The Wildcard Round of the NFL Playoffs is considered the best weekend for NFL football for the entire season. For this year’s Wildcard Round, the first three games had very little drama. The last game of the weekend featuring the Steelers and Broncos was an exciting game to watch. Full of big plays, big hits, and a little history.
Below are recaps of the two games that had former West Virginia Mountaineers playing in them, and a wrap-up after that with a look ahead.
Steelers 23 – Broncos 29
Ryan Mundy received his first Playoff start in place of Ryan Clark who sat out the game because of a sickle-cell ailment that prohibits him from exerting himself too much at high altitudes. Mundy had a nice game, forcing two fumbles. One came late in the game (pictured right) that led to the Steelers game-tying TD to send the game into overtime.
Once in OT, the Broncos scored on their first play from scrimmage, making it the shortest overtime game in NFL history. The safeties, Mundy and Troy Polamalu, played close to the line on the 1st-and-20, expecting a run. The Broncos ran a play-action, and Tim Tebow hit Demarius Thomas, who then stiff-armed Ike Taylor, and outran Mundy to the end-zone for the game winner.
Mundy’s stat-line did not reflect it, but he was near the ball on many plays, and laid a big hit on Tim Tebow during his 2nd quarter TD run. He finished with 5 solo tackles.
Mortty Ivy played on special teams, but did not record any tackles.
After the game, Mundy took the blame for the last play of the game. ” “We called underneath coverage. I was underneath; (CB) Ike (Taylor) was over the top. I’ve got to watch the film, but I felt like I could have given him a little more help underneath.
Texans 31 – Bengals 10
Adam Jones’ and Robert Sands’ seasons came to an end on Saturday as the Texans in the first ever NFL Playoff game featuring two rookie starting quarterbacks. Andy Dalton had a potential Rookie-of-the-Year type season, but it was fellow rookie T.J. Yates that out-performed Dalton.
Adam Jones recorded 4 tackles in the loss. Andre Johnson beat Jones on his 40-yard TD reception during the 3rd quarter. Robert Sands was inactive.
With the Bengals and Steelers losing this weekend, that means that all former Mountaineers’ seasons are finished. As we start to look ahead to the offseason, many former Eers may wear different uniforms next season as there are some notable free-agents including Steve Slaton and Owen Schmitt. Others will use this offseason to further entrench themselves on their respective teams and try to carve a niche on the depth charts. What about some who were out of the NFL last season such as Noel Devine, Jock Sanders, and Pat White? What will next season hold for Mountaineers going into their second seasons such as Brandon Hogan, Chris Neild, J.T. Thomas, and Robert Sands?
Keep checking back here throughout the offseason for updates on Mountaineers in the NFL and the Seniors that will be going through the process of getting drafted in the 2012 NFL Draft.
What are your thoughts on the questions raised above and on this past NFL season? Feel free to discuss with me and other Mountaineer fans in the comments below.