By Jose Saldana
It was a week of breakout performances for Stanford alumni in the NFL, and none was more exciting than that of rookie quarterback Kevin Hogan.
Despite beginning the season on the Cleveland Browns practice squad, Hogan saw his first NFL action under center when Browns starter Cody Kessler was pulled from the game with a concussion in Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. His 28-yard run for a score set the franchise record for the longest rushing touchdown by a quarterback. Hogan ended the day with 204 total yards of offense, one touchdown and two interceptions. Until Kessler clears concussion protocols, Hogan remains at the top of the Browns’ depth chart heading into Week 8.
Elsewhere, Stanford alumni started off Week 7 on a high note with the Thursday game between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Browns. Packers wide receiver Ty Montgomery excelled for the second week in a row as he recorded 126 total yards of offense in a 26-10 victory over the Bears. With the Packers’ primary running back out, Montgomery had the dual role of rusher and receiver as he rushed nine times for 60 yards and caught 10 passes.
On the other side of the field for the Packers, linebacker Blake Martinez secured his first career interception, picking off Bears quarterback Matt Barkley in the fourth quarter. Martinez also registered a team-high five tackles and two passes defended.
Another former Stanford quarterback who had a noteworthy night was Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck, who recorded 353 yards and three touchdowns through the air as the Colts defeated divisional rival Tennessee 34-26. Luck’s seven-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jack Doyle with 1:55 left in the game put the Colts up for good.
Luck has had to deal with a team devoid of star-caliber talent on both sides of the ball, but his play on Sunday kept the Colts afloat in the struggling AFC South.
New Orleans tight end Coby Fleener could not keep the momentum from his great performance last week as the Saints lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 21-27. He caught just two passes for 44 yards in the loss.
The Sunday Night Football game showcased stellar performances from a couple of Stanford alumni in an otherwise dull game between Seattle and Arizona.
Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin was a bright spot in the downtrodden offense of the Seahawks, leading the team in receiving with six catches for 69 yards. In a game in which offense was hard to come by for Seattle, Baldwin made every opportunity count, including a 27-yard reception, which set up a potentially game-winning field goal. However, the Seahawks kicker missed the field goal, and the game ended in a 6-6 tie.
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman was arguably the best player on Sunday night. Arizona moved the ball very well on offense, but Sherman made key plays to keep the Cardinals out of the end zone all game, smothering Arizona receiver Larry Fitzgerald on some key third downs to prevent Arizona from moving the chains and scoring.
Contact Jose Saldaña at jsaldana ‘at’ stanford.edu.