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Cal in the NFL: Week 17

Onto the playoffs!

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

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.

  • A rough year for Aaron Rodgers ended the only way it could have possibly ended: an injury. Rodgers had completed three of five passes for 26 yards before going down in his Week 17 match-up against the Detroit Lions. The Packers missed him dearly, as they proceeded to get shut out by a score of 31-0 to finish the season with a 6-9-1 record, the Packers’ worst since Rodgers’ first year as a starter in 2008. We hope for a bounce-back 2019 season under whoever the Packers hire to replace Mike McCarthy.
  • In an effort to rest him for the playoffs, the Saints only played Cameron Jordan in 44.4% of their defensive snaps. Jordan made only one tackle with the limited playing time as the Saints fell to the Panthers in a meaningless game by a score of 33-14. The Saints will play the winner of the Seahawks-Cowboys game in the divisional round of the playoffs.
  • Tyson Alualu and the Pittsburgh Steelers took care of business against the Cincinnati Bengals in their Week 17 match-up, winning a close game by a score of 16-13. Alualu had two tackles in the win. Unfortunately, they also needed to Browns to beat the Ravens, which they failed to do, in order to score a spot in the playoffs.

The Offensive Line

The weekly report from our two favorite NFL offensive linemen.

  • Alex Mack and the Atlanta Falcons were able to finish their season strong with a third consecutive win, this time by a score of 34-32 over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The win caps off a disappointing 7-9 season for the Falcons, who have already fired all three of their coordinators in hopes of getting back to the playoffs next season.
  • Mitchell Schwartz and the Kansas City Chiefs were as strong as ever in an easy 35-3 win over the lowly Oakland Raiders. The Chiefs offense will be very fun to watch when they play the winner of the Ravens-Chargers game in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Solid Performances

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

  • The Bills finished their season on a high by beating the Miami Dolphins by a score of 42-17. Lorenzo Alexander picked up five tackles in the win. The aging Alexander (36) becomes a free agent this off-season, so we will anxiously await seeing if and where he will be playing in 2019.
  • Keenan Allen had his usual solid game, catching four of seven targets for 64 yards in a 23-9 win over the Broncos. Allen has cooled off as of late after his five-week touchdown streak, but he will undoubtedly be a huge part in determining the success of the Chargers’ playoff run. They will face a tough match-up against one of the NFL’s best defensive in the Baltimore Ravens for their wildcard playoff game.
  • On the defensive side of the Chargers’ win over the Broncos, Brandon Mebane picked up three tackles to top off another great season. Mebane finishes the season with 41 tackles in just 12 games played, his most tackles in a season since 2013 (45), a season in which he played all 16 games.
  • Hardy Nickerson finished his breakout sophomore season by recording three tackles despite losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Nickerson played in all 16 games for the Bengals and more than tripled his tackle numbers from his rookie season. He has an exciting NFL career in front of him.
  • Bryan Anger wrapped up another solid season with another solid game, punting four times for an average of 50.5 yards/punt with one punt inside the 20 in the Buccaneers loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
  • Jared Goff played three quarters of a tune-up 48-32 win over the San Francisco 49ers, completing 15 of 26 passes for 199 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Goff wasn’t asked to do much, but looked fantastic when he did throw the ball. We hope that he can take this momentum into the playoffs, where he and the Rams will face the winner of the Eagles-Bears game in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Player of the Week

  • C.J. Anderson, RB, Los Angeles Rams

Anderson was brilliant for the second consecutive week while filling in for injured Rams star running back Todd Gurley, carrying the ball 23 times for 132 yards and a touchdown in the Rams’ win over the 49ers. Anderson also added three catches for 22 yards. Despite his great performances in the past two weeks, he is likely to take a minimal backup role to Todd Gurley once the playoffs begin. However, his strong play as of late should definitely help him land a solid role on a new team next season.

Week 17 In Recap

  • Our Cal may players had an outstanding week individually, but their teams as a whole had a lackluster week, combining to go 8-4.
  • The average scores of those games just barely were against us as well, giving us a 27-22 loss.

Season Record: 121–98–2

Weekly W/L Record: 10-4-3

Pythagorean Win-Loss: 13–4

Cal in the Playoffs

Lastly, I want to congratulate the following players for making an appearance in the NFL Playoffs:

  • Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
  • Brandon Mebane, DT, Los Angeles Chargers
  • Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams
  • C.J. Anderson, RB, Los Angeles Rams
  • L.P. Ladouceur, LS, Dallas Cowboys
  • Richard Rodgers, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
  • Cameron Jordan, DE, New Orleans Saints
  • Mitchell Schwartz, RT, Kansas City Chiefs

Best of luck to them in the coming weeks!