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Hawks in the NFL - Week 12

It was a relatively quiet week, but you can never keep Tight End U silent.

New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Kind of a quiet Week 12 for the Hawks in the pros, but a few guys still lit it up. Let’s go!

TJ Hockenson

Hockenson was again a popular target for the Vikings. The big tight end caught 5 passes for 50 yards and 1 touchdown, a 17-yarder in the fourth quarter that leveled the score against the Chicago Bears.

With the extra point, the score would temporarily put the Vikes up 10-9, but the defense caved and the Bears won on a late, late field goal to upset Minnesota, 12-10.

For the year, Hockenson is now at 80 receptions for 786 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Sam LaPorta, Jack Campbell, and Lukas Van Ness

Iowa’s reunion game of the week. We’ll start with LaPorta, who immediately got on the scoresheet for the Lions. Iowa’s other NFC North tight end finished the early Thanksgiving kickoff with 5 receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown, which would have tied the game but the Lions missed the extra point in what was a game full of mistakes from the North-leading Lions.

LaPorta’s excellent rookie season now sits at 50 receptions for 539 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Campbell and Van Ness each registered 3 tackles. Van Ness had the slightly better day, getting 2 quarterback hits and a tackle for loss in Green Bay’s 29-22 win in Detroit.

George Kittle and Noah Fant

Pretty quiet here too to round out the tight end gang. Kittle finished San Francisco’s 31-13 Thanksgiving night win over Seattle with 3 receptions for 19 yards, while Fant finished with 2 receptions for 25 yards. Seattle briefly led this division but San Francisco is now in firm control. The 49ers were briefly playing with their food in this game - they led 24-3 at halftime but a 10-0 third quarter for Seattle briefly made this game frisky. San Fran can’t do that next week, with a trip to Philadelphia looming.

Micah Hyde and AJ Epenesa

I don’t have a ton to say about this game - Hyde picked up 6 tackles, while Epenesa logged 1. This is about the result - Buffalo loses in such awful ways. Philly hits a 59-yard field goal (!) in horrible weather (!!) to force overtime, then Buffalo takes the OT lead but loses on a touchdown. Buffalo had 505 yards of offense and 13 third-down conversions, yet took a boot to the nuts yet again, partly because Philly keeps pulling games out of their collective asses, but also because, well, it’s Buffalo. GEEZ.

Josey Jewell/Bronco Corner

They’re alive! After that humiliating start to the season, the Denver Broncos are now 6-5 and look like a strong playoff contenders after their 29-12 win over Cleveland (a scoreagami game, if you’re into that). Jewell logged 3 tackles and a sack as the Broncos roughed up the Browns.

Suddenly the playoffs look real for Denver. Right now they’re in a 6-5 logjam with Indianapolis and Houston, with Indy in pole position on tie-breakers. Right behind the pack is Buffalo and Denver has that head-to-head. Just in front of them is Cleveland and Denver owns that head-to-head as well. Next up is Houston on the road, a really tough game against a Texans team that narrowly lost to Jacksonville (the game-tying field goal hit the cross bar and bounced out deep in the 4th quarter). If Denver can beat Houston they’d be in fantastic shape for a playoff spot, which would be their first since 2015 when they won Super Bowl 50.