Heisman overload: Ravens-Titans a Heisman reunion for 5 past winners

Baltimore Ravens, Heisman Trophy, NFL Playoffs, Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans vs. Baltimore Ravens’ AFC Divisional Round game will feature five of the last 11 winners of the Heisman Trophy if you can imagine that.

In one of the better games of the NFL playoffs slate, the No. 1 Baltimore Ravens will host the No. 6 Tennessee Titans for the right to go to the AFC Championship game. Baltimore is favored, but Tennessee does provide a compelling matchup to the Ravens. Also, this game is littered with former Heisman Trophy winners. Five of the last 11 winners will be playing in this game, which is the most in a game since 1970.

For Tennessee, the Titans’ star running back Derrick Henry won the 2015 Heisman Trophy as a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Though he won’t be taking any handoffs from this guy, Titans’ backup quarterback Marcus Mariota took home the Heisman the year before Henry in 2014 as a superstar quarterback for the Oregon Ducks.

Baltimore has three former Heisman winners on its 53-man roster, two of which play major roles in the Ravens offense. Their quarterback is the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner out of Louisville in Lamar Jackson, who is expected to take home the NFL MVP in his second year in the league.

Jackson’s bell-cow back is another Alabama standout running back in the form of Mark Ingram Jr., who won the 2009 Heisman Trophy as a sensational sophomore for the Crimson Tide. The other former Heisman winner in this game is Jackson’s backup quarterback in Robert Griffin III, who won the 2012 Trophy as the star signal-caller of the Baylor Bears.

This is the most former Heisman Trophy winners to play in an NFL game since 1970. This is no ordinary NFL game, it’s an AFC Divisional affair that will propel the winner to the AFC Championship. If Baltimore wins, then the Ravens will host the winner of the Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs’ game. If Tennessee wins, they go to the winner of the other game’s place.

The beautiful part about this game is the two best players playing in it are former Heisman winners. If Baltimore gets to host its first AFC Championship game at M&T Bank Stadium in franchise history, it will likely be because of the play of Jackson. Should Tennessee play spoiler, there is a great chance Henry’s dominance on the ground will be a big reason for that.

Ultimately, it’s rare to see former Heisman winners have a great deal of success at the NFL level for whatever reason. But what we’ve seen in recent years is Heisman-winning running backs have a better chance of success than their quarterbacking counterparts. Ingram and Henry are just two of three running backs to win the award in the 21st century. This game will be so awesome.

Next: Best college football players of all time from every state

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