The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Hawks in the NFL | Week 8

Former Iowa teammates Anthony Nelson and AJ Epenesa battled it out on Thursday night.
Jamie Germano/Rochester Democrat
Buffalo Bills running back Latavius Murray (28) tries to run past Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Anthony Nelson (98).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive lineman Anthony Nelson had his best game of the season in a 24-18 loss to the Buffalo Bills last Thursday night.

The Waukee, Iowa, native finished the game with four total tackles, two tackles for loss, and one sack. 

Fellow University of Iowa football players AJ Epenesa and Micah Hyde earned bragging rights over Nelson. Epenesa finished the game with two tackles and one sack, while Hyde added four tackles. 

Nelson was drafted by the Buccaneers in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft after recording nine and a half sacks for Iowa in 2018, which was the second-best in the Big Ten that season. He has recorded 106 tackles with the Buccaneers so far in his career and won a Super Bowl with the team in 2021. 

No Stone unturned  

Baltimore Ravens safety Geno Stone’s interception streak continued in Week 8 as he picked off Arizona Cardinals quarterback Joshua Dobbs late in the third quarter. The pick sealed a 31-24 victory for Baltimore. Stone’s interception was his fifth of the season, leading the league. Stone also recorded four tackles. 

Stone’s knack for getting to the ball is nothing new to the 24-year-old. The former Hawkeye recorded six interceptions during his three years at Iowa. His five interceptions ties hall-of-famer Ed Reed with the most interceptions by a Ravens player in the team’s first eight games of a season. 

On the offensive side of the ball, starting center Tyler Linderbaum led the way to three rushing touchdowns on 130 total yards. Where Linderbaum and the rest of the offensive line struggled was protecting quarterback Lamar Jackson. The Cardinals’ defense sacked Jackson four times on 19 pressures. 

Hock ’em down 

Minnesota Vikings tight end TJ Hockenson had another nice performance in his team’s 24-10 win against the Green Bay Packers, catching six passes for 88 yards and one touchdown. 

Hockenson finished second to wide receiver K.J. Osborn in receptions and yards during the game. Osborn had eight receptions for 99 yards. Despite being on a three-game win streak, the Vikings have a long road ahead of them as starting quarterback Kirk Cousins tore his Achilles and will miss the remainder of the season.

Hockenson is tied for third amongst tight ends with three touchdowns this season. On the defensive side, rookie defensive lineman Lukas Van Ness finished his second straight game with zero statistics, despite being active for the Packers. 

Kittle Korn and Orange Fanta

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle led his team with nine receptions for 149 yards during the 49ers’ 31-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. 

The 49ers’ performance Sunday marks three consecutive losses after the team started the season undefeated at 5-0. Much criticism is being thrown at quarterback Brock Purdy’s performance recently as the former Mr.Irrelevant has tossed five interceptions over the past three games.  

Tight end Noah Fant caught two balls for 32 yards Sunday for the Seattle Seahawks in their 24-20 win over the Cleveland Browns. 

Fant has shined when the ball is thrown his way, but he has seen his targets dwindle in recent weeks as he’s had to share reps with tight end Colby Parkinson, who is the third-string tight end for Seattle. 

A 2019 first-round draft pick for the Denver Broncos, Fant caught 50 passes for 486 yards and four touchdowns for the Seattle Seahawks last season. It was his first year with Seattle as he was a part of Denver’s trade package for quarterback Russell Willson during the 2022 offseason.

Monday night’s game

Detroit Lions tight end Sam Laporta caught eight balls for 57 yards and scored his fourth touchdown of the season in the team’s 26-14 win against the Las Vegas Raiders.

The 2023 second-round draft pick trails Baltimore Ravens’ Mark Andrews for the most touchdowns at the tight end position. Fellow 2023 draft pick and linebacker Jack Campbell recorded four tackles in the Lion’s home win.

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About the Contributor
Cooper Worth, Pregame reporter
Cooper Worth is a Pregame Reporter for The Daily Iowan. He is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and mass communication. He is also earning a minor in communication studies and an entrepreneurial management certificate. This is his third year at the DI, previously serving as a News Editor and as a News Reporter covering local government in Johnson County for the DI. Cooper interned for the Telegraph Herald in Dubuque, Iowa during the summer of 2023 as a general news reporter.