While our current Ohio State Buckeyes’ season has come to an end, there are still 19 former Buckeyes chasing a different national title: Super Bowl LIV. The 2020 NFL playoffs’ Wild Card Weekend begins today, where eight teams will face off with hopes of advancing to the divisional round.
So, if your team isn’t playing this weekend, or you’re just not sure who to cheer for, that’s okay! We’re here to help.
Here’s what teams you should root for...backed by science, of course:
Saturday, Jan. 4
The first Buckeyes to take the stage in the NFL playoffs include Texans running back Carlos Hyde and cornerbacks Gareon Conley and Bradley Roby, who will face former Ohio State and current Buffalo Bills safety Kurt Coleman.
This one is easy. Not only do the Texans have more former Buckeyes, but they also probably have a better chance at beating the Baltimore Ravens or Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round of the playoffs than the Bills do.
Former Buckeyes and current New England Patriots Nate Ebner and John Simon will host the Tennessee Titans in Saturday’s second playoff game. The Titans don’t have any former Ohio State players, however their head coach is former Ohio State defensive lineman Mike Vrabel and their secondary coach is former Buckeyes cornerbacks coach, Kerry Coombs.
Now, I’m sure your first instinct is to root against the Patriots. Seeing Tom Brady go down in the wild card round would be *chef’s kiss.* However, there are rumors floating around that Coombs is No. 1 in the lineup to become Ohio State’s new secondary coach, but we likely won’t know anything until the Titans’ season is finished. Not to mention, the delay of hiring Coombs may even prolong the hire of former defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley’s replacement.
As Buckeyes fans, we want answers ASAP as to who will be running our defense next year, and I doubt those answers will come until the Titans are finished and Coombs can make his decision. So, for this year and this year only, Go Pats.
Sunday, Jan. 5
Seven total Buckeyes will be on the field during this matchup. New Orleans Saints receivers Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn Jr. and defensive backs Vonn Bell, Marshon Lattimore and Eli Apple will face the Vikings’ two Buckeyes, guard Pat Elflein and defensive tackle Jalyn Holmes.
You gotta root for the the Saints here. Not only because their five Buckeyes are the most of any other team in the league, but they were absolutely robbed of the Super Bowl last year when the most infamous no-call in NFL history prevented them from advancing.
Yeah. That was pass interference. pic.twitter.com/niV9z2rnJi— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) January 20, 2019
It’s only right that Michael Thomas—the best wide receiver in the NFL— and his other four Buckeye teammates get another shot at the title.
In the final game of Wildcard Weekend, the Buckeyes to watch include defensive end Malcolm Jenkins and punter Cameron Johnston for the Philadelphia Eagles, who will host the Seattle Seahawks and former Buckeye offensive lineman Jamarco Jones.
While the Eagles have more Buckeyes than the Seahawks, it’d be nice to see Jones have a successful game at guard, considering his NFL career got off to a slow start due to an ankle injury last season.
Additionally, the winner of this game will take on either the 49ers or the Packers in the divisional round, and with the Eagles’ plague of injuries that has taken out most of their starting lineup, Jones and the Seahawks probably have the best chance at advancing.