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Six Former Wildcats Represent Northwestern in Divisional Round of NFL Playoffs

The Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans each feature a Northwestern alum.

Six of the more than one dozen former Northwestern players active in the NFL have made it to the postseason. In fact, each of this weekend’s playoff games featured at least one Wildcat, including Mike Kafka, quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs; Ben Skowronek, wide receiver for the Los Angeles Rams; Earnest Brown IV, defensive end for the Los Angeles Rams; Dean Lowry and Tyler Lancaster, defensive linemen for the Green Bay Packers; and Joe Jones, linebacker for the Tennessee Titans.

Sunday night’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills ended up being the battle of the quarterbacks, with 25 points scored in the last two minutes of regulation time. Guided by quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka, Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 33 of 44 passes for 378 yards and three touchdowns, with 69 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen completed 27 of 37 passes for 329 yards and four touchdowns, with 68 yards on the ground. Ultimately, Kansas City won 42-36 on the first possession of overtime, sending Kafka, Mahomes and the rest of the Chiefs to the AFC title game next weekend.

On Sunday afternoon, the Los Angeles Rams beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-27 with a field goal in the final seconds of the game. Though rookies Ben Skowronek and Earnest Brown IV did not play a large role in the Rams’ most recent win, Skowronek has had a solid season so far. He sits behind standouts Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr. in the wide receiver depth chart but has still managed to record 11 receptions for 133 yards to date. Fellow rookie Brown IV did not take the field for Sunday’s game.

Saturday’s contest between the No. 1 seeded Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers ended in similar fashion. The game was tied 10-10 late in the fourth quarter, but the 49ers scored a last-minute field goal for the win — after Dean Lowry, Tyler Lancaster, and the rest of the Packers’ special team unit allowed a blocked field goal at the end of the first half.

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Purdue starting pitcher Troy Wansing mixed his pitches well all afternoon as the Boilermakers capitalized on a quality 5.2 innings from their Sunday starter to pull out a series victory against Northwestern, 7-2.

Lowry logged 4 combined tackles against the 49ers, ending his sixth season in the league with 46 total tackles and 5 sacks, while Lancaster recorded one tackle in Saturday’s game and ended his fourth season in the league with 32 total tackles.

While Joe Jones did not play in the Tennessee Titans’ 16-19 loss to the Cincinatti Bengals, the five-year league veteran produced 6 total tackles this season.

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