Playing in the Super Bowl is becoming the norm for McQueen High alum Kyle Van Noy.
The New England Patriots linebacker is going to the big game for the third straight season. Van Noy and the Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 37-31, in overtime Sunday to win the AFC title. Van Noy played a big role, recording a team-high 10 tackles, including two sacks and a forced fumble.
Van Noy had the best regular season of his career in 2018, playing a full 16 games for the first time in his five-year career and recording a personal-best 92 tackles, including 3.5 sacks, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, one interception and one touchdown. The Patriots play the Los Angeles Rams on Feb. 3 in Super Bowl LIII. Van Noy is 1-1 in the game, beating the Falcons two seasons ago before losing to the Eagles last year.
Here is a look at how all of the locals in the NFL fared this season
* OG Joel Bitonio, Browns: The Wolf Pack alum had the best season of his NFL career, playing all 16 games as the Browns went 7-8-1 after winning just one game the prior two seasons. Bitonio was named second-team AP All-Pro and made the Pro Bowl as an injury alternate, which will be is first appearance in the game.
* LB Brandon Marshall, Broncos: Marshall, a 2011 Nevada graduate, missed five games with a knee injury and finished with 42 tackles, his fewest since 2013. With a $9 million cap hit in 2019, it's likely Marshall gets cut this offseason. If he does, he's had a great six-year tenure with the Broncos, starting 64 games and recording 423 tackles from 2013-18 while playing in two Super Bowls, winning one.
“I’d welcome it, absolutely,” Marshall told the Denver Post about returning to the Broncos after the regular-season finale. “But it’s up to (the Broncos’ front office). There would have to be some financials worked out and the situation would have to be perfect and good for me. Because I still feel like I’ve got a lot left. I’ve still got some in the tank. We’ll see who believes in me the most.”
* TE Virgil Green, Chargers: In his first season in Los Angeles after seven seasons in Denver, Green caught 19 passes for 210 yards, both being the second-highest figures in his career. The Wolf Pack alum also caught the fifth touchdown of his career. Green and the Chargers beat the Ravens in the first round of the playoffs before losing to the Patriots in round two.
* WR Rishard Matthews, Titans/Jets: The Wolf Pack alum had an interesting season, requesting a release from the Titans after falling down the depth chart before signing with the New York Jets. His season was eventually ended by a hamstring injury. He finished the year with five catches for 24 yards over eight games after averaging 54 catches for 801 yards and 5.7 touchdowns per game over the previous three season. The future is uncertain for the 29-year-old.
* OL Austin Corbett, Browns: The rookie out of Nevada was in the mix for a starting job in training camp but eventually was shuffled down the depth chart behind a strong interior on Cleveland's line. Corbett, the No. 33 pick in the 2018 draft, played in 11 games with one start. He'll return next season battling for a starting job, potentially at center.
* TE Jacob Hollister, Patriots: The former Wolf Pack walk-on (for one season) caught four passes for 52 yards before being placed on the reserved/injured list Jan. 8 with a hamstring issue.
* DE Lenny Jones, Browns: The Wolf Pack alum spent the season on the Cleveland Browns' reserve/injured list.
* WR Cody Hollister, Patriots: The former Wolf Pack walk-on (for one season) underwent back surgery last summer and spent the year on the reserve list.
* WR Devin Gray, Falcons: The Reed High and Cincinnati graduate stuck on the Atlanta Falcons' practice squad the entire season.
* RB James Butler, Raiders: Butler, who spent three seasons at Nevada, spent two months on the Oakland Raiders' practice squad and was signed to a reserve/future contract in January.
* WR Jace Billingsley, Patriots: Billingsley had two stints on the Patriots' practice squad before being cut in late September.