Today, we find out who will be representing both the NFC and AFC in Super Bowl LII in Minnesota. It really has been a bizarre but fun playoffs, with the unexpected happening and a dynasty continuing its reign in the NFL. The New England Patriots, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, and Philadelphia Eagles will compete for a shot at the title, along with a couple former Baltimore Ravens players two of the teams hoping for a championship as well.
On the Patriots side, they carry the infamous James Harrison. While he is most notably known as a Pittsburgh Steeler, Harrison was a Ravens for a brief moment. In 2003, Harrison was on the teams practice squad but was cut shortly after. Harrison of course, would end up having a Hall of Fame caliber career in Pittsburgh, and is now vying for yet another championship in New England. His signing to the Patriots raised even more interest in a rematch with the Steelers, until Jacksonville swooped in and beat the Steelers at Heinz Field a second time.
Another former Raven turned Patriot is defensive end Lawrence Guy. In 2014, Guy was claimed off waivers by Baltimore and would contribute greatly in the run game for three years. After bouncing around from the Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, and San Diego Chargers, Guy found a spot for stability as a Raven, and cashed in last offseason by signing a 4-year, $20 million contract with New England. This year, Guy has recorded 58 tackles and one sack for the Patriots defense.
As they get set to host the NFC Championship games, the Eagles hold a decent number of former Ravens and guys who helped the team win Super Bowl XLVII. Most recently, Baltimore traded former 2014 3rd-round pick Timmy Jernigan to Philadelphia in exchange for a 2017 3rd-round choice. Jernigan was entering a contract year, and while he did do well in Baltimore, he never quite fit the 3-4 scheme of the Ravens as a 4-3 defender. In a much comfortable system for him, Jernigan contributed to 29 tackles and 2.5 sacks for the season, and the Eagles signed him to a 4-year, $48 million deal during the season.
Dannell Ellerbe signed with the Eagles in November, and has now become the starting middle linebacker and has provided experience at the middle linebacker position for the injured Jordan Hicks. He also provides championship experience from being the stating middle linebacker opposite Ray Lewis in the 2012 title run. Corey Graham is also apart of this Eagles team. Graham signed with Philadelphia in August and nabbed two interceptions his first year. Graham grabbed two huge interceptions in the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Denver Broncos to help catapult the Ravens to the conference title game.
Eagles defensive end Steven Means spent two seasons in Baltimore, but wasn't able to finish his 2015 year after a sports hernia. The team released him on an injury settlement. Wide receiver Torrey Smith signed a 1-year contract with the Eagles after two disappointing seasons in San Francisco.
Smith was a big weapon for Joe Flacco in Baltimore from 2011-2014, and is really still the only capable wide receiver general manager Ozzie Newsome ever drafted. Smith is a player who has a flair for making a big play and he did that many times in Baltimore. Smith would continue that trend in last weeks Divisional round with a big catch on a ball that was bounded off the hands of Atlanta Flacons safety Keanu Neal. Instead of an interception that would've put the Falcons up 13-6 at halftime at least, Torrey's catch contributed to a field goal that cut Atlanta's lead 10-9 at intermission.
These players have another chance to hold the Lombardi trophy one more time and for the likes of Smith, Graham, and Ellerbe, it would sure bring back good times.