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SALT LAKE CITY — Eric Weddle won’t let San Diego’s playoff hopes die easy.
In fact, in the spirit of a holiday movie, Weddle is making sure the Chargers’ “die hard” if they are to miss the postseason this year, and his play is sending that statement.
The Chargers beat the Oakland Raiders 26-13, and stayed alive in the AFC wild-card hunt. Weddle made four tackles and had an interception for San Diego.
Other Utah defensive alumni with impressive numbers in the NFL include New England’s Sealver Siliga, who made four tackles and a sack for the AFC East champs; Stevenson Sylvester’s five tackles for Pittsburgh in a 38-31 win over Green Bay; and Star Lotulelei’s two tackles in a 17-13 Carolina win over New Orleans — a victory that clinched a playoff berth for the Panthers.
For Miami, Koa Misi made six tackles, Paul Soliai made five tackles and Derrick Shelby also had a tackle, yet the Dolphins fell to the Buffalo Bills in a surprising upset, 19-0. Paul Kruger made four tackles in Cleveland’s 24-13 loss to the New York Jets, and Sean Smith had three tackles in a 23-7 Kansas City loss to Indianapolis. Brice McCain also earned four tackles in a 37-13 loss to Denver — a game where Peyton Manning set the all-time record for touchdown passes in an NFL season, with 51 touchdown tosses through 15 games.
Eric Weddle made four tackles and had an interception for San Diego.
Utah offensive alumni performances include Alex Smith’s 16-of-29 performance, throwing for 153 yards and two interceptions in the loss to Indianapolis. Steve Smith caught one pass for 44 yards in Carolina, but injured his knee and left the game. Smith is expected to undergo an MRI to assess the knee.
BYU alumnus Ezekiel Ansah made three tackles and had a sack for Detroit, yet the Lions lost a 23-20 overtime game to the New York Giants — a loss that eliminated them from playoff contention. Brett Keisel had a sack in Pittsburgh’s win over the Packers, and Bryan Kehl made a tackle in a 24-23 Washington loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
In Seattle, Bobby Wagner made nine tackles, yet Seattle was beaten at home for the first time this season, losing a 17-10 game to the Arizona Cardinals.
Former prep star performances include Haloti Ngata’s six tackles for Baltimore in the loss to New England, and Stanley Havili’s one catch for playoff-bound Indianapolis.