Stanford in the NFL, Week 9: McCaffrey shines in return, another stellar performance from Martinez

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It didn’t take long for Christian McCaffrey to remind the NFL (and fantasy owners) why he is the highest-paid running back in the league.

After missing the last six weeks with a high ankle sprain, the former Cardinal running back made his presence felt immediately on Sunday, notching a seven-yard reception on the first play from scrimmage and capping off that drive with a nine-yard receiving touchdown.

The Carolina Panthers superstar finished with 69 yards on the ground, 82 receiving yards and two touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a four-touchdown performance from Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The final score was 33-31 and the Panthers fell to 3-6 on the year. 

McCaffrey’s bad injury luck continued, as he was pulled from the game on the Panthers’ final drive and is listed as day-to-day with a right shoulder injury. 

Elsewhere offensively, Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz ’18 recorded four receptions for 48 yards as the Cowboys came up just short of knocking off the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers.

Tight end Kaden Smith ’20 caught an 8-yard pass in a 23-20 win for his New York Giants but left midway through the game due to a concussion.

On the defensive side of the ball, Smith’s teammate, linebacker Blake Martinez ’16, put together another stellar performance on Sunday. Martinez led the Giants in tackles with 10 and registered an interception off Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith late in the second quarter.

The 2016 fourth-round pick now leads the NFL in total tackles with 92.

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Bobby Okereke ’18 also put on an impressive performance on Sunday, recording nine tackles and a fumble recovery. Despite his efforts, the Colts fell 24-10 to the Baltimore Ravens.

Other standout defensive performances came from two Houston Texans teammates, safety Justin Reid ’18 and linebacker Brennan Scarlett ’15, who registered six and three tackles, respectively. The Texans defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-25, but Scarlett suffered a forearm injury and has been placed on injured reserve.

Finally, defensive end Josh Mauro ’12 recorded his first tackle of the season — which also happened to be a sack — after being signed by the Arizona Cardinals from the Jaguars practice squad. Mauro was previously with Arizona from 2014-17.

Contact Jibriel Taha at jtaha ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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Jibriel Taha ’24 is a staff writer for the sports section. He is from Malibu, California and studies economics and political science. In his free time, he enjoys watching football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and tennis. He also umpires and referees youth sports. Contact him at jtaha ‘at’ stanford.edu.