Former Saints, Graham and Vaccaro, in AFC and NFC Title Games
Kyle T. Mosley
Today, two former Saints' draft choices and fan favorites will play in the NFC and AFC Championship games. As the Green Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans take the fields against San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs today, a couple of Saints draft choices will have an opportunity to play in Super Bowl 54 with wins by their teams.
Former Saints 1st-round draft choice in 2013, S Kenny Vaccaro, will man the Tennessee Titans’ backfield against outstanding offensive threats from the Kansas City Chiefs. Vaccaro’s task will be daunting. The Chiefs rank #1 in offensive yardage and points scored in the NFL this season. Head Coach Andy Reid and 2018 MVP QB Patrick Mahomes has become a powerful offensive force in the league. Vaccaro and the vulnerable defensive backfield that must stop WR Tyreek Hill, WR Sammy Watkins, and TE Travis Kelce. A tough task, but the way Vaccaro and the Titans have been playing in the playoffs, this team size, a fighting chance against the Chiefs.
Next is TE Jimmy Graham of the Green Bay Packers. The Saints drafted Graham in the 3rd round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Saints organization. Graham immediately became a dynamic weapon for Drew Brees. Sean Payton devised plays that took advantage of Graham’s 6-7 height, big body, size, and speed. Graham had five highly productive seasons with the Saints and amassed 4,755 total yards, 386 receptions, and 51 touchdowns. The Saints traded Graham to the Seattle Seahawks in 2015 to give QB Russell Wilson an additional weapon, but his time in Seattle had difficulties. After 3 seasons with only 18 touchdowns and 2048 yards of receiving, Seattle jettisoned Graham and he signed with the Packers in free agency. Green Bay hoped Graham would re-energize the passing game for QB Aaron Rodgers. However, Graham still has not been a major threat as the tight-end was in New Orleans. As a Packer, Jimmy Graham has accounted for only 5 touchdowns, 93 receptions, and 1,083 yards of receiving.
This Sunday, Seattle traded Graham and Vaccaro will battle for the right to the win the Lombardi trophy in Super Bowl 54. Many Saints fans have desired for the Saints to be playing on the field of Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on February 2, 2020, but can one of the Who Dat Nation’s past favorites and heroes grabbed that opportunity today for their new teams. Most of all, can Saints place aside their playoff bitterness and root for Graham and Vaccaro in their playoff journeys? We shall see.