Four Former Crimson Tide Players Active on Championship Weekend
Alabama will be well represented on NFL’s championship weekend as the Tennessee Titans will take on the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers travel to play the San Francisco 49ers. Three of the four teams will feature a former Crimson Tide player as only the 49ers are without an Alabama player on its roster. Alabama is promised to have at least one player in Super Bowl LIV in Miami for the 16th consecutive season. The Tide will be assured a Super Bowl ring for the eight consecutive season if the Packers win today.
Derrick Henry, in a contract year, led the NFL in rushing with 1,540 yards and tied for the NFL lead for rushing touchdowns with 16. He set career highs in both categories. Henry was held out of one game this season with a hamstring injury. Henry has cleared 100 rushing yards in seven of his last eight games and set a record last week as the first player in NFL history to rush for 180 or more yards in three consecutive games. He became the first player to record back-to-back playoff games of 200 yards from scrimmage since Marcus Allen accomplished the feat for the Los Angeles Raiders in 1983.
In the Titans week 10 35-32 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, Henry rushed for 188 yards and two touchdowns. Chiefs’ defensive lineman Frank Clark predicted his defense would be ready to play against Henry this round.
“He’s not hard to hit. He’s just a big guy. 240,245, 250, honestly he should be running harder at his weight and at his size. I don’t see no difficulty in tackling him…He’s just easy to me up front because I don’t look at any running back like they can’t be tackled,” Clark told James Palmer of NFL Network. “He’s not one of the best guys at breaking tackles to me honestly.”
Rashaan Evans finished 2019 as the second leading tackler on the Titans recording 111 stops. Evans scored his first touchdown in the NFL in the Titans first matchup against the Chiefs in week 10, returning a fumble 53 yards to pay dirt. He doubled his tackles output from his rookie and started all 16 games in his second year.
In the AFC divisional round against the Baltimore Ravens, Evans led the team in tackles with 10 and made three stops for a loss. The Titans were 12th in the league in points allowed this season, allowing 20.7 points per game. Evans was questionable with a foot injury this week but is listed as active for the game.
Kansas City Chiefs
Reggie Ragland was acquired for a fourth round draft pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017 in a trade with the Buffalo Bills. Ragland made 14 appearances while starting seven games for the Chiefs in 2019, he recorded 29 tackles with a season high of 6 stops against the Minnesota Vikings in week 9. Ragland recovered a fumble in week 7 against the Denver Broncos to score his first NFL touchdown.
In the previous meeting with the Tennessee Titans in week 10, Ragland recorded one tackle on 17 defensive snaps. In last week’s AFC divisional matchup against the Houston Texans, Ragland played 33 defensive snaps and recorded four tackles, one for a loss. The Chiefs defense was seventh in the NFL in 2019, allowing 19.2 points per game.
Gehrig Dieter was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent in 2017 and is currently a member of the practice squad. He was promoted to the active roster in November and played in two games, largely seeing time on special teams. Dieter played 17 special teams snaps and six offensive snaps in two games. He was cut from the active roster in December and placed on the practice squad and therefore will not play today.
Green Bay Packers
J.K. Scott was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round in 2018. He has punted the ball 77 times in 2019 for an average of 44 yards per punt. Scott downed 29 of his punts inside the 20 yard line and was named to Pro Football Focus’s NFL All-Pro Second team this year. Scott also holds for kicker Mason Crosby on field goals and extra points.
Scott punted the ball four times in last week’s NFC divisional round game against the Seattle Seahawks for an average of 43.25 yards per punt. In the Packers week 12 37-8 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Scott punted six times for an average of 37.17 yards per punt. Scott was added to the Packers' injury report late in the week with the flu and is listed as questionable.
Tim Williams was claimed by the Packers in October after he was released by the Baltimore Ravens. Williams saw action in one game for the Packers, a week six 23-22 victory over the Detroit Lions. Williams played two special teams snaps in that game. The Packers cut Williams from its active roster and signed him to its practice squad where he has spent the remainder of the 2019 season. He will not play in today’s game.
The Tennessee Titans play the Kansas City Chiefs at 2:05 p.m.; the Chiefs are a seven point home favorite. The game can be seen on CBS.
The Green Bay Packers play the San Francisco 49ers at 5:40 p.m.; the 49ers are an eight point home favorite. The game can be seen on FOX.