Hawkeyes in the NFL Week 9: Noah Fant Shows Off Explosiveness

November 5, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

Like most rookies, Noah Fant has experienced some ups and downs. The former Iowa tight end put it all together on Sunday.

Fant caught three of four targets for 115 yards and a touchdown during the Denver Broncos’ 24-19 victory against the Cleveland Browns. The 75-yard score brought back memories of his big-play ability so often seen while wearing the Hawkeye Black and Gold.

According to ESPN Stats and Info, Fant’s 115 receiving yards were the most by a Broncos tight end since Julius Thomas had 122 receiving yards in 2013 Week 5 at Dallas. Per Denver’s Twitter feed, his 75-yard touchdown was the eighth-longest reception by a rookie in franchise history.

Denver won for just the third time in nine games. The struggles have led to some in the fan base criticizing the selection of Fant with the 20th overall pick in April’s draft.

While he’s dropped some passes and lost a fumble, Fant has caught 23 of 37 targets for 300 yards and two touchdowns. He’s produced the most receptions, yards and scores of the rookies at his position.

Former Iowa teammate and Detroit rookie, T.J. Hockenson, has hauled in 22 balls for 296 yards and two scores. He caught three of seven targets for 56 yards during the Lions’ 31-24 loss Sunday at the Oakland Raiders.

Iowa has missed the pair of all-Americans this season. Fant caught 69 passes for 1,013 yards and 18 touchdowns, while Hockenson accumulated 73 catches for 1,080 yards and nine scores during the last two campaigns.

More notes from former Hawkeyes in the NFL for Week 9:

-Fant and Hockenson are trying to reach the bar being set by fellow Iowa tight end George Kittle. The San Francisco 49ers all-pro continues building on last year’s breakout season.

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Kittle secured six of eight targets for 79 yards and a touchdown during Thursday night’s 28-25 victory at the Arizona Cardinals. San Francisco (8-0) came out of Week 9 as the only remaining unbeaten in the NFL.

Fans flock to the energetic Kittle as evidenced by this postgame scene in Arizona.

For the season, Kittle ranks fourth among NFL tight ends in receptions (46) and yards (541).

-The Buffalo Bills improved to 6-2 with a 24-9 triumph against the visiting Washington Redskins Sunday. Safety Micah Hyde delivered a game-high nine tackles (five solo) for the winners. Offensive guard Brandon Scherff logged 51 snaps in a losing effort.

-The Los Angeles Chargers upset the visiting Green Bay Packers, 26-11, Sunday in California. Defensive back Desmond King continued another fine season with five total tackles (four solo), a tackle for loss and a pass defended for the winners. He also averaged 17.0 yards on a pair of kick returns.

Right offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga appeared on 54 snaps for Green Bay. For the second week in a row, second-year defensive back Josh Jackson did not appear on defense for the Packers.

-In a see-saw game, the Kansas City Chiefs knocked off the visiting Minnesota Vikings, 26-23, Sunday. Linebacker Anthony Hitchens contributed six tackles for the winners. Fellow linebacker Ben Niemann did not record any statistics during his nine snaps.

For Minnesota, left offensive tackle Riley Reiff saw 71 snaps. Teammate Jaleel Johnson, a defensive tackle, totaled a season-high three tackles with a half sack on 14 plays.

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-Marshal Yanda provided 70 punishing snaps when his Baltimore Ravens upended the previously unbeaten New England Patriots Sunday night. The offensive guard showed once again why he’s one of the very best at his position.

After starting and playing 69 snaps a week ago, offensive lineman James Ferentz did not see any action for New England.

-Center James Daniels played 45 snaps during the Chicago Bears’ 22-14 loss at the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday.

-Rookie defensive back Amani Hooker was not credited with any statistics in his 12 snaps during the Tennessee Titans’ 30-20 setback at the Carolina Panthers Sunday.

-Offensive lineman Andrew Donnal saw his first action of the season during the Miami Dolphins’ 26-18 win against the visiting New York Jets Sunday. He played five snaps.

-Lions defensive tackle Mike Daniels missed his fifth game in a row with a foot injury.

-Carl Davis did not receive any snaps for the Indianapolis Colts Sunday in their 26-24 loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers.

-Linebacker Josey Jewell saw just one snap during Denver’s loss on Sunday and did not record a statistic.

-During the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 40-34 loss at the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, linebacker Anthony Nelson picked up six snaps without any statistics.

HawkeyeNation.com’s Rob Howe has covered Iowa Hawkeye sports for 23 years and began working at HawkeyeNation.com in 2003. Please follow @RobHoweHN and @HawkeyeNationHQ on Twitter.

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