Hawkeyes in the NFL Week 5: CJ Beathard Takes Over Controls

October 13, 2020

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

For the second week in a row, San Francisco turned to former Iowa Football quarterback C.J. Beathard in the second half of a game. Last week, he replaced ineffective starter Nick Mullens. Sunday, he stepped in for the struggling and ailing Jimmy Garoppolo.

Unfortunately for Beathard, he couldn’t help the 49ers’ defense. Last year’s Super Bowl representative from the NFC dropped to 2-3 on the season, including 0-3 at home, with a 43-17 loss to Miami. The team’s victories this season came against the Giants and Jets, both of whom are winless.

Beathard led a second-half touchdown drive for the second week in a row. Sunday, he was trying to dig his team out of 30-7 halftime hole. Although he engineered two, nine-play drives, one of which concluded in a field goal, the deficit was too much to overcome.

Beathard ended up completing 9 of 18 passes for 94 yards with one touchdown and no picks Sunday. Legendary 49ers receiver Jerry Rice said Monday that he expected Beathard to start this coming week when the team plays the Rams.

Standout San Francisco tight end George Kittle was corralled in the passing game Sunday. He finished with four catches for 44 yards on eight targets.

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  • The Rams improved to 4-1 with a 30-10 blowout win at Washington. Center Austin Blythe played all 68 snaps for a Los Angeles offense that put up 429 yards and controlled the ball for 35:35. The Williamsburg (IA) High product finished the week with a Pro Football Focus (PFF) grade of 69.8 this season, good for 11th among players at his position.
  • Veteran end Adrian Clayborn returned from injury Sunday to help surprising Cleveland improve to 4-1 with a 32-23 victory against previously unbeaten Indianapolis. He logged 16 (14 pass rush, 2 run) snaps for a defense that has led the Browns so far in ’20. Despite limited reps and injuries, his 62.1 grade from PFF puts him 54th among all edge rusher in the NFL.
  • The defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs fell for the first time this season, a 40-32 home setback against Las Vegas. Linebacker Anthony Hitches led Kansas City with nine tackles (seven solo) during 44 snaps (66 percent). Fellow linebacker Ben Niemann logged 25 snaps (37 percent) and was credited with two tackles and a quarterback hit.

Hitchens PFF grade of 44.0 puts him as No. 56 among NFL linebackers this season. Niemann checks in at 72 with a 28.8.

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  • Tampa Bay dropped a 20-19 decision at Chicago Thursday night. Despite securing the victory and improving to 4-1, the Bears lost starting left guard James Daniels for the rest of the season with a torn pectoral muscle. The Ohio native has posted a 65.8 PFF grade this fall, good for No. 25 among players at his position.

Right tackle Tristan Wirfs continued his impressive rookie campaign for the Buccaneers, holding up well against Chicago edge menace Khalil Mack. Wirfs checked in at No. 32 among all tackles with a 71.0 PFF grade through five games. The Mount Vernon (IA) native has yielded one sack in 346 snaps, including all 71 on Thursday.

Second-year outside linebacker Anthony Nelson saw 14 snaps (22 percent) for Tampa against the Bears. The Waukee (IA) High graduate did not record any statistics.

  • Minnesota’s upset bid at Seattle came up just short when the Seahawks escaped with a 27-26 win. Defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson registered two tackles (one solo) in 33 snaps for the Vikings, while teammate Riley Reiff took all 87 snaps at left offensive tackle.
  • The Chargers shot out to an early lead but couldn’t hang on Monday night in a 30-27 overtime loss at New Orleans. Defensive back Desmond King totaled five tackles (three solo) for Los Angeles. He finished the week ranked third among league safeties with a 78.2 PFF grade.

Right tackle Bryan Bulaga was among the Chargers’ inactives. He missed a second game in a row with a back injury.

  • Long snapper Casey Kreiter saw 10 snaps during the Giants’ 37-34 loss at Dallas on Sunday.

*Note – Notes from Tuesday’s Bill-Titans game will be added in at its conclusion.

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