Mountain West to be Represented in NFL Playoffs


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.: The Mountain West will be represented in the NFL Playoffs by 24 players across each of its 10 member institutions.  Overall, the MW is represented on 10 of the 12 NFL teams that have advanced to the postseason.  The only teams without an MW player on its active roster or practice squad are Baltimore and Washington.

The Denver Broncos, which are the top seed in the AFC, are home to the most Mountain West student-athletes with seven, followed by the San Francisco 49ers with three players on its active roster and one member of the practice squad.

Four NFL head coaches, including Indianapolis' Chuck Pagano, Denver's John Fox, Cincinnati's Marvin Lewis and Atlanta's Mike Smith, have previously spent time on varying MW campuses will also lead their respective programs in the playoffs.

NFL Playoff action gets underway Sat., Jan. 5. A full schedule is below:

NFL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
AFC Wild-Card Round
Sat., Jan. 5, 2013 - 4:30 p.m. ET, NBC
(6) Cincinnati Bengals at (3) Houston Texans

Sunday, January 6, 2013 - 1 p.m. ET, CBS
(5) Indianapolis Colts at (4) Baltimore Ravens

AFC Divisional Round
Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 4:30 p.m. ET, CBS
Lowest Winning Wild-Card Seed at (1) Denver Broncos

Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 4:30 p.m. ET, CBS
Highest Winning Wild-Card Seed at (2) New England Patriots

AFC Championship Game
Sunday, January 20, 2013 - 6:30 p.m. ET, CBS

NFC Wild-Card Round
Saturday, January 5, 2013 - 8 p.m. ET, NBC
(6) Minnesota Vikings at (3) Green Bay Packers

Sunday, January 6, 2013 - 4:30 p.m. ET, FOX
(5) Seattle Seahawks at (4) Washington Redskins

NFC Divisional Round
Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 8 p.m. ET, FOX
Highest Winning Wild-Card Seed at (2) San Francisco 49ers

Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 1 p.m. ET, FOX
Lowest Winning Wild-Card Seed at (1) Atlanta Falcons

NFC Championship Game
Sunday, January 20, 2013 - 3 p.m. ET, FOX

Super Bowl XLVII
Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013 - 6:30 p.m. ET, CBS


MOUNTAIN WEST IN THE NFL PLAYOFFS: PLAYERS
Denver Broncos
  • Aaron Brewer, LS (San Diego State): The rookie long-snapper appeared in all 16 games for the AFC's No. 1 seed Denver Broncos and also recorded two tackles.

  • Ryan Clady, T (Boise State): Clady started all 16 games for the Broncos in 2012 and was named to his third Pro Bowl. He became just the fourth offensive lineman in NFL history to start every game and make three Pro Bowls during his first five NFL seasons.

  • Joel Dreessen, TE (Colorado State): In his first year with the Broncos, Dressen quickly became one of quarterback Peyton Manning's most reliable targets. He started 15 games in 2012 and caught 41 passes for 356 yards and five touchdowns.

  • Virgil Green, TE (Nevada): Green played in 12 games in 2012 and caught five passes for 63 yards with a long reception of 28 yards. He was a seventh-round selection of the Broncos in 2011 and played 15 games as a rookie.

  • Caleb Hanie, QB (Colorado State): the 6-2, 222 lb. product of Dallas, Texas, is in his fifth season in the NFL and his first with the Broncos.

  • Ronnie Hillman, RB (San Diego State): Another rookie, Hillman gained 330 yards on 85 carries (3.9 yards per carry) and scored a touchdown. In addition, he caught 10 passes for 62 yards.

  • Mitch Unrein, DT (Wyoming): The second-year Wyoming graduate appeared in all 16 games for the Broncos and recorded 20 tackles (12 solo). But, the highlight of Unrein's 2012 campaign was when he became the first defensive lineman in Denver history to catch a touchdown pass, which he did against Tampa Bay on Dec. 12, 2012. Was the Defensive MVP of the 2009 New Mexico Bowl.
New England Patriots
  • Logan Mankins, G (Fresno State): A first-round selection of the Patriots in 2005, Mankins has been named to the Pro Bowl four times (2007, 2009-11) and has started in all 114 games he has played.

  • Derrick Martin, S (Wyoming): The Denver, Colo. native appeared in five games for the Patriots and recorded five tackles and a sack.

  • Ryan Wendell, OL (Fresno State): A 6-foot-2, 300-pound offensive lineman, Wendell started all 16 games for New England.
Houston Texans
  • Tyler Clutts, FB (Fresno State): the 6-2, 260 lb. native of Vallejo, Calif., is in his second season after spending time with the Chicago Bears in 2011.

  • Jesse Nading, LB (Colorado State): The fourth-year player finished the 2012 regular season with 13 tackles (10 solo) as the Texans won the AFC South Division title.

  • Glover Quin, DB (New Mexico): Quin finished 2012 with a team-high 84 tackles (64 solo), two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a sack.
Indianapolis Colt
  • Samson Satele, C (Hawai`i): The sixth-year pro started all 16 games for the Colts. For his career, Satele has started 85 of 89 games.

  • Martin Tevaseu, DT (UNLV): Played in 13 games for the Colts and recorded 12 tackles.
Cincinnati Bengals
  • George Iloka, DB (Boise State): Played in six games and has two special teams tackles for the Bengals.
Atlanta Falcons
  • Joe Hawley, G (UNLV): Appeared in six games for the NFC South Division Champion Falcons.
San Francisco 49ers
  • Clark Haggans, LB (Colorado State): In his 13th year, Haggans saw action in nine games for the 49ers and recorded two tackles. For his career, which includes a Super Bowl championship as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers (XL), Haggans has 504 tackles (356 solo), 46.5 sacks and 16 forced fumbles.

  • Colin Kaepernick, QB (Nevada): Kaepernick took over the starting quarterback job from Alex Smith just past the midway point of the 2012 season and started the team's final seven games. In leading San Francisco to the NFC West Division championship, Kaepernick completed 136 of 218 passes for 1,814 yards with 10 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Also a threat to run with the football, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Kaepernick gained 415 yards on the ground and scored five touchdowns.

  • Isaac Sopoaga, DT (Hawai`i): Started nine of 15 games he appeared during the 2012 season. The ninth-year defensive tackle finished the regular season with 27 tackles and a sack.

  • Chad Hall, WR (Air Force): practice squad
Green Bay Packers
  • Alex Green, RB (Hawai`i): Green appeared in 12 regular season games for the Packers. He gained 464 yards on 135 carries (3.4 yards per carry), and also caught 18 passes for 125 yards.
Seattle Seahawks
  • Heath Farwell, LB (San Diego State): In his eighth season, the linebacker recorded 20 tackles.

  • Jeron Johnson, DB (Boise State): Johnson saw action in all 16 regular season games for the 11-5 Seahawks, and finished the year with 12 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble.

  • Kyle Knox, LB (Fresno State): practice squad

  • Vaughn Meatoga, DT (Hawai`i): practice squad
Minnesota Vikings
  • A.J. Jefferson, CB (Fresno State): Jefferson appeared in 15 games for Minnesota, with seven starts. In his third year in the NFL, he recorded 37 tackles (34 solo), defended five passes and recovered a fumble.

  • Chase Baker, DT (Boise State): practice squad
MOUNTAIN WEST IN THE NFL PLAYOFFS: HEAD COACHES
Indianapolis Colts
Head Coach Chuck Pagano: Pagano, who is in his first season at the helm of the coach, was diagnosed with a treatable form of leukemia shortly after the 2012 season started and was forced to leave the team to seek treatment. After undergoing chemotherapy treatments, Pagano's cancer was declared in remission by his doctor in late November. He returned to the sidelines in Week 17 and the Colts defeated the Houston Texans 28-16. With an 11-5 record, Indianapolis secured the No. 5 seed in the AFC Playoffs and opens up the postseason on the road at No. 4 Baltimore. Prior to taking over the head coaching duties at the Colts, Pagano spent four years with the Balitmore Ravens. His resume is littered with NFL and NCAA Division I experience, including a stint at UNLV, where he led the secondary in 1990 and served as the Rebels' defensive coordinator in 1991. Pagano was a four-year letterman and two-year starter at strong safety for Wyoming, where he graduated with a degree in marketing in 1984.
Denver Broncos
Head Coach John Fox: Fox, who grew up in the San Diego area, attended San Diego State, where he played two seasons at defensive back for the Aztecs. He graduated from SDSU with a bachelor's degree in physical education and earned a secondary education teaching credential in 1977. Fox's coaching career began in 1978 as a graduate assistant at his alma mater before moving on to a stint as Boise State's defensive backs coach in 1980.
Cincinnati Bengals
Head Coach Marvin Lewis: Linebackers Coach, New Mexico 1987-89.
Atlanta Falcons
Head Coach Mike Smith: Graduate Assistant, San Diego State 1982; Linebackers Coach, San Diego State 1983-85.