taysom Hill rushed three times for 6 yards and had one catch for 8 yards for the Saints in their win over the Lions.

Former Ute John Penisini had five tackles, and former SUU safety Miles Killebrew added two stops for the Lions.

Cincinnati 33, Jacksonville 25

Former SUU corner LeShaun Sims had eight tackles and one pass breakup to help the Bengals beat the Jaguars.

Carolina 31, Arizona 21

Former Utah standout Kylie Fitts had a tackle for the Cardinals in their loss to Carolina.

Los Angeles Rams 17, New York Giants 9

Former Utah standout Terrell Burgess finished with one tackle in the Rams’ win over the Giants.

Former Utah State linebacker Kyler Fackrell had four tackles, including three for a loss, and a QB hit for the Giants.

Buffalo 30, Las Vegas 23

Former Weber State cornerback Taron Johnson had seven tackles for the Bills in a win over Las Vegas.

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