NFL Divisional Playoffs full of Hawaii’s own

Cleveland Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer (7) is sacked by Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Tyson Alualu (94) during the first half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

Five Hawaii high school graduates will lace it up in the NFL Divisional Playoff round this weekend on the road to Super Bowl LII.

Early Sunday at 8:05 am HST, fellow former Crusader Tyson Alualu and the Steelers will face off with his former team, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Jaguars beat the Steelers 30-9 back in September, marking as Pittsburg’s worst loss of the season.

“I was disappointed about the way the first game went and the way it turned out.” Alualu said.

“But I knew that we were going to be in the playoffs. And I was hoping for this chance to meet them again. It’s not just because it’s my former team or where I came from, but the way things turned out the first time around. So I’m looking forward to this game and just excited.”

Alualu put up his most productive year of his career in his first year in Pittsburgh, racking a career highs in sacks with 4 to go with 39 tackles from his defensive end spot.

“Now it’s all about preparing the best way I can and trying to help my team win this next game.” Alualu added.

“It’s at the point where you lose and you go home so definitely want to keep it going. Keep heading to the Super Bowl so we can win that.”

Pittsburgh is a 7 point favorite.

In the NFC, three local boys reside on the Saints, where New Orleans travels to Minnesota to take on the Vikings Monday at 11:40 pm HST. Punahou’s Manti Te’o, Kahuku’s Hauoli Kikaha, and Hawaii Prep’s Max Unger are 5 point underdogs to Minnesota. The game will air live on KHON2.

On the other side of the NFC bracket, former Kamehameha-Kapalama star Kamu Grugier-Hill and the Eagles host the Falcons Saturday at 11:35 am HST. The Eagles are the lone home underdog of the weekend, as Atlanta is listed as a 3 point favorite.

Saturday at 3:15 pm HST Saint Louis alumnus Marcus Mariota will lead his Titans to take on the reigning Super Bowl champion Patriots in New England. The Patriots are a massive 13 1/2 point favorite.

 

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