It was another Stanford reunion in week 10 of the National Football League as Josh Mauro and Stepfan Taylor of the Arizona Cardinals helped their team defeat Doug Baldwin and Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks.
Mauro, a second-year defensive end, accomplished a feat not many NFL players can lay claim to as he brought down Marshawn Lynch in the Seattle backfield all by himself. Mauro started on Arizona's defensive line in a 39-32 win at Seattle, finishing the evening with three tackles (two solo) and the aforementioned tackle for a loss. He was one of the Cardinals' recipients of a game ball for his efforts.
Taylor, in his third season, played on 65 percent of Arizona's special teams snaps as the Cardinals seized control of the NFC West.
Baldwin, in his fifth season, is the unquestioned leader of the Seattle receiving corps led the Seahawks in just about every aerial category in their loss to Arizona. He finished the night with seven catches on 10 targets for 134 yards and a touchdown, his team-leading third of the season.
Sherman, also in his fifth season, finished with five tackles and a pass defended against Arizona, but had a night to forget as the former two-way star at Stanford was targeted eight times by Carson Palmer, allowing five catches for 67 yards and a touchdown to Michael Floyd. Sherman and the Seahawks' defense, which was flagged for 14 penalties amounting to 131 yards on Sunday, will look to rebound this weekend against a San Francisco offense that ranks dead last in yards gained.
Elsewhere in the NFL last weekend:
Offensive guard David DeCastro, in his fourth season, has played almost every snap of the season for Pittsburgh, which improved to 6-4 after defeating the Browns, 30-9, on Sunday. The All-America selection at Stanford earned another high Pro Football Focus rating (+2.3) against the team that selected Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden ahead of him in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Tight end Jim Dray, in his sixth year with Cleveland, was in on 33 percent of offensive snaps and 39 percent of special teams snaps. Defensive back Johnson Bademosi, in his fourth year, was in on 26 percent of defensive snaps and 83 percent of special teams snaps for the Browns.
Safety Michael Thomas, in his third season, helped Miami storm back from a 16-3 deficit to Philadelphia and post a 20-19 victory. Thomas was in on 42 percent of defensive snaps and 76 percent of special teams snaps, finishing the day with four tackles, three of which were solo, and two special teams stops. Tight end Zach Ertz, in his third season, was as involved in the Philadelphia offense as he has ever been on Sunday, playing the most snaps of any Eagles non-lineman. He led the Eagles in targets (10) and receptions (seven), finishing with 68 yards receiving.
Offensive guard Cameron Fleming, in his second year with the New England Patriots, made his fourth consecutive start against the New York Giants on Sunday and his first career start at left tackle. He played every offensive snap, frequently lining up opposite All-Pro pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul. New England won 27-26 on a Stephen Gostkowski field goal with time expiring. Rookie defensive back Jordan Richards saw his defensive playing time affected by New England trailing most of the contest and not playing many nickel packages against the Giants, but he did appear on 62 percent of special teams snaps.
Ryan Hewitt, in his second year with the Cincinnati Bengals, made his third catch of the season in Monday night's loss against Houston -- a seven yard gain in the second quarter. He appeared on 28 percent of offensive snaps and 48 percent of special teams snaps as the Bengals fell to 8-1.
Linebacker Trent Murphy, in his second year with the Washington Redskins, had one of his better games of the season in the 47-14 win against New Orleans. Murphy started at strong side linebacker, making 4.5 tackles, one QB hit, and combining with Chris Baker for a second quarter sack of Drew Brees. Rookie offensive tackle Andrus Peat of the Saints saw action when the game was put out of reach by the Redskins. This was Peat's first appearance since injuring his left knee on Oct. 15 against Atlanta.
Rookie linebacker A.J. Tarpley led Buffalo in special teams snaps with 24 as head coach Rex Ryan was victorious in his return to the Meadowlands, leading the Bills to a 22-17 defeat of the New York Jets.
Sitting out the weekend with injuries . . .
Rookie wide receiver Ty Montgomery of the Green Bay Packers sat out for the fourth game in a row with an ankle injury. Green Bay struggled against Detroit and lost 18-16 at home, its third-consecutive defeat.
Running back Toby Gerhart, in his sixth season with Jacksonville, was inactive for the second consecutive game on Sunday as Jacksonville defeated Baltimore, 22-20. He is reportedly suffering from the same core muscle injury which limited him in preseason.
Rookie defensive end Henry Anderson of the Indianapolis Colts, saw his season end on Nov. 8 in a victory over Denver. Entering Week 9, Pro Football Focus ranked him as the league's second-best rookie behind Buffalo's Ronald Darby. Pro Football Focus also ranked him tops among the league's 34
rookie interior defenders with a +10.2 clip, well ahead of Leonard Williams (+6.1) who ranked second.
The Colts had a bye week last weekend.
"It's a big blow. He's a hard worker, he grinds and he plays the game the way it's supposed to be played. You really hate to see someone get hurt, especially when he's balling," said the Colts' future Hall of Fame defensive end Robert Mathis.
Rookie cornerback Alex Carter of the Detroit Lions, a third-round pick who sustained an ankle injury in training camp, is still sidelined.