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Hawks in the NFL: Week 3

September 25, 2018

Written by Sean Neugent

Hawkeye Nation

No matter the extremity of rules in place surrounding hitting the quarterback in the NFL, QBs are still going to manage to get hurt. Such is the case in San Francisco, where QB of the future, Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a season-ending ACL tear. Enter backup C.J. Beathard, who is set to be QB1 for the remainder of the season.

With that in mind, the Beathard and TE George Kittle connection is back on, folks.

Let’s span the NFL in week three:

In San Francisco, Beathard will lead the 49ers at QB. Head coach Kyle Shanahan believes in his second year player and suggested any QB brought in would be the back up.

“I have got a lot of confidence in C.J.,” says Shanahan. “He came in today, made a hell of a throw on that fourth down. No hesitation. C.J. is a gamer. Everyone in here has a ton of respect for C.J., how he handles himself. He’s a man out there and he’s a very good quarterback and we’re fortunate to have him.”

The play Shanahan refers to is when Beathard came in and promptly hit former Iowa teammate Kittle for a seven-yard touchdown. However, the play was nullified by a questionable offensive pass interference call. A touchdown would have brought the 49ers within one score of Kansas City with 5 minutes to go. Instead, the penalty forced San Fran to settle for a field goal. Beathard did not receive another chance as the Chiefs ran out the clock.

On the other hand, George Kittle did record some solid stats in the loss. Despite his touchdown catch called back, the tight end led the team in receiving, hauling in five of seven targets for 79 yards. He’s putting together a very solid 2018 campaign, leading the team in receiving two of the first three games.

In Buffalo, S Micah Hyde recorded seven tackles, one assist and broke up one pass in a surprising 27-6 upset in Minnesota. Hyde has 14 tackles on the season.

Also in Buffalo, OT Matt Tobin, who was cut last week by the 49ers, is working out for the Bills.

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In Denver, LB Josey Jewell earned his first NFL start, playing base and nickel packages. In a loss to the Ravens, the rookie had four tackles, four assists, a stuff and defended one pass.

“He did a great job,” says Todd Davis, inside linebacker for the Broncos. “He came in, made a lot of plays and I was excited and proud with the way he played.”

In Cleveland, the Browns were without LB Christian Kirksey, who missed his second consecutive game. He can rejoice though following the Browns first win since 2016 when they beat the Jets 21-17 on Thursday Night Football. Kirksey is a clubhouse leader and has been a positive voice and contributor for the team throughout Cleveland’s turmoil. He’s expected back this week when Cleveland plays at the Raiders.

In Los Angeles, Desmond King recorded five tackles and recovered Todd Gurley’s fumble in the opening minutes of the game. In the battle of the LA’s, the Rams beat King and the Chargers 35-23. Overall, King has 12 tackles on the year.

As for the LA Rams, RG Austin Blythe entered the lineup for suspended Jamon Brown at the beginning of the season. Brown is back from suspension, but the team announced Blythe remains the starter. The seventh round pick has done a great job so far in keeping QB Jared Goff upright.

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In Kansas City, LB Anthony Hitchens recorded six tackles in the victory over the 49ers. He now has 32 on the season, fourth most in the NFL.

In Green Bay, DT Mike Daniels did not record any stats in the 31-17 loss at Washington. His rookie teammate CB Josh Jackson had two tackles and one assist in the game. On the offensive side of the ball, RT Bryan Bulaga exited with a back injury and did not return.

In New England, DE Adrian Clayborn recorded his first tackle with the Patriots during the 26-10 upset in Detroit. The Patriots are off to a surprisingly slow 1-2 start.

In Minnesota, LT Riley Reiff, along with his offensive line had a tough day at the office. Buffalo DE Jerry Hughes was running circles around him as QB Kirk Cousins was sacked four times on the game. It is troubling for Vikings fans as Reiff is considered the best lineman on the team. What make things worse? The Vikings scored only six points against a Bills defense that has been scorched for an average of 39 points over the first two games.

“I didn’t have a good game at all,” says Reiff. “I’ll admit it.”

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HawkeyeNation.com’s Week 3 Game Ball: Sometimes its the little things or off-the-field stuff that doesn’t even show up in the stat book. LB Christian Kirksey’s continued leadership and perseverance through some tough times has been instrumental in the Browns keeping their locker room together. He kept his team believing and is worthy of this week’s game ball.

HawkeyeNation.com Game Balls:

Week 1: George Kittle, 49ers

Week 2: Josh Jackson, Packers

Week 3: Christian Kirksey, Browns

*Follow Sean Neugent on Twitter: @SeanNeugentHN

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Cover Photo Credit: © Sergio Estrada-USA Today Sports

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