Seven Terps Set for Divisional Round of NFL Playoffs

Maryland Athletics
Print RSS

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The NFL playoffs reach the divisional round this weekend and seven former Maryland standouts are still playing.

Below is an in-depth look at how you can watch your favorite former Terps during their journey to Super Bowl LII.

Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles
Saturday, Jan. 13 – 4:35 p.m. – NBC

Torrey Smith was able to sit home and watch the Wild Card Weekend action as the Philadelphia Eagles earned the NFC’s top seed after posting a 13-3 record during the regular season. The Eagles are now set to host sixth-seeded Atlanta on Saturday. Smith is in his seventh season in the NFL, but first with Philadelphia. The former Terp great hauled in 36 receptions for 430 yards and a pair of touchdowns during the regular season. Smith will look to guide the Eagles to their first NFC Championship game appearance since the 2008 season.

NFL columnist John McMullen captured video of Smith at practice earlier this week. 

Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, Jan. 14 – 1:05 p.m. – CBS

If you’re looking for a game with a lot of Terps, this is the one! Fresh of a 10-3 wild card win over the Buffalo Bills, Yannick Ngakoue and Darius Kilgo will look to help the Jacksonville Jaguars reach the AFC title game for the first time since 1999.

Standing in their way is the second-seeded Pittsburgh Steelers and a pair of Terps, Sean Davis and Darrius Heyward-Bey. The Steelers, who earned a bye during the wild card round, will be looking to avenge an ugly 30-9 home loss to the Jags in Week 5.

Davis has had a big second season for the Steelers, starting all 16 games at strong safety and leading the team with 92 tackles. He’s also tied for the team lead with three interceptions. Heyward-Bey, now in his ninth season in the NFL and fourth with the Steelers, saw action as a wide receiver and on special teams in every game this season.

Ngakoue has had a breakout year for Jags, leading the NFL with six forced fumbles and ranking tied for eighth in the league with 12.0 sacks. Kilgo, who has been on the roster of the Super Bowl winning team in each of the last two years, is currently a member of the Jacksonville practice squad.

Jags beat writer Ryan O'Halloran writes that Ngakoue's matchup with Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villaneuva will be one that could determine the outcome of the game. 

New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings
Sunday, Jan. 14 – 4:40 p.m. – FOX

In the final game of the divisional round, former Terps Trey Edmunds (New Orleans) and Stefon Diggs (Minnesota) are set to square off. Edmunds has been a key contributor on special teams for the Saints during his rookie season. New Orleans’ win over Carolina last week sets up a matchup with Diggs and the Vikings.

Diggs put together another stellar year for the Vikings despite missing two games because of injury. The third-year pro ranked Top 10 in the NFL in touchdowns (8) and Top 25 in receiving yards (849). Diggs ended the year on a roll, recording touchdowns in each of his last three games.

The Saints and the Vikings haven’t reached the NFC Championship game since the squads played each other in the 2009 title tilt. New Orleans defeated Minnesota in that game and went on to win the Super Bowl.

Before the game, check out this cool story written by Alex Prewitt for Sports Illustrated on Vikings wideouts Adam Thielen and Diggs that delves into their unique paths to the pros and the bond forming between the dynamic duo.