The playoff picture is set. San Francisco and Baltimore have the top seeds in each conference.
A couple interesting tidbits from around the league:
- Tampa quarterback Jameis Winston became the first player to join the 30-30 club. As opposed to baseball where 30 homers and 30 steals is a good thing, Winston threw 30+ touchdowns (33) and 30+ interceptions (30).
- Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey became just the third player to gain more than 1,000 yards rushing (1,387) and 1,000 (1,005) yards receiving in the same season. The other two players to accomplish the feat include Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk.
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
LB Anthony Hitchens (Kansas City Chiefs, 6th season): Hitchens and the Chiefs defeated the Chargers 31-21 to clinch a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Hitchens had ten tackles including two for loss in the victory. The Chiefs have a bye then play the highest remaining seed between the Patriots, Texans, and Bills. POTW honors = 1.
What’s interesting is that Chiefs fans think that Hitchens is not a good player. I guess every fan base has their favorite guy to blame. However this is kind of funny, especially when viewing with the cover photo.
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 defeated Seattle 26-21 to win the NFC West and clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
OL Austin Blythe (Los Angeles Rams, 4th season): Blythe and the Rams finished their season at 9-7 as they defeated Arizona 31-24. With a high payroll and no first round pick in 2020, the Rams will have to be creative to keep up with San Francisco and Seattle.
OL Ike Boettger (Buffalo Bills, 2nd season): Boettger and the Bills fell to 10-6 as they were defeated by the Jets 13-6. Boettger was active for the game as the Bills rested many of their starters.
OL Bryan Bulaga (Green Bay Packers, 10th season): Bulaga and the Packers defeated the Lions 23-20 to improve to 13-3 and lock up the second seed in the playoffs. The Packers have a bye and then host the highest remaining seed between New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Seattle. POTW = 1.
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 Tampa 28-22 to finish 7-9 on the season. Clayborn was inactive for the game.
DT Mike Daniels (Detroit Lions, 8th season): Daniels and the Lions lost 23-20 to the Packers to fall to 3-12-1 on the season. Despite the terrible record, the Lion’s owner gave the “vote of confidence” to the general manager and manager for some reason. Daniels was put on the IR on December 16 and is done for the season.
C James Daniels (Chicago Bears, 2nd season): Daniels and the Bears finished the season at 8-8 as they defeated Minnesota 21-19. The Vikings has already clinched a playoff berth and were resting a lot of their starters.
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 finished the season at 7-9 as they defeated Oakland 16-15. Fant had one catches for four yards in the victory. POTW =2.
C James Ferentz (New England Patriots, 4th season): Ferentz and the Patriots lost 27-24 to Miami to finish the regular season at 12-4. The Patriots are healthy on the front line so Ferentz only saw action in four plays for the special teams. New England host Tennessee on Saturday as the playoffs begin. POTW = 1.
TE Parker Hesse (Tennessee Titans, 1st season): Hesse is on the Titans practice squad.
TE T.J. Hockenson (Detroit Lions, 1st season): Hockenson is out for the season after injuring his ankle earlier in the year. The Lions locked in the third pick in the upcoming draft thanks to their loss to Green Bay. POTW honors = 1.
S Amani Hooker (Tennessee Titans, 1st season): Hooker and the Titans finished the regular season at 9-7 as they defeated Houston 35-14. Hooker didn’t have any tackles in the victory. The Titans travel to New England on Saturday night in the first round of the playoffs.
S Micah Hyde (Buffalo Bills, 7th season): Hyde and the Bills lost to the Jets. Hyde didn’t record any stats in limited action. Buffalo travels to Houston to play the first round of the playoffs on Saturday afternoon. POTW honors =2.
CB Josh Jackson (Green Bay Packers, 2nd season): Jackson and the Packers defeated the Lions. Jackson was active for the game but didn’t record any tackles.
LB Josey Jewell (Denver Broncos, 2nd season): Jewell and the Broncos defeated the Raiders. In limited action, Jewell had three tackles. POTW honors = 1.
DT Jaleel Johnson (Minnesota Vikings, 3rd season): Johnson and the Vikings lost to the Bears to finish the regular season at 10-6. Johnson had four tackles in the loss. The Vikings will play in New Orleans on Sunday in the first round of the playoffs. POTW honors = 1.
CB Desmond King (Los Angeles Chargers, 3rd season): King and the Chargers lost 31-21 to the Chiefs to finish the season at 5-11 and “earn” the sixth pick in the upcoming draft. King had one tackles in the loss. 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 Cincinnati 33-23 to finish at 6-10.
TE George Kittle (San Francisco 49ers, 3rd season): Kittle had seven catches for 86 yards and one rush for seven yards in the 49ers victory over Seattle. San Francisco has a week off and then will play the lowest remaining seed left between Minnesota, Seattle, and Philadelphia. POTW honors = 4.
George Kittle finished the season with an overall grade of 95.0. #49ers— PFF SF 49ers (@PFF_49ers) December 30, 2019
That is the highest single-season grade in the @PFF Era. He smashed the record set by Rob Gronkowski of 92.0 in 2011. #elite pic.twitter.com/SNd7k6oZox
LS Casey Kreiter (Denver Broncos, 4th season): Kreiter and the Broncos finished a disappointing 7-9. Maybe they’ll “snap” out of it next season.
DB Greg Mabin (Cincinnati Bengals, 3rd season): Mabin and the Bengals had already clinched the top pick in the 2020 draft (Joe Burrow). This week they dispatched Cleveland to finish the season at 2-14. 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 lost to Atlanta to finish the season at 7-9. Nelson was active for the game and had one tackle in the loss.
LB Ben Niemann (Kansas City Chiefs, 2nd season): Niemann and the Chiefs defeated the Chargers on Sunday to earn a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Niemann had four tackles in the victory. POTW honors = 1.
OL Riley Reiff (Minnesota Vikings, 8th season): Reiff and the Vikings lost to the Bears. Reiff was inactive for the game as he was getting rest before the Vikings play the Saints in the playoffs 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 finished their season at 3-13 after losing 47-16 to Dallas. The Redskins will have the number two pick in the upcoming draft.
OL Marshal Yanda (Baltimore Ravens, 13th season): Yanda and the Ravens improved to 14-2 and clinched home field throughout the playoffs as they defeated the Steelers 28-10. Baltimore has a bye this week and then plays the lowest remaining seed between Tennessee, Houston, and Buffalo. POTW honors = 1.