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Cal in the NFL: Week 15 (+Pro Bowl!)

Let’s give a big Cal welcome to our newest Bear in the NFL!

NFL: Green Bay Packers-Training Camp Jim Matthews-USA TODAY Sports

As the NFL gears up for the Pro Bowl, it warms the shattered little remnants of my heart to see the blue and gold of the California Golden Bears all over the roster.

The beloved Bears on the roster are Keenan Allen, Jared Goff, Cameron Jordan, Alex Mack, and Aaron Rodgers.

And by placing five players on the roster, the Golden Bears and the LSU Tigers are tied for the schools with the most players in this year’s Pro Bowl.

Good luck to all of our Bears!

And now to your regularly scheduled program.

Our newest Bear in the NFL!

James Looney finally made his NFL debut on Sunday.

  • Another one! While many of us are (and rightly so) focusing on the successes of our five Bears in the Pro Bowl, but it is just as important that we added another Bear to our family this past week. I know he was drafted and has been on the active roster for a few weeks now, but this past week was his NFL debut! He didn’t record any stats, but we hope that this can be the beginning of a very long and successful career for Looney.

Well, They Played

These guys will show up on the stat sheet but may have not had the greatest of contributions in their respective games.

  • Tyson Alualu played his usual small but meaningful role in a 17-10 win over the New England Patriots, recording two total tackles.
  • After being absent from the box scores for the last three weeks, Maurice Harris made a small contribution by catching one of two targets for 13 yards in a 16-13 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Offensive Line

The weekly report from our two favorite NFL offensive linemen.

  • That’s more like it! After five straight losses, the Atlanta Falcons offense returned to form in a 40-14 win over the lowly Arizona Cardinals. Alex Mack and the rest of the Falcons’ offensive line paved the way for 435 yards offensively on 6.7 yards/play.
  • First, let’s talk about how Mitchell Schwartz was one of the biggest Pro Bowl snubs this year. Despite being Pro Football Focus’ top-ranked right tackle and fourth-ranked offensive lineman overall this season, his teammate Eric Fisher was selected over him. *sigh*

With that out of the way, this past week wasn’t the best for week for the Chiefs offense, scoring (only?) 28 points on 294 offensive yards in a crushing 29-28 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Chargers.

Solid Performances

Some solid, albeit unspectacular, performances from our former Bears.

  • Despite breaking his three-week streak of having two sacks, Cameron Jordan had another solid week. He recorded four tackles as the Saints defense put up another dominant defensive performance, allowing just nine points in a 12-9 win over the Carolina Panthers.

The only defensive blemish on the day for the Saints was allowing a 50-yard touchdown pass from Panthers’ quarterback Christian McCaffrey.

  • Bryan Anger had his usual solid punting performance, punting four times for an average of 40.8 yards/punt with one touchback and one punt inside the 20-yard line. Despite Anger’s relative success, his Buccaneers lost by a score of 20-12 to the Baltimore Ravens.
  • Hardy Nickerson had another solid stat-line in what is turning out to be a breakout season for the second-year play, recording four tackles in a 30-16 win over the Oakland Raiders.
  • Aaron Rodgers was able to better than most while facing the elite Chicago Bears defense (what is it with Bears and defense nowadays?), completing 25 of 42 attempts for 274 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. Despite the solid effort from Rodgers, the Packers fell short, losing by a score of 24-17.
  • The struggles continued for Jared Goff, and he had an extremely up and down performance in a surprising 30-23 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Goff’s stats don’t look awful, as he completed 35 of 53 attempts for 339 yards and no touchdowns, but he was responsible for two costly turnovers that put the Rams in a hole that Goff was not able to get them out of. Goff will look to rebound in Week 16 against the Arizona Cardinals, hoping to recapture his early season success prior to beginning the Rams’ playoff run.

Player of the Week

There weren’t too many huge performances from our Bears this week, but that doesn’t make Alexander any less deserving of being the Player of the Week. Alexander and the Bills defense were able to shut down the Lions’ offense en route to a 14-13 win. Alexander had a great all-around game, making six tackles (two tackles for loss) and even getting one pass deflection. It has definitely been great to see the now 35-year-old find a consistent role in the Bills defense this past few years.

Week 15 In Recap

  • Our Cal may players had a lackluster week individually, but their teams as whole did a bit better, combining to go 6-5.
  • The average scores of those games favored us as well, giving us a 21-18 loss.

Season Record: 108–86–2

Weekly W/L Record: 9-3-3

Pythagorean Win-Loss: 12–3