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Hawkeyes in the NFL, Week 2: Anthony Nelson Gets After Cam Newton

September 17, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

Rookie Anthony Nelson was ready for primetime. The former Hawkeye defensive end delivered a couple of key plays during Tampa Bay’s upset at Carolina last Thursday night.

The Waukee (IA) High product disrupted all-pro quarterback Cam Newton’s night. Nelson forced a fumble and batted down a pass in a reserve role as the Buccaneers recorded a 20-17 victory.

“It was just fun to get out there, a division game, we came out with the win, it was really close, but it was just an awesome experience,” he told the team’s official website.

Nelson authored his first memorable NFL play at the end of the first quarter. The Iowa three-year starter knocked down Newton’s pass on a third-and-long, which led to a punt.

Despite the Tampa Bay’s inability to turn the turnover into to points, Nelson’s forced fumble, which was recovered by Ndamukong Suh at the Carolina 45-yard line, took away a chance for the Panthers on a night when scoring was a premium.

The Bucs’ defense confounded Newton and his squad most of the night. He completed 25 of 51 passes for 333 yards, but couldn’t find the end zone.

Nelson was credited with an assisted tackle when he forced the fumble on Newton’s attempted scramble up the middle. The first-year backup linebacker in Tampa Bay’s 3-4 alignment saw 27 plays.

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It was reported that Nelson might miss the beginning of the season with a sprained MCL, but he’s fought through the injury. The fourth-round draft pick has shown he can hang with the best.

TIGHT END U: The San Francisco 49ers improved to 2-0 with a 41-7 drubbing of the Bengals in Cincinnati. Former Hawkeye tight end George Kittle caught all three of his targets for 54 yards in the victory. His blocking also helped the boys from the Bay put up 572 yards of offense, including 259 on the ground.

After a big opening week, ex-Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson experienced a quieter Game 2. The Detroit rookie hauled in one of three targets for seven yards during his team’s 13-10 win against the Chargers.

Fellow rookie tight end Noah Fant ended up on the wrong end of a last-second, game-winning field goal as his Broncos fell to Chicago, 16-14. The former Hawkeye all-American delivered on all four of his targets for 33 yards.

PRIMETIME: Cleveland rolled over the hapless Jets Monday night in New Jersey, 23-3. Linebacker Christian Kirksey helped the dominant Browns’ defense with four tackles.

Kirksey dedicated the game to his teammate and friend, Chris Smith, who lost his girlfriend and mother of his four-month old child when she was hit by a car.

Adrian Clayborn looked happy to be back in Atlanta after winning a Super Bowl with the Patriots last season. The defensive end delivered a big, second-half sack against Philadelphia Sunday night in the Falcons’ 24-20 triumph.

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More Hawkeyes in the NFL Notes from Week 2…

-During the Lions’ 13-10 win against the Chargers, Los Angeles’ Desmond King returned two kickoffs for an average of 23.5 yards. He was not credited with any defensive statistics. Detroit defensive tackle Mike Daniels also did not record any stats.

-Buffalo improved to 2-0 and became the unofficial kings of New York with a 28-14 victory against the Giants after downing the Jets in Week 1. During the latest win, defensive back Micah Hyde accumulated four tackles (two solo) and defended a pass.

-Kansas City also moved to 2-0 with a 28-10 stomping of Oakland. Linebackers Anthony Hitchens and Ben Niemann contributed five (four solo) and three (two solo) tackles, respectively.

-Broncos linebacker Josey Jewell racked up six tackles (three solo) in a loss to Chicago.

-In a 21-16 loss at Green Bay, Vikings defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson chipped in with a solo tackle.

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