By Jay Skurski
Here’s a look at how the Western New Yorkers and University at Buffalo graduates currently playing in the NFL did over the wild-card weekend, or how they finished the 2012 regular season.
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.
Corey Graham, DB, Baltimore Ravens: The sixth-year pro from Buffalo made seven tackles, registered half a sack and broke up two passes for the Ravens in a 24-9 win over the Indianapolis Colts. For the season, Graham had 60 tackles, two interceptions, a forced fumble and eight passes defensed for Baltimore, which travels to Denver for the divisional round of the postseason Saturday.
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.
Chris Gronkowski, FB, Denver Broncos: Appeared in 14 games for the 13-3 Broncos, making his first career catch for Denver in Week Three against Houston. Did not play in Week 17's 38-3 win over Kansas City because of a hamstring injury. The Broncos, who had a first-round playoff bye, have home-field advantage throughout the AFC postseason and host the Ravens on Saturday.
James Starks, RB, Green Bay Packers: The Niagara Falls native was inactive for the Packers' 24-10 win against Minnesota in the wild card round, the fifth straight game he missed because of a knee injury. Starks, 26, had 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. Green Bay visits San Francisco this weekend in the divisional round. Starks is expected to be questionable for the game.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots: Gronk finished the regular season with 55 catches for 790 yards and 11 TDs. The Pats had a bye last weekend and will host Houston on Sunday in the divisional round.
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.
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.
Trevor Scott, LB, New England Patriots: Finished the regular season with 14 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble for the 12-4 Patriots, who host Houston on Sunday.
Note: UB graduate Jamey Richard is on injured reserve for the Patriots.