A look at how former Iowa Hawkeyes performed in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs
It was a big week for former Iowa football players in the NFL Playoffs. Five former Hawkeyes advanced to the NFC Championship Game next Sunday, but they all had a sizable impact this past weekend.
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On Saturday, the Atlanta Falcons moved one game away from the Super Bowl with a 36-20 win over the Seattle Seahawks. Atlanta’s Adrian Clayborn, who has dealt with multiple injuries this year, tore his bicep against the Seahawks and is out for the season.
Although, Jonathan Babineaux had a huge impact on the game for Atlanta. He only recorded three tackles, however, two of them were for a loss and one was a sack. Babineaux also had a quarterback hit on Russell Wilson.
One of Atlanta’s strengths on defense is rushing the passer, and Babineaux was their most effective pass rusher on Saturday. He had a couple of huge tackles on Thomas Rawls in the backfield to stall Seattle’s drives in the win.
On Saturday night, C.J. Fiedorowicz‘s Houston Texans lost to the New England Patriots 34-16. For the second straight week, tight end Fiedorowicz was one of Brock Osweiler‘s favorite targets. He reeled in three catches for 36 yards and the first postseason touchdown of his career, as he finished the postseason with five receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown.
Osweiler connected with Fiedorowicz on a 10-yard pass in the second quarter to bring Houston within one point of the Patriots early in the second quarter.
On Sunday, the Green Bay Packers featured three former Hawkeyes in their 34-31 win over former Hawkeye Anthony Hitchens of the Dallas Cowboys.
Bryan Bulaga helped anchor a Packers’ offensive line that blocked for a running game that gained 87 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. The Packers also passed for 356 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, while only allowing three sacks.
Defensively, Mike Daniels recorded three tackles for Green Bay, and Anthony Hitchens finished second behind Sean Lee with seven tackles for the Cowboys. He now has 14 tackles in two career postseason games.
Although, the biggest star of the week was Micah Hyde. He stuffed the stat sheet with four tackles, one for a loss, a sack, two pass deflections and a beautiful interception.
Hyde jumped a screen pass intended for Dez Bryant and returned the interception 18 yards. It halted Dallas’ first drive of the second half with Green Bay up 28-13 at the time.
Aaron Rodgers ended up throwing an interception on the ensuing drive, but Hyde’s interception drastically changed the game and caused Dallas to come up empty-handed in the red zone.