January and that means the NFL playoffs are underway and in last weekend's wild
card games, four former University of Colorado football players battled for their
respective teams to advance in the playoffs.
first playoff game that involved a CU alum was played between the Seattle
Seahawks and the Washington Redskins. Tyler
Polumbus, starting at right
tackle for the Redskins, was protecting Robert Griffin III until the first-year quarterback left the game
with an injury and was replaced by fellow rookie Kirk Cousins.
The fourth quarter injury was too
much for the Redskins to recover from as Seattle escaped Washington, D.C. with
a 24-14 victory. This was the second playoff appearance for Polumbus as he also
appeared in a 2010 game with Seattle. For the Redskins, it had been seven years
since the franchise's last playoff appearance.
Mason Crosby and
Brad Jones of the Green Bay Packers are
two former Buffs still alive in the hunt for the NFC Championship.
However advancing in the playoffs
for the Packers meant they had to defeat the Minnesota Vikings, a team who had
just defeated the Packers in the regular season finale. The biggest concern for
Jones and his teammates was facing Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson, who
rushed for 199 yards and a touchdown in the week 17 contest.
The wild card game would yield
far different results as Peterson rushed for only 99 yards and never reached
the end zone. Jones made his first start in a playoff game and recorded five
tackles to lead Green Bay's fierce defense. Crosby connected on all three PAT
attempts and his lone field goal on the day from 20 yards out.
Green Bay will play at the San
Francisco 49ers in the NFC divisional round Saturday at 6 p.m. MST.
On the AFC side of the bracket, Jimmy Smith was playing for the
Baltimore Ravens in what could have been teammate Ray Lewis' final game in the
NFL. Luckily for Smith and his future hall of fame teammate, the Ravens were
able to defeat the Andrew Luck led Indianapolis Colts 24-9.
The Ravens will now face Justin Bannan and the Denver Broncos in
the AFC divisional round this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. MST. Smith has been a part
of the playoffs in each of his first two NFL seasons with Baltimore while
Bannan will be making his third appearance in the playoffs. His first two
visits came while he played in Baltimore from 2006-09.
like Bannan, received the luxury of a first round playoff bye and watched the
wild card games to find out who he
and the New England Patriots will take on in the divisional round. The Patriots
will have a rematch on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. MST with the Houston Texans, who
they routed 42-14 on Monday Night Football in week 14 of the regular season.
All five of the remaining
Colorado alums hope to continue to roam on in the playoffs, all the way to
February and Super Bowl XLVII.