Stanford in the NFL: Luck leads alumni with Monday Night Football blowout

Dec. 7, 2016, 2:25 a.m.

Coming off a relatively quiet Week 12, Stanford offensive alumni stole the spotlight in Week 13, led by Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck, who returned from a concussion suffered in Week 11 to lead the Colts’ offensive clinic as they routed the Jets 41-10 on Monday Night Football. Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz, Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin and New Orleans tight end Coby Fleener were all main features in their offenses as well, each catching at least five balls.

Luck came back at full strength from his head injury to have arguably his best game of the season, going 22-for-28 for 278 yards and four touchdowns through the air, despite playing only one snap in the fourth quarter as the game was out of hand. Luck also added 26 yards rushing on just three carries. 

On the first two touchdowns, Luck displayed nimble footwork in the pocket before stepping up to find tight end Dwayne Allen wide open to walk into the endzone on 7- and 21-yard plays. The third touchdown throw to Allen came on a seam route up the middle. Luck threaded the football into tight coverage, as Jets linebacker Darron Lee had his hands right in Allen’s face, but the ball was placed so that only Allen could adjust and make the play.

Luck’s fourth touchdown strike came to wide receiver Donte Moncrief with 8:59 remaining in the third quarter. Luck danced around a little in the pocket, before stepping up hitting the diving Moncrief in the chest, just past the outstretched arm of Lee yet again.

Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz caught a team-high nine receptions for 79 yards and a score. Ertz’s second touchdown of the season came with 2:56 remaining in the third quarter as quarterback Carson Wentz was under pressure and lofted the ball up to an open Ertz in the back left corner of the end zone for the 13-yard touchdown. Ertz’s catch got the Eagles on the board, but Philadelphia could not overcome Cincinnati’s 29-0 start and dropped the game to the tune of 32-14.

Another alum with plenty of receptions, Seattle wide receiver Baldwin, had a team-high seven catches for 65 yards in the Seahawks 40-7 blowout win over the Panthers. New Orleans tight end Fleener collected five catches for 86 yards, but the Saints’ offense struggled to outpace the Lions’ offense as New Orleans fell to Detroit 28-13.

Things were quieter for Stanford pass-catchers on the Falcons. Atlanta tight end Levine Toilolo had one catch for 42 yards, while teammate and fellow tight end Austin Hooper did not catch a pass, but was targeted once. Toilolo’s catch came with 6:47 to go in the fourth quarter, keying a touchdown drive that temporarily put the Falcons up 28-27. The Falcons attempted the two-point conversion to try to go up by a field goal. On the attempt, Hooper was the intended receiver, but Chiefs safety Eric Berry jumped the route, intercepted the pass and ran it back for two points, putting the Chiefs up 29-28 for good.

In yet another multi-talented display for Green Bay running back/wideout Ty Montgomery, he gained 40 yards on six carries and added two catches for 16 yards. Montgomery also had a 39-yard kickoff return as the Packers beat the Texans 21-13 in snowy conditions in Lambeau Field.

Contributions were few on defense, but Washington defensive end Trent Murphy had three tackles, including a sack in the Redskins’ 31-23 loss to the Cardinals. The sack was Murphy’s eighth of the season.

Indianapolis defensive tackle David Parry contributed a sack, as well, in a strong defensive effort from the Colts defense in their 41-10 dismantling of the Jets. Staying on the line, Arizona defensive tackle Josh Mauro contributed two tackles, as the Cardinals beat Washington 31-23 to improve their record to 5-6-1.

In the only stats accumulated by Stanford alumni in the secondary, Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman contributed one tackle for loss and a pass defensed to the winning effort in the process of holding top Carolina receiver Kelvin Benjamin to only two catches for 18 yards.

Contact Jamie MacFarlane at jamiemac ‘at’

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