NFL Playoffs: Unexpected German duel in the Divisional Round

With Mark Nzeocha and Equanimeous St. Brown, two German professionals will meet in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. Just a few weeks ago this was unthinkable.

Munich – With Jakob Johnson, Mark Nzeocha and Equanimeous St. Brown, three German players have entered the playoffs. While Johnson was already eliminated with the New England Patriots, Nzeocha was able to prevail with the San Francisco 49ers against the Dallas Cowboys. St. Brown and the Green Bay Packers did not play in the Wild Card Round.

Because the 49ers will meet the Packers in the Divisional Round, it will be a German duel. A clash that was unthinkable just a few weeks ago.

Because Equanimeous St. Brown was not even part of the Wisconsin team’s squad during his third NFL season. For a while it was even unclear whether his NFL career still had a future. But the 25-year-old fought his way back, played some good games in the middle of the season (especially on special teams) and almost provided the “Catch of the Year” in week twelve against the Los Angeles Rams.

Duelling on Special Teams?

On average, “EQ” was on the field for 34 percent of offensive snaps this season. He caught nine passes for 98 yards. But the wide receiver was also used in the special teams time and again and recorded a total of nine tackles.

Speaking of special teams: This is exactly where St. Brown and Nzeocha could meet on the field. The 32-year-old Nzeocha, who surprisingly reappeared in the 49ers’ practice squad shortly before the turn of the year, will be used there. Previously, the Franconian had not played in the NFL since the end of the 2020 season.

In his three games this season, Nzeocha has been on the turf for 75 percent of all special teams snaps and is expected to play there against the Packers. Last week, unfortunately, he provided a rather negative highlight when he allowed the Dallas Cowboys to gain another first down by committing a penalty. Fortunately for Nzeocha and the Niners, the team from Texas was unable to capitalise on this mistake.

One thing is already clear before the duel: A German will be in the NFC Championship Game and fight with his team for a place in the Super Bowl. For Mark Nzeocha, this would be the opportunity for “redemption”. With San Francisco, he had a chance to reach the Super Bowl in the 2019 season, but lost the final to the Kansas City Chiefs.

4 months ago
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