Hawks in the NFL | Week 4

With Week 4 of the NFL season in the books, The Daily Iowan examines which former Hawkeyes performed the best on Sunday.


Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 3, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (1) catches the ball as Houston Texans defensive back Desmond King (25) defends during the second half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Hanson, Sports Editor

Not much went right for the National Football League’s Houston Texans on Sunday, as they suffered a 40-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

One of the few positives the Texans could take away from Sunday’s game was the performance of former Hawkeye defensive back Desmond King. The 26-year-old from Detroit, Michigan, led Houston in tackles with nine. King made eight of those stops unassisted.

King also got into a spat with Bills offensive lineman Spencer Brown during the game. The pair’s interaction went viral on Twitter.


The 2021-22 season is King’s first with the Texans. He started his NFL career with the Los Angeles Chargers, playing with a bolt logo on his helmet from 2017-20.

The Chargers traded King to the Tennessee Titans on Nov. 2, 2020. He spent the rest of the year with the Titans before he signed with Houston during the 2020-21 offseason.

King’s teammate and fellow former Hawkeye Christian Kirksey also played well Sunday. The 29-year-old linebacker recorded seven total tackles and a pass breakup.  Kirksey made four of his seven tackles without assistance.

King and Kirksey weren’t the only ex-Hawkeye defenders making plays in Sunday’s Buffalo-Houston game, as Bills safety Micah Hyde intercepted a pass thrown by Texans QB Davis Mills in the first quarter.

The 30-year-old Hyde has now recorded an interception in each of his last two games. Against the Washington Football Team Sept. 26, Hyde picked off one of quarterback Taylor Heinicke’s errant throws.

Kittle fights calf injury

Tight end George Kittle appeared on the San Francisco 49ers’ injury report and missed practice throughout Week 4 of the NFL season. Kittle was listed as “questionable” for San Francisco’s Oct. 3 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks.

The former Hawkeye did end up playing in Sunday’s Seattle-San Francisco game, catching four passes for 40 yards. Kittle was, however, targeted a whopping 11 times in the game.

Excluding his most recent performance, Kittle has only failed to corral balls thrown in his direction on three occasions this season. The 27-year-old has caught 19 of the 29 passes lobbed toward him this year.

49er head coach Kyle Shannahan said Kittle’s injury status is day-to-day ahead of San Francisco’s Week 5 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals State Farm Stadium.

Golston, Nixon compete for opposing teams

On Sunday, defensive linemen Daviyon Nixon and Chauncey Golston played on the same field for the first time since they were teammates on the University of Iowa football team in 2020.

Nixon suited up for the Carolina Panthers and Golston donned the Dallas Cowboys’ iconic star logo on his helmet.

Golston and Nixon were on the field for 49 and 8 snaps, respectively. Nixon recorded one tackle on the afternoon, while Golston registered five stops and half a sack.

“How about Golston today?” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told Star Magazine’s Jonny Auping postgame. “He was really outstanding today. I can tell you without even reviewing the film. He had a lot of snaps out there and they were important.”

Ultimately, Golston’s Cowboys defeated Nixon’s Panthers, 36-28.

Fant scores second touchdown of 2021-22 season

Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant scored his second touchdown of the 2021-22 season Sunday. Fant caught a 4-yard pass from QB Teddy Bridgewater in the front corner of the endzone in the beginning of the second quarter.

Fant’s touchdown was the Broncos’ lone score of the game, as Denver fell to Baltimore, 23-7.

Fant’s first TD reception of the 2021-22 season came during the Broncos’ 23-13 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars Sept. 19.

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