Stanford in the NFL Week 9: Blake Martinez breaks out

Nov. 9, 2022, 8:24 p.m.

Zach Ertz ‘13 scored his fourth touchdown of the season, catching five of eight targets for 40 yards. Even with Deandre Hopkins, Rondale Moore and James Conner on the field, Zach Ertz placed second in overall receiving yards, and he’ll look to keep his production up in the Cardinal’s Week 10 matchup against the Rams. Ertz’s touchdown came with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, where he caught a six-yard pass from Kyler Murray to put the Arizona Cardinals within a field goal of the Seahawks. But, the Seahawks scored on their final drive of the game, winning 31-21.

Coming into Week 9, the Tennessee Titans had a single game plan: get the ball to running back Derrick Henry. Throughout the game, Henry carried the ball 17 times for 156 yards, with a long of 51 yards. Tennessee Titans quarterback Malik Willis completed just five of 16 passes, two of which were caught by tight end Austin Hooper ‘16. Hooper recorded two receptions for 34 yards in Sunday’s 20-17 overtime loss to the Chiefs. And as Malik Willis said post game in Week 8 regarding the Titans run game, “if they can’t stop the run, why would we not run it?” We will have to wait and see if the Titans develop their pass game or if Hooper will continue to remain a non-factor during games.

Seahawks tight end Colby Parkinson ‘20 saw a season-high 29 offensive snaps, catching both of his targets for a total of six yards. Through nine weeks, he has 12 catches for 165 yards and one touchdown. In the coming weeks and next season, we hope he can see more playing time and improve his production. Currently, he is the third-string tight end, behind Will Dissly and Noah Fant.

After Davis Mills ‘21 completed 28 of 41 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns in Week 7, we were hoping for Mills to carry this momentum into the rest of the season. However, Mills barely reached half of that total this week. In the Texans’ 29-17 loss to the Eagles, Mills completed 13 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns. We must still give credit to Mills for a strong performance without his offensive threats in Brandin Cook and Nico Collins, both who were out with injuries in Week 9. However, Mills also threw two interceptions, one of which was at the three-yard line in the fourth quarter with two minutes remaining and would have brought the Texans within one touchdown of the Eagles. Mills now has tossed four interceptions in the last three games, so we hope with some of his offensive threats back in week 10, he will repeat the week 7 performance he had.

Bengals wide receiver Trenton Irwin ‘18 secured an active roster position in the team’s  game against the Carolina Panthers, and in 36 snaps played, he caught his only target for 14 yards. He moved up from the practice squad to replace star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, who was out with a hip injury. However, NFL’s official transaction log shows that Irwin has been reverted to the practice squad. This is likely because Ja’Marr Chase is to return in the Bengals Week 11 matchup with the Steelers (Week 10 is a bye week for the Bengals). Unfortunately, Irwin may not suit up for Cincinnati for the rest of the season.

Seahawks wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside ‘18 was cut from the practice squad. He is currently a free agent and is looking for opportunities elsewhere. Hopefully he will be able to secure a deal with another team in the coming weeks.

On special teams, Patriots Punter Jake Bailey ‘19 recorded seven punts for an average of 38.7 yards and a total of 271 yards, with one landing inside the 20. 

Broncos offensive tackle Cameron Fleming ‘14 suffered an injury to his quadriceps against the Jets during Week 7, and he is set to return Nov. 13 against the Titans. On Sept. 13, Patriots running back Ty Montgomery ‘15 was placed on injured reserve with a right knee injury and was expected to return in Week 6, but now the estimated return has been moved to Nov. 20.

Offensive tackles Nate Herbig ‘19 allowed two sacks to Jets quarterback Zach Wilson and Andrus Peat ‘15 allowed four sacks to Saints quarterback Andy Dalton through all snaps played.

On the defensive side, Raiders linebacker Blake Martines had a breakout game during Sunday’s 27-20 loss to the Jaguars. After playing less than 20 snaps through each game this season and never recording more than four tackles, Martinez recorded 11 tackles, eight of which were solo, and played 62 of the 68 defensive snaps for the Raiders. With such a strong performance, it is reported that Martinez will see similar playing time as the Raiders host Indianapolis in Week 10.

Colts linebacker Bobby Okereke ‘19 saw a season low of 28 snaps this week. Last week, he only played in 37 snaps, and his playing time continues to decrease. For example, in Week 5 he played a total of 70 snaps and in Week 6 and Week 7 he played over 50 snaps each. Still, Okereke’s production remains high. He recorded 4 tackles, all solo, in the Colts 26 – 3 loss to the Patriots. And even as Colts veteran linebacker Shaquille Leonard returns from injury, we are likely to see high production from Okereke for the rest of the season.

Besides these performances, Harrison Phillips ‘18, defensive tackle for the Vikings, played a total of 41 snaps against the Washington Commanders, recording one solo tackle and three assisted tackles. Chiefs safety Justin Reid ‘18 recorded three tackles, all solo, in a total of 47 snaps against the Titans. Washington Commanders defensive end Casey Toolhill ‘19 recorded three tackles through 17 snaps, two being solo tackles. Further, rookie defensive tackle Thomas Booker ‘22 recorded two solo tackles and two assists for the Texans through 17 snaps.

Lastly, Saints cornerback Paulson Adebo ’21 also recorded three tackles in 65 defensive snaps, all solo, on Sunday’s 27-13 loss to the Ravens. This was a surprising performance, especially because Adebo had recorded eight tackles the week before. And with cornerback Marshon Lattimore out against the Ravens, Adebo’s production was set to be increased.

Panthers defensive end Henry Anderson ‘15 was also inactive this week due to illness. He is likely to return on Nov. 27 against the Denver Broncos.

Let’s hope for a better week and healthy season for all our fellow Cardinal in the NFL. GO STANFORD!

Amsal Ali is a writer for the sports section. He is from Los Angeles and studies economics, political science and data science. His favorite sports are basketball, football, soccer and water polo. Contact him at [email protected].

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