Cal Football: Aaron Rodgers, Mitchell Schwartz Represent Cal in NFC, AFC Title Games

Aaron Rodgers celebrates the win over MinnesotaPhoto by Jeff Hamisch - USA TODAY Sports

Jake Curtis

One will play in the NFC title game. The other will play in the AFC title game. 

One will be talked about throughout the week and during the game. The other may never get his name mentioned. 

The face of one would be recognized by anyone maginally interested in the NFL. The other might not be recognized by even the most loyal NFL fan. 

One was named a second-team All-Pro this season. The other received no such honor

They are the two former Cal players who will be starters in NFL playoff games on Sunday -- Green Bay Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz. And the last of the four comparisons above may come as a surprise: Schwartz was named a second-team All-Pro; Rodgers was neither a first-  nor second-team All-Pro.

Rodgers and Schwartz were never teammates at Cal, as Rodgers played in Berkeley in 2003 and 2004, and Schwartz arrived in 2007 and redshirted his freshman season.

But now both are one win from a Super Bowl.

Rodgers is seen as the key to the Packers' bid to upset the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara as Rodgers comes back to the Bay Area.  The Packers got crushed by the 49ers 37-8 at the same site during the regular season as Rodgers passed for just 104 yards.

While shaking Jimm Garoppolo's hand in the video below he told his counterpart, "We'll see you again."

All that stuff is nice, but what's really important is Rodgers' discussion of Game of Thrones. He had a cameo role in one of the episodes, although few could figure out which character he played. But watch this video by clicking here to get Rodgers' take on his appearance and the final episode.

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The  Packers are 7 1/2-point underdogs against the 49ers, and Rodgers is 0-3 in his career when his team is an underdog by seven points or more. Rodgers was a 7 1/2-point underdog to the Los Angeles Rams last season, a 29-27 Rams win. The Packers were 7-point underdogs to the Arizona Cardinals in the 2016 NFC divisional round, and the Cardinals won 26-20 in overtime. The Packers were 8 1/2-point underdogs against the Seattle Seahawks in the 2015 NFC Championship Game and the Seahawks won 28-22 in overtime.

On the other hand, Rodgers covered the spread each time, so he was 3-0 for bettors who picked the Packers in those games.

Next we come to Schwartz, a three-time second-team All-Pro who was also a first-team All-Pro selection in 2018. He will be responsible for giving Patrick Mahomes time to pass against the Tennessee Titans, who are 7-point underdogs to Kansas City.

He had some things to say following the comeback victory over the Houston Texans in this video:

Schwartz apparently is quite a cook, and he and his brother even wrote a book:


Schwartz also answers questions from fans on Twitter. Here is a small sample: