The New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles won their respective conference championships on Sunday, meaning Georgia will have representation on both squads for Super Bowl LII.
The Patriots’ roster has center David Andrews and receiver Malcolm Mitchell, while the Eagles’ squad includes linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. Georgia has had at least one player advance to the Super Bowl for an SEC-leading 17 consecutive years.
New England 24, Jacksonville 20
• Center David Andrews, a team captain, started and helped the Patriots roll up 344 total yards.
• Receiver Malcolm Mitchell finished the season on injured reserve due to a knee injury for New England. Mitchell had to be activated by Jan. 17 to qualify for the AFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl, but Patriots opted not to do so.
• Nose tackle Abry Jones had three tackles for the Jaguars.
Philadelphia 38, Minnesota 7
• Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe was inactive for the Eagles due to a hamstring injury.
Former Georgia defender Phillip Daniels is the Eagles’ defensive quality control and assistant defensive line coach. Daniels recorded 244 stops at end, tackle and linebacker for the Bulldogs from 1992-95 and was team captain his senior year. Daniels played in the NFL for 15 seasons with Seattle, Chicago and Washington. Keith Gray has been Philadelphia’s assistant strength and conditioning coach for the past six seasons. Gray was an assistant coach and then associate head strength coach from 1999-2012 at Georgia, working with football, gymnastics and women’s tennis. Former UGA sports communications assistant Anne Noland is a member of the Patriots’ public relations staff.
In other NFL news involving Georgia alums:
• Baltimore tight end Benjamin Watson has been chosen as one of the three finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. The award will be presented Feb. 3 at NFL Honors. Said Watson, a 14-year pro, “A lot of guys are doing things, more than what people know. One thing I always wanted to do is take advantage of the opportunities as long as I play and after I play. We obviously have some influence. Yes, as NFL players, we have the ability to be more visible. Everybody has a sphere of influence they can affect positively, whether it is 10 people or 10,000 people. I want to use it to help people and advocate for people whenever I can, to be someone who stands for what is just and kind and right.”
• Los Angeles Rams tailback Todd Gurley, Miami Dolphins safety Reshad Jones and Cincinnati defensive tackle Geno Atkins will play in the Pro Bowl Sunday in Orlando, Fla. Atkins also has committed to playing in Thursday’s Pro Bowl Skills Showdown, which includes dodgeball, relay races, precision passing, a best hands competition. Cincinnati receiver A.J. Green was a Pro Bowl selection but bowed out due to a knee injury.