Schwartz: 10 Great NFL Performances By Hawkeyes

December 13, 2018

Written by David Schwartz

Last weekend former Iowa tight end George Kittle set the single-season receiving record for San Francisco 49ers tight ends during a seven-catch, 210-yard performance.

That got us thinking about great pro performances by former Iowa football players. Here are 10 other NFL games, listed in no particular order, that were dominated by Hawkeyes:

Shonn Greene: Oct. 14, 2012

The Hawkeye running back played six NFL seasons, including two in which he rushed for more than 1,000 yards. His most successful game came as a member of the New York Jets, when against the Indianapolis Colts he rushed for 161 yards and three touchdowns.

Merton Hanks: Nov. 22, 1993

Hanks, a Hawkeye safety who graduated in 1991, won a Super Bowl with the 49ers and earned All-Pro honors three times. He grabbed more than one interception in a game multiple times, but against the Saints in 1993 Hanks, in addition to two picks, returned one 67 yards for a touchdown.

Aaron Kampman: Nov. 21, 2005

Kampman, a defensive lineman, totaled 58 sacks in his 10-season career with the Packers and Jaguars. It’s hard to pick just one game that stands out from the rest, but in 2005 against division-rival Minnesota, Kampman totaled three sacks, eight tackles, and a pass defended.

Adrian Clayborn: Nov. 12, 2017

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The box score looks so gaudy it doesn’t seem real. Clayborn, then playing on the defensive line for the Atlanta Falcons, went for six sacks in a single game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Quinn Early: Nov. 19, 1995

Early, the most professionally successful wide receiver in Iowa history, finished his career with 460 catches, nearly 6,500 yards, and 40 touchdowns. His most productive season came in 1995, and it was during that season against the Vikings when Early, who played for the New Orleans Saints, went for nine catches, 150 yards, and two touchdowns.

Bob Sanders: Nov. 5, 2006

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At the conclusion of this season, Sanders’s Colts beat the Chicago Bears to win Super Bowl XLI in a game that included an interception by Sanders. Earlier that season, Sanders, in his team’s win over the New England Patriots, recorded 11 tackles, intercepted quarterback Tom Brady, and broke up a pass.

Nate Kaeding: Nov. 28, 2010

Kaeding, who spent most of his career with the San Diego Chargers, retired in 2012 as one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history. Against the Colts in 2010, Kaeding hit 5-of-5 field-goal attempts, including a 50-yarder, plus three extra points. He was responsible for 18 of his team’s points in their 36-14 victory.

Ed Podolak: Nov. 28, 1976

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This special-teams giant spent his entire nine-season career with Kansas City. Against the Chargers one fall, quarterback Mike Livingston handed off to Podolak 25 times. Podolak rushed for 127 yards and two touchdowns.

Tim Dwight: Jan. 31, 1999

The place: Miami. The game: Super Bowl XXXIII. Unfortunately for Dwight, his Falcons were on the losing end of John Elway and the Denver Broncos’ second straight Super Bowl victory. But Dwight will always be remembered in that game for his 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

Ladell Betts: Nov. 26-Dec. 24, 2006

We’re going to cheat a little bit on the last one because of Betts’ remarkable five-game run. Betts, who played running back for Washington, over five straight games rushed for 104, 155, 171, 119, and 129 yards, plus three touchdowns and another 114 receiving yards. For some players, that’s an entire career’s worth of stats.

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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