Former Buffs Set For NFL Playoffs
BOULDER–It's NFL Playoff time and every game in the first round will have a Buffs' flavor to it either on the field or the sidelines. A total of 10 players and five coaches called Colorado home and will be continuing their respective NFL seasons in the Playoffs.
Things kick off Saturday afternoon when the Las Vegas Raiders take on the Cincinnati Bengals. Chidobe Awuzie has been one of the best corners in the league this season and Josh Tupou has been a force on the defensive line for the Bengals all season. On the Raiders' side, former Buff Eric Holz serves as the assistant wide receivers coach, meaning he will be scheming how the Raiders' offense can be successful against Awuzie and Co.
Saturday evening the focus shifts to the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills. Sherman has been on the practice squad most of the season for the Patriots but did make his NFL debut in week five, a 25-22 win over the Texans.
Sunday kicks off with the Philadelphia Eagles taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Davion Taylor has been on the IR since Week 11 but had been making an impact on the Eagles defense the first two-thirds of the season. He finished his sophomore NFL season with 40 tackles and two forced fumbles.
Sunday afternoon the San Francisco 49ers take on the Dallas Cowboys. Former CU player, assistant coach, and head coach Jon Embree serves as the Assistant Head Coach and Tight Ends coach for the 49ers. In San Francisco, Embree has coached George Kittle to multiple pro bowls, and this season he finished with 71 catches for 910 yards and six touchdowns.
Sunday night the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Kansas City Chiefs. Former All-American, assistant coach, and offensive coordinator Eric BIenimey is the OC for the Chiefs and will be going up against a stingy defense that includes Ahkello Witherspoon, who has been making waves the last part of the season, including getting a big interception against Baker Mayfield and the Browns to help get the Steelers in the playoffs. Also on the Steelers is offensive line coach Chris Morgan, who is in his 13th year as an assistant in the NFL and coached in two Super Bowls.
The NFL Playoffs will extend into Monday on Wildcard Weekend for the first time this season and will see the Arizona Cardinals and L.A. Rams take center stage. Former quarterback and assistant coach Vance Joseph is the defensive coordinator for the Cardinals.
With the top seed in each conference getting a bye, the Tennessee Titans and Green Bay Packers will both begin their respective playoff journeys next week. Daniel Munyer has been on the Tennessee practice squad since the 2019 season. The Packers have four Buffs with David Bakhtiari, Mason Crosby, Kabion Ento, and Juwann Winfree all members of the team.
Bakhtiari returned from a late-season 2020 injury for the 20201 season finale and should be good to go in the playoffs. Crosby handled all placekicking duties again for the Packers. Winfree became a regular on the offense and Ento has mostly been on the practice squad this season.