The NFL returned to action last weekend and with it 24 former Hawkeyes. Let's check in on how they did in the first week of the season.
TE U represented itself very well in opening week action. The big star was T.J. Hockenson, who had a dazzling debut performance, as we discussed earlier. You can catch up his 6-catch, 131-yard day here:
Hockenson also rated highly in the blocking game:
Not every #Lions player struggled in pass protection despite Matthew Stafford being the most pressured QB in week 1.— Logan Lamorandier (@LLamorandier) September 11, 2019
-TE T.J. Hockenson had the highest pass blocking grade for all #NFL TEs per @PFF
-OG Joe Dahl had the highest pass blocking grade for ANY lineman#OnePride pic.twitter.com/9pFpcIGjLy
George Kittle led the way for the Niner passing game with 8 receptions on 10 targets for 54 yards. He could have had an even better day but he had two touchdown catches called back for offensive penalties. Said Kittle:
#49ers TE George Kittle on 2 TDs he had called back for penalties (OPI on Kyle Juszczyk and illegal formation on Mike McGlinchey): "Im pretty sure Juice and McGlinchey were playing against me in fantasy football. Im pretty sure thats what that was. So, thats not my fault."— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) September 9, 2019
He did get to show off his flowing locks though:
George Kittle is majestic pic.twitter.com/vl13j048it— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 8, 2019
Like Hockenson, Noah Fant was also making his NFL debut. Unlike Hockenson, Fant's debut was a little rockier. He had as many holding penalties called against him (2) as he had catches. He finished with two grabs for 29 yards in Denver's loss to Oakland. Better days ahead, Noah.
Iowa also has placed plenty of offensive linemen in the NFL, many of whom saw action in Week 1. Brandon Scherff played well in his return from injury:
Had to go back and study elite RG Brandon Scherff week 1, especially vs. fellow elite opponent Fletcher Cox.— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) September 10, 2019
Scherff's vintage 'flash' or 'bait' technique in pass pro mixed in with jump sets + very few guards work combos or get out in space better as a run-blocker. pic.twitter.com/gcaSerNSyr
The Bears offense had a deeply forgettable Week 1 performance in their 10-3 loss to Green Bay, but James Daniels at least graded out well:
Green Bay's offense wasn't much better than Chicago's, but a) they won and b) Bryan Bulaga played pretty well:
Austin Blythe (LA Rams), Marshal Yanda (Baltimore), and Riley Reiff (Minnesota) were also in action in Week 1.
The headliner on defense for former Hawks in the NFL was Josey Jewell, who had 14 tackles (7 solo) for Denver in a 24-16 loss to Oakland. He started and played every snap for the Bronco defense.
The Browns had a forgettable debut, but Christian Kirksey had a decent first game, posting 6 tackles (5 solo), including two tackles for loss. Anthony Hitchens had 7 tackles (5 solo) and 0.5 tackles for loss for Kansas City in their win over Jacksonville.
Adrian Clayborn (Atlanta) and Jaleel Johnson (Minnesota) each had a tackle in the Vikings' win over the Falcons. Desmond King had three tackles (2 solo) and one tackle for loss in the Chargers' win over the Colts. He also had a kick return for 43 yards. Micah Hyde had two tackles (one solo) and also returned a punt for 10 yards.
Anthony Nelson, Amani Hooker, and Josh Jackson did not see action on Sunday.