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Cal in the NFL: Aaron Rodgers connects with Richard Rodgers on Hail Mary

The Cal connection came up big for the Packers when they need a victory in the worst way.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Week 13 of the NFL season was a crazy one, so let's get straight to what happened with Cal's representatives in the NFL.

Lorenzo Alexander: LB, Oakland Raiders (5-7)

Alexander was one of the Raiders team captains during their 34-20 loss to the surging Kansas City Chiefs. Alexander did not record any statistics.

Tyson Alualu: DT, Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8)

Alualu had his most productive game of the season during the Jaguars 42-39 loss to the Tennessee Titans. The former top 10 pick notched a 16-yard reception to go along with two tackles for loss and a sack.

The Jaguars SBNation site Big Cat Country has a cool article which breaks down Alualu's 16-yard reception and how he has become a surprising short yardage weapon for the team this season.

It has been five years since the Jaguars reached for Cal defensive tackle Tyson Alualu at 10th overall in the 2010 NFL Draft. Since then, Alualu has performed somewhat steadily in his rotational DT position but has failed to validate his high draft selection.

This season, however, Alualu has transformed into a multi-dimensional threat.

It's not often that you see a defensive lineman lined up behind your franchise quarterback, much less running routes and breaking tackles on his way to first downs. But over time, Alualu has turned into a significant component of the Jaguars' short-yardage backfield.

It's definitely not an orthodox way of doing things, but it's something the Jaguars have practiced ever since offensive coordinator Greg Olson cut the fullback position out of his offensive roster. In short-yardage situations, big Tyson Alualu enters the game at FB.

Most of the time, Tyson simply uses his size to pave the way for his halfback. Sometimes, more is asked of Tyson.

Alualu has been targeted three times in the passing game this season -- less than wide receiver Allen Robinson but more than Justin Blackmon. Alualu has totaled two receptions out of the backfield, his most recent arriving in the first quarter of a 42-39 loss to Tennessee on Sunday.

On third and one from his own 34-yard line, Alualu trotted out onto the field with his offense. The formation and personnel screamed run, but the Jaguars had something else up their sleeve.

They go on to explain the x's and o's of his reception with pictures. Check it out.

C.J. Anderson: RB, Denver Broncos (10-2)

Though the Broncos beat the San Diego Chargers 17-3, Anderson was unable to replicate last week's sensational performance against the New England Patriots.

He carried the ball only seven times for 42 yards to go along with one reception for 12 yards. Here is video of a 22-yard run during the early portions of the Chargers game.

Anderson left the game with an ankle injury and did not practice Wednesday. His status for Sunday's game is uncertain.

Bryan Anger: P, Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8)

For a game that ended with a 42-39 loss to the Titans, Anger had a monster game. He punted three times for an average of 53.3 yards per punt (43 net) with a long of 58-yards.

Chris Conte: S, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6)

Conte notched four tackles during the Buccaneers 23-19 win against the slumping Atlanta Falcons. This completed a season sweep of the Falcons just one season after they were thoroughly embarrassed by them.

Brian De La Puente: OL, Washington Redskins (5-7)

De La Puente was inactive this week for the Redskins.

DeSean Jackson: WR, Washington Redskins (5-7)

Jackson had a wild game during the Redskins 19-16 loss on Monday Night Football to the Dallas Cowboys. Jackson fielded a punt during the fourth quarter while the game was tied 9-9 and inexplicably ran backwards from about the 25-yardline to the 2-yardline. The Cowboys' punter Chris Jones recovered the fumble and two plays later they scored the go-ahead touchdown by way of a Darren McFadden rush.

A big kick return and a facemask penalty set the Redskins up with a good shot to score the tying touchdown before the end of regulation. Jackson did just that, but Dan Bailey would eventually kick a 54-yard field goal to win the game for the Cowboys.

The Redskins are 5-7, along with the Eagles and Giants, but are still in first place. The Cowboys are 4-8 and just one game back of first place while also holding the best division record at the moment.

Here is what Jackson had to say after the game (Pro Football Talk):

“Rivalry game. Trying to do any and everything to pull out a victory and we just fell on the short end of the stick this time. Very frustrating,” Jackson said, via CSN Washington. “A lot rode on this game and we knew what we had at stake. Personally, very frustrated. I’m going to take that one on my chin and I’m a veteran in this league and I know I need to protect the ball and it just got away from me. It’s the nature of the game. I feel like I’m a big threat in this league and I’ve been proving that for years to come. Just one of them things where just trying to make a play for my team, so once again, like I said, I’ve got to take it on the chin, a fumble.”

Marvin Jones: WR, Cincinnati Bengals (10-2)

Jones caught five passes for 55 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown, during the Bengals 37-3 win against the Cleveland Browns.

Cameron Jordan: DE, New Orleans Saints (4-8)

Jordan had a decent game against the Carolina Panthers, though they lost 41-38. Jordan notched six tackles, one sack, one tackle for a loss and one quarterback hit.

Jordan has registered eight sacks this season.

Mychal Kendricks: LB, Philadelphia Eagles (5-7)

What happened at Gillette Stadium? The Eagles pulled off a massive upset by defeating the Patriots 35-28 ON THE ROAD.

Terrible loss for the Patriots, but a win that could provide the Eagles with some momentum down the stretch as they look to win the NFC East.

Kendricks recorded five tackles to go along with one pass breakup and one tackle for a loss.

L.P. Ladouceur: LS, Dallas Cowboys (4-8)

Ladouceur played in his 170th consecutive game and was the long snapper, once again, for all of the Cowboys punts and field goals.

Legitimately, I have never seen him produce a bad snap. He is an incredible long snapper and extremely valuable to the Cowboys.

Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey won NFC Special Teams Player of the Week and he gave credit to his long snapper and holder (Star-Telegram):

Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey gave credit to his long snapper, L.P. Ladouceur, and his holder, Chris Jones, for winning him the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week award.

“I think it’s just a credit to the whole operation,” Bailey said Wednesday. “I’ve got L.P. and Chris, and then everybody blocking. It just makes my job a lot easier. The comfort level, the trust level we all have to go out there and execute every time just makes it easier. I couldn’t do it without those guys. It’s a lot of fun to go out there and do it.”

But Ladouceur and Jones might be expecting more than a pat on the back. Like jewelry or Gucci travel bag.

“I’ll think of something, but I don’t know that it’s going to be that expensive,” said Bailey, in the second year of a seven-year, $22.5 million deal. “Maybe like a steak dinner or something. I don’t know. We’ll see.”

Read more here:

Alex Mack: C, Cleveland Browns (2-10)

Mack started once again for the Browns during yet another loss, this time to the Bengals.

Mack earned a great honor when he was voted by his teammates as the recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award for the 2015 season.


Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack had a long road ahead of him when he suffered a broken leg in a 31-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers last October, but the two-time Pro Bowler fought hard to be back with his teammates when the players reported for training camp this past summer.

Mack not only returned for the start of training camp, but also, has played every offensive snap this season, and for that dedication and commitment in the face of adversity, his Browns teammates honored him as the winner of the 2015 Ed Block Courage Award.

"I'm pretty happy to win the Ed Block Courage Award," Mack said after Thursday's practice. "It is voted on by my peers for coming back from an injury and working hard. It was tough here last year, so it feels good to come back and be recognized.

"I always try to work the goal of getting better every day. You show up every day. It is your job. You work hard to try to improve and make this time worthwhile. It was a lot of work coming back from not being able to walk to getting the ankle and the leg feeling good again all offseason and all preseason. It has come a long way."

The Ed Block Courage Award is named after the former head athletic trainer of the Baltimore Colts, and goes annually to a player from each of the NFL's 32 teams who best exemplifies the characteristics of courage, compassion, commitment and community.

Chris McCain: LB, Miami Dolphins (5-7)

McCain was inactive during the Dolphins 15-13 win against the Baltimore Ravens.

Brandon Mebane: DT, Seattle Seahawks (7-5)

Mebane contributed one quarterback hit to the Seahawks complete annihilation of the Minnesota Vikings 35-7. Don't look now, but the Seahawks are getting hot as the playoffs are approaching.

Ron Rivera: HC, Carolina Panthers (12-0)

Rivera's Panthers outlasted the Saints during a 41-38 shootout in the Big Easy. Rivera's squad are only the ninth team in NFL history to start a season 12-0.

Aaron Rodgers: QB, Green Bay Packers (8-4)

Rodgers and the Packers had to win their game against the Detroit Lions. A loss would have been their fifth in six games, but they pulled off a miracle.

The Packers pulled off the largest comeback in the history of the Lions-Packers rivalry thanks to a 61-yard Hail Mary to Richard Rodgers to win the game 27-23.

The Packers are now first place in the NFC North due to the Vikings losing to the Seahawks.

Rodgers completed 24 of 36 passes with two touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for another touchdown.

Here is video of the Hail Mary, various radio calls of the Hail Mary and exclusive camera angles of the Hail Mary from NFL Films.

Richard Rodgers: TE, Green Bay Packers (8-4)

Rodgers had a career game against the Lions. He caught eight passes for 146 yards and one touchdown. The receptions and yards are both career highs.

Richard Rodgers Sr. : Assistant Defensive Backs Coach, Carolina Panthers (12-0)

The Panthers keep rolling along and winning games. They are now 12-0.

Jeremy Ross: WR, Oakland Raiders (5-7)

Ross contributed four kick returns for 88 yards and three punt returns for 21 yards.

Mitchell Schwartz: OT, Cleveland Browns (2-10)

Schwartz made it a perfect 60 for 60 in starts to begin his career. He has started every possible game since he was drafted.

Craig Stevens: TE, Tennessee Titans (3-9)

Stevens caught another touchdown pass! It was his second in as many games and was a 10-yard touchdown. He finished the game with two receptions for 11 yards.

Nick Sundberg: LS, Washington Redskins (5-7)

Sundberg once again took care of the long snapping for the Redskins during their loss to the Cowboys.

Shane Vereen: RB, New York Giants (5-7)

Vereen carried the ball four times for 13 yards and added two catches for seven yards as the Giants coughed up yet another game they were leading during the final two minutes of the game.

This time it was a 23-20 overtime loss to the New York Jets, their first regular season loss to the Jets since 1993.

Steve Williams: CB, San Diego Chargers (3-9)

Williams notched three tackles during the Chargers 17-3 loss to the Denver Broncos.

Check back next week to see what happened during Week 14 of the NFL season.