The NFL playoffs came to a close on Sunday, Jan. 20 after the NFC and AFC Championships. Over the weekend, four former elite Boise State Bronco players were on a warpath to get to the top to claim the Super Bowl Champion title. In the end, it is the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots who will head to the Super Bowl.
This weekend during the NFC Championship game, former Bronco Donte Deayon took the field with the Los Angeles Rams. This year is Deayon’s sixth season with the Rams, and so far he has a total of 186 yards with one touchdown this year. On Sunday he played against past Idahoans who didn’t attend Boise State, such as tight-end Josh Hill who is from Blackfoot, Idaho and attended Idaho State, and Taysom Hill who graduated from Highland High in Pocatello and attended Brigham Young University.
“Josh Hill is a great asset to the team but has a lot of growing to do,” said Boise State freshman Nathan Marx, who is an avid Saints fan.
Saints backup quarterback Taysom Hill, who hasn’t had a lot of playing time this season, was thrown in the game as a wildcard player. In his last game of the season he ran into the endzone scoring a touchdown for the Saints before they went into overtime. But despite the teams best efforts to win, they came up short when they went into overtime and ended their season 23-26.
“I’m depressed knowing my favorite team isn’t going to the Super Bowl this year,” Marx said. “I am still optimistic and believe that they will redeem themselves next year and be back in the playoffs again.”
After the Saints defeat from the Los Angeles Rams in over time due to a interception from the Rams which left the team in despair. Drew Brees addressed their game in a post-game conference on Sunday night acknowledging their mistakes.
“I think there were plenty of times offensively, we didn’t take advantage of,” said Saints quarterback Drew Brees. “But it was a hard fought game on both sides, credit to them, they did a great job.”
This weekend in the AFC Conference, the New England Patriots battled the Kansas City Chiefs who were ranked No. 1 in their conference. Hoping to claim the title of AFC Champion was Boise State alumni Orlando Scandrick, who is currently in his 11th season in the NFL. This is his first year with the Kansas City Chiefs, but Scandrick’s past 10 seasons were with the Dallas Cowboys. In his career with the Chiefs he has made 44 tackles and one interception. With his hopes high, Scandrick and his team came shy of winning the AFC Championship against the Patriots, going into overtime and leaving Kansas city in an upset yet again with the game ending 31-37.
After Sunday’s games, only one former Boise State Bronco is left in the running to claim their very own Super Bowl 53 ring: Los Angeles Rams player Donte Deayon. But, there are other former Broncos who recently lost in the playoffs before last weekend. Joe Trahan, media relations and corporate communications coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys, spoke to Leighton Vander Esch after he was drafted into the NFL.
“There’s a lot to live up to, and I’m gonna do just that and more,” Vander Esch said. “Like I said, we’ve got Super Bowls to win. A lot of them.”
This season, Vander Esch has proven himself with 140 tackles and two interceptions. With one season under his belt, Vander Esch has more room to grow as a player and create more success for himself in the years to come, which could set him up to reach the Super Bowl in the future. Vander Esch also plays with another Boise State alumni, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. This was Lawrence’s fifth season with the Cowboys and proved to be his best year yet with a total of 64 tackles, 10.5 sacks and one interception.
These former Boise State football players are showing their alumni fans that they are still striving to become the best and get ahold of a Super Bowl ring one day down the line. Super Bowl 53 will be held on Sunday, Feb. 3 in Atlanta at 6:30 p.m.