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Zack Moss picked a perfect time for a breakout game (plus Week 3 Utah ties roundup)

‘I’m seeing a hungry football player, and I love it,’ Bills coach Sean McDermott said after former Utah star’s latest effort

Buffalo Bills running back Zack Moss runs past Washington Football Team’s Cole Holcomb for a touchdown.
Buffalo Bills running back Zack Moss (20) runs past Washington Football Team’s Cole Holcomb for a touchdown as Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen (17) watches during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y.
Jeffrey T. Barnes, Associated Press

Two weeks ago, Zack Moss was a healthy scratch during the first weekend of the 2021 NFL season.

On Sunday, though, Utah’s all-time leading rusher had one of his best games as a pro in helping the Buffalo Bills beat the Washington Football Team 43-21.

It’s a good turnaround for Moss, who showed plenty of promise during his rookie season last year while serving as the complementary back to starter Devin Singletary in Buffalo.

That’s what made the Week 1 scratch a bit of a head-scratcher, and Moss has responded with two good games in a row. Last week, he rushed for 26 yards and two touchdowns — a pair of fourth-quarter scores to ice the game — and had two receptions for 8 yards to help offset an early fumble in the Bills’ 35-0 win over Miami.

On Sunday against Washington, Moss ran for a team-high 60 yards on 13 carries, averaging 4.6 yards per carry, while Singletary rushed for 26 yards on 11 carries.

Moss also scored a second-quarter touchdown — a 7-yard reception on third down — for his third score in the past two weeks. He finished with three receptions for 31 yards.

“He’s done a real solid job,” Bills coach Sean McDermott told reporters Monday regarding Moss. “I thought Devin had some good runs in there as well, so they’ve been a good combination the past couple of weeks. That’s what we expect moving forward.”

During his rookie season, Moss twice rushed for more than the 60 yards he had Sunday against Washington. This was his best all-purpose game, though, with 91 total yards of offense.

Moss also played 44 offensive snaps — 56% of the team’s snaps Sunday against Washington — while Singletary played 34 (43%).

“Zack came off being inactive that first week and was hungry. That’s a good thing. Sometimes playing time is a great motivator,” McDermott said. “(You) never want to directly send that message but indirectly it happened for the reasons it happened. I think he’s come off of that making the best of every opportunity he’s gotten since that point. I’m seeing a hungry football player, and I love it.”


How Utah ties performed during Week 3

Several Utah ties made a significant impact during Week 3 of the NFL season. Here’s a look at how local ties performed:

Panthers 24, Texans 9

Carolina

  • Brady Christensen, OT, BYU and Bountiful High: 4 snaps (all on special teams).

Houston

  • No locals on roster.

Bills 43, Football Team 21

Buffalo

  • Taron Johnson, CB, Weber State: Started at cornerback; 4 tackles (3 solo), 1 pass deflection; 54 snaps (all on defense).
  • Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah, Snow College and Bingham High: Started at defensive tackle; 3 tackles (2 solo), 1 sack for a loss of 0 yards; 31 snaps (all on defense).
  • Zack Moss, RB, Utah: 13 carries, team-high 60 yards, 3 receptions, 31 yards, 7-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter; 44 snaps (all on offense).

Washington

  • Tyler Larsen, C, Utah State and Jordan High: 1 snap (on special teams).
  • Dax Milne, WR, BYU and Bingham High: 4 snaps (all on offense).
  • Jared Norris, LB, Utah: 18 snaps (all on special teams).

Browns 26, Bears 6

Cleveland

  • Sione Takitaki, LB, BYU: Not active for game with hamstring injury.

Chicago

  • Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah: Started at cornerback; 3 solo tackles; 81 snaps (all on defense).
  • Patrick Scales, LS, Utah State and Weber High: 9 snaps (all on special teams).
  • Khyiris Tonga, DT, BYU and Granger High: Started at nose tackle; 5 tackles (3 solo); 30 snaps (29 on defense, 1 on special teams).

Ravens 19, Lions 17

Baltimore

  • Tyler Huntley, QB, Utah: Did not play.
  • Ty’Son Williams, RB, BYU: Started at running back; 5 carries, 22 yards; 29 snaps (all on offense).

Detroit

  • John Penisini, DT, Utah, Snow College and West Jordan High: 1 solo tackle, 1 pass deflection; 14 snaps (8 on defense, 6 on special teams).
  • Penei Sewell, OT, Desert Hills High: Started at left tackle; 66 snaps (63 on offense, 3 on special teams).
  • Jamaal Williams, RB, BYU: Started at running back; 12 carries, 42 yards, 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to make it a 16-14 game, 2 receptions, 25 yards; 31 snaps (all on offense).

Cardinals 31, Jaguars 19

Arizona

  • Kylie Fitts, OLB, Utah: 24 snaps (1 on defense, 23 on special teams).
  • Leki Fotu, DT, Utah and Herriman High: 24 snaps (13 on defense, 11 on special teams).

Jacksonville

  • Nevin Lawson, CB, Utah State: 8 snaps (all on special teams).
  • Jay Tufele, DT, Bingham High: Not active for game.

Chargers 30, Chiefs 24

Los Angeles

  • Michael Davis, CB, BYU: Started at cornerback; 3 tackles (2 solo), 2 fumble recoveries, 34 return yards; Davis’ fumble recoveries came on back-to-back Chiefs possessions and led to two Los Angeles touchdowns and a 14-0 Chargers lead midway through the second quarter; 79 snaps (all on defense).
  • Kyler Fackrell, LB, Utah State: 1 solo tackle; 39 snaps (32 on defense, 7 on special teams).
  • Alohi Gilman, S, Orem High: 7 solo tackles, 1 pass deflection, 1 interception with 1:55 remaining at the Los Angeles 41 that led to the Chargers’ game-winning touchdown; 47 snaps (27 on defense, 20 on special teams).

Kansas City

  • Marcus Kemp, WR, Layton High: 1 solo tackle; 26 snaps (7 on offense, 19 on special teams).
  • Daniel Sorensen, S, BYU: Started at safety; team-high tying 7 tackles (5 solo), 1 pass deflection; 64 snaps (60 on defense, 4 on special teams).

Saints 28, Patriots 13

New Orleans

  • Kaden Elliss, LB, Judge Memorial High: 4 tackles (3 solo), 1 QB hurry that led to an interception; 57 snaps (34 on defense, 23 on special teams).
  • Taysom Hill, QB, BYU: 6 carries, 32 yards, 4-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to make it a two-score game; 38 snaps (33 on offense, 5 on special teams).
  • Marcus Williams, FS, Utah: Started at free safety; 2 solo tackles; 72 snaps (all on special teams).

New England

  • Harvey Langi, LB, BYU, Utah and Bingham High: 1 solo tackle; 18 snaps (all on special teams).
  • Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU: 3 tackles (2 solo); 44 snaps (all on defense).

Falcons 17, Giants 14

Atlanta

  • No locals on roster.

New York

  • Devontae Booker, RB, Utah: Not active for game.

Bengals 24, Steelers 10

Cincinnati

  • Jalen Davis, CB, Utah State: 13 snaps (3 on defense, 10 on special teams).
  • Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG, Timpview High: Not active for game with knee injury.

Pittsburgh

  • Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah: 17 snaps (all on special teams).

Titans 25, Colts 16

Tennessee

  • No locals on roster.

Indianapolis

  • Julian Blackmon, FS, Utah and Layton High: Started at safety; team-high 11 solo tackles; 69 snaps (66 on defense, 3 on special teams).

Broncos 26, Jets 0

Denver

  • Garett Bolles, OT, Utah, Snow College and Westlake High: Started at left tackle; 73 snaps (67 on offense, 6 on special teams).
  • Tim Patrick, WR, Utah: Started at wide receiver; 5 receptions, team-high 98 yards; 51 snaps (all on offense).

New York

  • Javelin Guidry, CB, Utah: 3 tackles; 29 snaps (26 on defense, 3 on special teams).
  • Zach Wilson, QB, BYU and Corner Canyon High: Started at quarterback; completed 19 of 35 passes for 160 yards, 2 interceptions, 1 carry, 2 yards; sacked 5 times; 54 snaps (all on offense).

Raiders 31, Dolphins 28

Las Vegas

  • Jackson Barton, OT, Utah and Brighton High: Not active for game.
  • Andre James, C, Herriman High: Started at center; 1 fumble; 83 snaps (all on offense).
  • Dallin Leavitt, S, Utah State and BYU: Not active for game.

Miami

  • Eric Rowe, S, Utah: Started at safety; 5 tackles (2 solo), 1 QB hurry that led to a Dolphins pick-six; 66 snaps (65 on defense, 1 on special teams).

Rams 34, Buccaneers 24

Los Angeles

  • Terrell Burgess, S, Utah: 21 snaps (all on special teams).
  • Matt Gay, S, Utah and Orem High: Made field goals of 48 and 26 yards, made 4 of 4 point-after attempts; 13 snaps (all on special teams).
  • Jonah Williams, DE, Weber State: 13 snaps (7 on defense, 6 on special teams).

Tampa Bay

  • No locals on active roster.

Vikings 30, Seahawks 17

Minnesota

  • Nick Vigil, LB, Utah State and Fremont High: Started at linebacker; 8 tackles (4 solo); 57 snaps (53 on defense, 4 on special teams).

Seattle

  • Cody Barton, LB, Utah and Brighton High: 6 tackles (2 solo), 1 QB hurry; 44 snaps (25 on defense, 19 on special teams).
  • Marquise Blair, S, Utah: Not active for game with knee injury.
  • Bryan Mone, DT, Highland High: 3 tackles; 40 snaps (34 on defense, 6 on special teams).
  • Bobby Wagner, MLB, Utah State: Started at linebacker; 11 tackles (4 solo), 1 QB hurry; 81 snaps (75 on defense, 6 on special teams).

Packers 30, 49ers 28

Green Bay

  • Jordan Love, QB, Utah State: Did not play.

San Francisco

  • Fred Warner, LB, BYU: Started at linebacker; 8 tackles (5 solo); 63 snaps (all on defense).
  • Mitch Wishnowsky, P, Utah: 5 punts with 53.3-yard average; 3 inside 20; 12 snaps (all on special teams).

Cowboys 41, Eagles 21

Dallas

  • Simi Fehoko, WR, Brighton High: 11 snaps (4 on offense, 7 on special teams).
  • Dalton Schultz, TE, Bingham High: Started at tight end; 6 catches, team-high 80 yards, 2 touchdowns; he scored on a 19-yard reception in his first quarter and a 22-yarder in the fourth; 60 snaps (53 on offense, 7 on special teams).

Philadelphia

  • Sua Opeta, OG, Weber State and Stansbury High: 1 snap (on special teams).