By Alex Bhatt
Last week in the NFL was one of many Stanford “firsts.” Whether it was former All-American Christian McCaffrey’s first professional touchdown or former Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan’s first multiple-touchdown game, the Card made their presence known around the league in Week 6.
Though eighth-overall-pick McCaffrey had a quiet day overall in the Panthers’ win over the Lions, his six-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter helped ignite the Carolina offense, who finished with 27 points. On second and goal, as Cam Newton rolled to his left in an apparent read option, McCaffrey was able to cut inside, weave through the defense and catch a shovel pass from Newton to tie up the game at 10-10. It was McCaffrey’s first career score and he finished with 31 receiving yards and seven rushing yards.
Meanwhile, in Cleveland, Hogan continued to battle for the Browns starting quarterback position with Deshone Kizer. As Kizer was benched at the end of the first half, Hogan entered the game and completed five consecutive passes and a 21-yard touchdown pass to tight end David Njoku. Hogan put up fairly impressive numbers, going 16-19 and throwing two touchdowns in the second half. Though Hogan ended the game with 194 passing yards and 30 rushing yards, the Browns fell at home to the Jets 14-17. They are now 0-5 on the season.
Per usual, Stanford’s tight ends continued to shine in the league. Zach Ertz, one of the most dominant tight ends in the NFL, helped the Philadelphia Eagles to an emphatic 34-7 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Ertz had 61 receiving yards and one touchdown, helping the Eagles move atop the NFC East with a 4-1 record. Ertz currently leads all tight ends in receiving yards this season.
Coby Fleener, tight end for the New Orleans Saints, did not play as the Saints had a bye week, but has put up impressive numbers throughout the season, averaging 11.9 yards per catch. Fleener and the Saints will host the Lions this Sunday.
Austin Hooper of the Atlanta Falcons also had a bye this week, after catching five passes for 50 yards the previous week against the Buffalo Bills. The Falcons will square off against the Miami Dolphins next week.
Even with the many impressive performances around the league by Stanford alumni, many big playmakers are still plagued by injury. Seattle Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin continued to struggle, possibly still recovering from his groin injury in Week 3. Baldwin had a mere 37 receiving yards in the Seahawks’ 16-10 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (shoulder) and Packers running back Ty Montgomery (ribs) are both expected to return by the end of the season in hopes of getting their respective teams on track for playoff contention.
Contact Alex Bhatt at abhatt21 ‘at’ stanford.edu.