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Hawks in the NFL: Week 5

October 9, 2018

Written by Sean Neugent

Hawkeye Nation

Right now, San Francisco QB C.J. Beathard is receiving the brunt of criticism in the Bay Area following a 1-4 start. After all, the second year QB has turned the ball over seven times in two games. But, his teammates and coach Kyle Shanahan are quickly coming to his defense.

While Beathard is taking some shots from the media and through social platforms, his TE George Kittle is on the opposite end receiving a ton of praise. His fantasy football value has never been better. All this and more in Hawks in the NFL: Week 5.

Let’s span the NFL:

In San Francisco, QB C.J Beathard connected on 34 of 54 passes for 349 yards, two touchdowns and one rushing touchdown against the previously winless Cardinals.

Good numbers, except for the fact he threw two interceptions and fumbled the ball twice against Arizona. In back-to-back series, he fumbled, which Josh Bynes ran back for a touchdown and threw a pick with time winding down in the third quarter. The interception also would result in an offensive touchdown. In total, the 49ers had five turnovers to zero for Arizona and still only lost by 10.

“You can’t win ball games turning the ball over five times,” says Beathard. “I feel like we played well in all the other aspects except for turnovers. Just got to take better care of the ball.”

Clearly well liked by his teammates, they instantly came to his defense and placed the blame on their team as a whole, not one player.

“He’s the quarterback and there’s a lot of responsibility on the quarterback to protect the ball,” says Shanahan. “There are 10 other guys out there that can make it easier on him too. I’ll get through all of them (offensive turnovers). Usually, fumbles it’s hard to pin on the quarterback, but we’ll look at them hard tomorrow and coach him up the best we can on them.”

49ers TE George Kittle had another big day reeling in five of seven targets for 83 yards with a long of 45. The second year player is in the Top 20 for receiving yards with 399 and has the longest reception of anyone in the NFL this year with his 82 yard score two weeks ago. He is well on his way to a Pro Bowl season.

On the other side of the field, CB Greg Mabin collected one tackle and one assist on the day.

In Buffalo, S Micah Hyde was listed as inactive with a groin injury he sustained in the week prior against Green Bay. Despite his absence, the Bills shut down Tennessee 13-12.

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In Detroit, OT Andrew Donnal has had an interesting few weeks. Last week he returned from injury only to be cut by the Lions. A few days later, they resigned Donnal. So, he’s back in Detroit.

In Denver, LB Josey Jewell’s two tackles included a stuff for minus five yards. The Jets torched the Broncos 34-16.

In Cleveland, LB Christian Kirksey has been plagued by injuries so far this season and had the flu heading into the weekend. It would not stop him from helping the Browns pull to even on the season with a 2-2-1 record. The LB had seven tackles, five assists and stuffed one run for minus three yards as Cleveland beat rival Baltimore 12-9 and shut down their offense.

In Los Angeles, CB Desmond King and his defense shut the door on Oakland to win 26-10. For the day, King had one tackle. As the new punt and kick returner, he returned four punts for 35 yards with a long of 18 and two kick returns for 51 yards, including a long of 35.

In Kansas City, LB Anthony Hitchens got back to his big tackling ways with 10 total tackles in the 30-14 victory over Jacksonville. Hitchens has the seventh most tackles in the league with 45 total, only nine behind leader Darius Leonard of the Colts. The Chiefs moved to 5-0, the only undefeated AFC team.

In Green Bay, DE Mike Daniels and CB Josh Jackson had two tackles each in the 31-23 loss at Detroit. The defense played poorly and Jackson had a big play go against him when he whiffed on a ball Matthew Stafford threw and fell down. But, take a look at how he never quits and runs down Kenny Golladay before he can score.

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In New England, DE Adrian Clayborn is not having his best season with only two tackles thus far. This follows his 9.5 sack campaign last year in Atlanta, the best season of his career. In fact, in his three seasons with the Falcons he averaged nearly six sacks. On Thursday Night Football, he had one assisted tackle in beating the Colts 38-24.

In Minnesota, OT Riley Reiff left the game with an injured foot and did not return. His foot issues have been troubling him all season long. The Vikings defeated the Super Bowl Champion Eagles 23-21 on the road.

Byes: Chicago (James Daniels)

HawkeyeNation.com’s Week 5 Game Ball:

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This week’s game ball goes again to LB Christian Kirksey. Flu and all, the LB had 12 tackles and helped limit the Ravens to 9 points in the OT win. Could the playoffs be on the horizon for Cleveland after going 0-16 last year? They have tied the Steelers and beat the Ravens in conference already.

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

*Follow Sean Neugent on Twitter: @SeanNeugentHN

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Cover Photo: © Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

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