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SALT LAKE CITY — A year after having the NFL's worst overall record, the Kansas City Chiefs are going to the playoffs.
The cast of characters in Kansas City is heavily populated with actors that have strong Utah ties, and several of those actors shined brightly Sunday in a 56-31 win over the Oakland Raiders.
Former Utah quarterback Alex Smith completed 17-of-20 passes for 287 yards and five touchdowns, and former Utah teammate Sean Smith made five tackles for Kansas City.
Several other former Utes had strong weeks in the NFL.
Matt Asiata scored three touchdowns for the Minnesota Vikings in a 48-30 victory over Philadelphia, while Eric Weddle made three tackles as the San Diego Chargers upset the Denver Broncos, 27-20, in Denver on Thursday.
The Miami Dolphins came from behind late to beat the New England Patriots, 24-20, and Utah alumni Koa Misi and Derrick Shelby combined for three tackles.
In Carolina, Steve Smith caught three passes for 20 yards in a 30-20 win over the New York Jets. Star Lotulelei also made two tackles for the Panthers, who currently control an NFC Wild Card playoff spot. Brice McCain made one tackle for the Houston Texans, who fell to the Indianapolis Colts, 25-3.
Utah State alumnus Bobby Wagner made 10 tackles and had 1.5 sacks in Seattle's 23-0 win over the New York Giants. Former Utah State teammate Robert Turbin rushed nine times for 34 yards, while Weber State alumnus Paul McQuistan started for the Seahawks.
Pittsburgh’s Brett Keisel provided the lone BYU highlight of the day, making three tackles in a 30-20 win over Cincinnati.
Timpview’s Stephen Paea made a tackle for Chicago in the Bears’ 38-31 win over Cleveland. Also, Cottonwood’s Stanley Havili caught three passes for 29 yards for the Colts.
BYU’s Ezekiel Ansah and former Highland High product Haloti Ngata will square off on “Monday Night Football. The Ravens travel to Detroit to take on the Lions. Kick-off is set for 8:30 p.m. EST.