Cougars in the Playoffs: Divisional Round

The Divisional Round of the 2024 NFL Playoffs begins Jan. 19. Three former Cougars are still on teams and looking to make an impact.

The NFL Playoffs started the weekend of Jan. 13. In all, six former BYU players made the playoffs as a member of an active roster. Fred Warner and Kyle Van Noy had a bye week with their teams earning the number one seed. 

SIONE TAKITAKI

In the Wild Card Round, the five-seeded Browns traveled to Houston to take on the fourth-seed Texans. Despite having a better record and head-to-head regular season win, the Texans were given a home-field advantage since they won the AFC South and the Browns finished second in the AFC North. 

With starting linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. on injured reserve to end the season, Takitaki was given the starting job with high hopes. In Takitaki’s previous playoff appearance, he sealed a win in Pittsburgh with a an interception. The Browns boasted the number-one defense in the league this season but fell apart against the Texans. The Browns lost 45-14 ending Takitaki’s season. He recorded three total tackles in the game.

Takitaki signed a one-year deal to return to the Browns last offseason. This season he played in 15 games with seven starts. He finished the season with 65 tackles, 45 solo tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks and an interception. He is a free agent again as he enters his sixth NFL season. 

CHRIS BROOKS

The Dolphins traveled to Kansas City to face the Chiefs. Brooks was the 4th runningback on the depth chart. Brooks played 13 special teams snaps and was given a 72.3 grade on PFF. The game was played in sub-zero temperatures and the Dolphins would lose 26-7.

PUKA NACUA

In his first-ever playoff game, Nacua broke the record for receiving yards in a game by a rookie. Nacua was targeted 10 times and had nine receptions for 181 yards and a touchdown. His efforts weren’t enough as the Rams would fall to the Lions in Detriot 24-23. 

As a rookie, Nacua was selected to the AP All-Pro second team and will be a finalist for offensive rookie of the year. 

ZAYNE ANDERSON

Anderson and the Packers went into Dallas, and upset the NFC East Champions, Cowboys 48-32. Anderson recorded one tackle and allowed one catch for 47 yards while playing safety. The Packers travel to San Francisco to play Fred Warner and the 49ers on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 6:15 EST.

FRED WARNER

After a week of rest, Warner will face the red-hot Packers on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 6:15 EST. The 49ers are the one-seed in the NFC and heavy favorites to make the Super Bowl. Warner finished the year with 82 solo tackles, 2.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and four interceptions. Warner was a unanimous selection to the AP All-Pro First Team for the third time in his career. 

KYLE VAN NOY

After signing with Baltimore in Week 3, Van Noy has put together the best season of his career. He finished with 48 total tackles and a career-high nine sacks. Coming off a bye, the Ravens host the Texans on Saturday, Jan. 20 at 4:30 pm EST.

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