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Cal in the NFL: Week 16

A fantastic individual week for our Bears.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at New York Jets Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

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.

  • DeSean Jackson played a minimal role in a 27-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, catching one pass for 4 yards as well as taking his only rush for 4 yards. Jackson has also become frustrated with the Buccaneers offensive playcalling as well as the quarterback play from Jameis Winston, prompting him to ask for a trade following the end of this season.
  • Bryan Anger punted two times for an average of 51 yards/punt in the above loss to the Cowboys.
  • Tyson Alualu managed to record a single tackle in a 31-28 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
  • On the winning side of the Steelers-Saints game, Cameron Jordan was held to just two tackles.

The Offensive Line

The weekly report from our two favorite NFL offensive linemen.

  • Alex Mack and the Atlanta Falcons continued their late-season offensive resurgence, gaining 427 total yards in a 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers.
  • The Kansas City Chiefs suffered a surprising second consecutive loss, this time at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks. Mitchell Schwartz and the Chiefs offensive line played a solid game, only allowing one sack, as the Chiefs offense (419 total yards) did all they could before falling just short by a score of 38-31.

Solid Performances

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

  • Hardy Nickerson had himself another solid game, recording five tackles in a 26-18 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
  • Keenan Allen was able to return from injury in Week 16 and had a decent game (by his standards), catching five of eight targets for 58 receiving yards. His Los Angeles Chargers would end up losing the game by a score of 22-10 to the Baltimore Ravens.
  • On the defensive side of the Chargers’ loss, Brandon Mebane had yet another great game, recording six tackles. Mebane, who has had his most tackles in a season since 2013 (despite only playing 11 games this season), will need five tackles in Week 17 in order to produce his highest tackles/game in a single season of his entire career.
  • Jared Goff had a nice bounceback game in a Week 16 tuneup against the Arizona Cardinals, completing 19/24 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown. Goff didn’t throw any interceptions, but did lose a fumble early in the game. Hopefully he can build off this week in order to gain some momentum going into the playoffs.

Stars of the Week

Most weeks, these players may have won the Player of the Week, but not this week...

  • Welcome back, CJ Anderson! Anderson played second fiddle to Christian McCaffrey to begin the season before bouncing around a bit only to end up as an injury replacement for Rams’ star running back Todd Gurley. In Gurley’s absence, Anderson shined, taking 20 carries for 167 yards and a touchdown.
  • Wow! Despite suffering a 24-12 loss to the New England Patriots, Lorenzo Alexander had the best defensive game of any Cal player this season, grabbing an interception and recording 15(!) tackles. Alexander now needs eight tackles in the season finale in order to match his career high season-long total of 76 that he set in 2016.

Player of the Week

Everyone, this is the Aaron Rodgers we all know and love.

After four straight games of under 300 passing yards, Rodgers bounced back in huge fashion against the New York Jets. Down 35-20 heading into the fourth quarter, Rodgers led an epic comeback to force the game into overtime, where he completed a 16-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams to win the game.

Rodgers completed 37 of 55 passes on the game, throwing for 442 yards with two touchdowns, rushing five times for 32 yards and another two touchdowns, all while playing turnover-free football. Boy, am I excited for next season to see what Rodgers can do under whatever new coach the Packers end up hiring. And I am sure that the future coach of the Packers watched this game with a smile on his face thinking the exact same thing.

Week 16 In Recap

  • Our Cal may players had an outstanding week individually, but their teams as a whole had a lackluster week, combining to go 5-8.
  • The average scores of those games just barely were against us as well, giving us a 24-23 loss.

Season Record: 113–94–2

Weekly W/L Record: 9-4-3

Pythagorean Win-Loss: 12–4