The NFL’s postseason begins tomorrow with *ahem* SUPER WILD CARD WEEKEND! It’s like regular wild card weekend in years past except, you know, super. There’s a game on Monday night so I guess that makes it super.
Anyway, LSU is currently riding a 20-year streak of having at least one former player compete in a Super Bowl dating all the way back to 2002 with Kevin Faulk and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 36. This year, LSU leads all schools with 29 former players on playoff rosters.
LSU’s streak will continue to 21 years as all seven teams in the AFC’s playoffs feature at least one former Tiger. And there’s a really good chance Super Bowl 56 will feature Tigers on both sides provided Green Bay does not make it. Let’s look ahead to the playoffs.
Saturday January 15
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Cincinatti Bengals, 3:30 P.M., NBC
Former Tigers: Joe Burrow (CIN), Ja’Marr Chase (CIN), Thad Moss (CIN, On IR) Foster Moreau (LV), Tyler Shelvin (CIN)
The NFL did us a favor by scheduling kickoff right around the time Saturday’s LSU-Arkansas game should be ending. I suppose someone has to win this game but the Raiders haven’t won a playoff game since 2002 while the Bengals haven’t won since 1991 which is the longest active NFL drought.
It’s wild where Joe Burrow has taken the Bengals in just two seasons. Cincy was picking first overall a little over two years ago and now they’re AFC North champions, hosting a playoff game and expected to win. Ja’Marr Chase is the odds on favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year and even if the Raiders do pull the upset at least we can be happy for Foster Moreau. But I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say Who Dey.
New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills, 7:15 P.M., CBS
Former Tigers: Reid Ferguson (BUF), Davon Godchaux (NE), Jalen Mills (NE, On COVID-19 Reserve), Tre’Davious White (BUF, On IR)
Saturday night will be the rubber match between the AFC East rivals and the low in Buffalo tomorrow night should be five degrees. Five!
This game is a little less LSU-y with Mills and White both inactive for Saturday’s night, but Godchaux is heavily involved in New England’s defensive line rotation while Ferguson, of course, handles long snapping duties. Let’s hope if we see a ton of Reid it’s because he’s snapping field goal attempts and PATs.
Sunday January 16
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 12:00 P.M., FOX
Former Tigers: Leonard Fournette (TB), Devin White (TB), Kevin Minter (TB), Cyril Grayson (TB), Rashard Robinson (TB) Kary Vincent Jr. (PHI), JaCoby Stevens (PHI, On Practice Squad)
Tampa, the defending Super Bowl champions, have the most former Tigers on its roster. But don’t feel like you have to cheer for them, you don’t! Maybe Kary Vincent will intercept Old Man Brady four times and the Eagles will stun the champs?!
San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys, 3:30 P.M., CBS/Nickelodeon
Former Tigers: La’el Collins (DAL), Jabril Cox (DAL, On IR), Arden Key (SF)
If nothing else you should watch this game because it will also be broadcasted on Nickelodeon and it was a lot of fun last year!
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 7:15 P.M., NBC
Former Tigers: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC), Darrel Williams (KC), Tyrann Mathieu (KC), Trai Turner (PIT)
The Chiefs have made the AFC Championship Game the last three years and won the past two. To me they’re the favorites in the AFC as far as I’m concerned.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire didn’t practice Thursday so his status for Sunday night is questionable. Darrel Williams and Tyrann Mathieu were also on Kansas City’s injury report with Williams participating in a limited capacity while Mathieu was a full go.
The Chiefs are a big favorite over Pittsburgh and it probably won’t go well. I just hope Trai Turner has fun.
Monday January 17
Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams, 7:15 P.M., ABC/ESPN
Former Tigers: Andrew Whitworth (LA), Odell Beckham Jr. (LA), Rashard Lawrence (AZ)
The Rams really boned the Saints this past Sunday, blowing a 17-0 lead over the 49ers at home that would lead to the Saints being left out in the cold. I cannot in good conscience root for them. Go Cards in my most biased opinion.
Teams on bye: Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers
Former Tigers: Kristian Fulton (TEN), Tory Carter (TEN, On IR), Racey McMath (TEN)
The road to the Super Bowl runs through Nashville (where I live!) and Green Bay for the AFC and NFC respectively. That only one team gets a first round bye nowadays is so much more valuable so the Titans and Packers only need to win two games to make it to LA as opposed to three.
Tennessee’s got plenty of LSU on its roster in the form of Kristian Fulton, Tory Carter, and Racey McMath. Green Bay, on the other hand, doesn’t have anyone on its roster from LSU. Not active, not on the IR, heck not even on the practice squad or signed to a future contract.
What I’m saying is cheer against Green Bay. They’re the only thing preventing the fifth consecutive All-LSU Super Bowl. May their arrogance lead to heartbreak.