Several NFL teams off to a good start this season are flooded with players from the Beehive State.
Four undefeated teams — the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs and now the New England Patriots — all list players with local ties on their active rosters. Four more teams sporting familiar faces — the Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears — have only one loss at the season's quarter mark. Combined, that is 18 out of 37 local players or coaches who are now on NFL teams with winning records.
Splitting the statistic even further, half of the 18 players are Utah Utes alumni. The most prominent names from the nine Utes with winning records are Kansas City's Alex Smith and Sean Smith and the Broncos' Zane Beadles.
On the season, Alex Smith completed 60.3 percent of his pass attempts, resulting in seven touchdowns. Last weekend he threw for 288 yards in the Chiefs' 31-7 win over the New York Giants. In that same game, Sean Smith recorded four solo tackles. Beadles is a key player on Denver's outstanding offensive line. He started at left guard and helped create 472 total yards in the Broncos' 52-20 win over Philadelphia.
BYU and Utah State come in next, tied with three alumni each on winning NFL teams. BYU is now represented on an undefeated team after the New England Patriots picked up NFL free agent and former BYU wide reciever Austin Collie. Ezekiel Ansah is having a good rookie debut on the 3-1 Detroit Lions. Last week he recorded one tackle and defended a pass.
Utah State is well represented on the Seattle Seahawks by Bobby Wagner and Robert Turbin. Last week, Wagner recorded a team-leading eight tackles in Seattle's 23-20 overtime win against Houston.
One Weber State and two Utah high school players are also representing the state of Utah while playing on winning NFL teams.
Whitney O'Bannon is a new media sports writer for the Deseret News. Follow on Twitter at @whitney_oban.
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