The Hawkeyes have already garnered plenty of recognition for a propensity for churning out offensive line and tight end prospects over the years. Now Iowa appears to becoming a bit of a defensive back factory as well.
Desmond King had a personal-best 10 tackles Sunday night against Pittsburgh, but he caught a lot more attention for his spectacular 73-yard punt return for a touchdown. King is averaging 15.0 yards per return, trailing only Andre Roberts of the Jets for the league’s highest average.
King’s play — both his return and his consistent play all season — earned him plenty of kudos on Twitter.
I swear Desmond King has won a few games by himself.
— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) December 3, 2018
Desmond King!! Elite cornerback, play-making returner. Love it.
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) December 3, 2018
King’s three picks in slot coverage lead the league, and Pro Football Focus put together excellent analysis on how strong he’s been defensively. He had two passes defensed in the 33-30 victory over the Steelers as well.
Another ex-Hawkeye DB making plays Sunday was Micah Hyde. Hyde recorded his second interception of the season — and second in three games – in Sunday’s four-point loss to Miami. Hyde, who now has 15 interceptions in his NFL career, also had four tackles and one pass defensed for the Bills.
Anthony Hitchens tallied 10 tackles — his highest total since Week 6 — in Kansas City’s 40-33 win over Oakland
George Kittle caught six passes for 70 yards in San Francisco’s loss to Seattle. It marked the third time in four games with at least 70 yards for Kittle, and the eighth time this season. With 893 receiving yards, Kittle is more than deserving of a Pro Bowl trip.
Austin Blythe was finally whistled for his first penalty of the season in the Rams’ win at Detroit, but he also made some time to chow down on pancakes.
Marshal Yanda had the type of performance many have come to expect week after week for Baltimore, surrendering no pressures in the Ravens’ win over Atlanta. Yanda ranks fifth this season among guards with a Pass Blocking Efficiency grade of 98.8 according to Pro Football Focus.
Josey Jewell had one tackle for Denver against Cincinnati before exiting with an ankle injury after only eight defensive snaps, though he was optimistic about his chances to play in Week 14 against San Francisco.
Josh Jackson made two tackles in the Packers’ loss to Arizona and had a pass defensed. His six passes defensed on the season are the second most on the team behind Jaire Alexander (10).
Mike Daniels was placed on injured reserve on Saturday by Green Bay, ending his season due to a foot injury sustained in Week 11.