Sep 09, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears defensive end Henry Melton (69) sacks Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) during the fourth quarter at Soldier Field. Chicago defeats Indianapolis 41-21. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE
Both Stanford alum Andrew Luck and Cal alum Aaron Rodgers lost their season openers, as the Indianapolis Colts lost to the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers fell to the San Francisco 49ers.
The most prominent rookie debut among Bay Area locals was Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, who struggled in his first game against the Chicago Bears. Luck threw for over 300 yards, but needed over 45 passes to get to that total. and threw three interceptions along with his one touchdown. Luck actually threw one of his picks to an old foe in Chicago Bears safety Chris Conte (who excelled at the position in his senior season at Cal).
On the bright side for Stanford performers, Luck did manage to find his old buddy Coby Fleener for 82 yards on six receptions.
A few Golden Bear rookies were in action today. Philadelphia Eagles new linebacker Mychal Kendricks recorded four tackles in his first NFL start. Kendricks was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year at Cal. Jacksonville Jaguars punter Bryan Anger boomed his four punts over an average of 50 yards. Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz made his first start at right tackle in a 17-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones will play on Monday Night Football for the Cincinnati Bengals against the Baltimore Ravens.
Plenty of other Bears had solid performances. In addition to his interception return, Conte racked up three tackles and two pass deflections for the Bears. DeSean Jackson caught four passes for 77 yards for the Eagles. Cameron Jordan was second overall on the Saints defense with five tackles. Tyson Alualu had three tackles and a sack for the Jaguars. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 85 yards on 21 carries for the Seattle Seahawks, while Brandon Mebane had two tackles, two passes deflected, and a forced fumble.
Aaron Rodgers has a higher baseline rate of accomplishment than Luck, so his performance Week 1 against the San Francisco 49ers was pretty average. Rodgers threw for over 300 yards and completed 68% of his passes for over two touchdowns, but that one interception deep in his own territory set up a San Francisco touchdown that ended up being the difference in the final score. Rodgers wasn't the reason the Packers lost, but he'd probably like that throw back.