Louisville Football: 3 Former Cardinals Ready For The NFL Playoffs

We take a look at everything you need to know regarding the huge NFL playoff game between three former Louisville football players.

There is an absolute huge match-up between three former Louisville football players this coming Sunday. Eli Rogers, William Gay, and DeVante Parker will be meeting in Pittsburgh with their seasons on the line in this NFL Playoff game. The winner will move on and the loser will go home. The stakes will never be higher than this.

This will not be the first time that these three former Cards will be seeing each other on the field in 2016, as they played back in October.

The Dolphins were able to beat Pittsburgh by the score of 30-15, while Miami running back Jay Ajayi ran for 204 yards and two touchdowns. However, Steelers’ Super Bowl winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger got hurt during the middle of that game.

Take a look at the TV info for the game on Sunday Afternoon:

Who: (10-6) Miami Dolphins at (11-5) Pittsburgh Steelers

Round: AFC Wild-Card (1st Round)

Time: 1:05 PM

TV: CBS

Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh

With that being said, let’s take a look at the three former Louisville football players. On the following pages includes their season statistics and potential impact for the 2017 NFL Playoffs.

Jan 1, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Eli Rogers (17) runs with the ball after a catch as Cleveland Browns inside linebacker Christian Kirksey (58) defends during the second half at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 27-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Eli Rogers: Pittsburgh Steelers

Season Stats: 48 receptions, 594 receiving yards, and 3 receiving touchdowns

Potential Playoff Impact:  Eli Rogers entered his first NFL season with the Pittsburgh Steelers this year and had a rookie year to remember. He made numerous big plays, but his biggest catch of the season was the game-winner against the Cincinnati Bengals a few weeks ago.

The Steelers have generally placed Rogers in the slot position this year, where they feel he is best suited. He is one of the few receivers that only played on the inside in college and it’s paying off in the National Football League.

With that being said, Rogers is going to be important for the Steelers this weekend against Miami. In the game against the Dolphins earlier this season, Rogers only had four catches for 35 yards, but he has come a long way since then.

The Dolphins are going to put a ton of emphasis on receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell, which will give Rogers a few opportunities to make the big plays in the passing game.

Look for Rogers to shine in his first NFL playoff game on Sunday.

Jan 17, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback William Gay (22) and defensive back Brandon Boykin (25) celebrate after a defensive stop against the Denver Broncos during the third quarter of the AFC Divisional round playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

William Gay: Pittsburgh Steelers

Season Stats: 42 total tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, and 1 interception

Potential Playoff Impact: This hasn’t been the best season for William Gay, but playing in 15 of the 16 total games is a major plus for the ten-year veteran cornerback. Gay is one of the main veterans on a, somewhat young, Pittsburgh defense that is turning the corner at the right time of the year.

The Steelers’ secondary has a huge challenge coming up against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Pittsburgh is currently 16th in the NFL in passing yards give up per game, which isn’t too bad considering the passing nature of the National Football League these days.

With that being said, Miami has three receivers that can be difference-makers in DeVante Parker, Jarvis Landry, and Kenny Stills. It will be extremely important for William Gay to try and force the Dolphins into vulnerable situations in the passing game and come up with an interception.

It may be cliche’, but whoever wins the turnover battle will win this mightily important playoff game.

Nov 20, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) heads upfield during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

DeVante Parker: Miami Dolphins

Season Stats: 56 receptions, 744 receiving yards, and 4 receiving touchdowns

Potential Playoff Impact: Former Louisville football player DeVante Parker finished his second season in the National Football League with his best statistics yet. Most of that can be contributed to him being a little more healthy than last season, but he still dealt with the injury bug in 2016.

Parker’s production against Pittsburgh it going to be directly related to how well Dolphins’ running back Jay Ajayi plays. The former Boise State running back ran for 204 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Steelers back in October. Not to mention, Miami still doesn’t know if their starting quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, will be healthy enough to play on Sunday.

Don’t expect Parker to be a significant factor in this game against Pittsburgh. It’s not necessarily his fault, but the Dolphins have more receivers on their roster that have legit experience because Parker hasn’t been able to play every week.

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