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Nittany Lions In The NFL: Divisional Round Recap

An underwhelming weekend of NFL Divisional Round games is officially in the books, with nearly all four being decided by more than one possession. After an action-packed Super Wild Card weekend with almost every game coming down to the wire, these ones were a lot less entertaining from a competitive standpoint.

It was also a quieter week from Penn Staters, as no one produced even one touchdown or sack. A handful were sent home, but there’s still at least one Nittany Lion guaranteed to play in Super Bowl LVII.

Let’s take a closer look at how this week unfolded for the former folks of Happy Valley.

Robbie Gould, San Francisco 49ers

Have yourself a day, Robbie Gould! He may be 40 years old, but he’s still ‘good as Gould.’

The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Dallas Cowboys 19-12 and arguably wouldn’t be moving on if Gould didn’t bring his A-game. He was 4-for-4 on field goals (from 26, 47, 50, and 28 yards) and 1-for-1 on extra points. Gould is 29-for-29 on field goals in the postseason in his career.

But perhaps no play was more important than his touchdown-saving tackle on KaVontae Turpin.

He laid the hit stick. Glad Turpin is OK here.

Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles

The No. 1-seeded Philadelphia Eagles took care of business at home against the New York Giants in an easy 38-7 win as Miles Sanders won the battle of the Penn State running backs.

Sanders took 17 handoffs for 90 yards and led the Eagles’ ground game for the majority of the contest. His stats probably would’ve been more impressive had the Giants stayed competitive, but backup Kenneth Gainwell was inserted for the game’s final moments instead.

Sanders is a win away from his first-ever Super Bowl appearance. The Eagles are set to take on the 49ers in the NFC Championship game at 3 p.m. on Sunday, January 29.

Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

Saquon Barkley scored a touchdown in his playoff debut last week when the Giants upset the Vikings, but neither he nor his team could find similar success this weekend. Barkley was effective in his limited opportunity, turning nine carries into 61 yards, but the Giants were forced to abandon the run early as they were down 28-0 at halftime.

Barkley now enters the offseason as an unrestricted free agent, though, he’s expressed his desire to stay in New York.

Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys

Micah Parsons had a quiet game for his standards, totaling four tackles, one pass defended, and a quarterback hit in Dallas’ loss.

But rest assured… he still made his presence felt.

The Cowboys’ pass rush was effective in making 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy uncomfortable all game long and Parsons was always in the mix. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough as Dallas was denied in the Divisional Round once again.

Other Notables

  • Dallas Cowboys interior offensive lineman Connor McGovern has been a lynchpin to one of the better offensive lines in the league for three seasons now. He’ll be searching for a new deal in the offseason as an unrestricted free agent.
  • San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Kevin Givens saw some playing time, tallying one tackle in the Niners’ win.
  • The Buffalo Bills were beat up by the Cincinnati Bengals 27-10, which means offensive lineman Ryan Bates and defensive tackle DaQuan Jones are officially eliminated. There are now no Penn Staters left in the AFC playoff picture.

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About the Author

Zach Donaldson

Zach is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. He is a writer for Onward State and serves as an editor for Penn State’s CommRadio. He hails from Downingtown, Pa., or in other words "just outside of Philly." When he's not watching or ranting about Philly sports, you can probably find him at the gym. If you like sports tweets, follow him on Twitter @zachdonaldson_ and all inquiries can go to [email protected]

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