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Cal in the NFL: 12 former Golden Bears are bound for the Playoffs

Former Bears in the playoffs include 10 players and two coaches.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The week 17 wrap will begin with those Golden Bears who will feature in the NFL Playoffs this weekend.

C.J. Anderson: RB, Denver Broncos (12-4)

Anderson toted the rock 15 times, tied for a season-high, for 95 yards and one touchdown as the Broncos beat the San Diego Chargers 27-20 to clinch the number one seed in the AFC.

Anderson's regular season comes to a close with 152 rushes for 720 yards and five touchdowns.

By virtue of being the top seed in the AFC, the Broncos have earned a bye into the Divisional Round of the Playoffs.

SBNation blog Mile High Report gave Anderson a game ball for his performance against the Chargers.

My game ball goes to CJ Anderson. Yes, I know he fumbled (but it was only the second time he had lost a fumble in the NFL), but he ran really effectively and he, combined with Ronnie Hillman, sparked the offense in the second half. CJ and Ronnie combined for 212 yards on 30 carries (7.1 ypc) and two touchdowns. Our running game took over in the second half and CJ was the main reason. He also had the game-clinching first down run on 3rd and 7 that was full-beast mode.

For the game we finished with 15 runs of 5 yards or longer. Many times when you see a team roll up 200+ yards on the ground they will have a long (50+ yard) run as part of that. Our running game did it but consistently hitting for 5+. We had five runs of longer than 15 yards. We had six runs stopped for negative yardage or no gain, but only one of those happened in the second half. Part of that success was due to Peyton audibling to a run that would attack the weakness of the defense and part of that was Tyler Polumbus not getting owned like Michael Schofield was during the first half. - Joe Mahoney

Brian de la Puente (OL), Nick Sundberg (LS) and DeSean Jackson (WR): Washington Redskins (9-7)

De la Puente played in his fifth game of the season, but did not record any statistics during their 34-23 victory against the Dallas Cowboys.

Sundberg performed the long snap duties once again, while Jackson hardly saw any action and was pulled out of the game early with the rest of the offensive starters.

The Redskins won the NFC East for the second time in five years and will welcome the Green Bay Packers to FedEx Field in the Wildcard Round on Sunday.

Alex Marvez of Fox Sports recently wrote a story about why the Redskins can win the Super Bowl. Here is a snippet:

The return of wide receiver DeSean Jackson from early-season injury and emergence of tight end Jordan Reed as a difference-making tight end have helped Cousins enjoy one of the most prolific passing seasons in Redskins history. Jackson provided a deep threat the Redskins sorely lacked. He registered three scoring catches of 56-or-more yards between Weeks 10 and 16. Through the first nine games, Cousins' longest completion was 43 yards. With 87 catches for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns, Reed became the first Redskins tight end to lead the team in receiving since Jean Fugett in 1977. Wide receivers Pierre Garcon (72-777-6 TDs) and rookie Jamison Crowder (59-604-2) contributed, as well.

Chris Harper: WR, New England Patriots (12-4)

Harper caught one pass for six yards -- Harper's first career catch -- during the Patriots' 20-10 loss on the road against the Miami Dolphins.

The Patriots' loss, along with the Broncos' win, cost them the top seed in the AFC. The Patriots did, however, hold onto a bye into the Divisional Round.

Marvin Jones: WR, Cincinnati Bengals (12-4)

Jones and the AFC North Champion Bengals earned a 24-16 win on the road against the Baltimore Ravens. Jones caught five passes for 38 yards.

Jones ended the season with career-highs in catches and yards with 65 receptions for 816 yards and four touchdowns.

The Bengals play host to the Pittsburgh Steelers Saturday night in the Wildcard Round and will be without the services of their starting quarterback Andy Dalton.

Marshawn Lynch (RB), Brandon Mebane (DT): Seattle Seahawks (10-6)

Lynch was inactive for a seventh consecutive game, but appears ready to join the team in time for their playoff game this weekend against the Minnesota Vikings.

Per The News Tribune:

Marshawn Lynch has rejoined his team at its headquarters in Renton after six weeks away. The Seahawks expect their cornerstone running back to start Sunday’s playoff opener at Minnesota and perhaps carry the ball 20 times.

That was coach Pete Carroll’s upbeat update Monday.

"He’s ready to go," Carroll said. "He’s in the program, going, working ... He’s going to continue doing his workouts here today and tomorrow, and Wednesday we are going to practice him and see how he feels and how far he can take it.

"He's worked out incredibly (in) competitive situations. He physically should be ready to go, but now we've got to translate it into football .. We're just going to see if he can handle it -- and expect that he will."


Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/sports/nfl/seattle-seahawks/article53057500.html#storylink=cpy

Mebane contributed one tackle to the Seahawks' 36-6 obliteration of the Arizona Cardinals.

The Seahawks are seeded sixth in the NFC.

Ron Rivera (HC) and Richard Rodgers Sr. (Assistant Defensive Backs Coach): Carolina Panthers (15-1)

The Panthers finished their season with a 38-10 home win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to clinch the top seed in the NFC.

Rivera's squad is just the seventh team in NFL history to post a 15-1 record or better in a season.

Here are links to Rivera's postgame press conference and locker room speech.

Aaron Rodgers (QB) and Richard Rodgers (TE): Green Bay Packers (10-6)

The Packers lost what was essentially a NFC North Division Championship game 20-13 at home against the Minnesota Vikings.

Aaron Rodgers went 28-44 for 291 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed three times for 12 yards. He finishes the season completing 60.7% of his passes for 3821 passing yards, 31 touchdowns and eight interceptions. His quarterback rating of 92.7 leaves him ranked 27 in the NFL.

Richard Rodgers caught seven passes for 59 yards and one touchdown.

The Packers are seeded fifth in the NFC and will hit the road to take on the Redskins Sunday.

That's it for the Golden Bears in the Playoffs, so let's take a look at the final week of action from the rest of Cal's representation in the NFL.

Lorenzo Alexander: LB, Oakland Raiders (7-9)

Alexander had his best game of the season during the Raiders' 23-17 road loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He contributed six tackles -- a season-high -- to go along with one tackle for loss. He finishes the season with 13 tackles in 16 games.

Keenan Allen (WR) and Steve Williams (CB): San Diego Chargers: (4-12)

Allen finishes the season having played in only eight games due to a season-ending injury. His eight games were very productive, though, as he caught 67 passes for 725 yards.

Williams and the Chargers could not pull off the upset victory against the Broncos, but Williams had a phenomenal game. He contributed six tackles, one strip sack (the first of his career), a second forced fumble (a career high) and one interception. He also defended one pass and recovered a fumble for the first time in his career.

Here is video of his postgame interview.

Tyson Alualu (DE) and Bryan Anger (P): Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)

Alualu notched three tackles during the Jaguars' 30-6 loss to the Houston Texans. He finished the season with 26 tackles, two sacks, two passes defended, one fumble recovery and two catches for 19 receptions.

Anger punted five times for an average of 50.2 yards (46.6 net). His longest punt was 60 yards which means he registered at least one punt of 50 or more yards in all but one game this season.

Deandre Coleman (DT) and Chris McCain (LB): Miami Dolphins (6-10)

Coleman totaled one tackle to finish the season with four tackles in five games.

McCain's season ended quite a while ago, and he finished it playing in eight games while contributing two tackles, one sack and one forced fumble.

Chris Conte: S, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-10)

Conte did not play in the Bucs' season finale due to injury. He finished the season playing in 14 games (13 starts) and added 79 tackles, six pass breakups, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.

Justin Forsett: RB, Baltimore Ravens (5-11)

Forsett has been inactive since breaking his arm in week 11 and finished the season with 151 rushes for 641 yards in 10 games.

Cameron Jordan: DE, New Orleans Saints (7-9)

Jordan totaled four tackles, one sack and one blocked kick during their 20-17 road win against the Atlanta Falcons.

Jordan finishes the season with 45 tackles, 10 sacks, five passes defended and one forced fumble. He started all 16 games.

Here is what Jordan had to say to The Advocate about his season:

"Hopefully, it would have translated into a playoff run this year, but that’s not the case," Jordan said. "This year, that’s a great personal note for me, but it’s not enough for the team. There’s got to be more."

Mychal Kendricks: LB, Philadelphia Eagles (7-9)

Kendricks notched nine tackles, a game high, and defended one pass as the Eagles beat the New York Giants 35-30.

Kendricks' season comes to a close with 13 games started, 86 tackles, three tackles, three passes defended and one forced fumble.

L.P. Ladouceur: LS, Dallas Cowboys (4-12)

Ladouceur has played in 173 consecutive games dating back to 2005, but the Cowboys took another loss 34-23 to the Redskins.

Alex Mack (C) and Mitchell Schwartz (T): Cleveland Browns (3-13)

Mack and Schwartz, in what could be their final game as members of the Browns, took another loss. This time it was 28-12 at the hands of the Steelers.

This was Schwartz's 64th consecutive start to begin his career.

Jeremy Ross: WR, Oakland Raiders (7-9)

Ross returned one kick for 23 yards and finishes the season with 772 all-purpose yards (88 receiving, two rushing, 470 kick return yards and 214 punt return yards).

Brian Schwenke (C) and Craig Stevens (TE): Tennessee Titans (3-13)

Schwenke's season ended after five games.

Stevens' caught one pass for eight yards to finish the season with 12 catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns.

The Titans lost 34-6 to the Texans.

Shane Vereen: RB, New York Giants (6-10)

Vereen totaled 84 all-purpose yards with six receptions for 72 yards and 12 rushing yards on four carries.

Vereen finished the season with 61 rushes for 260 yards and 59 receptions for 495 yards with four touchdowns. He returned 14 kicks for 321 yards.

That ends the regular season portion of Cal in the NFL, but check back next week to see how they performed in the Wildcard Round of the Playoffs.