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Hawkeyes in the NFL Week 6: Kittle Keeps It Going for Unbeaten 49ers

October 15, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

The San Francisco 49ers continued their surprising start to the season this past weekend. And a former Hawkeye remained in a key role for the surging NFC contenders.

Tight end George Kittle caught all eight of his targets for 103 yards during Sunday’s 20-7 upset of the Rams in Los Angeles. San Francisco improved to 5-0 after winning six games last season and a total of 10 the last two years combined.

Kittle, an all-pro in ’18 who set an NFL record for production at his position, stood out in a defensive battle against a Rams team that reached the Super Bowl a year ago. On a 45-yard catch early in the second quarter, it pretty much took all of Los Angeles to bring him down.

San Francisco listed Kittle (groin) as questionable on Friday. Then after it was announced he would play, it was reported that he might have a limited role. The Rams found out otherwise.

Following the game, Kittle talked about overcoming the injury and his team’s 5-0 start.

“No chance,” he said when asked if he thought he might miss the game. “Like I said, this is a game I’ve had on my calendar for the last year. I haven’t liked how we played against them the last two years, and this is a dub that we needed to get.”

For the season, Kittle has hauled in 31 of 36 targets 338 yards and a touchdown. His blocking has been instrumental in the 49ers’ rushing attack that ranks second in the NFL.

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Other notes regarding Hawkeyes in the NFL for Week 6:

-During Monday night football in Green Bay, starting right offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga helped the Packers in a come-from-behind, 23-22 victory against Detroit. Second-year defensive back Josh Jackson was part of a defensive effort that held the Lions to one touchdown, scored late in the first quarter.

For Detroit, rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson caught four of six targets for 21 yards. He leaped for a pass in the end zone during the second quarter that looked like it was going to be a score, but the ball popped out when he hit the ground.

He may have been interfered with on a night that was not great for the officials.

-Denver won for a second week in a row. Rookie tight end Noah Fant caught two of three targets for 16 yards in the 16-0 victory against Tennessee. He played 40 snaps (60 percent). Linebacker Josey Jewell did not see any action after being replaced in the starting lineup by Alexander Johnson.

For the Titans, rookie defensive back Amani Hooker played 15 snaps (24 percent) and did not record a statistic.

-Minnesota knocked off Philadelphia, 38-20, in Minneapolis. Defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson registered two tackles in the winning effort, logging 24 snaps (38 percent). Vikings’ left offensive tackle Riley Reiff played 20 snaps (28 percent) before an ankle injury knocked him out of the game.

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-Defensive back Desmond King contributed six tackles (five solo) in San Diego’s 24-17 home loss to Pittsburgh Sunday night. He played 32 snaps (53 percent) on defense. He averaged 24.5 yards on a pair of kick returns and brought back a punt for seven yards. He also picked up an unsportsmanlike penalty penalty, which aided a drive leading to a Steelers’ field goal.

-Kansas City linebacker Ben Niemann started his first game of the season and second of his career Sunday. He saw 90 snaps (98 percent) and accumulated six tackles in a 31-24 loss to Houston. He replaced former Hawkeye Anthony Hitchens on the first-team. The latter left last week’s contest with a groin injury.

-Rookie outside linebacker Anthony Nelson joined his Tampa Bay teammates in playing Carolina in London on Sunday morning. The Waukee High alumnus played 19 snaps (29 percent) during a 37-26 setback. He did not record a statistic.

-During Atlanta’s 34-33 loss at Arizona, defensive end Adrian Clayborn was credited with one tackle. He played 29 snaps (42 percent).

-Offensive line snap counts –

Austin Blythe, Rams, 53 (100 percent)

James Ferentz, Patriots, 1 (1 percent)

Brandon Scherff, Redskins, 59 (100 percent)

Marshal Yanda, Ravens, 81 (100 percent)

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