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How NFL players with Delaware ties fared in 2020, and a possible dream matchup for Chris Godwin, Darnell Savage

Martin Frank
Delaware News Journal

Players with Delaware ties could have prominent roles in the NFL playoffs beginning this weekend.

For Delaware high school football fans, that could even mean a dream matchup if the top-seeded Green Bay Packers, with safety Darnell Savage, who went to Caravel Academy, end up facing Tampa Bay Buccaneers with wide receiver Chris Godwin, who went to Middletown High School.

The Packers are the top seed in the NFC, so they have a first-round bye. The No. 5 Buccaneers, with Tom Brady at quarterback, have a first-round matchup against the Washington Football Team.

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The two teams will play next weekend if the Buccaneers win their first-round game, and the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds win as well. It's possible that matchup could take place in the NFC Championship game on Jan. 24, with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.

Godwin and Savage never played against each other in high school.

But Godwin did face the Rams linebacker Troy Reeder when Reeder was at Salesianum. The Rams, the No. 6 seed, could end up facing the Bucs in a later round depending on upsets.

The same is true with the Bears with nose tackle Bilal Nichols, who starred at Hodgson Vo-Tech and the University of Delaware.

All of those players made Delaware Online/The News Journal's all-decade team for the 2010s.

Here's a look at how players with Delaware ties fared during the regular season:

Green Bay Packers' Darnell Savage celebrates with teammates after his interception during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 30-16. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

In the playoffs

Darnell Savage, safety, Packers, Caravel

2020 stats: 15 games (all starts), 75 tackles, 4 interceptions, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery

First-round opponent: Bye

Comment: Savage, the Packers' first-round pick in 2019 (No. 21 overall), has cemented his role as a key member of Green Bay's secondary. He had two interceptions in a Sunday night win over the Bears in November. All four of his INTs came over the last six games of the season.

Troy Reeder, linebacker, Rams, Salesianum/UD

2020 stats: 16 games (7 starts), 81 tackles, 3 sacks

First-round opponent: at Seattle, Saturday

Comment: Reeder was signed by the Rams as an undrafted free agent in the spring of 2019. In both seasons, he ended up starting at linebacker. This season, he had five games with at least 10 tackles.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) congratulates wide receiver Chris Godwin (14) after Godwin caught a 7-yard touchdown reception during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

Chris Godwin, WR, Buccaneers, Middletown

2020 stats: 12 games (all starts), 65 receptions, 840 yards, 7 TDs

First-round opponent: at Washington, Saturday

Comment: Due to injuries, Godwin wasn't as prolific as he was in 2019, when he had 1,333 yards receiving and was selected to the Pro Bowl. But he still was a key receiver for quarterback Tom Brady. He's healthy now and is hoping for a strong playoff run. 

Chicago Bears defensive end and University of Delaware and Hodgson Vo-Tech alumni Bilal Nichols (98) battles against Philadelphias Brandon Brooks (79) Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

Bilal Nichols, D-tackle, Bears, Hodgson/UD

2020 stats: 16 games (all starts), 40 tackles 5 sacks, 1 INT

First-round opponent: at New Orleans, Sunday

Comment: Nichols, the Bears' fifth-round draft pick in 2018, has worked himself into a full-time starter. He even had an interception, rare for a defensive lineman.

Eagles' Wendell Smallwood (28) warms up before Military Appreciation Night Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

Wendell Smallwood, RB, Steelers, Red Lion

2020 stats: 1 game (0 starts), no carries or yards rushing

First-round opponent: vs. Cleveland, Sunday

Comment: Smallwood spent all but one game on the Steelers' practice squad, where he remains heading into the playoffs. Smallwood played for the Eagles from 2016-18 and Washington in 2019. He has 931 yards rushing and 5 TDs in his career.

University of Delaware product Nick Boyle warms up at tight end for Baltimore before preseason action against Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field Thursday, Aug. 22.

Nick Boyle, tight end, Ravens, UD

2020 stats: 9 games (all starts), 14 catches, 113 yards, 2 TDs

First-round opponent: at Tennessee, Sunday

Comment: Boyle is on injured reserve after suffering a knee injury against New England on Nov. 15. Boyle had proven himself a valuable blocking and receiving tight end. He had a 7-yard TD catch in an October game against the Eagles.

Atlanta Falcons offensive tackle Matt Gono (73) works against Washington Redskins defensive end Matthew Ioannidis (98) during the first half an NFL preseason football game.

Not in the playoffs

Matt Gono, Falcons, OL, Wesley

2020 stats: 16 games (4 starts)

Comment: Gono, Wesley College's only active NFL player, started three straight games over the last four at both tackle and guard. The Falcons signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2018. 

Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Zach Kerr (92) takes down Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) during an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020 in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.)

Zach Kerr, Panthers, DT, UD

2020 stats: 13 games (4 starts), 32 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble

Comment: Kerr was an undrafted free agent in 2014 who just finished his seventh NFL season with his fourth team. Kerr has served as a reliable run stopper this season for the Panthers.

Detroit Lions safety Duron Harmon (26) tries to get by cornerback Amani Oruwariye (24) during NFL football training camp in Allen Park, Mich., Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Mike Mulholland/The Grand Rapids Press via AP, Pool)

Duron Harmon, Lions, safety, Caesar Rodney

2020 stats: 16 games (all starts), 73 tackles, 2 interceptions.

Comment: Harmon spent his first seven seasons with the Patriots, where he played in four Super Bowls (his only loss coming against the Eagles in 2017). This is Harmon's first season not in the playoffs. It was also his first season starting every game, and he set a career high in tackles.

Los Angeles Chargers free safety Nasir Adderley (24) returns an interception to near the goal line in the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Brett Duke)

Nasir Adderley, Chargers, safety, UD

2020 stats: 15 games (14 starts), 69 tackles, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery

Comment: Adderley had a strong season after an injury-ravaged rookie campaign, when he was the Chargers' second-round pick. Adderley's INT came on national TV against the Saints' Drew Brees. He also had a 53-yard kick return.

New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco (5) throws a pass from the pocket during an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, November 22, 2020 in Inglewood, Calif. The Chargers defeated the Jets 34-28. (John Cordes/AP Images for Panini)

Joe Flacco, Jets, QB, UD

2020 stats: 5 games (4 starts), 864 yards passing, 55.2% completion percentage, 6 TDs, 3 INTs, passer rating of 80.6

Comment: Flacco finished up his 13th NFL season as a backup to Sam Darnold. Flacco has thrown for 40,931 yards in his career. He led Baltimore to the playoffs in each of his first five seasons, including the Super Bowl in 2012 and was named the game's MVP. 

Salesianum School alumni and Minnesota lineman Brian O'Neill, left, in action Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

Brian O'Neill, Vikings, RT, Salesianum

2020 stats: 16 games (all starts)

Comment: O'Neill, the Vikings' second-round pick in 2018, became a full-time starter early in his rookie season. This was the first time he played in all 16 games, and he said recently that he would love to sign a long-term deal with Minnesota.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) scrambles as Arizona Cardinals defensive end Angelo Blackson (96) closes in during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Angelo Blackson, DT, Cardinals, Red Lion

2020 stats: 16 games (9 starts), 24 tackles, 2.5 sacks

Comment: Blackson, a fourth-round pick of Tennessee in 2015, was released by Houston at the end of training camp and quickly signed with Arizona. He became a full-time starter for the Cardinals over the second half of the season. 

Jacksonville Jaguars' Brandon Rusnak (40) covers Pittsburgh Steelers' James Pierre (42) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Brandon Rusnak, CB, Jaguars, Red Lion

2020 stats: 16 games (1 start), 24 tackles

Comment: Rusnak, who used to be known as Brandon Watson, was signed as an undrafted free agent by Jacksonville in 2019. Rusnak got his first career NFL start against the Chargers on Oct. 25 and had 7 tackles in that game.

Los Angeles Chargers receiver Andre Patton, who played at St. Elizabeth, makes a reception against the San Francisco 49ers in a preseason game on Aug. 31.

Andre Patton, WR, Dolphins, St. Elizabeth

2020 stats: Did not play

Comment: Patton, an undrafted free agent in 2017, got into his first NFL games in 2019 with the Chargers. Patton had 6 catches for 56 yards in 2019. He spent 2020 on the Cardinals practice squad before going to the Dolphins' practice squad.

David Sills, WR, Giants, Red Lion

2020 stats: Did not play

Comment: Sills spent this season on injured reserve after spending most of his rookie season on the Giants' practice squad. He has yet to appear in an NFL game.

Contact Martin Frank at mfrank@delawareonline.com. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.