Five more teams clinched playoff berths and there are now eight spots filled with four remaining. In the AFC, the Texans just need to win one more game to clinch while the Steelers and Titans are tied for the last spot with Pittsburgh holding the tiebreaker. In the NFC, the winner of Dallas and Philadelphia should win the Eastern division and the Vikings need one more win to get the last berth.
But most of you are here to see how the former boys of black and gold are doing in the NFL. This week there were 34 players on rosters and practice squads, no change from last week.
Player of the Week
TE George Kittle (San Francisco 49ers, 3rd season): Kittle had 13 catches for 134 yards in the 49ers loss to the Falcons. San Francisco hosts the Rams on Saturday. POTW honors = 4.
It’s rare when a player wins the POTW in a loss but sometimes you have to make an exception. Kittle probably deserved half of the award last week. Atlanta should be commended for not allowing Kittle many yards after the catch and for forcing a big fumble from the Hawkeye tight end.
George Kittle was laughing as he pancaked the Falcons defender pic.twitter.com/wasUjN6dMR— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) December 15, 2019
Most receiving yards by a TE in first three NFL seasons:— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) December 15, 2019
1) George Kittle: 2,777 (& counting)
2) Mike Ditka: 2,774
3) Rob Gronkowski: 2,663 pic.twitter.com/4Ci3zgVBjH
The Rest of the Hawkeyes
QB C.J. Beathard (San Francisco 49ers, 3rd season in the NFL): Beathard was inactive again this week, as he has been every week this season. The 49ers lost 29-22 to the Falcons at home in an upset that could have huge home field implications for the playoffs.
OL Austin Blythe (Los Angeles Rams, 4th season): Blythe and the Rams fell to 8-6 as they lost 44-21 to Dallas. The Rams are barely alive in the playoff chase and must win at San Francisco on Saturday and get some help the next week.
OL Ike Boettger (Buffalo Bills, 2nd season): Boettger and the Bills improved to 10-4 and clinched a playoff spot as they defeated Pittsburgh 17-10. Boettger was inactive for the game.
OL Bryan Bulaga (Green Bay Packers, 10th season): Bulaga and the Packers defeated the Bears 21-13 to improve to 11-3. The Packers travel to Minnesota on Monday night.
RB James Butler (Oakland Raiders, 2nd season): Butler is on the Raiders practice squad.
DE Adrian Clayborn (Atlanta Falcons, 9th season): Clayborn and the Falcons defeated San Francisco 29-22 to improve to 5-9 on the season. Clayborn did not record any tackles in the loss.
DT Mike Daniels (Detroit Lions, 8th season): Daniels and the Lions lost 38-17 to the Buccaneers to fall to 3-10-1 on the season. Daniels did not have any tackles in the loss.
C James Daniels (Chicago Bears, 2nd season): Daniels and the Bears fell to 7-7 and were eliminated from the playoff race as they lost 21-13 to Green Bay. Chicago hosts Kansas City on Sunday night.
DT Carl Davis (Jacksonville Jaguars, 5th season): Davis and Jacksonville came back to defeat the Raiders 20-16 in the last NFL game in Oakland before the Raiders head to Las Vegas. Davis was inactive for the game.
WR Nick Easley (Buffalo Bills, 1st season): Easley is on the Buffalo practice squad.
TE Noah Fant (Denver Broncos, 1st season): Fant and the Broncos fell to 5-9 as they were whipped 23-3 by the Chiefs in a snowy affair in Kansas City. Fant had two catches for 56 yards in the loss. POTW =2.
C James Ferentz (New England Patriots, 4th season): Ferentz and the Patriots defeated Cincinnati 34-13 to improve to 11-3. The Patriots host Buffalo on Saturday. Starting center Ted Karras returned to action so Ferentz only saw action in 15 plays. POTW = 1.
TE Parker Hesse (Tennessee Titans, 1st season): Hesse is on the Titans practice squad.
LB Anthony Hitchens (Kansas City Chiefs, 6th season): Hitchens and the Chiefs defeated the Broncos 23-3. Hitchens had two tackles in the victory. The Chiefs travel to Chicago on Sunday night.
TE T.J. Hockenson (Detroit Lions, 1st season): Hockenson is out for the season after injuring his ankle last week. The Lions travel to Denver on Sunday. POTW honors = 1.
S Amani Hooker (Tennessee Titans, 1st season): Hooker and the Titans fell to 8-6 as they lost 24-21 to Houston. Hooker didn’t have any tackles in the loss. The Titans host the Saint on Sunday as they look to keep their playoff hopes alive.
S Micah Hyde (Buffalo Bills, 7th season): Hyde and the Bills defeated Pittsburgh and clinched a playoff spot. Hyde had two tackles in the loss. Buffalo travels to New England on Saturday. POTW honors =2.
CB Josh Jackson (Green Bay Packers, 2nd season): Jackson and the Packers defeated the Bears. Jackson was active for the game but didn’t record any tackles.
LB Josey Jewell (Denver Broncos, 2nd season): Jewell and the Broncos lost to the Chiefs. In limited action, Jewell didn’t record any tackles. POTW honors = 1.
DT Jaleel Johnson (Minnesota Vikings, 3rd season): Johnson and the Vikings defeated the Chargers 39-10 to improve to 10-4. Johnson had one tackle which was a sack. The Vikings currently hold the sixth playoff spot and can clinch a berth with a victory at home against Green Bay on Monday night. POTW honors = 1.
CB Desmond King (Los Angeles Chargers, 3rd season): King and the Chargers where spanked by the Vikings 39-10 to fall to 5-9 on the season. King was inactive in the loss for “non-injury reasons”. POTW honors = 1.
LB Christian Kirksey (Cleveland Browns, 6th season): Kirksey was placed on the IR earlier this season and is out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle. The Browns continue their dumpster-fire of a season as they were defeated by Arizona 38-24 to fall to 6-8.
LS Casey Kreiter (Denver Broncos, 4th season): Kreiter and the Broncos are a disappointing 5-9. Maybe they’ll “snap” out of it on Sunday when they host the Lions.
DB Greg Mabin (Cincinnati Bengals, 3rd season): Mabin and the Bengals continued their losing ways as they lost to New England 34-13. Mabin didn’t record any tackles in limited action.
OL Matt Nelson (Detroit Lions, 1st season): Nelson is on the practice squad for Detroit.
LB Anthony Nelson (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1st season): Nelson and the Buccaneers defeated Detroit 38-17 to improve to 7-7. Nelson was inactive for the game once again as he is dealing with a hamstring injury.
LB Ben Niemann (Kansas City Chiefs, 2nd season): Niemann and the Chiefs defeated the Broncos on Sunday. Niemann had two tackles in the victory. POTW honors = 1.
OL Riley Reiff (Minnesota Vikings, 8th season): Reiff and the Vikings defeated the Chargers and host the Raiders on Sunday.
OL Keegan Render (Philadelphia Eagles, 1st season): Render is on the practice squad for Philadelphia.
OL Ross Reynolds (San Francisco 49ers, 1st season): Reynolds is on the San Francisco practice squad.
OL Brandon Scherff (Washington Redskins, 5th season): Scherff and the Redskins fell to 3-11 after losing 37-27 to the Eagles. The Redskins host the Giants on Sunday.
OL Marshal Yanda (Baltimore Ravens, 13th season): Yanda and the Ravens improved to 12-2 as they defeated the Jets 42-21 on Thursday. Baltimore travels to Cleveland on Sunday. POTW honors = 1.