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Alabama in the Pros

Mac Jones, Jalen Hurts have opportunities to win first NFL playoff game as Alabama alums since Richard Todd

Mac Jones under center giving signals for Patriots in 2021 season
Paul Rutherford - USA Today Sports

Alabama football fans will be glued to televisions all day today.

Six playoff games are happening on NFL Wild Card weekend.  Two matchups will feature a former University of Alabama quarterback. Mac Jones leads the New England Patriots against the Buffalo Bills, while Jalen Hurts guides the Philadelphia Eagles against the Tampa Buccaneers. Crimson Tide fans watched both signal-callers lead their teams to the playoffs.

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Alabama has won SEC Championships, national championships and put athletes in the National Football League.

However, it has been 39 years since a Tide alum has won a playoff game as the starting quarterback for an NFL team. Richard Todd guided the New York Jets to a 17-14 victory over the Raiders in the 1983 AFC Divisional playoff matchup.

Jeff Rutledge, a former Alabama quarterback, helped Washington defeat Detroit in the 1990 NFC playoff matchup, but he emerged off the bench to do it. Rutledge assisted Washington in overcoming a 21-point deficit to earn a 41-38 victory.

Alabama had Jay Barker, Brodie Croyle, John Parker Wilson, Greg McElroy, and AJ McCarron in the NFL, but none won a playoff game.

McCarron came close in the 2015 season with the Cincinnati Bengals. He completed 23 of 41 passes for 212 yards with one touchdown and one interception in a Wild Card game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cincinnati came up short in a 16-18 loss.

Mac Jones is a finalist for NFL Pepsi Rookie of the Year. He looks to navigate the Patriots on a deep playoff run.

Jalen Hurts (#1) celebrates TD run for Eagles in 2021 game versus New Orleans Saints

Nov 21, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) reacts after his touchdown run against the New Orleans Saints during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Hurts has silenced critics and has the Eagles in the playoffs. He looks to continue his rhythm against Tom Brady and a potent Bucs team.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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