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#USCtotheNFL 2022 Playoff Preview

Jan 15, 2022

The 2022 NFL Playoffs are here, and 12 Trojans are in the running to become Super Bowl champions.

On Saturday, Jan. 15, the AFC's 5th-seeded Raiders, featuring USC alum Jordan Simmons on the offensive line, take on the 4th-seeded Bengals. Simmons started the season on the Seahawks, but was signed by Las Vegas in September.

Next up, wide receiver Nelson Agholor and the AFC's 6th-seeded Patriots will face the 3rd-seeded Bills, who have cornerback Olaijah Griffin on their practice squad. Agholor posted 37 catches for 473 yards and 3 TD this season.

Sunday morning's game between the NFC 7-seed Eagles and 2-seed Buccaneers will feature Trojans on both sides. Defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu had 5 total tackles for the Birds in his rookie season, while Bucs RB Ronald Jones II had 101 carries for 428 yards and 4 scores.

On Sunday afternoon, the NFC 6-seed 49ers face the 3-seed Cowboys. Rookie safety Talanoa Hufanga had 32 tackles and 2 passes defended for San Francisco this season. He'll be going up against perhaps USC's most revered pro: 2x All-Pro and 8x Pro Bowl offensive tackle Tyron Smith. After a brief stint on the COVID-19 reserve list, Smith is back in action for the playoffs.

Sunday night pits the AFC's 7th-seeded Steelers against the 2nd-seeded Chiefs. The Steelers have more Trojans than any other team: OL Zach Banner and WR JuJu Smith-Schuster on the active roster and WR Tyler Vaughns on the practice squad. Smith-Schuster underwent shoulder surgery and was expected to be out for the season, but he recovered sooner than expected and will be available for Sunday's game.

On Monday, LB Devon Kennard will suit up for the NFC 5-seed Cardinals against the 4-seed Rams. Kennard had 24 tackles for Arizona this season plus 2 passes defended and a fumble recovery. Wideout Robert Woods is on injured reserve for Los Angeles after tearing his ACL.

Full list of Trojans in the NFL Playoffs:

  • WR JuJu Smith Schuster (Steelers)
  • OL Zach Banner (Steelers
  • WR Tyler Vaughns (Steelers/PS)
  • WR Nelson Agholor (Patriots)
  • CB Olaijah Griffin (Bills/PS)
  • OL Jordan Simmons (Raiders)
  • DL Marlon Tuipulotu (Eagles)
  • RB Ronald Jones II (Buccaneers)
  • S Talanoa Hufanga (49ers)
  • OL Tyron Smith (Cowboys)
  • LB Devon Kennard (Cardinals)
  • WR Robert Woods (Rams/IR)

USCtotheNFL Playoff Schedule:

Saturday, Jan. 15
(5) Raiders at (4) Bengals: 1:30 pm PT on NBC
OL Jordan Simmons (Raiders)

(6) Patriots at (3) Bills: 5:15 pm PT on CBS
WR Nelson Agholor (Patriots), DB Olaijah Griffin (Bills/PS)

Sunday, Jan. 16
(7) Eagles at (2) Buccaneers: 10 am PT on FOX
DL Marlon Tuipulotu (Eagles), RB Ronald Jones II (Buccaneers)

(6) 49ers at (3) Cowboys: 1:30 pm PT (CBS and Nickelodeon)
S Talanoa Hufanga (49ers), OL Tyron Smith (Cowboys)

(7) Steelers at (2) Chiefs: 5:15 pm PT (NBC)
OL Zach Banner (Steelers), WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (Steelers), WR Tyler Vaughns (Steelers/PS)

Monday, Jan. 17
(5) Cardinals at (4) Rams: 5:15 pm PT (ABC/ESPN)
LB Devon Kennard (Cardinals), WR Robert Woods (Rams/IR)