Sunday was National Tight Ends Day and one former Iowa tight end had himself a day. Let’s do this!
After missing the first couple of weeks of the year, it was a slow start for Kittle. He’s gradually built over the last three weeks and that culminated Sunday in his best game of the year, going for 6 receptions and 98 yards on 9 targets. His day was highlighted by this:
That touchdown brought San Francisco within 5, 28-23, early in the fourth quarter against Kansas City, but the Chiefs scored immediately on the next possession, then Jimmy Garoppolo suddenly likes taking safeties, and that was that in what ended up as a 44-23 final for KC. Still – good to see Kittle get on the board with his first touchdown of the year. Kittle is now at 25 receptions for 280 yards and that lone touchdown for the year. San Francisco is going to need Kittle down the stretch, as the Niners bumbled their way to 3-4. That loss, coupled with the Rams being on a bye and a Seattle win, led to…
…the Seahawks now finding themselves at the top of the NFC West standings. Things drop off for Iowa tight ends after that Kittle performance Sunday afternoon. Fant had a single reception for 7 yards on 3 targets, but the Seahawks ground the Los Angeles Chargers to dust behind Austin Blythe and the rejuvenated Seattle ground game. The Seahawks finished with 214 yards rushing on 34 carries, with Kenneth Walker III going for 168 and two touchdowns. The Seahawks nailed a draft, fleeced Denver, and poof – the rebuild is WAY ahead of schedule, and this increasingly doesn’t look like a rebuild at all.
Fant is now at 20 receptions for 157 yards and a touchdown.
Broncos Corner: I’m a graduate of Iowa, so I’m saddled with them on Saturday, AND I live in Denver so I’m saddled with them on Sunday. I don’t wish football away, ever – anyone that thinks that at any point should be tried in The Hague – but oh my God this is terrible on every level. I can’t remember a fall watching so little football in my life. I didn’t watch Iowa-Ohio State – I haven’t even watched the Evans scoop and score highlight – but for some dumb reason I DID watch most of the Denver-New York Jets game. WHY? I made good decisions with my football viewing this weekend, then threw it away for that!
Hockenson had a solid showing against one of the best defenses in the league, finishing Sunday’s 24-6 loss to Dallas with 4 receptions for 48 yards on 5 targets. For the season, Hock is now at 23 catches for 315 yards and 3 touchdowns.
It’s been a tough three weeks for Detroit as they fell to 1-5. They’ve had multiple one-score losses, then ran into a temporarily resurgent New England – speaking of New England, James Ferentz played late in their Monday Night Football bloodbath at the hands of Chicago, a team I was told New England would surely dominate – and perhaps the best defense in the league in Dallas. That’s rough.
I mentioned Blythe and Ferentz, so let’s shift to the big uglies. Things aren’t as cheery for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as they lost 21-3 to Carolina. This ship is listing and the bow is precariously close to the surface. Tristan Wirfs, however, still looks great out there. He still has not allowed a sack this season. Tyler Linderbaum allowed his first sack of the year, though Baltimore won against Cleveland, 23-20.
On the defensive side, Iowa’s Houston duo of Christian Kirksey and Desmond King ended up with 9 and 5 tackles respectively, with each logging a tackle for loss. That was about it for highlights for Houston, as their 20-17 lead going into the fourth quarter in Las Vegas evaporated behind the tough running of suddenly-resurgent Josh Jacobs, ending in a 38-20 loss to the Raiders.