Just eight teams are left in the 2018 NFL Playoffs, and we’ll confess we’re pretty excited about seeing our Philadelphia Eagles make the cut after a four year drought — even if it’s without Quarterback Carson Wentz (with his heartbreaking late season injury).
With the playoffs in full swing this weekend and we thought it would be fun to round up each team’s star players this season and see where they played college ball. You might spot a few surprises!
E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES! We’ve had such a great team this season. Two Eagles players come from rival teams in Michigan, with Quarterback Nick Foles (you got this, Nick!) from Michigan State University and Defense End Brandon Graham from University of Michigan. Defense Tackle Fletcher Cox played for Mississippi State, and our sidelined QB Carson Wentz came all the way from North Dakota State University.
The Falcons hope they will be dancing the “Dirty Bird” dance this Saturday against the Eagles! It’s not too surprising that two of the team’s stars of 2017 hail from southern schools — Wide Receiver Julio Jones attended the University of Alabama and Linebacker Vic Beasley went to Clemson University. Quarterback Matt Ryan, however, is from right here in Philadelphia where he played for the William Penn Charter School before heading to Boston College.
“DUUUUUUVAL!” will be the rallying cry of the Jaguars as they play the Steelers this Sunday. Calais Campbell, a great defensive end, stayed close to his alma mater after playing for the University of Miami. Defensive Tackle Malik Jackson came from the nearby University of Tennessee, and Linebacker Telvin Smith also stayed near his college team at Florida State University.
HERE WE GO, Steelers, headed into the playoffs for the 30th time! Two Michigan schools contribute to this year’s star players with Wide Receiver Antonio Brown having played for Central Michigan University, while Running Back Le’Veon Bell having been a Spartan at Michigan State University. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was a RedHawk at Miami University in Ohio.
A’oo, A’oo, A’oo! The Tennessee Titans are up against the Patriots Saturday night, back to the playoffs for the first time in nine years. We’ve got a full slate of Midwesterners in the star players, with Running Back DeMarco Murray playing for the University of Oklahoma, Tackle Taylor Lewan played for the University of Michigan, and Tight End Delanie Walker was a Mule for the University of Central Missouri.
New England Patriots
The Patriots will “Get Up!” while they play the Titans Saturday in their 52nd playoff game! Quarterback Tom Brady was a Wolverine at the University Of Michigan, and currently injured Linebacker Dont’a Hightower was part of the Crimson Tide at Alabama. Oregon State University is proud to call Wide Receiver Brandin Cooks an alum, and Tight End Rob Gronkowski hails from the University of Arizona.
New Orleans Saints
Who dat? The Saints made it to playoffs for the 17th time this season! Quarterback Drew Brees played at Purdue University. Defensive End Cameron Jordan shined during his time playing for the University of California, Berkeley. Center Max Unger was a key offensive player for the Oregon Ducks.
You might hear cries of “Skol!” while watching the Saints play the Vikings on Sunday. IT means “cheers” or “well wishes” in Danish/Swedish/Icelandic. Cornerback Xavier Rhodes played for the slightly warmer Florida State University but Safety Harrison Smith defended the Fighting Irish at Notre Dame. Defense End Everson Griffen spent his college years at the University of Southern California.
The team that dominates this year’s NFL playoffs in the final eight? It’s the University of Michigan, sending alumni to the Eagles, the Titans, and the Patriots! Congrats to the blue and maize!
We’re looking forward to the games this weekend, but pardon us if we’re mostly cheering on our Eagles. Good luck to all eight!