Former Hawkeyes struggle in Week 5 of the NFL season

From Santa Clara, California, to Chicago, Illinois, former Hawkeyes faltered in games across the country.


Iowa offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs runs a drill during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Feb. 28, 2020. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images/TNS)

Austin Hanson, Sports Editor

Week 5 of the NFL season was not kind to last year’s NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers.

The losing-record Miami Dolphins marched into Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara and punished the Bay Area football team 43-17 after flying across the country for a 1:05 Pacific time kickoff.

The Dolphins jammed up former Hawkeye TE George Kittle all afternoon. After hauling in 15 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown against the Eagles, the people’s tight end reeled in just four of eight targets for 44 yards.

Kittle’s struggles could be partly attributed to the woes of the games’ starting quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo. The Eastern Illinois product threw two interceptions and seven completions across 17 total pass attempts in his first start since injuring his ankle against the New York Jets Sept. 20.

Following an abysmal first-half performance, head coach Kyle Shanahan benched Garoppolo for former Hawkeye quarterback C.J. Beathard.

In one half of play, Beathard completed nine of 18 pass attempts for one touchdown.

As of Wednesday, it is still unclear which quarterback will start Sunday night against the Los Angeles Rams at Levi Stadium. Shanahan chalked Garoppolo’s benching up as an injury-related decision. Shanahan believes Garoppolo didn’t look like himself on the field because of his recent ankle injury.

RELATED: Former Hawkeyes show up in prime time in Week 4 of NFL season

Wirfs takes on Bears’ pass rush

Week 5’s Thursday Night Football Game on FOX saw former Hawkeye and current Buccaneers left tackle Tristan Wirfs go viral. However, the first-round draft pick did not trend on Twitter for his excellent pass protection. Rather, the 6-foot-5, 320-pound Wifs was picked up and thrown to the ground by Chicago Bears’ linebacker Khalil Mack.

Wirfs and the Buccaneers were also penalized 11 times for 109 yards in their 19-20 loss to the Bears. 43-year-old quarterback Tom Brady was sacked three times as Tampa Bay dropped to 3-2 on the season — which is still good for the top spot in the NFC South.

Former Hawkeye Anthony Nelson also saw 14 snaps worth of action in the contest.

Hawkeyes turned Kansas City Chiefs fall to Raiders

In a rare home loss at Arrowhead Stadium, the Kansas City Chiefs incurred their first loss of the season to the Las Vegas Raiders, 40-32.

Surprisingly, the Chiefs had not lost a game since Week 10 of the 2019 NFL season.

Even more shocking? The last time the Raiders hung 40 points on the Chiefs was Nov. 5, 2000 when Jon Gruden was still in his first stint as Raiders head coach.

Part of the Chiefs’ poor defensive effort were former Iowa linebackers Anthony Hitchens and Ben Niemann. Hitchens led the team with nine total tackles, seven of which he recorded solo. Niemann recorded two tackles and a quarterback hit.

The last time the Raiders won at Arrowhead was all the way back in 2012.

Hawkeye injury updates

Cleveland defensive end Adrian Clayborn returned to the turf Sunday for a matchup with the now-3-1 Indianapolis Colts. Clayborn logged 16 snaps in the 4-1 Browns’ upset win.

Chargers’ right tackle Bryan Bulaga missed his second-straight game Monday night due to a back injury. Without Bulaga, quarterback Justin Herbert was sacked three times in Los Angeles’ 27-30 loss to the Saints.

Bears’ left guard James Daniels tore his pectoral muscle during the team’s Thursday night game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Daniels is expected to miss the rest of the season.

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