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January 24, 2014

Pack Pros: Conference championship weekend

Former Wolfpack players in NFL Championship Weekend
Played at NC State
Steven Hauschka
Seattle Seahawks
Hauschka and the 13-3, NFC West Champion Seahawks will make the second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history on Feb. 2 against the Denver Broncos ... The veteran kicker has gone 3-of-3 on field goals and also made two PATs in each of Seattle's playoff wins ... His six playoff field goals are the second-most in the NFL, while his 22 points scored is ranked third ... Obviously, his 100 percent success rate on both field goals and extra points in the postseason is tied for first ... He finished the regular-season with several career-highs, including made field goals (33), field goals attempted (35), field goal percentage (94.3) and extra points made (44), while he made every PAT for the third time in his career ... He also set a career-high with 143 points scored, which ranked fourth in the NFL ... He ranked second in the league for field goal percentage and tied for fifth in made field goals ... He was 14-of-15 on attempts from 40 yards or more, while one of his two misses was blocked.
Nate Irving
Denver Broncos
Irving and the 13-3, AFC West Champion Broncos reached Super Bowl XLVIII with a 24-17 win over San Diego, followed by a 26-16 triumph over New England ... The third-year professional has started both playoff games with star linebacker Von Miller out with an injury ... Irving has totaled five postseason tackles with two coming in the most recent win ... He played in 15 regular-season games with four starts this year and totaled 41 stops with a sack and a defended pass.
R.J. Mattes
New England Patriots
Mattes was signed to the AFC East Champion Patriots' practice squad on Dec. 30 ... The rookie spent some time in training camp with the squad ... New England was eliminated from the postseason following a 26-16 loss to Denver.
J.R. Sweezy
Seattle Seahawks
The 13-3, NFC West Champion Seahawks reached their second Super Bowl in franchise history with a 23-15 win over the Saints, followed by a 23-17 victory against the 49ers ... Sweezy has started both playoff contests, while the Hawks have averaged 144.5 rushing yards per postseason game, which ranks fourth in the league ... Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch is the NFL's leading rusher in the playoffs with 249 yards and three touchdowns ... Sweezy started all 15 regular-season contests he has appeared in for the Hawks, and he helped the team pile up 2,188 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground this season ... They ranked fourth in the league for rushing offense, while Lynch tied for first in the league with 12 rushing scores and ranked sixth with 1,257 yards.
Adrian Wilson
New England Patriots
The veteran safety was placed on injured reserve on Aug. 31, but no further information about his injury was given ... The 12-4 Patriots won the AFC East, but were bounced from the postseason with a 26-16 loss to the Broncos.
Russell Wilson
Seattle Seahawks
Wilson led the 13-3 Seahawks to the NFC South crown and the franchise's second Super Bowl berth ... Wilson completed 9 of his 18 attempts for 103 yards in his team's 23-15 win over the Saints during the divisional round ... He had a much better game last weekend, when he led the Hawks to a 23-17 win over the 49ers and went 16-of-25 passing for 215 yards and a touchdown ... In two playoff contests, he has completed 58.1 percent of his passes (25-43) for 318 yards and a touchdown for a passer rating of 89.1 ... The second-year field general completed 63.1 percent of his attempts in the regular-season (257-407) for 3,357 yards and 26 touchdowns against nine interceptions ... He recorded a passer rating of 101.2 to set a career-high and also rushed 96 times for a career-best 539 yards (5.6 average) and a score ... Wilson ranked fourth in the NFL for passing yards per attempt (8.25), seventh in passer rating, tied for ninth in touchdown throws and 16th in passing yards ... He was elected to his second-straight Pro Bowl (but he won't play in the game due to the Super Bowl) and now has an overall mark of 27-9 as the starter, which ties Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the most wins by a field general in his first two seasons of the Super Bowl era, including the playoffs ... Wilson also surpassed 50 career touchdown throws this year; he is just the third quarterback to reach that mark in his first two seasons, joining Dan Marino and Peyton Manning.

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