Mountain West football is back (for now)! This is news that we’ve all been hoping for in the last few weeks. If Mountain West teams can hold it together for the next two weeks then our favorite college football teams will be back in action. With COVID-19 again trying to spike back into our lives at peak levels, who knows what will happen? Everyone cross your fingers. Until then, let’s keep tracking former Mountain West football players as they do work in the NFL.
Each week of the NFL season we will highlight the top five performances from former Mountain West titans. It’s important to note that the list is highly subjective and will have a bias towards players that rack up counting stats (yards, tackles, sacks, completions, etc.). In addition to the top five, we’ll throw in some notable performances from former MWC players. If we miss something, let us know in the comments and we’ll feature it in an “oops” section the following week.
Top Five Mountain West Conference Performances
Jason Sanders, Kicker, Miami Dolphins~ 5/5 Field Goals, Long 45
Well, well, well...New Mexico is on the board with the former Lobo’s kicker going a perfect 5 - 5 on field goal tries in a close loss to the Seahawks. Could it be argued that there were better performances from Mountain West stars in the NFL than Sanders? Yes. Could it be argued that the Dolphins tepid play calling led to the barrage of short field goals? Absolutely. Could it be argued that kickers don’t belong on a “best of” list? No, kickers are players too, and Jason Sanders takes the number 5 spot for week 5!
Andrew Wingard, Safety, Jacksonville Jaguars ~ 10 Tackles - 1 Pass Defensed
The number four player on the list is Wyoming Cowboy legend Andrew Wingard. Wingard tallied 10 tackles and finished with one pass defensed in a loss to the Bengals. The Jacksonville safety has made the list in multiple weeks and continues to rack up the stats early into the season. A note to #JagsTwitter: get more videos of your guys up on the web, you’re killing me here!
Derek Carr, Quarterback, Las Vegas Raiders ~ 32/44 - 311 yards ~ 20 Rushing Yards - 2 Passing Touchdowns ~ 1 Fumble Lost
Derek Carr makes his return to the list at number three. The former Fresno State Bulldog put up some monster stats against the Bills (44 passes!), but it wasn’t enough. The Raiders lost the game, but Carr did more than enough to reclaim a spot on the list after a one week hiatus. We also finally have some video evidence of football greatness for the list.
Derek Carr patiently finds Jason Witten for the touchdown:
Nice job of Derek Carr coming off of Darren Waller & finding Jason Witten on his Over route. Raiders offense will really benefit from any off-script offense they can create. This was a nice throw. #RaiderNation pic.twitter.com/gHXAkmolqW— Chris Reed (@ChrisReed_NFL) October 4, 2020
Unfortunately, there was also this:
Derek Carr: "I'm sick and tired of losing"— terry redman (@terryluvsrim) October 5, 2020
Also Derek Carr: pic.twitter.com/1JvSChkccl
Bobby Wagner, Linebacker, Seattle Seahawks ~12 Tackles ~ 1 Pass Defensed
Another frequent member of the MWC Stars in the NFL list makes his return; Utah State legend Bobby Wagner racked up a dozen tackles in a win against the Dolphins on Sunday. Wagner is making a case for the title of “Best Linebacker in the NFL” and earned the number two spot on this list after sniffing out every screen and dump off route that the Dolphins could dream up. As is a theme this week, there are no readily available videos to show off Wagner’s textbook tackling this week. We’ll settle for a quote from the man himself.
This will endear the linebacker to the “12’s”:
Bobby Wagner says doesn't think it will matter much that Dolphins will have some fans there Sunday: "Not really because they are not our fans.''— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) September 30, 2020
Josh Allen, Quarterback, Buffalo Bills ~ 24/34 - 288 Yards - 2 Passing Touchdowns - 0 Turnovers ~1 Rushing Touchdown
Wyoming Cowboy gunslinger Josh Allen returns to his usual spot as the best Mountain West player in the NFL this week. After a controversial second place finish last week, Allen reclaims the title. Allen has been remarkably consistent this season after being notably inconsistent early in his NFL career. The Wyoming legend pulled out the win against Las Vegas, accounting for three touchdowns and did not turn the ball over. Even more important, we have actual video of his passes!
Here’s a good breakdown of some of his throws this week:
I don't know how it happened and I don't care to find out but Josh Allen is having an MVP like start to his season. His accuracy has improved leaps and bounds and he's making reads all over the field— seth galina (@pff_seth) October 6, 2020
Here's 138 seconds of really great quarterback play against the Raiders: pic.twitter.com/lUUqC1cyqI
Here’s a no sound version showing off Allen’s arm:
Here are OUR (not my) week four Josh Allen Highlights against the Las Vegas Raiders— Matt Weston (@Matt__Weston) October 7, 2020
His glowing and gracious light, like the sun, is here to save everyone from boring bland football pic.twitter.com/r57s0cLemL
Notable Plays From Week Two:
The official week four list is complete. Wyoming leads the way with two names on the list and were joined by Fresno State, Utah State and, surprisingly, New Mexico. We’ll add two more notable plays from Mountain West luminaries to round out the week.
Boise State turned Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison found the end zone in a win against the Texans:
Another Boise State legend rounds out the week. Brett Rypien had an up-and-down day in his first NFL start, but he led the Denver Broncos to a victory against the Jets:
First Touchdown of Brett Rypien’s Career! A 48 Yard to Jerry Jeudy!! pic.twitter.com/dupa6K63VA— Boise Edits (@boise_edits) October 2, 2020
Enjoy another week of NFL stars from the Mountain West as we (not so) patiently await the return of Mountain West football.