Jared Goff’s 465-yard, five-touchdown passing performance last week put him in exclusive company among NFL quarterbacks with Cal pedigrees.
Goff joined Joe Kapp as the only ex-Golden Bears player to throw for at least 400 yards with five touchdowns in the same NFL game.
Even Aaron Rodgers -- clearly the greatest former Cal quarterback to play pro ball -- hasn’t achieved that.
After a rough rookie season, Goff showed dramatic improvement beginning last season after the Rams brought in Sean McVay as head coach. Earlier this week, Goff was named NFC Offensive Player of the Month for September.
Said former Cal offensive coordinator Tony Franklin, now at Middle Tennessee, “Proud of Jared ... He hit the lottery when they hired McVay!”
Here are lists of the top single-game passing yardage totals and single-game touchdown passes in an NFL game by a Cal man:
Perhaps the most startling realization in the collections above is that Kapp — a fierce competitor but a gawd-awful passer — sits atop the list for most touchdown passes in a game.
In fact, Kapp shares the NFL single-game record with seven TDs, along with Sid Luckman, Y.A. Tittle, George Blanda and Peyton Manning, among others.
Kapp’s statistical high point came in the Vikings’ 52-14 opening-day thrashing of the Baltimore Colts in 1969. Kapp went on to lead Minnesota to a 12-2 record and a berth in the Super Bowl.
The opposing quarterback was the legendary Johnny Unitas, 36 years old and no longer the league’s most feared passer. The man known for his black high-tops and tight crew haircut was just 8 for 22 for 68 yards before being pulled in favor of Earl Morrall.
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"When I threw seven touchdowns against the Baltimore Colts, if you look at the film, I looked almost as good as Johnny Unitas,'' Kapp told USA Today a few years back. "In fact, after that game, I asked Johnny for his autograph.’’
Meanwhile, the most prolific passing yardage performance in an NFL game by an ex-Cal quarterback was delivered by Vince Ferragamo, who left Berkeley for Nebraska after his sophomore season because of competition from future No. 1 overall draft pick Steve Bartkowski.
Ferragamo was 30 for 46 for 509 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions for the Rams against the Chicago Bears on the day after Christmas 1982. Ferragamo pulled the Rams within 27-26 with a fourth-quarter TD pass to Preston Dennard, but the Bears won 34-26 when Jim McMahon threw a 10-yard TD to former Stanford great Ken Margerum.
The game was notable for being one of just two instances in the career of Walter Payton where the Hall of Fame running back had more than 100 yards rushing (104) and receiving (102) in the same game.