Former Stanford wide receiver Doug Baldwin has really blossomed in his fifth season with the Seattle Seahawks. In last weekend's 35-6 win over host Baltimore, Baldwin was the Seahawks' most-targeted receiver (nine) while hauling in six catches for 82 yards and three touchdowns.
This gives Baldwin eight touchdown catches in the past three weeks, and 11 on the season. He ranks third in the NFL with 11 receiving touchdowns, and is the first player with eight receiving scores in three weeks since 2006.
Seattle teammate Richard Sherman, who also played with Baldwin at Stanford, had another solid effort at cornerback while helping the Seahawks win their fourth in a row and six of their past seven. He added his second interception of the season on Sunday, also making two tackles and defending a pass.
Tight end Konrad Reuland of the Ravens was signed off of Baltimore's practice squad after being on it for parts of the past two seasons. He appeared in 26 games for the New York Jets in 2012 and 2013, including three starts. He made his 2015 NFL debut on Sunday, appearing on 38 percent of Baltimore's special teams snaps during the loss to Seattle.
Elsewhere in Week 14 of the NFL season for former Stanford players:
Fourth-year defensive back Johnson Bademosi briefly appeared on defense in Cleveland's 24-10 win against San Francisco, also playing 72 percent of special teams snaps. The Browns (3-10) snapped a seven-game losing streak in the process. Tight end Jim Dray came off the bench, playing 47 percent of offensive snaps to help Cleveland rush for 230 yards on 41 carries and two touchdowns. Dray also recovered Phil Dawson's attempted onside kick in the dying moments f the game, sealing the win for the Browns.
Rookie linebacker Shayne Skov was re-signed by San Francisco on Dec. 8 after a season-ending injury to tight end Garrett Celek. He was in uniform for Sunday's loss at Cleveland, appearing on 84 percent of San Francisco's special teams snaps.
Offensive guard David DeCastro registered his 10th-straight positive Pro Football Focus grade (+1.7), helping Pittsburgh defeat rival Cincinnati, 33-20, in a must-win division game. DeCastro excelled in the running game with a +2.2 rating, spending most of his day up against All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins. He also threw the block which sprung DeAngelo Williams for his game-clinching touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Steelers (8-5) are in a strong position for the playoffs with three contests to play.
Ryan Hewitt, a blocking tight end, started but only played 17 percent of offensive snaps and 45 percent of special teams snaps on day when Cincinnati was forced to play catch-up in the Bengals' loss to Pittsburgh, but remain firmly in the playoff mix. Hewitt finished the day with a catch for nine yards.
Tight end Coby Fleener of the Indianapolis Colts started in a 51-16 loss to Jacksonville. He was targeted four times, making just one catch for six yards. David Parry started and played 71 percent of the Colts' defensive snaps. He finished the day with three tackles, two solo, while assisting on a tackle for loss in the fourth quarter. Wide receiver Griff Whalen was seldom used as appeared on just 11 percent of offensive plays while playing 50 percent of the Colts' special teams snaps.
For Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck, meanwhile, his short-term future remains up in the air as it becomes more and more doubtful that he will reappear this season. With Matt Hasslebeck also injured, the Colts may turn to Charlie Whitehurst in this weekend's divisional matchup against Houston.
Rookie defensive back Jordan Richards of the New England Patriots suited up after being a healthy scratch in Weeks 12 and 13. New England defeated Houston, 27-6, to improve to 11-2. When asked about Richards sitting two weeks in a row, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said it had nothing to do with the player himself.
"If we could have probably dressed one more player it would have been him in both those games," he said. "I think he has done a really good job for us both defensively and in the kicking game. We just have to see how things work out, but there's no problem at all with him playing. We have a lot of confidence in him and I think he's making great progress."
Patriots' offensive guard Cameron Fleming came off the bench to appear on 16 percent of his team's offensive snap.
Defensive end Josh Mauro of the Arizona Cardinals came off the bench to appear on 29 percent of defensive snaps and 48 percent of Arizona's special teams plays in a 23-20 win at Minnesota. His big contribution came on the Vikings' second half-starting drive, in which Mauro wrapped up the NFL's leading rusher Adrian Peterson in the backfield, jarring the ball free in the process. With his strong performance, Mauro earned a +1.9 Pro Football Focus rating, which was among the Cardinals' leaders in Week 14. Arizona (11-2) holds a two-game lead over Seattle in the NFC West with three games to play. Arizona running back Stepfan Taylor played the second most special teams snaps (56 percent). He also carried the ball once for no gain and caught a screen pass for four yards.
Rookie wide receiver Ty Montgomery of the Green Bay Packers returned to practice for the first time in three weeks following an injury. Montgomery was hopeful to play in Sunday's 28-7 win against Dallas. Green Bay erred on the side of caution with Montgomery and held him out for one more week. Montgomery, who has only appeared in five games this season, will look to make his return against Oakland on Sunday.
Washington linebacker Trent Murphy was relegated to a reserve role in Washington's 24-21 win against Chicago, appearing on just 32 percent of defensive snaps and 65 percent of special teams plays. However, he made the Redskins' play of the day on defense, strip-sacking Jay Cutler in the second quarter for a nine yard loss. Murphy recovered his own forced fumble, helping keep Washington (6-7) in a tie atop the NFC West with Philadelphia.
Rookie offensive tackle Andrus Peat has made a living at left guard in each of the past three weeks. He played 100 percent of the Saints' offensive snaps on Sunday, helping New Orleans defeat Tampa Bay, 24-17. Peat also earned a +2.6 Pro Football Focus rating after going up against All-Pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy for most of the day.
Rookie safety Ed Reynolds of the Philadelphia Eagles continued a fast start to his NFL career as he appeared on 51 percent of defensive snaps and 32 percent of special teams plays. Philadelphia defeated Buffalo, 23-20, thanks to a game-sealing interception by Reynolds, allowing two kneel-downs from Sam Bradford to ice the game. Philadelphia (6-7) is tied with Washington atop the NFC East with three games to play. Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz, who caught his first TD pass of the season last week, led pass-catchers in targets (7), receptions (5) and yards (98) against Buffalo. His biggest play when the Eagles needed it most, a 41-yard gain on third down in the fourth quarter, which eventually set up the game-winning field goal. At 6-7, the Eagles are tied atop the NFC East with Washington and still in the thick of the playoff hunt
Rookie linebacker A.J. Tarpley of the Buffalo Bills saw his most extended field stint of the season on Sunday after Nigel Bradham's injury, appearing on 42 percent of defensive snaps and 72 percent of special teams snaps in a 30-22 loss against Kansas City. He was credited with a sack in the fourth quarter.
Safety Michael Thomas of the Miami Dolphins played all but two defensive snaps for Miami in Monday night's 31-24 loss to the New York Giants. He finished with five tackles and a tackle for a loss, while the Dolphins (5-8) have the slimmest of chances to make the playoffs.
Tight end Levine Toilolo of the Atlanta Falcons was in on 30 percent of offensive snaps and 57 percent of special teams snaps in Atlanta's 38-0 loss to undefeated Carolina. He was targeted once in the passing game, but finished without a reception as Atlanta fell to 6-7 with playoff hopes still barely alive.
Rookie cornerback Alex Carter of the Detroit Lions, a third-round pick, sustained an ankle injury in training camp and rejoined Detroit practice three weeks ago. However, the Lions are shutting Carter down for the 2015 season, as announced by the team on Monday.