Alabama was well represented in the AFC and NFC championship games at the pro level as several former Crimson Tide players made contributions for teams during the NFL postseason.
Four former Alabama stars were active in the penultimate round of the NFL playoffs, while a total of five were in the 53-man rosters of two of the four final teams. Neither the Kansas City Chiefs nor the San Francisco 49ers have a former Crimson Tide star on their current rosters, but the latter did have defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans on their sidelines.
The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the 49ers 31-7 to advance to Super Bowl LVII and meet the Chiefs on Sunday, February 12 in Arizona, who defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20. Four Eagles players who played for The Tide will play on Super Sunday, including offense lineman Landon Dickerson, quarterback Jalen Hurts, cornerback Josh Jobe and receiver DeVonta Smith. After the win, Smith shared his thoughts on playing for a Super Bowl ring.
“It’s amazing,” said Smith, via NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark. “From OTAs to camps to today, everyone came every day and did the things they were supposed to do. But ultimately the work is not done yet. It’s always fun to win. Winning is always fun.”
When asked where this shared mindset with Hurts came from, Smith gave a simple answer.
“Bama,” Smith replied.
In his third season in the NFL, Hurts has guided Philadelphia to its fifth Super Bowl appearance. He will be the fourth Alabama quarterback to start in a Super Bowl, but only since 1977. The others were Bart Star (Super Bowls I, II), Joe Namath (Super Bowl III), and Ken Stabler (Super Bowl XI). All three previous players won their championship starts.
Something to keep an eye on in the two weeks leading up to February 12 is Dickerson and his injured arm. He suffered a left elbow injury in the second half of the NFC Championship game and did not return. After the game, he was seen with braces. Bengals left tackle Jonah Williams was the only other UA player on a roster on Sunday, but he missed a second straight game with a dislocated kneecap. Cincinnati gave the Chiefs five sacks.
San Francisco’s season ended after the loss to Philly and it seems Ryans’ time as defensive coordinator is also coming to an end. He interviewed the Denver Broncos and the Houston Texans for their vacant head coaching positions and according to ESPN insider Adam SchefterThe Texans are expected to go after Ryans and make him their next coach.
BOL breaks down the performances of former Alabama players from the conference’s title games.
Philadelphia Eagles 31, San Francisco 49ers 7
Philadelphia Eagles (4)
69 Landon Dickerson, G – started at left guard; left with arm injury
1 Jalen Hurts, QB – 15-25 passing, 121 yards; 11 carries, 39 yards, 1 TD (1 yard)
28 Josh Jobe, CB – active; no statistics
6 DeVonta Smith, WR – 2 catches, 36 yards
3 used, got 29 ??@DeVontaSmith_6 | #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/SFd2Tb0p3N
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) January 29, 2023
Kansas City Chiefs 23, Cincinnati Bengals 20
Cincinnati Bengal (1)
73 Jonah Williams, OT – inactive (knee)
Did you know that BOL has a podcast? The BamaOnLine podcast brings you the latest Alabama news and insights from Travis Reier, Charlie Potter, Hank South and Tim Watts. Watch the latest episode exactly here or subscribe on iTunes today!
Contact Charlie Potter via personal message or on Twitter (@Charlie_Potter).