The big news for former Iowa players in the NFL this week was the Pro Bowl. Two ex-Hawks made the Pro Bowl rosters, TE George Kittle and OG Marshal Yanda. Yanda, who was named as a starter, was selected to the seventh Pro Bowl of his illustrious career. It's his seventh Pro Bowl appearance in the last eight years after missing out last season due to a season-ending ankle injury. Yanda rebounded from that injury in a big way and was ranked as the third-best guard in the NFL per Pro Football Focus. The best NFL player in the Ferentz Era just continues to burnish his already-sterling resume.
Kittle, selected as a reserve, was named to his first-ever Pro Bowl. Kittle has had an absolutely phenomenal sophomore campaign, breaking out for 79 receptions for 1228 yards and four touchdowns. He ranks 19th in the league in receptions and 11th in receiving yards; among tight ends, he's only behind Philadelphia's Zach Ertz (113) and Kansas City's Travis Kelce (98) in receptions and just Kelce (1274) in yards. Kittle needs exactly 100 yards next week to break Rob Gronkowski's single season record for receiving yards at the tight end position. Ertz is the sole reason Kittle isn't a Pro Bowl starter, but that doesn't change the fact that he's had a sensational season and fully deserves to be headed to the Pro Bowl next month.
Meanwhile, in this week's action...
Josey Jewell led the Broncos with six tackles (five solo) in their 27-14 loss to Oakland on Monday night. Josh Jackson defended a pass but recorded no tackles in Green Bay's wild 44-38 OT win over the Jets.
Rodgers talked about being a leader and building something that moves into next season and beyond. How about a PBU from Josh Jackson on NYJ's #1 receiver to get his team the ball back? Excellent job of getting his head around when Robbie went up to track the ball. pic.twitter.com/YLtwyFqaI9
— Ross Uglem (@RossUglem) December 24, 2018
James Daniels again started in the Bears' 14-9 win over the 49ers, although he didn't have one of his better games and struggled in some of his blocking assignments throughout the game.
Desmond King had four tackles (three solo) in the Chargers' 22-10 loss to Baltimore on Saturday night. He also had two kick returns for 45 yards and two punt returns for 33 yards. Anthony Hitchens had a big game for Kansas City, recording 12 tackles (five solo) and 0.5 tackles for loss in the Chiefs' 38-30 loss to Seattle on Sunday night. Micah Hyde also had a big game in a losing effort, recording 8 tackles (four solo), 0.5 tackles for loss, and a fumble recovery in Buffalo's 24-12 loss to New England on Sunday.
George Kittle celebrated his Pro Bowl selection by leading the 49ers in receptions and receiving yards with seven catches for 74 yards. After missing a few games with injury, Bryan Bulaga returned to the Packers' starting lineup and played the full game.
- Christian Kirksey - DNP - IR
- Mike Daniels - DNP - IR
- Brandon Scherff - DNP - IR
LONG STORY SHORT
The Winners: Austin Blythe (Rams, 12-3), James Daniels (Bears, 11-4), Marshal Yanda (Ravens, 10-5), Adrian Clayborn, Cole Croston (Patriots, 10-5), Jaleel Johnson, Riley Reiff (Vikings, 8-6-1), Carl Davis, Christian Kirksey (Browns, 7-7-1), Bryan Bulaga, Mike Daniels, Josh Jackson (Packers, 6-8-1)
The Losers: Desmond King (Chargers, 11-4), Anthony Hitchens, Ben Niemann (Chiefs, 11-4), Josey Jewell, Casey Kreiter (Broncos, 6-9), Micah Hyde, Ike Boettger (Bills, 5-10), Andrew Donnal (Lions, 5-10)