Cougars in the Playoffs: Former BYU defenders star in NFL

The NFL Divisional round took place the weekend of Jan. 20. Three former BYU defensive players saw action. Fred Warner on the 49ers and Kyle Van Noy on the Ravens advanced to their respective conference championship games. 

ZAYNE ANDERSON

The Packers traveled to San Francisco to play the one-seeded 49ers. Anderson played 13 special teams snaps had a missed tackle and was graded at just 38.3 on PFF. The 49ers won 24-21, sending Anderson and the Packers home for the season. Anderson finished the year with four tackles after not seeing the field until week nine. 

FRED WARNER

Coming off a bye, Warner and the 49ers hosted the Packers at Levi’s Stadium. In 67 snaps, Warner recorded seven tackles. In coverage, he only allowed three receptions on six targets for 19 yards. He received a 79.3 grade on PFF. 

The 49ers will host the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship game. The game will be Sunday at 4:30 PM EST on Fox. San Francisco is favored by seven points. 

In a press conference this week, Warner talked about the importance of the defense and relayed the confidence they want to play.  

“If we want to win this game, I’m putting it all in the defense’s hands. All we need to do is score three on offense and we’re gonna win it for us,” Warner said. 

Warner knows the time for improvement is over. They don’t have another week to fix things if they do not play their best. 

“We gotta make sure we come out guns-a-blazing, we gotta set the tone right away, and we gotta make sure we come out playing our best football,” Warner said. 

KYLE VAN NOY

The Ravens handled the Texans at home 34-10. After being tied at 10 at halftime, the second half was all Ravens scoring 24 second-half points, 17 of which came in the fourth quarter. Van Noy played 28 snaps and recorded four hurries on rookie QB CJ Stroud and one tackle. The Ravens’ defense did not allow a touchdown as the only Texans touchdown came on a punt return. 

Van Noy was featured on The Pat McAfee show on ESPN Monday following the games this weekend. As a two-time Super Bowl Champion, Van Noy brings a veteran presence to the Ravens defense who signed him in just before week four.

The Ravens host Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship.

Van Noy has fully embraced the city of Baltimore. Before their game against the Texans, the Ravens released a hype video written and narrated by Van Noy.

Van Noy knows the importance of the game being held in Baltimore. 

“They have an opportunity this weekend to really put themselves on the map by showcasing how loud they can be,” Van Noy said about the Ravens fans, who call themselves the “Ravens Flock.”

Patrick Mahomes has only played in one road postseason game which came last week in Buffalo. Additionally, M&T Bank Stadium provides one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL. The crowd noise contributed to six Texans pre-snap penalties including five false starts and one delay of game. 

“The Ravens Flock bring it all game long. The atmosphere is one of a kind and we’re excited to put on for this city,” Van Noy said. 

The game will take place Sunday at 1:00 PM EST on CBS.

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