The regular season drew to a close on Sunday, and former Buckeyes around the NFL helped propel their teams to victory. How did your favorite former Buckeyes fare in the last week of the 2014 season?
The Browns had the opportunity to keep the Ravens, a division rival, out of the playoffs, but with a third-string quarterback under center and a lot of drama in the locker room, they couldn't get it done. Former Buckeye Donte Whitner, who has been a leader for the Browns this season, had five tackles, including one for loss, and an assist. The Browns lost, 20-10.
To secure a wildcard spot, the Ravens needed the Chargers to lose in Kansas City, which is precisely what they did. The Chiefs were helped along by safety Kurt Coleman's two interceptions. Coleman's first interception, at the Kansas City 20-yard line on a deep pass intended for Eddie Royal, came just before the half, cutting very short a Chargers drive that could have put San Diego in a position to take a four-point lead going into halftime. Coleman's second interception came on the very last play of the game, and the Chiefs won, 19-7.
The Eagles beat the Giants on the road, and former Buckeye Malcolm Jenkins led Philadelphia in tackles with seven. Jenkins also had one assist. For the Giants, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins had two tackles. The Eagles won, 34-26.
The Colts won one on the road against the Tennessee Titans, and former Buckeye Dan "Boom" Herron was Indy's leading rusher, posting 35 yards on 10 carries. Herron also added three receptions for 31 yards, including one 26-yard catch. Indianapolis won, 27-10.
Philly Brown's Panthers will represent the NFC South in the playoffs after a dominant performance against the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome on Sunday. Brown was an impact player for Carolina, with 49 rushing yards on two carries. Brown also had one reception for 28 yards, and was Carolina's leading receiver on the day. Former Buckeye Andrew Norwell also had a big day for the Panthers, and his run blocking was instrumental in Carolina's success. The Panthers won, 34-3.
The Broncos won a decisive victory against the Oakland Raiders at home, clinching a first-round bye and the second seed in the AFC for the 2014 playoffs. Former Buckeye Bradley Roby contributed three tackles to Denver's defensive effort. The Broncos won, 47-14.
The Packers needed a win at home against the Lions to clinch a first-round bye for the 2014 playoffs, and despite Aaron Rodgers leaving the game for a time due to a calf injury, they did manage to pull off the victory. Former Buckeye A.J. Hawk had one tackle and one assist for the Packers in the 30-20 victory.
Seattle clinched the top seed in the NFC with a big win over the St. Louis Rams in Seattle on Sunday. Former Buckeye James Laurinaitis had four tackles, five assists, and one quarterback hit in the 20-6 loss to the Seahawks.
The Arizona Cardinals finished the regular season with an 11-5 record with a week 17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Ted Ginn, Jr. had one reception for six yards for the Cardinals. Ginn also contributed 71 return yards on three kicks and two punts. The Cardinals will look to bounce back in the playoffs following Sunday's 20-17 loss.
On Sunday Night Football, the Bengals dropped a tough one to the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Former Buckeye Mike Nugent was one for two on field goal attempts, and converted both of his PAT attempts for the Bengals. Dane Sanzenbacker also contributed seven receiving yards on one reception for Cincinnati. He also had an interception on special teams on a fake punt for Pittsburgh. For the Steelers, Will Allen had six tackles and one assist, and rookie Ryan Shazier had three tackles and two assists. Cameron Heyward contributed six tackles, one assist, and one sack to Pittsburgh's defensive effort. The Bengals lost, 27-17.