Hawks in the NFL: Regular Season Begins

By Jeremy Karll on September 12, 2017 at 10:00 am
Hello, Mr. Rodgers.

© Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

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There are 23 former Hawkeyes in the NFL this season, with 20 being on an active roster in week one. There are also more Hawkeyes on practice squads who could eventually make an NFL roster later in the season. But for week one, it was great to see former Hawks play in a full, meaningful game, while George Kittle and Desmond King made their NFL debuts. 

Former Hawks Make Big Defensive Plays

Mike Daniels is a stud. The stalwart on Green Bay's defensive line had one of the best games of his career, finishing with seven tackles, 1.5 sacks, one tackle for loss, four QB hits, and a forced fumble that led to a Green Bay touchdown. He led the Packers in sacks and QB hits, while recording the second most tackles on the team. 

ESPN and the entire Packers' defense singled out Daniels phenomenal game, including Ricky Jean Francois who couldn't believe Daniels has yet to make a Pro Bowl. There are still 15 more games to play, but Daniels looks poised to make his first Pro Bowl team.

Micah Hyde had a stellar game in his Buffalo Bills debut, as well. Along with three tackles and a pass deflection, Hyde intercepted Josh McCown with less than two minutes left in the game to secure the win. 

Christian Kirksey, who had the third-most tackles in the NFL last season, had five tackles in a losing effort for the Cleveland Browns. He was one of five players to play every defensive snap for Cleveland. Also, in 25 snaps, Adrian Clayborn returned from injury by recording one tackle and a QB hit on Mike Glennon in Atlanta's week one win.

Desmond King, who switched to No. 20, saw some action in the second half. He played airtight defense on Bennie Fowler III, leading to the ball deflecting off Fowler and King's foot before landing in Adrian Phillips' hands for an interception. Chargers' safety Rayshawn Jenkins left the game with a concussion, too, which could lead to more playing time for King if Jenkins misses extended time.

Karl Klug only recorded one tackle in Tennessee's loss, but he got double birds from Marshawn Lynch.

George Kittle and the Offensive Line

George Kittle entered Sunday dealing with a hamstring injury and listed as questionable by San Francisco. He looked fine, though, playing in all but three offensive snaps and catching five passes for 27 yards, including his personal best, a 13-yard reception, on his first career drive. San Francisco's offense struggled moving the ball, but Kittle still made a difference by finishing second in receptions and third in receiving yards on the team. He was also called for a false start in the fourth quarter.

On Monday Night Football, Riley Reiff could not have played any better, guiding the Vikings to a week one victory.

Marshal Yanda said Baltimore's focus in 2017 was establishing the run, which worked against the Bengals. Behind Yanda, the Ravens rushed for 157 yards. Yanda's 83.4 PFF grade was also the best on Baltimore's offense.

Brandon Scherff struggled all preseason, which had some people worried about the Pro Bowl guard. His efforts in week one against the Eagles didn't ease any nerves, according to Hogs Haven:

Brandon Scherff - None of the linemen were particularly good on Sunday, but Moses and Scherff stood out as being worse than the others. Scherff gave up multiple pressures on the day as well, sometimes getting driven like a cheap car into the backfield. He also whiffed on some downfield blocks (gotta keep your head up, son!).

Matt Tobin didn't start, but he played a couple of snaps as an extra tackle for the Seahawks on run plays. He's still competing for a starting spot.

Injury Report

  • Bryan Bulaga missed Green Bay's season opener against Seattle due to a sprained ankle.
  • After battling injuries during the preseason, Houston tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz caught four passes for 46 yards in the Texans' season opener. However, he left the game with a concussion and Bill O'Brien doesn't expect him to play in week two.

Inactives/DNP

  • Cole Croston (New England), Greg Mabin (Buffalo) and Jaleel Johnson (Minnesota) were all on inactive lists. While Croston and Mabin being inactive isn't a huge surprise, Johnson not being active after a very strong preseason is a little confusing.
  • C.J. Beathard didn't take any snaps for the 49ers, as Brian Hoyer completed 24-of-35 passes for 193 yards and an interception.
  • Carl Davis wasn't on Baltimore's inactive list, but he didn't record any stats. 
  • Austin Blythe (Los Angeles Rams) and Andrew Donnal (Rams) are both backups on the Rams' offensive line.
  • Jake Rudock didn't take any snaps under center, but he got on the field as a holder on special teams after Detroit's regular holder (their punter) was injured. He botched his first snap as a holder, but was fine in his other plays as a holder. 
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