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Hawks in the NFL - Week 2

Dane Belton looked great after coming off an injury

Syndication: The Record Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

Week 2 came and went in the NFL and it was a quiet-ish week for our former Hawks. I was on the road for much of Sunday so missed most of the day. Whatever - let’s roll.

Dane Belton

Our former CASH superstar didn’t play Week 1 due to recovery from a broken collarbone sustained in training camp in early August. Belton made a quick recovery and was back in action Week 2 for his NFL debut. 5 seconds into the game...

In addition to the fumble recovery, Belton also recorded 5 tackles, all solos, as the Giants improved to 2-0, somehow. That’s an excellent debut for Belton.

George Kittle and Noah Fant

We can knock off a ton of Iowa players in just three games - San Francisco-Seattle, Denver-Houston, and Buffalo-Tennessee. What should have been a fun-as-hell game between San Francisco and Seattle (because they’re always fun as hell since these clubs still hate each other) was a bit of a dud, thanks to that gnarly Trey Lance ankle injury. From the Iowa angle, George Kittle remains out with a groin injury. Again, get well, George Kittle. He’s missed 15 games out of a possible 57 from the 2019 season to present. It’s not Bob Sanders, who only played 50 games total in his excellent but abbreviated 8-year career, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about all of these Kittle injuries.

Noah Fant finished with only 2 receptions on 2 targets for 11 yards. This pretty much sucks for Fant. He went from a fun, young-but-no-quarterback team in Denver to another fun, young-but-no-quarterback team in Seattle because the Seahawks traded their quarterback to Denver - great for Fant! - but Fant went to the Pacific Northwest in the return package - not great for Fant! Whatever the case, this stinks for Fant. And spare me the Geno Smith resurgence - they won their opener in the Russell Wilson Revenge Game because Nathanial Hackett makes bad decisions and Denver fumbled twice at the Seattle 1. More on the Broncos next!

Josey Jewell, Christian Kirksey, and Desmond King

Jewell was in the Kittle camp - inactive for Sunday’s visit from the Texans. That’s now 2 missed games for Jewell, who is nursing a calf injury. He hasn’t played in a year after missing most of last season due to a torn pectoral. Iowa’s other participants in this game, Christian Kirksey and Desmond King, had overall solid days. Kirksey lodged 5 tackles (4 solo) and 12 a sack, while King registered 2 tackles and 1 solo in 16-9 loss in Denver.

Broncos corner: The thing I didn’t miss on Sunday was the second half of the Denver game and...ohhhhh boy, Denver fans are mad. So Nathanial Hackett might be a version of Vic Fangio. That includes bad clock management, misuse of timeouts - they had none left for the final 7+ minutes of a one-possession game; less than ideal - weird decisions on where and when to kick field goals, and a generally befuddled look on the sidelines. All we need now is a series of bad replay challenges. And let me understand this - Hackett will allow Brandon McManus to attempt a 64-yard game-winner in Seattle after bungling the clock situation, at sea level, in the loudest stadium in the league, but NOT a 59-yarder in the third quarter at Mile High? He knows the stadium still has the Mile High moniker because it’s a mile above sea level and guys can boom kicks everywhere in that stadium, right? And it only would’ve been a 59-yarder because they took a dumb delay of game penalty because Hackett can’t hack it (sorry, not sorry) when it comes to clock management. You know it’s bad when fans are counting the play clock down to help the staff.

The enraged hand at the left side of the frame isn’t me, but it’s definitely me in my living room. Which is great - I can be mad about football on Saturday AND Sunday!

This is all to say, with boots on the ground here, that fans are pissed off. I’m not even an enormous Broncos fan. They were always on TV in Des Moines as a kid but I only loosely (very loosely) followed them. I like them, but mostly because I live here. I can say, the city is absolutely electric when the Broncos are good, so I want this to work. But yeah - fans are mad as hell right now and already reaching for the eject button on Hackett. They should be 2-0 but they could also be 0-2 as they appear to be poorly-coached (again), the starters had no reps with one another in preseason because Hackett wanted to avoid injuries so they look disjointed in everything they do (great in theory, but Weeks 1 and 2 are excellent counterpoints to that line of thought, plus they ended up with a bunch of injuries anyway because guys get hurt playing this game), and they have approximately 100 penalties through two weeks (25 have been accepted against them so far, so 100 isn’t a bonkers exaggeration).

A.J. Epenesa, Micah Hyde, and Amani Hooker

Buffalo is real. They look absolutely frightening. They creamed the defending champs to open the season, then took last year’s top-seed in the AFC to the woodshed, 41-7. Epenesa and Hyde recorded 2 tackles apiece (both solos). The night ended early for Hyde though, as he had a weird-looking injury. Fortunately, he looks to be ok. WHEW.

Hooker followed up his big contract with an ok game in what was an otherwise awful night for the Titans. He also recorded two solo tackles and returned a punt, though he fumbled that attempt (Tennessee recovered). He also might have been robbed of a pick?

This is already long enough, so let’s go to the comments!