By Jay Skurski
Here’s a look at how the Western New Yorkers and University at Buffalo graduates currently playing in the NFL did in the divisional round, or how they finished the 2012 regular season.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots: Gronkowski was lost for the rest of the playoffs after breaking his left forearm for the second time this season during New England's 41-28 victory over Houston. He finished the regular season with 55 catches for 790 yards and 11 TDs.
Corey Graham, DB, Baltimore Ravens: The sixth-year pro from Buffalo had a game he'll never forget in a 38-35 double overtime victory over the Denver Broncos. Graham had two interceptions against future Hall of Famer Corey Graham, one of which he returned for a touchdown and the other that set up the game-winning field goal. Other than that, just a normal week! For the season, Graham had 60 tackles, two interceptions, a forced fumble and eight passes defensed for Baltimore, which travels to New England for the AFC Championship game Sunday.
James Starks, RB, Green Bay Packers: The Niagara Falls native was active for the Packers' 45-31 loss to San Francisco, but did not play . Starks had missed the five previous games because of the injury. The 26-year-old finished with 71 rushes for 255 yards and one touchdown and four receptions for 31 yards in six games (two starts) in the regular season. He missed the first five games of the year because of a turf toe injury.
Chris Gronkowski, FB, Denver Broncos: Did not play in the Broncos' 38-35 double overtime loss to the Ravens in the divisional round, meaning Gronkowski missed Denver's final three games of the season because of a hamstring injury. Appeared in 14 games in the regular season, making his first career catch for Denver in Week Three against Houston.
Doug Worthington, DT, Washington Redskins: The Buffalo native recorded one tackle in Washington's 24-14 loss to Seattle in the wild-card round. Worthington, a St. Francis graduate, joined the Redskins’ active roster from their practice squad prior to Week Three. He finished the regular season with three tackles and a pass defensed in six games played.
Mike Williams, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Buffalo native started all 16 games this season for the 7-9 Bucs, finishing just four yards short of his first 1,000-yard season. Williams finished the year with 63 catches for 996 yards and nine touchdowns.
Brett Kern, P, Tennessee Titans: Kern, a Grand Island High School graduate, finished the season with a 47.6-yard average on 81 punts for the Titans, with a net average of 40.4 yards and a long punt of 71 yards.
Trevor Scott, LB, New England Patriots: Made one tackle in the Patriots' 41-28 victory over Houston in the divisional round. The Patriots host the Ravens on Sunday for a chance to go to the Super Bowl.
Josh Thomas, CB, Carolina Panthers: Finished the regular season by making four straight starts for the Panthers. Thomas played in all 16 games of the season for the 7-9 Panthers, making 35 tackles and seven passes defensed.
Note: UB graduate Jamey Richard is on injured reserve for the Patriots.