Last Sunday, Georgia’s NFL alumni once again participated in one of the football league’s biggest stages in the NFC and AFC title games. As reported in The Red & Black, more than one former Bulldog represented each of the four teams that were left, and one Feb. 3 in Atlanta, two of those former Georgia running backs will face each other in Super Bowl LIII.
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Sony Michel (Running Back, New England Patriots)
Michel fought hard in New England’s 37-31 overtime victory against the Kansas City Chiefs. The first-year back rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries as part of an incredible Patriots’ offense that has relied on the running game for the entire postseason.
Michel scored a crucial touchdown with 3:32 remaining in the fourth quarter. Michel and the Patriots are heading to their ninth Super Bowl against the same team they did back in Super Bowl XXXVI: the Los Angeles Rams.
Todd Gurley (Running Back, Los Angeles Rams)
The 2017 NFL Offensive Player of the Year was quiet in Los Angeles’ 26-23 close win against the New Orleans Saints in overtime. Gurley rushed four times for 10 yards, which wasn’t fantastic, but he did record a game-changing touchdown at the end of the first half to get the Rams back within a field goal after being behind 13-0.
However, Rams Head Coach Sean McVay said in his postgame press conference that he intended to have backup C.J. Anderson play predominantly over Gurley, because his star running back would play a big role in Super Bowl LIII. The Rams aim to win their first-ever championship in Los Angeles, with the franchise’s only previous Super Bowl win coming in St. Louis.
David Andrews (Center, New England Patriots)
Andrews was a dominant player offensively against the Chiefs.
The New England offensive line did not allow a sack or tackle for loss for the whole game, while helping the team rush for a combined 176 yards and four touchdowns. Although they effectively neutralized the threat of pass rushers Dee Ford and Justin Houston, the Patriots’ interior line will face quite the challenge in a little over a week against the Rams.
Los Angeles’ interior defensive line is one of the league’s best, with NFL sack leader and Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald and five-time Pro Bowler Ndamukong Suh.
Other Georgia playoff performances
Justin Houston (Outside Linebacker, Kansas City Chiefs): Recorded two solo tackles in KC’s 31-37 loss.
Ramik Wilson (Inside Linebacker, Los Angeles Rams): Wilson appeared on special teams for the Rams but did not record any tackles.
Ben Watson (Tight End, New Orleans Saints): The primary Saints pass-catching tight end was not able to play due to appendicitis.
Chris Conley (Wide Receiver, Kansas City Chiefs): Conley targeted once but did not record a catch.