Former Ute Weddle helps lead San Diego to playoffs

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SALT LAKE CITY — When the San Diego Chargers most needed a play against the Kansas City Chiefs, Eric Weddle answered the call just as he has all season for the Chargers.

His inspired play all season, including a fourth-down attempt, pushed San Diego into the playoffs and gave former Utah quarterback-turned-Chargers coach Mike McCoy a playoff berth in his first season in San Diego. Overall, Weddle made 12 tackles in San Diego’s 27-24 overtime victory Sunday over Kansas City, which played without Alex Smith.

Other Utah alumni had noteworthy performances in week 17 of the NFL season. Matt Asiata rushed for 115 yards in Minnesota’s 14-13 win over Detroit; Paul Kruger made seven tackles and forced a fumble in the 20-7 Cleveland loss to Pittsburgh, and Star Lotulelei had two tackles and a sack in Carolina’s 21-20 win over the Atlanta Falcons — a win that gives the Panthers a first-round bye. In Miami, Koa Misi made four tackles, Derrick Shelby made six tackles and Paul Soliai made one tackle, yet Miami lost to the New York Jets, 20-7.

Eric Weddle made 12 tackles, as the San Diego Chargers made the AFC playoffs for the first time since 2009.

Brice McCain made five tackles and had an interception for Houston, yet the Texans finished their worst season ever with a 16-10 loss to Tennessee. Sean Smith had a tackle for Kansas City in its loss at San Diego, and Stevenson Sylvester made three tackles for the Steelers in their win over Cleveland.

Bobby Wagner made 12 tackles for the Seattle Seahawks in a 27-9 win over St. Louis. Robert Turbin also rushed for 13 yards, as the Seahawks clinched home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

Brett Keisel made three tackles and a sack and forced a fumble for Pittsburgh in its win over Cleveland. Ezekiel Ansah made a tackle in Detroit’s loss to Minnesota, finishing a late-season collapse that cost coach Jim Schwartz his job in the Motor City.

Haloti Ngata made seven tackles for Baltimore in the Ravens’ 34-17 loss to Cincinnati. Stanley Havili caught two passes for 18 yards in a 30-10 win over Jacksonville.

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Jon Oglesby


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