The NFL kicked off its regular-season Thursday with the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and two former Illini -- Michael Hoomanawanui and Tavon Wilson -- picking up a 28-21 win over the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers.
Here's how former Illini players performed in Week 1:
Vontae Davis (CB, Colts) - Davis didn't see a pass thrown his way until the third quarter. He made one pass deflection on three of the passes thrown to Buffalo Bills No. 1 wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who he held to zero catches, in a 27-14 loss to Buffalo.
Corey Liuget (DT, Chargers) - Liuget had two tackles in a 33-28 win over the Detroit Lions.
Whitney Mercilus (LB, Texans) - Mercilus had two tackles and one pass deflection in a 27-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Alan Ball (DB, Bears) - Ball made three tackles and one pass deflection in his regular-season debut for the Bears. He didn't perform well against Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones, who grabbed four catches for 51 yards and two touchdowns.
Here's a full list of former Illinois players in the NFL:
- Jeff Allen (OT, Chiefs)
- Jon Asamoah (OL, Falcons)
- Alan Ball (DB, Bears)
- Arrelious Benn (WR, Jaguars)
- Michael Buchanan (DE, Bills)
- Jeff Cumberland (TE, Jets)
- Vontae Davis (CB, Colts)
- Michael Hoomanawanui (TE, Patriots)
- Corey Liuget (DE, Chargers)
- Whitney Mercilus (DE, Texans)
- Akeem Spence (DT, Buccanneers)
- Hugh Thornton (OG, Colts)
- Tavon Wilson (FS, Patriots)