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 12

Defensive backs and former Ball Hawks Micah Hyde and Amani Hooker led their teams in tackles.
Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 29, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair (2) and safety Amani Hooker (37) tackle Atlanta Falcons quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Two former Iowa defensive backs led their teams in tackles during Week 12 of the NFL season this past weekend.

Safeties Amani Hooker and Micah Hyde recorded 11 and six tackles, respectively, as the Tennessee Titans beat the Carolina Panthers, 17-10, and Buffalo Bills lost, 37-34, in an overtime thriller against the Philadelphia Eagles. Former Hawkeye A.J. Epenesa also recorded a tackle and a pass deflection for the Bills.

Hooker has 67 tackles on the season so far, which is already a career-high for the fifth-year veteran with six games remaining in the regular season.

Fellow safety Geno Stone had another solid outing for the Baltimore Ravens in their 20-10 win over the Los Angeles Chargers, finishing the game with seven tackles.

But the former second-team All-Big Ten defensive back also caused a bit of a scuffle when Chargers players took offense to Stone’s potential “late” hit on quarterback Justin Herbert.

Campbell soup

Iowa football is used to playing on Black Friday against Nebraska, but several rookies got their first experience of playing on Thanksgiving the day before as the Detroit Lions lost to the Green Bay Packers, 29-22.

Lions tight end Sam LaPorta shined the brightest with a bounce-back performance, catching five balls for 47 yards and a touchdown.

On the defensive side, though, Lions linebacker Jack Campbell had three tackles, and Packers defensive end Lukas Van Ness finished with three tackles and two quarterback hits as he came up huge for Green Bay in stuffing a fake punt attempt by the Lions in the third quarter.

Although a veteran, Denver Broncos linebacker Josey Jewell got his first sack of the season in his team’s 29-12 win over the Cleveland Browns — Denver’s fifth-straight win.

Jewell finished with three tackles against a Browns offense that was missing starting quarterback Deshaun Watson.

And rookie defensive back Riley Moss had his second-straight game of recording a tackle for Denver.

Moss recently received praise from Broncos defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, who said the newcomer played very well in the team’s 21-20 victory over the Vikings two weeks ago.

Hockenson (almost) hoists Vikings

Former star Hawkeye tight end and current Vikings primary target T.J. Hockenson, barely targeted by quarterback Joshua Dobbs in the first half, lifted Minnesota above the Chicago Bears with the first — and only touchdown — of the game that was scored with the clock winding down in the fourth quarter in Monday’s night game.

That was until Bears quarterback Justin Fields found receiver D.J. Moore for a big gain that set up Cairo Santos’ game-winning field goal and, thus, a 12-10 loss for the Vikings, who now drop to 6-6 overall.

Hockenson finished with five receptions for 50 yards and the touchdown.

Showing love to the big fellas

Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Chauncey Golston had a season-high four tackles in his team’s 45-10 beatdown on the Washington Commanders.

The Cowboys drafted Golston with the 84th overall pick in the 2021 draft after he registered 5.5 sacks and one interception in his senior season at Iowa. Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, Golston started at defensive end in 21 games for the Hawkeyes.

A former teammate of Golston’s while at Iowa in Los Angeles Rams’ offensive lineman Alaric Jackson even got to celebrate his team’s 37-14 win over division rival Arizona Cardinals by spiking the football after running back Royce Freeman scored a touchdown.

Jackson and the rest of the Rams’ offensive line protected quarterback Matthew Stafford on his way to throwing a season-high four touchdowns while not being sacked once.

Other highlights

New York Giants long snapper Casey Kreiter recorded one tackle in his team’s 10-7 win against rivals New England Patriots.

Kreiter is a nine-year NFL veteran after going undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft. He’s been on the Cowboys, Broncos, and Giants and was even selected to the Pro Bowl in 2018 as a member of the Broncos.

Giants second-year defensive back Dane Belton recorded one tackle during the game, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive lineman Anthony Nelson recorded two tackles in his team’s 27-20 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

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About the Contributor
Cooper Worth
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.