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Hawks in the NFL - Week 8

Tight End U continues to produce.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve been pretty bad with my football viewing this year - having Iowa on Saturday then living in Denver and watching that on Sunday is firmly in the “0/10, would not recommend” category of football viewing. This weekend Going from Iowa to that (still kinda bad) Broncos game, to Atlanta-Carolina (with some Premier League mixed in), then San Francisco-Los Angeles Rams, to Buffalo-Green Bay was a nice Week 8 experience. Let’s go!

George Kittle

Since returning Week 3 at Denver, Kittle’s slowly come alive. Entering Sunday’s must-win with the Los Angeles Rams, Kittle came up with the goods again. His line isn’t Earth-shattering - 3 receptions for 39 yards - but he added his second touchdown of the year, a gorgeous 7-yard pass-and-catch with Jimmy Garoppolo to officially put the game on ice.

That’s touchdowns in back-to-back weeks for Kittle. He’s at 28 receptions for 318 yards and two scores for the season so far. And this Niners offense looks explosive. That’s a dynamic offense with Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Christian McCaffrey, and even Brandon Aiyuk is coming good. So long as Garoppolo will actually throw the ball downfield (which he did Sunday), they’re going to score points.

T.J. Hockenson

Hock continues to produce for the floundering Lions. Hockenson pulled down 3 catches for 80 yards yesterday, including a long of 58 yards. 3-80 takes his totals to 26 receptions for 395 yards and 3 touchdowns. Too bad he’s stuck on this sinking Detroit team. They led Miami 27-17 at halftime then were shut out in the second half on their way to another close loss, a 31-27 decision for Miami.

Noah Fant

Fant had another quiet day, catching both of his targets for 19 yards. He’s at 22 receptions for 176 yards and a score so far this year. Seattle remained in first in the NFC West after a 27-13 win over the Giants.

Tyler Linderbaum, Tristian Wirfs, and Geno Stone

Linderbaum lit Twitter on fire last Thursday night with his blocking in Baltimore’s 27-22 win over Tampa Bay. Just look at this:

That’s the guy we all knew and loved at Iowa, taking White on a ride to the second (third?) level! Baltimore ran over the slumping Bucs, going for 231 yards rushing on 33 carries - a cool 7.0 yards per carry average. Meanwhile, Wirfs still has not allowed a sack through 8 games. He’s carrying the load for an otherwise weak offensive line on a team that’s flailing around at the moment.

Lastly - that’s Geno Stone’s music! The former Iowa safety logged 6 tackles last Thursday, all solos, in that Ravens win.

Potpourri...and Parker Hesse

The Broncos finally landed back in the win column, notching a 21-17 win over Jacksonville in London. Josey Jewell had another great game, finishing with 9 tackles (2 for loss) in the 4-point win at whatever stadium was used for this.

Christian Kirksey and Desmond King landed in the loss column again with that putrid Houston team, falling 17-10 to Tennessee. Kirksey finished with 6 tackles, while King had 4. King also had 3 punt returns for 18 yards.

Finally, Parker Hesse caught his lone target for 9 yards in Atlanta’s utterly insane 37-34 overtime win over Carolina. I hope everyone saw the end of this game - a Carolina prayer to D.J. Moore gets answered to tie the game at 34 with 12 seconds left, and if they hit the PAT they likely get the win. Moore catches the bomb on what was a pass that traveled 70+ yards in the air, then walks toward the fans at the back of the end zone and takes his helmet off. When he did that he was out of the field of play, but that still drew a 15-yard penalty. That knocked the PAT attempt back which of course Carolina missed, then Carolina had another short field goal to win in OT that also missed, before Atlanta won on a field goal of their own to get to first place. Awesome chaos football for Week 8!

EDIT - Well, of course I submit this and we publish, then we have a Hawk traded 60 minutes later. T.J. Hockenson has been TRADED to the Minnesota Vikings. The Lions receive a 2023 second-round pick as well as a 2024 third-round pick, while the Vikings also receive 2023 and 2024 picks, a 2023 fourth-rounder and a conditional 2024 fourth-rounder to go with Hockenson. Hock goes from last to first in a really odd intra-division trade. The Lions are going nowhere so they reset yet again, while Minnesota gets a proven tight end at a position of need after Irv Smith suffered a high ankle sprain on Sunday and will miss multiple weeks. This will be a nice audition for Hockenson, as he’ll be an unrestricted free agent after this season.