LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - With Week 17 in the books, the surviving NFL teams will now look to make a deep run in the playoffs and a possible Super Bowl Championship.
In that equation are several East Texas athletes.
The Wild Card week of the playoffs will start with a Lone Star double header. The action gets kicked off with the Houston Texans hosting the the Indianapolis Colts. The game will be on ESPN and KTRE Saturday, January 5 at 3:35 pm. The teams split their regular season 1-1 with the Colts winning their December game 24-21. Lufkin native Keke Coutee set a Texans record 11 receptions for 109 yards in a rookie debut. Coutee has been limited much of the season with a nagging hamstring injury but it might be safe to assume with the playoffs here, Head Coach Bill O’Brien would look to play the explosive threat in the slot.
That first game will be followed by the Dallas Cowboys hosting the Seattle Seahawks at 7:15 on FOX. It is hard to imagine that pre-bye week, fans were calling for a new quarterback and head coach. The team made several adjustments including bringing in Amari Cooper from Oakland and they have been a threat ever since. This will be the team’s 33rd playoff appearance which ranks most all-time.
Wild Card week will wrap up on Sunday with two games. First, the Los Angeles Chargers travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens at 12:05 pm on CBS. The Chargers have been a hot team over the close of the season but fell just short of the Chiefs in the AFC West. But the Ravens will offer a tough test to the west coast team. The Chargers are home to Dylan Cantrell, the former Whitehouse and Texas Tech wide receiver who was signed to the active roster in December.
The final game on Sunday will see the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelpha Eagles travel to the Chicago Bears in prime time action on NBC. This time la st year is when the Eagles magical run started which saw former Groveton Indian Lane Johnson help bring home the franchise’s first Super Bowl.
Absent from the Wild Card round are two East Texans, who are waiting for the winners. The Kansas City Chiefs and former Whitehouse Wildcat Patrick Mahomes are the number one seed out of the AFC. They are off until 3:35 p.m. on January 12. Mahomes has put up Hall of Fame type numbers all season and looks to end a recent streak of playoff failures at home for the Chiefs.
On the NFC side, John Franklin-Myers and the LA Rams will await one of the NFC winners. Myers has one of the more incredible stories on his journey to the NFL. As a member of the Greenville Lions football program, his teams never won a high school game. He was given an opportunity at SFA and quickly NFL scouts took notice. After being drafted by the Rams in the 4th round, Myers has started to develop on on one of the top defenses in the league. He was recently name the Rams Rookie of the Year.