Gators in the NFL: Evan McPherson earns Player of the Week honors

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16 former Gators started across the NFL in Week 1, and Cincinnati Bengals kicker Evan McPherson may have been the best of the bunch.

Rookies Kyle Pitts and Kadarius Toney also made their NFL debuts among others, and veterans like Joe Haden continued to add to the legacy of Gators in the NFL.

With dozens of former Florida alumni in the league, here’s who stood out the most in Week 1.

K Evan McPherson, Cincinnati Bengals

https://twitter.com/GatorsFB/status/1438129091660681216?s=20 McPherson was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week after kicking the game-winning 33-yard field goal against the Minnesota Vikings. The rookie nailed a 53-yarder in the fourth quarter and went 3-for-3 in PATs. He is the youngest kicker in NFL history to kick a game-winning field goal in overtime and the second rookie kicker to make a field goal as time expired in overtime, according to the Bengals' official website. PHOTOS: Evan McPherson makes huge splash in NFL debut

WR Van Jefferson, Los Angeles Rams

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford connected with Van Jefferson for a big gain that should've had him down at the 11-yard line. The former Gator turned it into Stafford's first touchdown for Los Angeles after two Bears defenders failed to touch him while he was down. The 67-yard score was the biggest play of Jefferson's day. He finished with two receptions for 80 yards.

CB Vernon Hargreaves III, Houston Texans

AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

Hargreaves, the eleventh overall pick in 2016 out of Florida, picked off rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence and recorded five tackles for the Houston Texans defense. This is just the third career interception for Hargreaves. He totaled 10 interceptions in three seasons with the Gators and hasn't been able to match those numbers since.

CB Joe Haden, Pittsburgh Steelers

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Kicking off his twelfth year in the NFL, Joe Haden forced a fumble and recorded five tackles in a close victory for the Steelers over the Bills. PFF ranks Haden as the top corner after Week 1.

TE Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons

AP Photo/John Bazemore

The Atlanta Falcons made Kyle Pitts the highest-drafted tight end ever in this year's draft and then hardly used him the preseason. That changed in Week 1 as Pitts was targeted a team-high eight times against the Eagles. He brought in four of those passes for 31 yards. Playing in more than half of the offensive snaps and being targeted the way he was, Pitts may just be getting started. PHOTOS: Highlights from Kyle Pitts' NFL regular-season debut

More Gators that played on Sunday

There are 48 Gators on 25 NFL teams right now, but not all are in a position to make highlight plays for their teams. Here's how the rest of the former Gators who played in Week 1 did. OL D.J. Humphries, Arizona - Starting left guard in a 38-13 win against Tennessee. G Max Garcia, Arizona - Appeared against Tennessee in his seventh year. OT Trent Brown, New England - Started at RT for the Patriots in his seventh year. OT Jawaan Taylor, Jacksonville - Started at RT for the Jaguars. WR Kadarius Toney, New York Giants - Two interceptions for -2 yards in rookie debut. WR Demarcus Robinson, Kansas City - One reception for nine yards as a starter for the Chiefs. DL T.J. Slaton, Green Bay - Recorded two solo tackles in his rookie debut. DE Carlos Dunlap, Seattle - Started for the Seahawks in his twelfth NFL season. DE Jonathan Bullard, Atlanta - Started at LDE and recorded two tackles for the Falcons. DE Dante Fowler Jr., Atlanta - Started at SLB and recorded two tackles. DT Taven Bryan, Jacksonville - Recorded two solo tackles. LB Alex Anzalone, Detroit - Started for the Lions and recorded three tackles. LB Jon Bostic, Washington - Recorded eight tackles for the Washington Football Team. LB Lerentee McCray, Jacksonville - One assisted tackle. In his seventh in NFL season. CB Marco Wilson, Arizona- Recorded three solo tackles in his rookie debut. CB CJ Henderson, Jacksonville - Started at LCB. Recorded four tackles for the Jaguars. S Keanu Neal, Dallas - Started at MLB and recorded six tackles. S Marcus Maye, New York Jets - Started at FS for the Jets and recorded eight tackles. S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, New Orleans - Recorded two solo tackles. S Marcell Harris, San Francisco - Recorded two tackles against the Lions P Tommy Townsend - Punted twice for an average of 45.5 yards.

Inactive/Injured former Gators

QB Kyle Trask, Tampa Bay - Inactive RB La'Mical Perine, New York Jets - Out OL Stone Forsythe, Seattle - Out OG Fred Johnson, Cincinnati - Out LB Jonathan Greenard - Out DB Duke Dawson Jr., Denver - Out/Reserve DL Bryan Cox Jr., Dallas - Injured Reserve LB Jarrad Davis, New York Jets - Injured Reserve CB Quincy Wilson, New York Giants - Injured Reserve CB Brian Poole, New Orleans - Injured Reserve Follow us @GatorsWire on Twitter and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Florida Gators news, notes and opinions.

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