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Saturday wasn’t the best of days for Iowa football. You know the score.
But on Sunday, a pair of former Hawkeyes had the best days of their careers.
Adrian Clayborn, who was such a good defensive end at Iowa, has had an injury-plagued NFL career. But he sure looked healthy Sunday in Atlanta, sacking Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott a franchise-record six — that’s right, six — times in the Atlanta Falcons’ 27-7 win.
The NFL record for sacks in a game is seven, set by Derrick Thomas of Kansas City in 1990.
“It’s surreal to be in the likes of that man and what he’s done for the game,” Clayborn told the NFL Network. “But I’m blessed and I’m honored to be in the likes of those guys.”
ADRIAN CLAYBORN CAN'T BE STOPPED pic.twitter.com/J6oprWw2Eg— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) November 12, 2017
It was a lucrative day for the seventh-year pro. He has an incentive clause that pays $750,000 if he reaches eight sacks in a season. His career-high had been 7.5, as a Tampa Bay rookie. Sunday’s six gave him eight this season. Two more gets him another $500,000.
“I only have one move,” Clayborn said after the game, “and it worked.”
Elsewhere, rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard (and rookie tight end George Kittle) of Iowa tasted victory in the NFL for the first time when the San Francisco 49ers beat the New York Giants, 31-21.
Beathard completed 19 of 25 passes, two for touchdowns, and ran for another score. His quarterback rating of 123.4 was exceeded Sunday only by Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams.
One of Beathard’s TD passes was an 83-yarder to Marquise Goodwin.
So when does Beathard cede the starting quarterback job to recently acquired Jimmy Garoppolo?
“I don’t have a plan yet,” Niners Coach Kyle Shanahan said. “There’s no way anything you guys hear reported could be accurate, because I just told you guys our plan.”