Tampa Bay and Kansas City Are Headed to the Super Bowl Without a Single Former Buckeye on Their Rosters

By David Regimbal on January 24, 2021 at 10:55 pm
© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When Tampa Bay and Kansas City face off against each other in Super Bowl LV, there won't be a single former Buckeye vying for a ring.

The top-seeded Chiefs, coming off a win they stole from America's true team in the Cleveland Browns last Sunday, made easy work of second-seeded Buffalo. Patrick Mahomes threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns to guide Kansas City to a 38-24 victory, keeping the Bills from advancing to play the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay.

While there aren't any Buckeyes on the Bills' active roster, former Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee is a member of their practice squad.

Coming into conference championship weekend, Green Bay was the only team with a former Ohio State player on its active 53-man roster. That Buckeye is center Corey Linsley, who had a fantastic season in which he was named a first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press. He was also Pro Football Focus' highest-graded center for 2020.

Linsley was denied his first appearance in the Super Bowl, however, after Tom Brady and Tampa Bay beat the Packers 31-26. A mystifying call from Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur spoiled Linsley's chance as he called for a 26-yard field goal when the Packers were down by eight with just over two minutes to play. Brady would go on to ice the game after draining the clock with a trio of first downs.

Super Bowl LV will be the first time a former Buckeye failed to make it to the NFL's biggest stage in seven years. Lee's Kansas City Chiefs beat Nick Bosa's San Francisco 49ers last year, while Nate Ebner and John Simon's New England Patriots beat Jake McQuaide's Los Angeles Rams squared off the year before.

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