Former Cal quarterbacks Jared Goff and Aaron Rodgers played high-profile NFL games on Sunday, but neither could provide a winning formula.
Goff made his final statistics look presentable with a 40-yard touchdown pass in his last throw of the game, but he struggled most of the night and threw a critical interception in the Los Angeles Rams' 24-16 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Sunday night.
Earlier in the day, Aaron Rodgers’ bid for a third MVP took a serious hit on Sunday, when Rodgers had one of the worst games of his career as the Packers suffered their first defeat in a 38-10 loss to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Rodgers’ passer rating of 35.4 Sunday was the third-worst of his 205-game NFL career, including playoffs. It was his lowest passer rating in six years, with his 34.7 rating in a 2010 loss to Detroit and a 34.3 rating in a 2014 loss to Buffalo being the only two worse performances statistically in his pro career. He began the game with the highest career passer rating in history.
Goff's final statistics looked a little better than Rodgers, but the Rams quarterback completed just half his passes, going 19-for-38 for 198 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
A 40-yard touchdown pass to Josh Reynolds with 3:24 left improved Goff's statistics considerably, but it was still the fewest passing yards in game this season for Goff, who had completed at least 64 percent of his passes in the four preceding games.
His biggest mistake came late in the third quarter with the Rams trailing by 12 points. That's when Goff threw an interception in the end zone on a fourth-down play from the 49ers' 2-yard line.
**Goff's first-half touchdown pass:
And Goff's TD pass on his final throw of the game:
Sunday’s Packers-Buccaneers game started with such promise for Rodgers, who completed eight of his first 12 passes for 107 yards in the Packers’ first two possessions as Green Bay took a 10-0 lead.
However, on the next possession, Rodgers threw his first interception of the season – in fact, his first pick in 157 attempts, which was the longest active streak without an interception in the NFL. To make matters worse it was a pick-six.
**This Jamel Dean pick-six ended Rodgers' streak of pass attempts without an interception and turned the game around:
Rodgers threw a second interception on the next Packers possession just a few minutes later, and it was returned to the Packers’ 2-yard line, setting up a score that put the Bucs ahead 14-10
On the ensuing Green Bay possession, Rodgers overthrew a wide-open Marcedes Lewis over the middle on what would have been a touchdown.
After the first two possessions, Rodgers went 8-for-23 for 53 yards, two interceptions and no touchdowns the rest of the way. Rodgers seldom had time to throw, getting sacked four times and hurried on numerous other throws.
Rodgers entered the weekend ranked second in the NFL in passer rating and first in total adjusted quarterback rating.
Meanwhile, Brady went 17-for-27 for 166 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and no sacks for a 104.9 passer rating.
Other former Cal players had varying levels of success on Sunday:
---Eagles tight end Richard Rodgers had three receptions for 31 yards, including a 16-yard reception to the Ravens’ 6-yard line on the Eagles’ drive that got Philadelphia within two points with less than two minutes left. In the past four games he has nine catches for 99 yards. Baltimore won Sunday’s game 30-28.
---Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. had just two catches for eight yards in the 34-16 victory over Jacksonville. Last season, in 13 games, Jones had 62 receptions for 779 yards and nine touchdowns, but this season, though five games, he has just 14 receptions for 146 yards and one score. He had 1,108 receiving yards in 2017.
---Pittsburgh Steelers nose guard Tyson Alualu had one tackle and knocked down a pass in the Steelers’ 38-7 rout of Cleveland that improved Pittsburgh’s record to 5-0.
---New York Giants inside linebackers Devante Downs did not record any statistics in the Giants’ 20-19 win over Washington, coached by former Cal linebacker Ron Rivera.
---Houston Texans punter Bryan Anger had a good game statistically, averaging 52.3 yards on four punts, including one that put the ball at the Tennessee 6-yard line.
---Miami Dolphins running back Patrick Laird had one receptions for two yards in the Dolphins’ 24-0 win over the Jets.
---Atlanta Falcons center Alex Mack made his 86 consecutive start in Atlanta’s 40-23 victory over Minnesota.
---Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson did not play against the Ravens because of a hamstring injury that sidelined him for the third straight game.
---Atlanta Falcons rookie safety Jaylinn Hawkins missed Sunday’s game against the Vikings as he sat out his second straight game with a concussion.
---Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen and Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan had byes this week.
Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53
Find Cal Sports Report on Facebook by searching: @si.calsportsreport
Click the "follow" button in the top right corner to join the conversation on Cal Sports Report on SI. Access and comment on featured stories and start your own conversations and post external links on our community page.