There are now four teams left in the NFL Playoffs for the 2020-2021 season and three of those teams currently roster a former Mizzou player meaning there's a 75% chance one of those goes home a Super Bowl LV champion. There was even as many as seven former Mizzou players in the playoffs this year which is the most in a very long time. The others who have since been eliminated are Jordan Elliot, Sheldon Richardson with the Browns, Beau Brinkley with the Titans, and Trystan Colon-Castillo with the Ravens.
Mizzou is quickly expanding it's presence around the pro's as more and more talent starts to churn out of Columbia despite some quiet years under Barry Odom and the decline of "D-line Zou". This is a good sign and a positive trend for Mizzou as Eli Drinkwitz starts to rake in and produce more talent of his own. Although none of the players in the NFL from Mizzou were coached by Drinkwitz, it will be interesting to see how the success of Tigers in the NFL impacts the program as a whole. With that being said, let's get recognize the lucky Tigers still fighting for a championship and break down how they got there and what their odds are:
Can you believe it? Yes, Blaine Gabbert. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup quarterback has had a long journeyman career in the NFL. Blaine Gabbert has been in the league for a decade now after being drafted 10th overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011. We all know Gabbert didn't work out in Jacksonville after going 5-22 as a starter and throwing 24 interceptions over three seasons. Since then, Gabbert has enjoyed good backup roles with San Francisco, Arizona, Tennessee, and now Tampa Bay where he is backing up future hall-of-famer Tom Brady. Gabbert has appeared in a couple games briefly this year but hasn't played much outside of that. The Buccaneers will be facing the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship this Sunday and while the Buccaneers are seen as underdogs, they did beat down the Packers earlier this season 38-10 and gave Aaron Rodgers and Co. massive fits. It'll be an interesting matchup, but there's a good chance Gabbert will be wearing a Super Bowl patch on his jersey this year and he could join Chase Daniel as the next perennial backup quarterback with a Super Bowl ring.
Mitch Morse the beloved versatile offensive lineman is currently the highest-paid center in the NFL and will be starting at Center for the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship this Sunday. Morse was a stalwart center for the Kansas City Chiefs (the team he'll be facing Sunday) for several years before eventually pricing himself out of Kansas City with his great play. This weekend Morse will have an opportunity to beat his former team and move on to the Super Bowl. It'll be tough for Buffalo to defeat Kansas City if Patrick Mahomes is in fact healthy, but the Bills are a well-rounded team and Morse will have a good chance of appearing in Super Bowl 55 as the Bills are no slouch.
Yasir Durant is an interesting story. He had an outside shot of being drafted in the 2020 NFL Draft but wasn't. Part of that may have been due to Mizzou's disappointing season that year, but Durant ended up being signed as an undrafted free agent to the Kansas City Chiefs and he even made the 53-man roster right off the bat after putting together some very good practices. That's even more impressive when you consider there was no preseason this year so Durant had to stand out in camp in order to make it. Durant was inactive for most of the year until attrition started to hit the Chiefs hard along the offensive line. Durant got some run towards the end of the season and didn't look to shabby. For now, it looks like Durant has found a niche in Kansas City as a developmental offensive line prospect. Durant might not play this weekend in the AFC Championship but his team is currently the odds-on favorite to win the Super Bowl according to most sites.
So, that leaves the Packers as the only team without a former Mizzou player on the team. Take this information for what it's worth but hopefully this will give Mizzou fans some extra rooting interest for the rest of the NFL playoffs if they don't have a team still in it or a favorite team at all for that matter.