Friday, June 23, 2017

NFL Playoffs Wildcard Round: WVUPros in action

Bruce Irvin

We could see as many as eight WVU Pros involved during the Wildcard Round of the NFL Playoffs this weekend. Here’s our preview.

Steelers vs. Bengals 8:15 pm ET – CBS

Although the NFL Playoffs will kick off four hours earlier with the Texans facing the Chiefs, the first game we’ll have our eyes on will be the late game. This inter-division playoff game between two rivals is perhaps the most anticipated of the weekend, which is why it gets prime-time billing. We could see as few as four and possibly as many as five WVU Pros put on the pads and square off against one another in this game.

With Steelers RB De’Angelo Williams out with an ankle injury, we could see FB Will Johnson get a few handoffs from Ben Roethlisberger. In Week 1 against the Patriots, Johnson was the backup RB and had four carries. He can be a receiving threat out of the backfield as well. We’ll see Terence Garvin often on special teams coverage for Pittsburgh.

For Cincinnati, Adam Pacman Jones limped through the end of the regular season with an ankle injury. He now appears healthy and should be able to resume his punt return duties. On defense, he will likely be matched up against WR Martavis Bryant on the outside, whom Roethlisberger challenged to be tougher on his radio show in Pittsburgh earlier this week.

Will Clarke could factor in on the defense up front for the Bengals in a backup role. With the team’s full compliment of receivers healthy, Mario Alford will likely be inactive for this game.

The Steelers have won four of their last five while the Bengals will start backup QB AJ McCarron. Can Bengals’ coach Marvin Lewis use the homefield advantage to win his first playoff win in seven tries.

 Seattle vs. Minnesota 1:05 pm ET – NBC

There is no hotter team in the NFL right now than the two-time defending NFC champions. They travel to Minnesota to face the Vikings where temperatures are expected to hover around 0°. These two teams met in Week 13 where the Seahawks beat the Vikings in Minnesota by 31 points. Bruce Irvin had three tackles and a sack in that game on QB Teddy Bridgewater. He hopes for a repeat performance in this game.

Mark Glowinski got the first start of his career at right guard in Week 17 against Arizona. With starter JR Sweezy healthy, Glowinski should return to his relief role.

Green Bay vs. Washington 4:40 pm ET FOX

The final game of Wildcard Weekend pits the Packers against the Redskins. Don Barclay is a reserve offensive lineman for the Packers who sees playing time blocking on kickoff returns. Green Bay comes into the playoffs as winners of their last three games. Washington won four of its last five. Although the Packers are a slight favorite to win, their defense faces the task of slowing the white-hot Kirk Cousins at QB for Washington.



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