Hawks in the NFL: Defense Dominates the Week

By Jeremy Karll on December 5, 2017 at 9:00 am
The King is here.

© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


The Miami Dolphins claimed A.J. Derby off the waiver wire. Despite his shoulder injury, he practiced on Thursday and Friday with the Dolphins, but Adam Gase decided not to play him on Sunday against his former team, the Denver Broncos. It's unclear whether he'll make his Miami debut this upcoming week against New England.

Jake Rudock Keeps Iowa's QB Streak Alive

Two former Iowa quarterbacks now have taken snaps in the same season for the first time since 1991 when Mark Vlasic and Dan McGwire attempted a combined 51 passes -- Rudock is technically from Michigan, but I'm still counting it. While C.J. Beathard is seemingly stuck behind Jimmy Garoppolo, Jake Rudock attempted his first career passes when Matthew Stafford left with a hand injury.

With the Lions down 17 when Rudock entered the game, he had a chance to lead an epic comeback. He did not. He completed 3-of-5 passes for 24 yards,  but also threw a pick-6. Stafford is expected to try to play through a bruised hand this upcoming Sunday. That said, if he can't play, Rudock would likely start as he's the only other quarterback on Detroit's depth chart.

George Kittle played with his third quarterback of the season, catching two passes for 20 yards against Chicago on Sunday. However, he played nearly half the snaps (27) as veteran tight end Garrett Celek (52).

Washington lost on Thursday Night Football but through no fault of Brandon Scherff. He earned Washington's highest PFF grade (82.8) as he surrendered just one pressure. Along with allowing only two pressures in the past three games, PFF acknowledges he's been one of the best offensive lineman in the league this season:

Scherff now ranks fourth among guards for the season with an 87.5 overall grade and at 90.5, he’s one of just two guards to own an elite run-blocking grade.

His biggest accomplishment came on Jimmy Fallon's The Tonight Show. 

Riley Reiff gave up his first sack of the season this week, but that doesn't change the fact that he's been one of the most consistent lineman since entering the league.

Cole Croston played two snaps as New England continues to search for healthy bodies on the offensive line.

Defensive Stars Galore

Desmond King has had many great games this season, but this past Sunday may have been his best yet. He tied his career-high in tackles (6) and sacks (1), while leading the team with three quarterback hits and two tackles for loss. King also returned three kickoffs for 82 total yards. Over the past five games, there have been few rookies more dominant than King -- 23 tackles, three sacks, pick-6. It's safe to say he has made himself a contender for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Anthony Hitchens was all over the field for Dallas on Thursday, once again acting as the team's best linebacker. He recorded a team and career-high 15 total tackles, also adding two tackles for loss. It was his sixth career game with at least 10 total tackles. Hitchens, who will be an unrestricted free agent after this year, has thrived in Sean Lee's absence.

Micah Hyde led Buffalo with 12 tackles in its loss to New England. He also had a pass deflection and destroyed Danny Amendola on a crossing route. Hyde didn't hold back after the game, calling Rob Gronkowski's late hit on Tre'Davious White 'dirty.'

The Browns are 0-12 this season, but Christian Kirksey continues to be a Pro Bowl-caliber linebacker. He finished with eight tackles on Sunday. 

Mike Daniels finished with four tackles, two quarterback hits and 0.5 sacks. Over the past two weeks, he has 12 tackles, three quarterback hits and 1.5 sacks.

Carl Davis had three tackles for Baltimore, Adrian Clayborn finished with one tackle and a quarterback hit, and Karl Klug had a quarterback hit, too.


Inactive: Jaleel Johnson (Vikings), A.J. Derby (Dolphins)

DNP: C.J. Beathard (49ers), Austin Blythe (Rams), Matt Tobin (Seahawks), Andrew Donnal (Ravens), LeShun Daniels (Washington, saw time on special teams)


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