Locals in the NFL: Here are the 33 Utah products joining the Browns in their 1st postseason in 18 years

Cleveland Browns linebacker Sione Takitaki looks back as he runs for a 50-yard interception return touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) [Nov-26-2020]

(Ron Schwane, Associated Press)



Estimated read time: 7-8 minutes

AROUND THE SHIELD — For the first time in 18 years, the Browns are headed to the NFL playoffs.

For the first time in his two-year pro career, former BYU linebacker Sione Takitaki is, as well.

Baker Mayfield threw for 196 yards and a touchdown, but it was the quarterback's three-yard sprint for a first down on third-and-two that lifted nearly two decades of frustration off Browns fans' collective shoulders, clinching a 24-22 win Sunday over the Pittsburgh Steelers that sent Cleveland to its first postseason since 2002.

The Browns (11-5) held the Steelers to just 85 yards on the ground, led by linebacker Jacob Phillips' 10 tackles, one tackle for loss and a quarterback hurry.

Takitaki, the former BYU standout who was drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, added two tackles, and former Salem Hills quarterback Porter Gustin added two stops at defensive end.

"We're not satisfied," Mayfield told reporters after Sunday's win. "We expected to be here. We've worked extremely hard to get here … but we're on to the next one. We're not satisfied."

Takitaki and Gustin are two of the 33 former Utah high school and college football products to earn a spot in the postseason of arguably the strangest season in NFL history.

From playing in empty or mostly empty stadiums to having games rescheduled and reshuffled because of the coronavirus pandemic, the finish line was no sweeter than this year.

Especially for the Browns, just three years removed from a winless 0-16 season.

Here are other former local high school and college football standouts who will be playing in the 2021 NFL postseason.

Buffalo Bills' Zack Moss (20) rushes for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Munson)
Buffalo Bills' Zack Moss (20) rushes for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Munson)

Buffalo 56, Miami 26

Josh Allen threw for 224 yards and three touchdowns, and the Bills' defense picked off Tua Tagovailoa three times to shore up the AFC East title.

Bills (13-3) - CLINCHED

Zack Moss, RB, Utah: Ran for 8 yards on 3 carries as a reserve

Taron Johnson, DB, Weber State: Starting safety made 6 tackles, 1 pass breakup

Dolphins (10-6) - ELIMINATED

Eric Rowe, DB, Utah: Starting cornerback had team-high 7 tackles

Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU: Starting linebacker made 5 tackles

Washington 20, Philadelphia 14

Alex Smith's 13-yard strike to Logan Thomas with 20 seconds left in the half proved to be the difference as the Washington Football Team held on to clinch the NFC East on Sunday Night Football.

Football Team (7-9) - CLINCHED

Alex Smith, QB, Utah: Starting quarterback threw for 162 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions

Jared Norris, LB, Utah: Made 1 tackle on special teams as a reserve

Eagles (4-11-1) - ELIMINATED

No locals on the active roster

Baltimore 38, Cincinnati 3

Lamar Jackson threw for 113 yards and three touchdowns with an interception to help the Ravens lock up a playoff berth with a win over the previously eliminated Bengals.

Ravens (11-5) - CLINCHED

Tyler Huntley, QB, Utah: Completed one pass for 8 yards, ran 6 times for 5 yards in relief of Jackson

Bengals (4-11-1) - ELIMINATED

LeShaun Sims, CB, SUU: Starting cornerback made 4 tackles, 1 pass breakup

Xavier Su'a-Filo, OL, Timpview: Started at left guard

New Orleans 33, Carolina 7

Drew Brees threw for 201 yards and three touchdowns, and backup quarterback Taysom Hill ran for a score to help the Saints sweep the NFC South.

Saints (12-4) - CLINCHED

Taysom Hill, QB, BYU: Ran 7 times for 41 yards and a touchdown, caught 1 pass for 5 yards

Kaden Elliss, LB, Judge Memorial: Played as a reserve

Chase Hansen, LB, Utah/Lone Peak: Recently activated linebacker off practice squad played as a reserve

Marcus Williams, S, Utah: Inactive for Week 17 (ankle)

Panthers (5-11) - ELIMINATED

Tyler Larsen, OL, Utah State/Jordan: Played as a reserve

Indianapolis 28, Jacksonville 14

Johnathan Taylor ran for 253 yards and two touchdowns to pull the Colts over the finish line and into the playoffs.

Colts (11-5) - CLINCHED

Julian Blackmon, DB, Utah/Layton: Starting free safety made 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss

Noah Togiai, TE, Hunter: Inactive for Week 17 (coach's decision)

Jaguars (1-15) - ELIMINATED

No locals on active roster

Green Bay 35, Chicago 16

Aaron Rodgers threw for 240 yards and four touchdowns in a rivalry win that clinched the NFC North and No. 1 seed.

Packers (13-3) - CLINCHED

Jamaal Williams, RB, BYU: Ran for 26 yards on 5 carries

Jordan Love, QB, Utah State: Inactive for Week 17

Bears (8-8) - CLINCHED Wildcard

Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah: Inactive for Week 17 (shoulder)

Patrick Scales, LS, Utah State/Weber: Played 5 snaps on special teams

Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner reacts after a play against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner reacts after a play against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Seattle 26, San Francisco 23

Russell Wilson threw a pair of touchdown strikes, and Alex Collins' 8-yard scoring run with 1:49 remaining helped the Seahawks hold off the Niners to clinch the NFC West.

Seahawks (12-4) - CLINCHED

Bobby Wagner, LB, Utah State: Starting middle linebacker made 6 tackles

Cody Barton, LB, Utah/Brighton: Made 3 tackles on special teams as a reserve

Bryan Mone, DT, Highland: Played as a reserve

49ers (6-10) - ELIMINATED

Fred Warner, LB, BYU: Starting linebacker made team-high 10 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 2 quarterback hurries

Kai Nacua, S, BYU: Played as a reserve

Tony Bergstrom, OL, Utah/Skyline: Played as a reserve

Mitch Wishnowksy, P, Utah: Punted 5 times for 227 yards, a 45.4-yard average with a long of 49

NY Giants 23, Dallas 19

Daniel Jones threw for 229 yards and two touchdowns, and the Giants did just enough to eliminate the Cowboys from postseason contention.

Giants (5-10) - ELIMINATED

Kyler Fackrell, LB, Utah State: Starting linebacker made 3 tackles, 1 sack, 1 quarterback hurry

Jackson Barton, OT, Utah/Brighton: Inactive for Week 17

Cowboys (6-9) - ELIMINATED

Bradlee Anae, DE, Utah: Inactive for Week 17

Francis Bernard, LB, Utah/Herriman: Played as a reserve

Dalton Schultz, TE, Bingham: Starting tight end caught 7 passes for team-high 70 yards; intended target on game-sealing interception

Los Angeles Rams kicker Matt Gay (1) kicks a field goal against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Scott Eklund)
Los Angeles Rams kicker Matt Gay (1) kicks a field goal against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Scott Eklund)

LA Rams 18, Arizona 7

Troy Hill scored an 84-yard pick-six, and Matt Gay added three field goals to help the Rams clinch a postseason bid with a win over the Cardinals.

Rams (10-6) - CLINCHED

Matt Gay, K, Utah/UVU/Orem: Starting kicker made field goals of 28, 34 and 27 yards

Cardinals (8-8) - ELIMINATED

Leki Fotu, DT, Utah/Herriman: Played as a reserve

LA Chargers 38, Kansas City 21

Justin Herbert threw for 302 yards and three touchdowns for the already-eliminated Chargers against a Chiefs team that already clinched homefield advantage.

Chargers (7-9) - ELIMINATED

Michael Davis, CB, BYU: Starting cornerback made 3 tackles, 2 pass breakups

Nick Vigil, LB, Utah State/Fremont: Made 1 tackle as a reserve

Alohi Gilman, S, Orem: Starting safety made 2 tackles, 1 QB hurry

Sam Tevi, OL, Utah: Inactive for Week 17

Chiefs (14-2) - CLINCHED

Darwin Thompson, RB, Utah State: Starting running back ran or 45 yards, 1 touchdown on 14 carries; caught 7 passes for 65 yards, 1 touchdown

Daniel Sorensen, S, BYU: Playing sparingly as a reserve

Minnesota 37, Detroit 35

Kirk Cousins threw for 405 yards and three touchdowns to help the Vikings end the season with a win.

Vikings (7-9) - ELIMINATED

No locals on the active roster

Lions (5-11) - ELIMINATED

John Penisini, DL, Utah/Snow/West Jordan: Starting defensive tackle made 1 tackle

Miles Killebrew, S, SUU: Played as a reserve

New England 28, NY Jets 14

Cam Newton threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 79 more as the Patriots ended the season with a win.

Patriots (7-9) - ELIMINATED

No locals on the active roster

Jets (2-14) - ELIMINATED

Javelin Guidry, DB, Utah: Made 2 tackles, 1 forced fumble as a reserve

Las Vegas 32, Denver 31

Josh Jacobs ran for his second touchdown on a 1-yard plunge with 24 seconds left, and Derek Carr's 2-point conversion pass helped the Raiders rally by the Broncos.

Raiders (8-8) - ELIMINATED

Devontae Booker, RB, Utah: Ran for 16 yards on 5 carries as a reserve

Nevin Lawson, CB, Utah State: Made 9 tackles as a reserve

Dallin Leavitt, S, Utah State: Made 1 tackle on special teams as a reserve

Andre James, OT, Herriman: Played as a reserve

Broncos (5-8) - ELIMINATED

Garett Bolles, OT, Utah/Snow/Westlake: Started at left tackle

Tim Patrick, WR, Utah: Starting wide receiver caught 2 passes for 46 yards before leaving with an injury (foot)

Related Stories

SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast