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Wolverines in the NFL: Conference Championship Weekend

Seven former Michigan Wolverines advanced to their respective conference championships in the NFL this year. Of those seven, four are making their way to the Super Bowl. It’s safe to say that the Michigan football program is well represented in the NFL and will continue to be so for years to come under Jim Harbaugh’s watch.

Here’s how each of them performed in the Conference Championship Round:

Frank Clark, DE Kansas City Chiefs

The duo of Frank Clark and Mike Danna continued to shine Sunday in Kansas City. Of course, they’re helped by the fact that Chris Jones stakes out the defensive line and gets most of the attention.

However, Clark was able to record three tackles, 1.5 sacks and one tackle for loss on Sunday. He was even assisted by fellow Wolverine Mike Danna in one of the sacks:

Clark now leads Kansas City in sacks this postseason with 2.5. He has proven to be a force to be reckoned with in the NFL playoffs.

Clark and the Chiefs defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20.

Mike Danna, Chiefs DE Kansas City

As mentioned last week, Danna had a quiet divisional round, but we were expecting a rebound in the AFC Championship. She met our expectations and then some. She was in five tackles and helped set up Clark’s sack incorporated above. This was, hands down, his best postseason performance of his young NFL career. It’s time to see what she can do at the Super Bowl in two weeks.

Chad Henne, QB Kansas City Chiefs

After Patrick Mahomes sprained his ankle, many thought there was a chance he would not be able to play. Luckily for the Chiefs, Mahomes was able to go and even used his legs to win the game. Henne did not appear in the AFC championship but remains the top backup quarterback looking for his second Super Bowl ring.

Daxton Hill, St Cincinnati Bengals

Hill was only inserted into the game on defense for seven plays at free safety. Even though he has played a lot on special teams, he has committed another penalty. Special teams penalties are becoming an unfortunate trend for Hill.

All in all, it’s been an up-and-down year for Hill. He definitely showed the potential of him by showing some rookie mistakes as well. It will be an important offseason for his progression.

Chris Evans, R.B Cincinnati Bengals

Unfortunately, Evans was once again inactive. Lui scored a touchdown against the Chiefs in the Dec. 4 game, so it was a little surprising to see him unfit. He didn’t appear in the playoffs this year for Cincinnati.

Brandon Graham, DE Philadelphia Eagles

Graham and the Eagles raced a boat ride against the 49ers to an easy NFC championship win. Though he only had one tackle on the day, the Philadelphia captain made his presence felt in many ways on the field. Also, he had this viral moment with his daughter in a post-game interview:

Graham was also recently named Philadelphia’s Walter Payton Man of the Year:

Graham and the Eagles defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 31-7.

Ambry Thomas, CB San Francisco 49ers

Thomas returned to practice this week but was unable to avoid making the inactive list once again for the 49ers. It was a disappointing end to what had once been a promising season for him.

It’s also worth noting that Maurice Hurst and Michael Dwumfour are currently with the 49ers, even though Hurst is on IR and Dwumfour is on the practice squad. Additionally, Brian Griese is the quarterbacks coach for San Francisco and former Michigan safety Jordan Kovacs is an assistant linebackers coach with the Bengals.

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