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NFL Playoffs: Connections to Cincinnati Bearcats

Need help finding a team to root for in the NFL Playoffs? Here’s a look at guys who helped and hurt the Bearcats during their college years

Oakland Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

The NFL Playoffs are down to the final eight teams. Maybe you are a fan of one of them. Or maybe you are a fan of someone no longer in the playoffs. If that’s the case, we’re here to help influence your thought process when determining which teams to root for and root against.

There are five Bearcats currently active and one Bearcats best friend and there are nine players who have hurt in the Bearcats in the past.

Bearcats in the NFL Playoffs

Chiefs TE Travis Kelce

Kelce is considered by many to be the best tight end in football. He was named First Team All-Pro in 2019, for the third time in his career.

Among Kelce’s many accomplishments, he is the first TE in NFL history to do the following:

  • Record four-straight 1,000-yard seasons
  • Catch 500+ passes in fewer than 100 games
  • Tally back-to-back 1,200+ yard seasons
  • Rack up 6,400+ yards through seven seasons

Ravens WR Chris Moore and OL Parker Ehringer

In four seasons with the Ravens, Moore has 47 catches, 511 yards, and 4 touchdowns.

Ehringer was a 4th round pick by the Chiefs in 2016. He appeared in just 2 games for the Ravens in 2019, with 43 of his 54 offensive snaps coming in week 17 when the Ravens sat many of their primary starters.

Vikings RB Mike Boone and LB Eric Wilson

Boone scored his first touchdown in week 15, replacing an injured Dalvin Cook and scored a second touchdown shortly after. With Cook injured, Boone got his first career start in week 16 and was the talk of the fantasy football world. He struggled a bit during his Monday Night Football debut with just 28 yards on 11 carries. But he bounced back in his week 17 start, running for 148 yards on 17 carries and a TD.

Eric Wilson is mostly a special teams star and is also a rotating linebacker. He recorded 57 tackles in 2019 and 3 sacks.

Titans head coach Mike Vrabel

No, unlike the other guys ahead of him, Vrabel did not play for UC. He played for Ohio State as a teammate of Luke Fickell’s. Vrabel and Fickell met as teenagers and grew up together. Still today, they are best friends and have a special bond. How can you not root for the best friend of the best college football coach in the country?

Negative connections

Texans RB Duke Johnson

In 2014, Cincinnati got blown out at Miami, losing 55-34 to The U. Miami RB Duke Johnson ran for 162 yards on just 10 carries, including an 80 yard touchdown run on the fifth play of the game (from scrimmage). He also caught 4 passes.

Titans RB Dion Lewis

Everyone remembers the famous Pitt game from 2009. Pitt RB Dion Lewis carried the ball 47 times for 194 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also caught 5 passes (QB Bill Stull only completed 13).

Chiefs RB LeSean McCoy

2007 was the Bearcats initial break out season. In Brian Kelly’s first season, they won 10 games for the first time since 1951. Cincinnati began the season 6-0 and cracked the top 25, before losing to Louisville. They went to Pitt the next week and the Panthers, despite being 2-4, won 24-17. Two guys ran for 100 yards, including LeSean McCoy, who totaled 137 yards on 25 carries (LaRod Stephens-Howling ran for 100 yards on 13 carries).

Chiefs CB Kendall Fuller

Cincinnati played Virginia Tech in the 2015 Military Bowl. After a missed field goal on the opening drive, the second drive ended with Cincy QB Gunner Kiel throwing an interception to CB Kendall Fuller.

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson

2010 was the first year under Butch Jones for UC. It was a rough year, that ended 4-8. They fell to 1-2 after a Thursday night loss at NC State, where Russell Wilson completed 26-40 passes for 333 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Ravens LB Tyus Bowser

In 2016, Houston beat Cincinnati 40-16 on a Thursday night at Nippert Stadium. Bowser was a beast in that game, recording 7 tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, and 2 pass deflections.

Seahawks LB Shaqueem Griffin

In UCF’s 24-3 win over Cincy in 2016, Griffin recovered a fumble, totaled 7 tackles (6 solo), 2 sacks, 3 tackles for a loss, and 1 pass deflection and in a 51-23 win in 2017, Griffin had 6 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss. His brother Shaquill also played on the 2016 team and is also a member of the Seahawks.

Seahawks QB Geno Smith

Now a backup for Seattle, Smith went 2-0 in his career at West Virginia against UC winning in 2010 and 2011. He combined for 546 yards, 5 TD, 1 INT