Photo courtesy of the Denver Broncos Media Services

Each week The Nevada Sagebrush will take a look at former Wolf Pack players in the National Football League. The week three edition is highlighted by multiple defensive standouts.

Brandon M.Marshall Linebacker, Denver Broncos

In the starting line-up since week one, Marshall has only gotten better for the best team in the AFC. The former fifth-round pick registered a career-high 12 tackles in a 26-20 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Marshall is currently designated in the top 10 in the NFL with 30 combined tackles and ranks higher than 2014 Pro Bowl selections Patrick Willis, Brian Orakpo and Vontaze Burfict in that category. 2.

Josh Mauga Linebacker, Kansas City Chiefs

While Mauga’s tackle totals have been declining since a solid week one performance at home, his team was still able to notch a victory. The Chiefs were able to best Miami on the road and the linebacker posted five tackles in the win to give him 19 total on the season. In a special aside, Mauga and teammate James-Michael Johnson are the only duo in the NFL that start at both middle linebacker spots on any 3-4 defense in the league and also went to the same college.

James-Michael Johnson Linebacker, Kansas City Chiefs

As the man who took over Mauga’s starting linebacker position at Nevada, JMJ has furthered his development each game this season. The 25-year old native of Vallejo, California notched a season-high five combined tackles against the Dolphins and as mentioned above, his team was victorious.

Honorable Mention Duke Williams Safety, Buffalo Bills

Williams had his best game this season by ringing up five total tackles and helping to limit Chargers’ tight end Antonio Gates to just one catch for eight yards. This was one week after Gates torched the vaunted “Legion of Boom” secondary of the Seattle Seahawks for three touchdowns. Even though the Bills lost their first game, the Hug High School alumnus did his part to limit San Diego receivers.


Chris Boline can be reached at