Dec. 31, 2007
IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa will be well represented when the NFL playoffs begin Saturday, Jan. 5. Four of the 12 playoff-qualifying teams have former Hawkeyes on their rosters, led by the San Diego Chargers and Green Bay Packers with three apiece.
In all, there are nine former Iowa student-athletes in the playoffs, although Colin Cole and Abdul Hodge of the Packers are both on injured reserve.
Running back Ladell Betts of Washington will be the first to participate in the postseason on Saturday when his 9-7 Redskins travel to Seattle for a game that begins at 3:30 p.m. CT. Betts is in his sixth season with the Redskins. He is second on the team with 335 rushing yards (one touchdown) and has 21 pass receptions for 174 yards and another score. Betts has also returned five kickoffs for 108 yards.
Three former Hawkeyes will be in action on Sunday, Jan. 6, for San Diego when the 11-5 Chargers host Tennessee at 3:30 CT. The San Diego roster includes 10-year veteran Mike Goff at guard, fourth-year kicker Nate Kaeding and rookie tight end Scott Chandler. Goff has started all 16 games this season for San Diego and helped the Charger offense average 315.3 yards per game (127 rushing, 188 passing). Kaeding has converted 24 of 27 field goals and all 46 extra-point kicks in 2007. Of his 72 kickoffs, seven have gone for touchbacks. Chandler has appeared in one game.
Indianapolis (13-3) and Green Bay (13-3) — teams with first-round playoff byes — boast a combined five former Iowa players. Green Bay will host a playoff game on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 3:30 p.m. CT. Joining Cole and Hodge on the Packer team is All-Pro defensive end Aaron Kampman, who is in his sixth season. Kampman has 12 quarterback sacks to go with 64 tackles this season (48 solo, 16 assists). Before getting injured, Cole had 12 tackles and Hodge had 10.
The Colts will host a playoff game on Sunday, Jan. 13, at noon CT. Indianapolis is led on defense by All-Pro strong safety Bob Sanders, who has 96 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions (for 32 yards). Sanders is in his fourth season. Tight end Dallas Clark — who is in his fifth year with the Colts — has caught 58 passes for 616 yards and 11 touchdowns. He has also carried the ball twice for 29 yards.
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