fbpx Hawkeyes in the NFL Week 1: George Kittle, Anthony Hitchens Shine | HawkeyeNation

Hawkeyes in the NFL Week 1: George Kittle, Anthony Hitchens Shine

September 11, 2018

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

The San Francisco 49ers knew they were up against it Sunday when they headed into Minnesota for the season opener. The Vikings boast one of the league’s best defenses.

The final score reflected that with the home team winning, 24-16. And while the Minnesota defense did what it needed to do, San Francisco left town knowing mistakes cost it.

“It is a good defense, but we have a good offense,” former Hawkeye and current 49er tight end George Kittle told 49ers.com after the game.

“We have a great coach calling the plays. He is putting us in position to make those big plays and I think those are plays we need to make. If we make them it is a totally different outcome. Yes, they are a good defense, but I also think we’re a good offense.”

Kittle enjoyed a good day, for the most part. He led his team with five receptions for 90 yards. He was targeted nine times and dropped a deep ball early in the third quarter with his team trailing 17-3. Minnesota turned a Pick Six on the next play.

“Misjudged it,” Kittle told the Associated Press. “Thought it was a little closer to me. Probably ran a bit too far with my arms out. Just a bad play.”

It’s important note that Kittle didn’t throw the Pick Six and was his team’s leading offensive threat. That bodes well for he and the 49ers moving forward.

Riley Reiff started at left offensive tackle for the Vikings. Jaleel Johnson saw snaps as Minnesota’s backup nose tackle.

Continue reading below

Related In HawkeyeNation Forums

More news from the former Hawkeyes around the league in Week 1:

-Anthony Hitchens rewarded the Chiefs for believing in him this offseason. The free agent linebacker from Dallas recorded a game-high 15 tackles Sunday as Kansas City topped San Diego, 38-28. The Ohio product posted seven solo stops and two for loss. His 15 tackles were the most by anyone in the NFL during Week 1.

On the losing end in that game, Chargers defensive back Desmond King, the ’15 Thorpe Award winner at Iowa, ranked second for his outfit with five tackles (all solo) and added a pass defended.

Continue reading below

-Many eyes around the state of Iowa were focused on Green Bay Sunday night when the Packers played host to rival Chicago. The Hawkeyes were well represented in that primetime contest.

During Green Bay’s 24-23, come-from-behind victory, defensive tackle Mike Daniels was credited with three solo tackles. He also sacked the quarterback once and recorded another hit on him. Former Hawkeye cornerback Josh Jackson also racked up three solo tackles and a tackle for loss in his NFL debut.

It was a tough start for right offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga against Bears edge rusher extraordinaire, Kahlil Mack, but he played much better after halftime, when hobbled quarterback Aaron Rodgers need it most.

“It’s just a matter of getting settled in, especially against a guy like that,” Bulaga told Packers.com. “Once we got into the second half, I got a little more comfortable with the technique I was trying to use on him and kind of settled into the ballgame a little bit more, and was able to execute the plan that I had in my head going forward.”

Continue reading below

After a lot of buzz in the preseason, rookie offensive lineman James Daniels, 21, did not play for the Bears. Coach Matt Nagy said recently that the former Hawkeye center needed to improve his recognition of fronts and blitzes. He also wanted to see him play with better leverage.

-New England opened its season with a 28-20 victory against Houston on Sunday. Former Hawkeye defensive end Adrian Clayborn was credited with two quarterback hits.

-Underdog Cleveland finished in a 21-21 tie with Pittsburgh on Sunday. Linebacker Christian Kirksey recorded five tackles, three of which were solo stops. The former Iowa standout also defended a pass.

-It was not a good day for Buffalo. Baltimore pounded the Bills, 47-3. Former Hawkeye Micah Hyde did post three tackles (2 solo) in defeat. Offensive guard Marshal Yanda returned from injury last year to help the Ravens put up 369 yards.

-Washington got off to a good start with its new quarterback-running back combination of Alex Smith and Adrian Peterson. The Redskins totaled 429 yards of offense with Brandon Scherff a part of an outstanding day for the line.

Trending in Forums View All >

HawkeyeNation Archives View All >

Hawkeye Nation

How Hawkeyes Have Rebounded Nicely from Forgettable Finish in ’14

Rick Brown

May 26, 2020

Iowa has won 47 games during the last five season, the most in any five-year stretch in program history.

Hawkeye Nation

Howe: Hawkeyes About to Be Part of Science Experiment

Rob Howe

May 25, 2020

University of Iowa athletics moving forward in world of unknowns.

Hawkeye Nation

Schwartz: 12 Sentences – Let’s Watch Hawkeye Football In 2020 Edition

David Schwartz

May 24, 2020

Can fans be trusted back to be back into stadiums for games this fall?

Hawkeye Nation

HN Prospect Podcast: Hockey Helped Lukas Van Ness Develop in Football

Rob Howe

May 23, 2020

Getting to know incoming defensive end from Illinois.

Hawkeye Nation

Iowa Readying to Welcome Football, Basketball Teams Back to Campus

Rob Howe

May 23, 2020

Some coaches, staff kick off process on June 1.

Hawkeye Nation

Iowa Football Parents React to Sending Children Back to Campus

Rob Howe

May 22, 2020

Hawkeyes readying for return to football activities next month.

Hawkeye Nation

Hawkeyes Haul in Former Northern Illinois DL Jack Heflin

Rob Howe

May 21, 2020

Graduate transfer will be eligible right away at Iowa.

Hawkeye Nation

Hawkeye Seniors Discuss Training During COVID-19 Pandemic

Rob Howe

May 21, 2020

Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Austin Schulte, Chauncey Golston meet media Thursday.

TOP