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Stanford in the NFL Week 1 - Luck Struggles in Debut

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Chicago's Corey Wootton helps welcome Andrew Luck to the NFL with a giant Bear hug.
Chicago's Corey Wootton helps welcome Andrew Luck to the NFL with a giant Bear hug.


A weekly look at how former Stanford players are faring in the NFL.

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Luck completed 23-of-45 passes for 309 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions in Indianapolis' 41-21 loss to Chicago at Soldier Field. Luck also lost a fumble in a performance to learn from. "He's going to be good," Colts receiver Reggie Wayne said. "Give him time. Rome wasn't built in a day. Just sit back, watch and enjoy."

Luck's final line was similar to the one that Peyton Manning put up in his first career game (21-of-37, 302 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTS). His debut was far superior to that of fellow former Stanford No. 1 pick -- and Manning's new boss -- John Elway. While the Broncos defeated Pittsburgh 14-10 on Sept. 4, 1983, Elway completed only one of eight passes for 14 yards and an interception. He was sacked four times before exiting the game with an injury.

Elway and the Broncos traveled to Baltimore in Week 2 for a game against the Colts, who had traded Elway to the Broncos after the No. 1 pick threatened to play minor league baseball full-time. Baltimore's fans felt spurned and they let Elway know it.

"You could not hear anything in that stadium," Denver coach Dan Reeves told SI. "I've never seen anybody treated like that. He couldn't even tell the players the play in the huddle. It was horrible."

Luck should feel considerably more welcome when he takes the field next week. The Colts host the Vikings at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts
The last time Fleener played at Soldier Field before Sunday, he caught a 75-yard touchdown pass in the opening game of his senior season of high school. Fleener didn't find the end zone in his NFL debut, but he did have six catches for 82 yards. Fleener was targeted 10 times, which was second only to Wayne, while fellow Colts rookie tight end Dwayne Allen didn't have a catch.

Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks
Sherman had a very Richard Sherman-like day. He committed two pass interference penalties, but also made this nice diving interception.

Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks
Baldwin, who made a memorable NFL debut against former Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh last season, was limited to two catches for 5 yards in a 20-16 loss at Arizona.

Toby Gerhart, Minnesota Vikings
Adrian Peterson's status was unclear all week, but he suited up Sunday and received the bulk of the carries. Gerhart had 18 yards on six carries. His only reception went for 8 yards and set up Blair Walsh's game-winning field goal in overtime.

Johnson Bademosi, Cleveland Browns
One of three rookie defensive backs in Cleveland, Bademosi registered a tackle in his NFL debut. He could be in line for more playing time after Browns starting cornerback Joe Haden was suspended for four games for violating the league's policy on performance enhancers.

Alex Smith, Cleveland Browns
Smith had one catch for -1 yards in Cleveland's 17-16 loss to the Eagles.

Jonathan Martin, Miami Dolphins