Stanford in the NFL: Luck felled by old teammate; old rivalries reignite

Sept. 17, 2014, 2:30 p.m.

Throughout his college career, former Stanford tight end Zach Ertz ’13 developed a knack for making extremely clutch receptions that often swung the game in the Card’s favor.

On Monday Night Football, Ertz did it again, snagging a 24 yard reception to set up a game-winning field goal for his Philadelphia Eagles. This time around, however, the man responsible for delivering many of those passes to Ertz in college could only watch in anguish from the opposing sideline.

As Andrew Luck ’12 stood on the wrong side of Ertz’s most recent late-game heroism, his Indianapolis Colts fell to the Eagles 30-27 after squandering a 14-point lead. Luck finished the game 20-for-34 for 172 yards with three touchdowns and an interception, which came on a controversial no-holding call late in the quarter. Ertz picked up 86 yards on four receptions while his fellow “Tree Amigo” Coby Fleener notched one reception for 13 yards for the Colts.

The defeat marked the first time since 2009 that an Andrew Luck-led team had lost consecutive games.

With the loss, the Colts fell to 0-2 while the Eagles improved to 2-0.


Following an outstanding performance in last season’s Super Bowl and in week 1 against the Green Bay Packers, the Seattle Seahawks and star cornerback Richard Sherman appeared to reach a new level of dominance rarely seen in the NFL; however, with one nearly flawless performance from Philip Rivers and the emergence of a vintage Antonio Gates, the San Diego Chargers defeated the reigning Super Bowl champs 30-21 in Qualcomm Stadium.

The game also saw an NFL rendition of the Cal-Stanford rivalry with Sherman spending a significant amount of time covering Chargers receiver Keenan Allen, a former Golden Bear. While speaking to members of the media, Allen claimed that Sherman had been “exposed” during the game. Overall, Allen finished with five receptions for 55 yards.

Sherman, meanwhile, elected not to speak with the media following the Seahawks’ loss, but couldn’t keep his silence for long:

Former Stanford receiver Doug Baldwin added three receptions for 35 yards as the Seahawks fell to 1-1, the same record as San Diego.


Sunday was also a big day for the San Francisco 49ers, who played their first regular-season game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, 13 miles away from Stanford Stadium. The christening of the new stadium did not end well for the Niners, who surrendered three second-half touchdowns in a 28-20 loss to the Chicago Bears. Former Stanford All-American offensive lineman Jonathan Martin picked up his second consecutive start at right tackle and performed well for most of the game, but gave up two sacks to Bears defensive end Willie Young on San Francisco’s last offensive drive.

Following the game, the 49ers also released linebacker Shayne Skov from the practice quad. After injuries to tight ends Vernon Davis and Vance McDonald, the Niners elected to sign tight end Xavier Grimble to the practice squad and cut Skov to open a spot.

After signing with the 49ers and his former Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh as an undrafted free agent, Skov failed to make the 53-man roster after the team’s final round of cuts. Nevertheless, San Francisco signed Skov to their practice squad, where he remained until Monday.

Once considered a top linebacker prospect, Skov has been fighting an uphill battle following a devastating knee injury in his junior year at Stanford. Following his release, Skov is now free to sign with any NFL roster or practice squad.

Skov’s former teammate, outside linebacker Chase Thomas — another highly decorated Stanford player who went undrafted — remains on the Niners’ practice squad.

Contact Vihan Lakshman at vihan ‘at’

Vihan Lakshman's journey at The Stanford Daily came full-circle as he began his career as a football beat writer and now closes his time on The Farm in the same role. In between, he has served as an Opinions columnist and desk editor, a beat writer for Stanford baseball, and as a member of The Daily's Editorial Board. Vihan completed his undergraduate degree in Mathematical and Computational Science in 2016, and is currently pursuing a master's in Computational Mathematics. He also worked as a color commentator on KZSU football broadcasts during the 2015 season. To contact him, please send an email to vihan 'at'

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