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Cal in the NFL
Courtesy: Cal Athletics
NFL Playoffs Feature 15 Golden Bear Alums
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  12/29/2013

 @CalFootball

BERKELEY – Fifteen former Cal football players are members of nine of the 12 teams that have qualified for the NFL Playoffs that begin with the league’s Wild-Card Round next Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 4-5.

Golden Bear alum Ron Rivera is the Carolina head coach, while 14 former Cal players ended the 2013 regular season Sunday on rosters of NFL playoff teams including Keenan Allen (San Diego), C.J. Anderson (Denver), Andre Carter (New England), Brian De La Puente (New Orleans), Lavelle Hawkins (San Diego), DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia), Marvin Jones (Cincinnati), Cameron Jordan (New Orleans), Mychal Kendricks (Philadelphia), Marshawn Lynch (Seattle), Brandon Mebane (Seattle), Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay) and Shane Vereen (New England). Steve Williams (San Diego) was on the reserve/injured list.

Nine of the 15 former Golden Bears are scheduled to be in action during the Wild-Card Round, while the other six are slated to make their playoff debuts Jan. 11-12 during the Divisional Round.

The first playoff game featuring former Cal football players is scheduled to take place next Saturday when No. 6 NFC seed New Orleans featuring De La Puente and Jordan visits No. 3 NFC seed and NFC East champion Philadelphia with Jackson and Kendricks in the second contest of the day on NBC at 7:10 p.m. CT.

Four Golden Bear alums are also on rosters of Sunday’s first matchup (1:05 p.m. ET) that features No. 6 AFC seed San Diego with Allen, Hawkins and Williams traveling to No. 3 AFC seed and AFC North Division champion Cincinnati featuring Jones on CBS.

In the final game of the Wild-Card Round a No. 4 NFC seed Green Bay featuring Rodgers will host No. 5 NFC seed San Francisco on FOX beginning at 3:30 p.m. CT.

All other teams featuring former Cal players will make their playoff debuts at home against still to be determined opponents in the Divisional Round of the playoffs Jan. 11-12.

Top NFC seed and NFC West champion Seattle featuring Lynch and Mebane is scheduled to make its playoff debut on FOX on Saturday, Jan. 11 (1:35 p.m. PT), while No. 2 AFC seed and AFC East champion New England featuring Carter and Vereen will open the same day on CBS at 8:15 p.m. ET.

Rivera will coach No. 2 NFC seed and NFC South champion Carolina in its first playoff game on FOX on Sunday, Jan. 12 (1:05 p.m. ET), while top AFC seed and AFC West champion Denver with Anderson will make its debut on CBS on Sunday (2:40 p.m. MT).


Here’s a look at each of the 33 former Cal players that ended the 2013 regular season on NFL rosters. Top performances of Week 17 were delivered by Aaron Rodgers, Mychal Kendricks, Keenan Allen and Marshawn Lynch.

  • Aaron Rodgers (QB), Green Bay Packers – Threw for 318 yards and two touchdowns on 25-of-39 passing in a 33-28 win against Chicago. Down 28-27 with 6:24 remaining, Rodgers led Green Bay 86 yards in 5:46 for the go-ahead TD. Rodgers escaped pressure on a fourth-and-eight to hit Randall Cobb for the 48-yard TD with 38 seconds remaining in regulation for a Can’t-Miss Play of the Week. It was Rodgers’ first game back since sustaining an injury in a loss to Chicago on November 4. With the win Green Bay clinched the NFC North with an 8-7-1 record. The Packers will be the No. 4 seed in the NFC Playoffs and host No. 5 San Francisco in the Wild-Card Round on Sunday, Jan. 5 (3:30 p.m. CT, FOX).
  • Mychal Kendricks (LB), Philadelphia Eagles – Recorded a game-high 12 tackles, an interception that he returned five yards and a forced fumble in a 24-22 win against Dallas. Kendricks ended Dallas’ first drive in Eagles territory by knocking the ball out of DeMarco Murray’s hands and then intercepted a pass tipped by Jason Witten in the second quarter. The Eagles scored 10 points off Kendricks’ two forced turnovers. Kendricks finished the regular season with 106 tackles, 4.0 sacks, three interceptions and two forced fumbles. With the win Philadelphia clinched the NFC East title with a 10-6 record. The Eagles will be the No. 3 seed in the NFC Playoffs and host No. 6 New Orleans in the Wild-Card Round on Saturday, Jan. 4 (7:10 p.m. CT, NBC).
  • Keenan Allen (WR), San Diego Chargers – Had five receptions for 89 yards in a 27-24 overtime win against Kansas City that lifted the Chargers to their fourth straight playoff berth and a final 9-7 regular-season recordAllen had a crucial 38-yard catch and run on a third-and-two in the fourth quarter to set-up the game-tying field goal to send the contest into overtime. With the performance Allen broke San Diego’s rookie-record with 1,046 receiving yards on the season Allen became only the second rookie in the last seven seasons and first since A.J. Green in 2011 to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in a season. Allen led all rookie receivers in receptions (71), receiving yards (1,046), receiving touchdowns (8), catches of more than 20 yards (16) and first down catches (54) during the regular season, making him a frontrunner for the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. With a fourth straight win San Diego clinched an AFC wildcard playoff berth with a 9-7 record. The Chargers will be the No. 6 seed in the AFC Playoffs and visit No. 3 Cincinnati in the Wild-Card Round on Sunday, Jan. 5 (1:05 p.m.  ET, CBS).
  • Marshawn Lynch (RB), Seattle Seahawks – Had 23 carries for 97 yards, including a 2-yard TD, and one reception for four yards in a 27-9 win against St. Louis. Lynch finished the regular season with 1,257 rushing yards on 301 attempts and a career-high 12 rushing touchdowns, as well as career-highs in receiving yards (316), receiving scores (2) and total TDs (14). Lynch was also voted to his fourth Pro Bowl earlier in the week. With the win Seattle secured the top seed in the NFC to earn a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Seattle tied for a league-best record of 13-3. The Seahawks will host a still undetermined team in the Divisional Round on Saturday, Jan. 11 (1:35 p.m. PT, FOX).

  • Tyson Alualu (DT), Jacksonville Jaguars – Recorded two tackles in a 30-10 loss to Indianapolis. Alualu also extended his consecutive games started streak to each of the 64 games possible in his career (all with Jacksonville).
  • C.J. Anderson (RB), Denver Broncos – Did not play in a 34-14 win against Oakland. With the win Denver secured the top seed in the AFC to earn a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. Denver tied for a league-best record of 13-3.
  • Bryan Anger (P), Jacksonville Jaguars – Punted five times for an average of 46.0 yards and a net of 45.0in a 30-10 loss to Indianapolis. Anger punted a team-record 95 times on the season, breaking his own record of 91 from the 2012 season. Anger also finished the season first in the NFL in total punts (95), punting yards (4,338) and net punting yards (3,848).
  • Andre Carter (DE), New England Patriots – Played in a 34-20 win against Buffalo. With the win New England secured a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs with a 12-4 record. New England will be the No. 2 seed in the AFC Playoffs and open the playoffs in the Divisional Round against a still undetermined opponent on Sunday, Jan. 12 (8:15 p.m. ET, CBS).
  • Chris Conte (FS), Chicago Bears – Recorded four tackles, an interception and a pass defended in a 33-28 loss to Green Bay. Conte intercepted Aaron Rodgers in the end zone on Green Bay’s opening possession of the game. Conte finished the season with career-highs in tackles (89) and interceptions (3).
  • Brian De La Puente (C), New Orleans Saints – Started in a 42-17 win against Tampa Bay. De La Puente protected Drew Brees as he eclipsed 5,000 yards passing for the fourth time in his career. With the win New Orleans clinched a wildcard playoff berth in the NFC with an 11-5 record. New Orleans will be the No. 6 seed in the NFC Playoffs and visit No. 3 Philadelphia in the Wild-Card Round on Saturday, Jan. 4 (8:10 p.m.  ET, CBS).
  • Thomas DeCoud (S), Atlanta Falcons – Recorded two tackles in a 21-20 loss to Carolina.
  • Mike Gibson (T), Arizona Cardinals – Played in a 23-20 loss to San Francisco.
  • Matt Giordano (FS), St. Louis Rams – Played in a 27-9 loss to Seattle.
  • Tony Gonzalez (TE), Atlanta Falcons – Capped his NFL career with four receptions for 56 yards in a 21-20 loss to Carolina. Gonzalez finished the season with 83 catches for 859 yards and eight touchdowns. It was Gonzalez’ 13th season with more than 800 receiving yards and eighth with 80+ catches. In 17 NFL seasons Gonzalez amassed 1,325 receptions, 15,127 receiving yards and 111 TDs, all of which are ranked first among tight ends all-time, over 270 regular-season contests as he missed only two games in his career. Here are highlights from Gonzalez’ final game, reflections on his career and his career arc.
  • Lavelle Hawkins (WR), San Diego Chargers – Did not play in a 27-24 overtime win against Kansas City that lifted the Chargers to their fourth straight playoff berth and a final 9-7 regular-season record. The Chargers will be the No. 6 seed in the AFC Playoffs and visit No. 3 Cincinnati in the Wild-Card Round on Sunday, Jan. 5 (1:05 p.m.  ET, CBS).
  • DeSean Jackson (WR), Philadelphia Eagles – Had three receptions for 28 yards and two punt returns for 12 yards in a 24-22 win against Dallas. Jackson added two punt returns for 24 yards. Jackson finished the regular season with career-highs in receptions (82) and receiving yards (1,332), while tying a career-high in TD catches (9). With the win Philadelphia clinched the NFC East title with a 10-6 record. The Eagles will be the No. 3 seed in the NFC Playoffs and host No. 6 New Orleans in the Wild-Card Round on Saturday, Jan. 4 (7:10 p.m. CT, NBC).
  • Marvin Jones (WR), Cincinnati Bengals – Had five catches for 61 yards, including a Can’t-Miss 16-yard TD catch, in a 34-17 win against Baltimore. Jones (10) and A.J. Green (11) became the first pair of Bengals teammates to have 10 receiving TDs apiece in a season. Jones finished his second NFL regular season with 51 receptions for 712 yards and 10 TDs. With the win Cincinnati clinched the AFC North title with an 11-5 record.
  • Cameron Jordan (DE), New Orleans Saints – Recorded one tackle in a 42-17 win against Tampa Bay. Jordan finished the regular season fifth in the NFL with 12.5 sacks and was voted to his first Pro Bowl earlier in the week. With the win New Orleans clinched a wildcard playoff berth in the NFC with an 11-5 record. New Orleans will be the No. 6 seed in the NFC Playoffs and visit No. 3 Philadelphia in the Wild-Card Round on Saturday, Jan. 4 (8:10 p.m.  ET, CBS).
  • L.P. LaDouceur (LS), Dallas Cowboys – Played in a 24-22 loss to Philadelphia.
  • Alex Mack (C), Cleveland Browns – Extended his consecutive games started streak to each of the 80 games possible over the first five seasons of his career (all with Cleveland) in a 20-7 loss to Pittsburgh. Mack was voted to his second Pro Bowl selection earlier in the week.
  • Brandon Mebane (DT), Seattle Seahawks – Recorded six tackles and two quarterback hits before leaving with an injury in the second half in a 27-9 win against St. Louis. With the win Seattle secured the top seed in the NFC to earn a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Seattle tied for a league-best record of 13-3. The Seahawks will host a still undetermined team in the Divisional Round on Saturday, Jan. 11 (1:35 p.m. PT, FOX).
  • Mike Mohamed (LB), Houston Texans – Played in a 16-10 loss to Tennessee.
  • Jeremy Ross (WR/RET), Detroit Lions – Returned one kickoff for 20 yards and two punts for eight yards in a 14-13 loss to Minnesota.
  • Mitchell Schwartz (T), Cleveland Browns – Extended his consecutive games started streak to each of the 32 games possible over the first two seasons of his career (all with Cleveland) in a 20-7 loss to Pittsburgh.
  • Brian Schwenke (C), Tennessee Titans – Started in a 16-10 win against Houston. Schwenke helped Chris Johnson to his sixth consecutive 1,000 yard rushing season with Tennessee.
  • Craig Stevens (TE), Tennessee Titans – Started in a 16-10 win against Houston.
  • Will Ta’ufo’ou (FB), Jacksonville Jaguars – Played in a 30-10 loss to Indianapolis.
  • Shane Vereen (RB), New England Patriots – Had three receptions for 42 yards, including a 5-yard TD catch, two carries for three, and two kick returns for 44 yards in a 34-20 win against Buffalo. With the win New England secured a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs with a 12-4 record. New England will be the No. 2 seed in the AFC Playoffs and open the playoffs in the Divisional Round against a still undetermined opponent on Sunday, Jan. 12 (8:15 p.m. ET, CBS).

Reserve/Injured

  • Lorenzo Alexander (LB), Arizona Cardinals  
  • Desmond Bishop (LB), Minnesota Vikings
  • Justin Forsett (RB), Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Nick Sundberg (LS), Washington Redskins
  • Steve Williams (CB), San Diego Chargers

 Cal also has one former player who is a head coach in the NFL.

  • Ron Rivera (Head Coach), Carolina Panthers – Carolina defeated Atlanta 21-20 to secure a first-round bye as the No. 2 seed in the NFC with a 12-4 record. Carolina is making its first trip to the playoffs since 2008 and will play an undetermined opponent in its first playoff game in the Divisional Round on Sunday, Jan. 12 (1:05 p.m. ET, FOX).

For more detailed information on Cal’s 33 players currently on NFL rosters, check out their bio pages at ESPN.com.

 

 


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