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Stanford in the NFL: Luck back in the Bay

Stanford stars experience ups and downs in week 8 of the NFL season

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (above) has been playing well despite the Colts slow start this season. Luck threw three touchdowns and went for over 200 yards in Sunday's win. (BOB DREBIN/isiphotos.com)

After a gut wrenching loss to the now No.10 Washington State this past Saturday by a score of 43-40, Cardinal fans can’t help but feel a sense of loss and despair. Where has the season gone? Where is the fierce Cardinal play Nerd Nation is so used to seeing?

Instead of focusing on the current college football season, let’s take a step back and see how Stanford alumni fared in the NFL this past week.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was scorching hot this past Sunday. Back in the Bay Area, he threw three touchdowns and went for over 200 yards, carrying his team to a 42-28 road victory over the Oakland Raiders. The Colts (3-5) have had a slow start to their season, but this win solidifies them at third place in the AFC South — and with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans collapsing, don’t be surprised if this Stanford alum makes a claim for the division come Week 17.

Speaking of the Jaguars, Jacksonville (3-5) faced off against the defending Super Bowl Champions, the Philadelphia Eagles (4-4), in the NFL’s London game this week. Zach Ertz had what could be called a quiet game by his standards but an excellent performance for any other tight end in the league. He snagged four receptions for 26 yards and a touchdown in the Eagles victory over the Jaguars. The Eagles, after a stunning 2017 season, have slowed down considerably, which makes another playoff appearance questionable for the Stanford star.

In the game for the Jaguars, Quenton Meeks had his first career start at cornerback after being called up from the practice squad. Injuries to the Jaguars’ defensive backs decimated their depth, letting Meeks hit the field on the outside, opposite star Jalen Ramsey. Meeks had three tackles and was targeted heavily by Carson Wentz. For a rookie in his first start, he performed admirably given the challenge.

In other news, the Arizona Cardinals (2-7) embarrassed cornerback Richard Sherman and the San Francisco 49ers (1-7). Sherman himself had a great game, finding himself seven tackles and one sack. After the game, Sherman explained, “We’re fighting. Unfortunately, we’re just not getting the results.” The loss of 49ers’ quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo dismantled the 49ers’ offense, leaving a bitter taste in the mouth of the Stanford alum.

Speaking of a “bitter-taste,” yesterday marked the NFL trade-deadline, where stars across the league pledged allegiance to a new city and team. Ty Montgomery, former running back for the Green Bay Packers and Stanford Cardinal, packs his bags as he begins a new journey with the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens gave up a seventh round pick for Montgomery as tensions between the Packers and Montgomery were at an all-time high. After only playing for six snaps against the LA Rams this past Sunday, Montgomery admitted to feeling “unsure” about his role with the Packers. His fumble clinched the game for the Rams, which seemed to be the last straw for his relationship with the team. Montgomery’s first game with his new team is this Sunday as the Ravens (4-4) face off against their division rival Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2-1).

Stanford graduates across the NFL definitely had different experiences. Some excelled, some were average and some are ready to start anew.

 

Contact Julio Ballista at juliob ‘at’ stanford.edu

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