Who You Should Root for in the NFL Playoffs

Published by Cordelia F Mendez on January 07, 2013 at 11:41PM

Home team knocked out of the playoffs? Still reeling from Fitzpatrick’s fourth place AFC East finish? The Back Page has you covered on who to root for, given a Harvard allegiance.

Houston vs New England

Former Crimson football legend Clifton Dawson ’07, once the all-time Ivy League rushing leader, made his final stop of his NFL career in Houston. The Texans aren’t the only Houston franchise making headlines. Point guard Jeremy Lin ’10 has helped the Rockets to lead the NBA in points per game and currently sit in sixth place in the Western Conference. Texans linebacker Connor Barwin was happy to lend Lin a hand when he made the move down south. We hope our alum will return the favor and cheer on the Texans.

Our pick: Houston

Baltimore vs Denver

Two prominent members of the Ravens franchise have their roots with Harvard football coach Tim Murphy. Center Matt Birk ’98 played for the Crimson under Murphy and contributed to winning three out of four Harvard-Yale contests during his time. Birk has started 113 consecutive games, the longest current streak among centers in the NFL. Baltimore coach John Harbaugh served as special teams coordinator at the University of Cincinnati for six years, four of which occurred during Murphy’s tenure as head coach there.

Our pick: Baltimore

Green Bay vs San Francisco

The Wild Card round saw the Packers down Minnesota, thus eliminating the Vikings and Kevin Murphy ’12, a member of their practice squad, from title contention. Offensive lineman Murphy, who was originally signed by the 49ers as a free agent back in May, started all 20 games during his final two years with the Crimson at left tackle and has been the only member of his class to successfully go pro. Additionally, San Francisco is coached by Jim Harbaugh, the brother of John Harbaugh. The Harbaughs are the only pair of brothers to serve as head coaches in NFL history, and we’re all for family success.

Our pick: San Francisco

Seattle vs Atlanta

Once upon a time, Paul Allen dropped out of Washington State University and convinced Bill Gates to do the same at Harvard. The two went on to found Microsoft and now Allen is chairman of the Seahawks. Furthermore, the last time Seattle won a conference championship, it was with Isaiah Kacyvenski ’00 on its roster. Kacyvenski, who played seven seasons with the Seahawks, was signed in the fourth round of the 2000 NFL draft, the highest pick in Harvard history.

Our pick: Seattle