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Stanford in the NFL: Luck, Fleener shine; Baldwin calls out team

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Andrew Luck ‘12 led his team in a 33-28 away victory over the Houston Texans to take the lead in the AFC South, marking the Indianapolis Colts’ fourth straight win this season. It comes as no surprise that Luck is considered one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL, and especially this year, he has distinguished himself from the pack by demonstrating his mastery of the Colts’ offense. Along with a natural ability to see the whole field, Luck’s strength and accuracy have made him one of the NFL’s younger stars.

Putting aside a pick and a fumble that was recovered by J.J. Watt for a touchdown on Thursday, Luck showcased his capabilities by finishing the game with 370 yards and three touchdowns, his fifth 300-plus yard passing game out of six total games. Luck ended the quarter with a four-yard touchdown pass to Coby Fleener ‘12 to end the first quarter with a 24-0 lead, in a play that was reminiscent of their preternatural connection at Stanford. Although the Texans came back to get within five points of the Colts, the Colts came through with the win and moved to 4-2 on the season.

Despite his relatively high interception total, Luck currently leads the NFL in completions, attempts, passing yards and touchdown passes. Along with being in the MVP discussion, he is on the track to become the first Colts quarterback, including Peyton Manning, to top 5,000 yards in a season.

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In the Dallas Cowboys’ nail biting 30-23 upset of the Seattle Seahawks, the Seahawks could not pull off the anticipated win, losing a three-point lead in the first quarter. Living up to his reputation as “Angry,” wide receiver Doug Baldwin ’11 was not pleased with the ineffectiveness of the Seahawks’ offense.

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Doug Baldwin unloaded on his Seahawks teammates this weekend. (SIMON WARBY/THE STANFORD DAILY)

“We need to be honest with ourselves and hold each other accountable and be real. The B.S. that we had last week about how great our offense played, that’s B.S. In all honesty, that’s B.S. because we played like [expletive] last week. We didn’t correct those things, and it caught up to us,” Baldwin told ESPN.

The Seahawks had very little magic or verve in Sunday’s game. The Cowboys dominated offensively, holding possession for 37:39, nearly two-thirds of the game. Baldwin had just two receptions for 32 yards, but the issue was not just Russell Wilson’s performance. The Seahawks were not fluid, giving up nine penalties for 58 yards, and catchable passes by Wilson were simply dropped.

There is certainly individual talent on the Seahawks, such as that of Baldwin and cornerback Richard Sherman ‘11, but the problem at hand is finding the middle ground between capitalizing on the talent and working on and executing team dynamics.

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Getting their first shutout in 18 years, the Philadelphia Eagles cruised to a 27-0 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday in a crucial NFC East matchup. Nick Foles threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to tight end Zach Ertz ‘13, who made a diving catch for the first offensive score in the first quarter of the game.

The Falcons, unlike the Eagles, did not have similar luck on their side although both teams had home field advantage. The Falcons suffered a crushing 27-13 defeat against the Bears, who were missing four linebackers. There were a total of seven dropped passes for the Falcons, and Levine Toilolo ’13, who has not scored since week one, had to shoulder some of the blame, catching only three of six passes, two of which were crucial drops, leaving him with the meager stat line of 34 yards receiving. The disheartening loss was the Falcons’ fourth in five games, and worryingly, the Falcons’ schedule does not get seem to get any easier.

Contact Elizabeth Trinh at entrinh “at” stanford.edu.

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Elizabeth Trinh

Elizabeth Trinh

Elizabeth Trinh ‘18, who is currently a sophomore sports Desk Editor at The Stanford Daily, works Monday nights with her other half, (formerly Alexa Philippou) Amanda McLean. Hailing from a small town in the Peach State, she enjoys the thrill of writing, but she won't be writing too much this year because she has dedicated her time to other ventures. Although she is currently undecided as to her major, Elizabeth plans on loafing around for the longest time as possible. To contact Elizabeth, please email her at entrinh 'at' stanford.edu.