Ever wondered how Meredith and I come up with our weekly You’re Nuts topics? Usually over the weekend one of us will e-mail the other and pitch a question. Usually the other will e-mail back that the question for this week works great. We each write our answers, an intro is put together, and other formatting is done to get the articles looking like what you see from us every Tuesday.
Occasionally there are tweaks made to the original question that is pitched for the week. This week Meredith proposed that “which former Buckeyes’ playoff performance are you most excited about so far?” since I wrote about the Ohio Staters left in the NFL playoffs prior to the weekend. I had a little hesitation about the question, just because the Cincinnati Bengals have so many Buckeyes on their roster, and the Bengals were playing my Buffalo Bills, who have no Buckeyes on their roster.
Obviously my worst fears came true on Sunday, with the Bengals smothering the Bills to move on to the AFC Championship Game to take on the Kansas City Chiefs for the second year in a row. Now that Buffalo is out of the playoffs, I hope Cincinnati can return to the Super Bowl, not only because I can’t stand the Chiefs, but also because I do have some friends that are Bengals fans that I would love to see get to celebrate a Super Bowl after coming up short last year.
Anyway, instead of Meredith’s idea for this week’s question, I figured we could keep it football-related, just expand on it a bit. Why not look back at past playoffs and find the best or most memorable playoff performance from a former Buckeye? It could be either in a game or in a playoff run.
Today’s question: What is your favorite NFL playoff performance from a former Ohio State player?
We’d love to hear your choices. Either respond to us on Twitter at @Landgrant33 or leave your choice in the comments.
Brett’s answer: Santonio Holmes in Super Bowl XLIII
If I didn’t piss off enough Bengals fans over the weekend with my Bills fandom, I’m sure this will add some Cleveland Browns fans to the mix. Even though Santonio Holmes played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the most hated enemy of the NFL teams from Ohio, in his first stop in the professional ranks, even fans of the Bengals and Browns had to put some respect on his name for what he did in Super Bowl XLIII against the Arizona Cardinals.
The wide receiver came up huge when Pittsburgh needed him the most in the game. After Larry Fitzgerald scored on a 64-yard touchdown reception to give Arizona a 23-20 lead with 2:37 left in the fourth quarter, Holmes was ridiculously clutch for the Steelers on the ensuing drive. Ben Roethlisberger found Holmes four times for 73 yards as Pittsburgh worked their way down the field. The final of those four catches was a six-yard touchdown which is still one of the more iconic moments in Super Bowl history.
Holmes finished the game with nine catches for 131 yards and the game-winning touchdown. The performance from the wide receiver resulted in Holmes being named Super Bowl MVP, becoming the first former Buckeye to earn the honor. What we saw from Holmes in Tampa on the first day of February in 2009 will be one of the most clutch performances with the Super Bowl on the line that we will ever see.
Meredith’s answer: Mike Vrabel in Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXX1X
Who doesn’t love a defensive touchdown? Sam Hubbard’s impressive touchdown in the Wild Card round of this year’s playoffs was beautiful, and it made me think of another Ohio State defender scoring touchdowns in the postseason.
Mike Vrabel was formidable enough lining up at linebacker for the New England Patriots during their dominant run in the mid-2000s, but he was also an efficient weapon for Tom Brady deep in the red zone — a fact that proved useful in the postseason. Vrabel caught a touchdown pass from Brady in Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX in short-yardage situations.
In Super Bowl XXXVIII against the Carolina Panthers, Vrabel’s one-yard touchdown reception was the first by a defensive player since Super Bowl XX. In all, Vrabel caught a dozen passes in his NFL career, all of which were for touchdowns.
Now, as head coach of the Tennessee Titans, Vrabel is looking for a playoff appearance with a new perspective. After taking over the head coaching role in 2018, Vrabel led the Titans to the playoffs in 2019, 2020 and 2021, with his team just missing out for the 2022 season after dropping the last two games of the year.