Wild Card Weekend is now a distant memory as we head into the NFL Divisional Playoffs, featuring former Utah State linebacker Bobby Wagner and his Seattle Seahawks. Wagner has had the kind of season that most NFL players dream about, leading the Seahawks in total and assisted tackles. This weekend, Wagner's Seahawks host the New Orleans Saints on Sat. January 11 in a rematch of a Monday night tilt that Seattle won, 34-7, in blowout fashion.
NFL Divisional Round Schedule
Jan. 11 4:35 p.m. New Orleans Saints Seattle Seahawks Fox
Jan. 11 8:15 p.m. Indianapolis Colts New England Patriots CBS
Jan. 12 1:05 p.m. San Francisco 49ers Carolina Panthers Fox
Jan. 12 4:40 p.m. San Diego Chargers Denver Broncos CBS
Wagner isn't the only Utah product on the field for Seattle. There's former Weber State offensive lineman Paul McQuistan as well as 2nd string running back Robert Turbin, who like Wagner happens to be a former Aggie.
Lest you think the Seahawk trio are the only Utahns in action this weekend, you would be sorely mistaken. In the other Saturday game, Cottonwood High product Stanley Havili, takes the Indianapolis Colts -- fresh off of a stunning comeback Wildcard win over ex-Ute Alex Smith's Kansas City Chiefs -- into New England to battle the Patriots, featuring defensive tackle Sealver Siliga of Utah.
This weekend is big for Utahns in the NFL, because the San Francisco 49ers travel on Sunday, January 12 to face the Carolina Panthers, a team that includes not one, but two former Utah Utes on its roster.
Wide receiver Steve Smith has been doing it big in Carolina for years, and the 13-year veteran is still very much alive and kicking -- with 745 yards and four touchdowns, second best among Panthers wide outs. Defensive tackle Star Lotuleilei is coming out of his shadow as the season wears on for Carolina, notching 42 tackles and three sacks. And offensive tackle Jordan Gross of Utah completes the Carolina trifecta, playing in all 16 games for the NFC South division champs.
And finally, to wrap up what will be an entertaining weekend of NFL Divisional Playoff action, the San Diego Chargers featuring ex-Utah Utes star and Pro Bowl safety Eric Weddle, former SUU star QB Brad Sorensen and linebacker Manti Te'o (no explanation necessary) travel to snowy Denver Sunday night for a rubber match against the Broncos and offensive tackle Zane Beadles of Utah.
In all, you have four entertaining games to choose from this weekend, three which feature guys from in-state colleges that you've probably watched a time or two -- before they made it big in the NFL.