Cal Football in the NFL, Week 2: Jackson Goes Deep for Tampa Bay

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 16: DeSean Jackson #11 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates a first down during a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Raymond James Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 16: DeSean Jackson #11 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates a first down during a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Raymond James Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

During week two of the NFL season, many former Cal football players had big roles in their respective team’s success.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers spent the week wondering if they would have former Cal football star DeSean Jackson on the field, but on the very first play of the day, Jackson made his presence felt. Coming off a concussion and shoulder injury in week one, Jackson was on the receiving end of a 75-yard touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage of the day against the Eagles.

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick found the wide-open Jackson about 35 yards downfield across the middle, and Jackson did the rest. He cut away from cornerback Jalen Mills and went into the endzone untouched. Jackson, who was drafted by the Eagles back in 2008, caught four passes for 129 yards on the day.

Jackson tied an NFL record on Sunday. He caught his 52nd career touchdown pass, and it was his 23rd touchdown of at least 60 yards. That tied all-time great Jerry Rice for the most touchdowns of 60-plus yards in NFL history.

This season, Jackson has 275 receiving yards through the first two weeks, the most in the NFL. He’s gone over 100 yards in both games, and has done so 35 times in his career. This also marks the ninth time in his career that he’s surpassed the century mark in back-to-back games. He’s done it in three straight games once before (12-11-2016 to 12-24-2016 when he was with Washington).

Back on the west coast, the Los Angeles Rams moved to 2-0 for the first time since 2001 and quarterback Jared Goff played a big role. Though he wasn’t always the guy getting into the endzone, he did do a lot of the heavy lifting for Los Angeles. As the Rams rolled to a 34-0 win, Goff hit on 24 of his 32 pass attempts, good for 354 yards and a touchdown. Seven of his completions went for at least 20 yards, with a 57-yarder to Brandin Cooks being his longest. Though Goff ate up a lot of the yardage, it was Todd Gurley that scored three times despite gaining just 42 yards.

It was one of Goff’s best days in his young career. He fell one yard shy of matching the best passing yardage day of his career, while his 75% completion percentage was also his second-best. 24 completions marked his third-most, and he threw for at least 300 yards for the sixth time.

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After starting his pro career with seven straight losses as a rookie in 2016, this win brought Goff’s career record as a starter to 13-11. He’s been on the winning side in three straight matchups against the Cardinals, and four straight games against the NFC West.

New Orleans got their first win of the season by narrowly escaping against Cleveland, and defensive end Cameron Jordan made his impact. Coming off an incredible season in 2017, Jordan was relatively quiet in week one, but bounced back with a pair of sacks on Browns’ quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

Jordan’s first sack of the season came in the third quarter, bringing Taylor down with the Browns at the Saints’ one-yard line. His second sack dropped Taylor for a 10-yard loss in the fourth quarter. Jordan recorded at least two sacks for the 11th time in his career, and the fourth time since the 2017 season started. His 61.5 career sacks ranks third among Cal players in the NFL, behind Ken Harvey (89) and Andre Carter (80.5)

Around the League:

Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers completed 30 of his 42 pass attempts for 281 yards and a touchdown as Green Bay tied with the Vikings…Marshawn Lynch carried 18 times for Oakland, picking up 65 yards. He also rushed for his 83rd career touchdown, extending the NFL record for Cal alum…Lions’ receiver Marvin Jones caught four balls for 54 yards and a touchdown, his 29th career (fifth-most for former Bears)…Keenan Allen racked up 67 yards on six grabs for the Chargers.

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Bengals’ LB Hardy Nickerson played 98.8% of the team’s defensive snaps and made eight tackles against the Ravens on Thursday, both career-highs…Bills’ LB Lorenzo Alexander made seven stops and recorded a sack, giving him 25.5 in his career…Tampa Bay punter Bryan Anger punted for the 500th time in the NFL. Among his six punts on Sunday, he averaged 41.2 yards per kick with a 53-yard long, and pinned the Eagles inside the 20 three times.