With another NFL Regular season in the books, it’s that time of the year where some of us switch our NFL allegiance to our love of the Orange & the former players that graced the turf of the Dome.
With only 14 former players on NFL rosters at the end of the season none of the active players in the NFC where fortunate enough to make the playoffs this year.
Tom Coughlin arguably the most successful SU NFL Alum & the New York Giants will not have a chance to defend their Super Bowl title as they finished 9-7 with the 8th best record in the NFC.
Olindo Mare only played the last 3 games of the season with the Chicago Bears but they came up just short of making the playoffs at 10-6 & were the last team out.
Mike Williams who probably had the best stats of any former SU player this season (996 yds & 9-TD) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will also be sitting at home this postseason with a 7-9 record.
Doug Hogue who was released by the Lions but picked up by the Carolina Panthers played sparingly as they finished the season on a 4 game win streak to also finish 7-9.
Andrew Tiller did not have a very good Rookie year for the New Orleans Saints as he spent the whole season on the IR while they finished 7-9 amid the bounty scandal.
Tanard Jackson was supposed to be the starting safety for the Washington Redskins this season but once again he got suspended for the violating the league’s substance abuse policy. That being said, I am pretty sure that if the Skins win the Super Bowl then Jackson will still get a ring. So by virtue of Washington being the only NFC roster to have a former Orange player (suspended) i guess we root for them?
Curtis Brinkley had an interesting season going from starter to cut to signed but in the end the San Diego Chargers finished 7-9 & out of the playoffs.
Delone Carter & Dwight Freeney both had diminished rolls this seasons for the ChuckStrong Indianapolis Colts as Freeney was forced to play some linebacker & Carter battled some injures becoming the short-yardage/goaline back due to his "limited skill set". The Colts ended up being the biggest surprise of the year finishing with an 11-5 record & the 5-seed in the AFC. They will travel to Baltimore for the Wild-Card Round Sunday (1/6) @ 1PM EST on CBS.
Arthur Jones & Jameel McClain helped the Baltimore Ravens to a 10-6 record, an AFC North title & the 4-seed in the playoffs. McClain had a good season prior to going on IR with a spine injury & Jones has seen an increased roll on the Ravens D-Line with the injuries. The Ravens will host the Colts in the Wild-Card Round Sunday (1/6) @ 1PM EST on CBS.
Steve Gregory & Chandler Jones as well as Will Allen & Tony Fiammetta are all members of the New England Patriots roster. Allen has spent the whole season on the IR & Fiammetta has been Exempt (still not sure what that means). Gregory & Jones have both started a majority of the games for the Pats besides when they were nursing injuries. Jones looked like the potential Defensive Rookie of the Year at the beginning of the season but his statistical production declined, he will still certainly be a force for years to come. The Patriots ended the season with a 12-4 record, another AFC East title & the 2-seed in the playoffs. They will play host to the highest seeded team remaining in the Divisional Round Sunday (1/13) in Foxboro @ 4:30PM EST on CBS.
Based on the above information here’s who we are rooting for:
NFC - Washington Redskins (b/c there’s no one else with SU ties)
AFC - Colts to beat the Ravens & Patriots to beat everyone.
I’m basing this matchup on 2 active players (Carter & Freeney) vs. 1 (A. Jones) plus the ChuckStrong factor gives Indy the fan edge over Bmore.
New England who had zero Orange on the roster last year really stepped it up this year adding 4 players (even though only 2 actually play) & they are Syracuse on SUnday's pick for who we should root for to represent the former Orange in the NFL @ Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans on Feb. 3rd.