The NFL playoffs open this weekend with a slate of games featuring really interesting match-ups in which some former Ducks will play key roles. Here’s a quick review of Ducks who will see action this weekend. Note: “rankings” are playoff seedings. All times Pacific.
#7 Seattle Seahawks at #2 San Francisco 49ers - The Seahawks somehow made the playoffs without any Ducks. The 49ers on the other hand have both Arik Armstead and Deommodore Lenoir to bolster their defense. Cornerback Lenoir saw action in every game this season and was 5th on the team with 79 total tackles. He had one sack and 6 tackles for loss along with one interception. Armstead was limited to just 9 games and was often a target of double-teaming. He had just 11 tackles and 2 tackles for loss. Armstead is listed as “questionable” for Saturday’s game due to an ankle injury. Lenoir is probably licking his chops – one of his best games was against the Seahawks last month where he recorded 10 total tackles. Saturday, January 14, 2023, 1:30 pm on FOX.
#6 New York football Giants at #3 Minnesota Vikings – The Giants offensive and defensive lines each benefit from having former Duck players, as Kayvon Thibodeaux and Henry Mondeaux are at Defensive End and Shane Lemieux is an Offensive Guard. Lemieux will miss this game on injured reserve with a toe injury but may return if the Giants advance. Thibodeaux has played in 14 of the Giants 17 games, recording 49 tackles and 4 sacks. He has forced 2 fumbles, including one he returned for a touchdown. Mondeaux has appeared in 11 games for the Giants and has recorded 16 tackles and one tackle for loss. Vikings – Troy Dye has appeared in all 17 games at linebacker for Minnesota. He has 15 tackles and one fumble recovery. Tight End Johnny Mundt has also played in every game, catching 19 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown. Sunday, January 15, 2023, 1:30 pm on FOX.
#5 Dallas Cowboys at #4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Neither team currently has a Duck on their active roster. Monday, January 16, 2023, 5:15 pm on ABC and ESPN networks.
#7 Miami Dolphins at #2 Buffalo Bills – This game will have added emotional heft for the home team due to the recent injury to Damar Hamlin. The Bills have no Ducks on their roster. The Dolphins will bring two Oregon Safeties into this game. In just his second year in the League, Jevon Holland ranks 4th on the Dolphins defense this season with 96 tackles in 17 games. He has 1.5 sacks and 2 interceptions along with a forced fumble. Verone McKinley, III has appeared in 10 games and has recorded 16 tackles. The NFL rookie also has snagged an interception. Sunday, January 15, 2023, 10:00 am on CBS.
#6 Baltimore Ravens at #3 Cincinnati Bengals – The only former Duck on either roster is Anthony Brown, Jr who plays for the Ravens. He has seen limited action and is not likely to appear on Sunday. For the season, Brown has appeared in two games and has gone 22 – 49 for 302 yards with no touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Sunday, January 15, 2023, 5:15 pm on NBC.
#5 Los Angeles Chargers at #4 Jacksonville Jaguars – Let’s face it, Sir Justin is the Big Duck in this first round of playoff games. The Chargers are trying to build a world-beating team around the third-year star and have made some progress despite being held back by key injuries and an inconsistent defense. Herbert has had a productive 2022, completing 477 of 699 pass attempts (68.2%) for 4,739 yards. He has thrown for 25 touchdowns and has 10 interceptions, a career low equal to his Rookie season (15 games). Hunter Kampmoyer has been on the Chargers practice squad this season. The Jaguars do not have a Duck on the roster. Saturday, January 14, 2023, 5:15 pm on NBC.
Oregon’s football program continues to generate talent that can compete for, and in many cases win, spots on NFL rosters. It’s a lot of fun for fans to see these players extend their careers at the highest level of professional football after leaving Eugene.