Hawks in the NFL: Week 15

December 18, 2018

Written by Sean Neugent

The Pro Bowl rosters will be announced at 7 p.m. tonight and there could be a healthy dose of Hawkeyes on the team.

More than likely to make the roster are: George Kittle, Austin Blythe, Desmond King and Marshal Yanda.

Other possible players who could make the cut: Mike Daniels, James Daniels, Micah Hyde and Brandon Scherff. Mike Daniels and Scherff both played well until season ending injuries. James Daniels has also played well, but was not a full-time starter until week eight. And, Hyde likely is a snub. The Bills have the worst offense in the league, but the defense has played well and is holding teams to the second-lowest yards per game.

All this and more in Hawks in the NFL: Week 15.

Let’s span the NFL:

49ers 26, Seahawks 23 (OT): QB Nick Mullens targeted TE George Kittle eight times, but the two only connected on three for 51 yards. Kittle and Kansas City TE Travis Kelce are in reach of Rob Gronkowski’s single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end of 1,327 yards. Kittle needs 173 yards to beat the record, while Kelce only needs 107 in the final two games.

“Kittle doesn’t play football to be famous,” says Kyle Shanahan, head coach of the 49ers. “He plays football because he loves it. And obviously, you make a good living doing it. But you can tell how he plays, that guy enjoys football. That’s why he works the way he does. It’s not to earn a contract or to be famous. It’s because he wants to be great at something he is passionate about, and you can see that in how he plays, how he is when the ball is in his hands. That is something I hope all our players can see because that passion that you play with can change your mentality and change your game.”

Making the rounds on social is Kittle’s postgame when he needed the media to be a little quicker with the questions:

CB Greg Mabin accounted for one tackle for the 49ers in the overtime win.

Eagles 30, Rams 23: The Rams are starting to unravel at the worst possible time. Still, OG Austin Blythe continues to be a pleasant surprise and very reliable for the Rams this year. PFF ranks him in their top-25 offensive linemen with an overall grade of 74.2.

Bills 14, Lions 13: OG Ike Boettger saw some time during the Bills win, but the Buffalo offensive line struggled to allow QB Josh Allen to stay comfortable in the pocket. However, on this particular play, Boettger and the line did do a good job of containing the Lions to allow Allen to scramble for the Bills first touchdown in the second quarter:

On defense, S Micah Hyde collected five tackles in the win. It is the first time in his six-year career that Hyde will miss the playoffs.

Steelers 17, Patriots 10: DE Adrian Clayborn did not record any stats in the Patriots second-consecutive loss.

Bears 24, Packers 17: The Bears not only won the NFC North on Sunday against their biggest rival, but also stopped their six-game skid at home to the Packers. OG James Daniels continues to be a beast in his rookie season. Take a look at how he opened up a huge hole for RB Jordan Howard to run in for an easy score.

For the Packers, CB Josh Jackson had five tackles.

Joe Philbin, former offensive line coach at Iowa, coached his second game as the interim head coach, but the Packers looked a lot like Mike McCarthy’s Packers. That probably is not going to cut it if Philbin wants to shred the interim tag.

Unfortunately for Green Bay, they were officially eliminated from playoff contention for the second year in a row. DE Mike Daniels wished he could have been out there to keep the hope alive. But, Cleveland’s Christian Kirksey was quick to give encouragement. Hawkeyes helping Hawkeyes:

Browns 17, Broncos 16: LB Josey Jewell recorded four tackles in the loss to Cleveland. The Broncos are officially eliminated from playoff contention.

Denver may be out of the playoffs, but they wrote an inspiring piece about Jewell and his friendship with Logan, who is in a fight for his life against Duchenne muscular dystrophy:

Ravens 20, Buccaneers 12: The Ravens ran for 242 yards, one more yard than Tampa Bay had in total offense on Sunday. Baltimore became the first team since the 1976 Steelers to rush for 190 yards in five straight games. OG Marshal Yanda and his line certainly enjoy that stat.

“It’s fun for us offensive lineman to pound the rock like that,” says Yanda. “That’s like college football right there.”

Vikings 41, Dolphins 17: The Vikings offense finally saw some explosion in putting up the most points they have all year. OT Riley Reiff and the offensive line helped create room for RB Dalvin Cook and RB Latavius Murray to run for a collective 204 yards and three touchdowns.

DT Jaleel Johnson did not record any statistics.

Chargers 29, Chiefs 28: The Chargers won a huge game in the battle for the AFC West. The two teams are now tied, but the Chiefs still hold the tiebreaker based on divisional records. Right now, one of the two teams is in line for home field in the playoffs.

For the Chargers, CB Desmond King had five tackles, one tackle for loss and defended a pass. Down by a touchdown, he also muffed a punt with 2:47 left in the fourth quarter, but fortunately the Chargers recovered it.

For the Chiefs, LB Anthony Hitchens had a game-high 11 tackles, including a tackle for loss. Hitchens ranks in the top 10 for tackles this season with 114 total.

Injuries: OT Bryan Bulaga, Packers (held out Sunday), DE Mike Daniels, Packers (out for season), LB Christian Kirksey, Browns (out for season), OG Brandon Scherff, Redskins (out for season)

HawkeyeNation.com’s Week 15 Game Ball:

Continue reading below

This week’s game ball goes to Marshal Yanda who continues to be at the top of his position. The Ravens are breaking records on the ground and you can bet Yanda has more than just a little something to do with that.

HawkeyeNation.com Game Balls:

Week 1: George Kittle, 49ers

Week 2: Josh Jackson, Packers

Week 3: Christian Kirksey, Browns

Week 4: C.J. Beathard, 49ers

Week 5: Christian Kirksey, Browns

Week 6: Desmond King, Chargers

Week 7: Jaleel Johnson, Vikings

Week 8: Brandon Scherff, Redskins

Week 9: Desmond King, Chargers

Week 10: Ben Niemann, Chiefs

Week 11: Bye Week

Week 12: James Daniels, Bears

Week 13: Desmond King, Chargers

Week 14: George Kittle, 49ers

Week 15: Marshal Yanda, Ravens

*Follow Sean Neugent on Twitter: @SeanNeugentHN

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Cover Photo: © Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

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