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Cyclones in the NFL: Week Six

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Jacob Rice/Iowa State Daily
Iowa State running back Breece Hall runs past defenders for a touchdown in the Cyclones’ 48-14 win over TCU on Nov. 26, 2021.

Brock Purdy:

The 49ers dropped to 5-1 on the season after their 19-17 injury-riddled and uncharacteristic loss to the Browns. San Francisco faced its toughest road matchup yet against the disruptive Cleveland Browns defense that forced Purdy to have his worst performance as a starter in the NFL and gave him his first regular-season loss. 

After running back Christian McCaffery, wide receiver Deebo Samuel and left tackle Trent Williams all sustained injuries mid-way through the game, Purdy failed to hit his targets throughout the game and looked more like the prospect most saw him as coming out of Iowa State.

Purdy completed 44% of his passes for 125 yards, including a touchdown and his first interception of the season on a ball that went right over the head of receiver Brandon Aiyuk and into the hands of Martin Emerson Jr.

Breece Hall:

Hall continued his comeback season with another solid outing for the Jets in their 20-14 comeback win at home against the Eagles. 

He couldn’t find much efficiency on the ground but scored a clutch eight-yard rushing touchdown with under two minutes left in the fourth quarter, which gave the Jets the lead and ultimately was the deciding factor in sealing their second straight win.

Hall found a majority of his success in the passing game and snagged five catches for 54 yards, the second most on the team behind wide receiver Garrett Wilson. Hall added 39 yards on the ground in his 12 attempts and finished with over 90 all-purpose yards for the third time this season.

David Montgomery:  

The Lions faced off against the Buccaneers on the road and struggled to get things going on the ground against a team that hosts a top-ten rushing defense in the league. Montgomery didn’t offer much help in Detroit’s 20-6 win over Tampa Bay as he left with a rib injury in the middle of the second quarter and finished with 14 yards on six carries.

Montgomery is listed as questionable, according to ESPN, and is seeking additional testing this week. This is the second time this season that he has experienced injury concerns, as he missed the week three game against Atlanta with a right thigh injury.

Will McDonald IV:

The 2023 first-round pick for the Jets continues his roller coaster of a rookie season and has not gotten consistent playing time, whether it is at his primary edge rusher position or on the special teams unit.

McDonald saw 14 snaps against the Eagles, six on defense and the rest on special teams. After playing the most snaps on defense last week in the Jets 31-21 win against the Broncos (17), McDonald saw a setback in production and is still having to prove himself nearly halfway through his rookie season. 

Jake Hummel: 

While Hummel’s stat sheet is not one that stands out in the Rams’ 26-9 win against the Cardinals, his consistent presence as a member of Los Angeles’ special teams unit is what sticks out.

Hummel recorded one tackle against Arizona and played 78% of the Rams special teams snaps and 12% of the defensive snaps. He has played 79% of the Rams special team snaps through six games and 137 total snaps, 10 of which being on defense. 

After being picked up by the Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2022, Hummel has continued to stay available for a team that took a chance on the Iowa native and has carved out a respectable role for himself. 

Xavier Hutchinson:

The 2023 sixth-round pick by the Texans was used in a way he had never really been used during his time at Iowa State, taking handoffs in the backfield. In Houston’s 20-13 win at home against the Saints, Hutchinson had a pair of carries that totaled 15 yards and was not targeted as a receiver. 

His first carry came inside New Orleans’ five-yard line in the first quarter, where Hutchinson rushed for three yards to the left side and got the Texans to the one-yard line, where they scored a touchdown the following play. Hutchinson had a shot at reaching for the pylon but noticeably kept himself from making a full extension for the score at the risk of fumbling out of the end zone and squandering Huston’s shot at putting points on the board.

Hutchinson’s final touch of the game came in the fourth quarter on an end-around run for 12 yards, resulting in a first down. Although he wasn’t used in his traditional role, he showed shiftiness on each of his runs and the ability to make plays, which he hasn’t been given much of an opportunity to do through the first six games of his NFL career.

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