Jan. 2, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. – As the NFL playoffs get underway this weekend, nine former NC State football players are on rosters of teams with hopes of finishing the season with a Super Bowl victory on Feb. 2 in East Rutherford, N.J.
A trio of former Pack players helped the Seattle Seahawks to the No. 1 seed in the NFC with a 13-3 record. QB Russell Wilson, selected to his second Pro Bowl in as many seasons, threw for 3,357 yards and 26 touchdowns while posting a QB rating of 101.2 in the regular season.
Placekicker Stephen Hauschka had the top season of his pro career, posting a career-high 143 points scored, which ranked fourth in the NFL. He finished the year with several career-highs, including made field goals (33), field goals attempted (35), field goal percentage (94.3) and extra points made (44). Offensive guard J.R. Sweezy started all 15 games he saw action in this season at right guard for the Seahawks.
In all three seasons of his pro career, linebacker Nate Irving has helped the Denver Broncos to the playoffs. This season, the Broncos clinched the top spot in the AFC with their 13-3 record. Irving appeared in 15 games, making four starts. He posted a career-high 41 tackles this season.
Rookie Earl Wolff will also be playing in the playoffs in his first year in the NFL, as the Philadelphia Eagles clinched the No. 3 seed in the NFC with a 10-6 record and host New Orleans Saturday night. The first-year safety appeared in 11 games this season for the Eagles, making six starts, while dealing with a knee injury. Wolff has totaled 45 tackles with an interception thus far.
Selected to his fifth Pro Bowl, Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers earned the No. 6 seed in the AFC and will travel to Cincinnati on Sunday. Rivers completed a career-best 69.5 percent of his attempts (378-544) for 4,478 yards and 32 touchdowns and posted a passer rating of 105.5 on the year, which tied a career-high. He led the league in completion percentage, ranked fourth in touchdown throws and passer rating, and finished fifth in passing yards.
A pair of former Pack players are also currently on the Chargers practice squad, linebacker Terrell Manning and wide receiver Tobais Palmer.
Former Pack safety Adrian Wilson is on the New England Patriots roster, but was placed on IR in the preseason and missed all 16 games. The Patriots went 12-4, and have a first round bye and the No. 2 seed overall in the AFC. Former Pack tackle R.J. Mattes was just signed to the Patroits practice squad on Monday, he spent training camp with New England.