There are plenty of local angles to this weekend’s divisional round of the NFL postseason.
Three players from Western New York, one University at Buffalo product and 10 former Buffalo Bills are part of the eight teams still alive.
Here is a rundown of those players, along with a look at what they did in the wild-card round (if applicable), plus their 2015 season.
• Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski: The Amherst native enjoyed a bye week, with New England having earned the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs. The Patriots will host Kansas City at 4:35 p.m. Saturday. Gronkowski made his fourth Pro Bowl after a regular season in which he made 72 catches for 1,176 yards and 11 touchdowns. He started 15 games for New England, missing one because of a knee injury.
• Packers RB James Starks: The Niagara Falls native gained 65 yards from scrimmage and scored a touchdown in Green Bay’s win over Washington in the wild-card round. Starks split carries evenly with Eddie Lacy, with each getting 12. Green Bay faces Arizona at 8:15 p.m. Saturday in the divisional round. In Week 16 against the Cardinals, Starks gained just 11 total yards.
• Packers OL J.C. Tretter: Pressed into duty at left tackle because of injuries along the Green Bay offensive line, Akron native Tretter was beaten early for a safety, but after that played a strong game in a win over Washington. “It’s been a little while since the Cornell left tackle days,” Tretter told the Packers’ official website after the win. “Just had to kind of adjust, get back in the groove and settle in. Get back to the muscle memory you have. It was good.” Trotter played all 75 offensive snaps.
• Seahawks OL Kristjan Sokolii: The University at Buffalo product was inactive for Seattle’s thrilling 10-9 win over Minnesota in the wild-card round. Other than eight snaps on special teams in the regular-season finale, Sokoli has been a healthy inactive for the Seahawks all season. Seattle plays at Carolina at 1:05 p.m. Sunday.
• Seahawks RB Fred Jackson: He gained 19 yards on two catches and rushed one time for 2 yards against the Vikings, playing 17 offensive snaps (29 percent). During the regular season, Jackson rushed 26 times for 100 yards and caught 32 passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns, primarily playing as a third-down back. He took 254 offensive snaps, 24 percent of the Seahawks’ total. Jackson was cut by the Bills in training camp after spending the first eight seasons of his career with the team.
• Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch: He practiced all week leading up to the game against Minnesota, but then surprisingly did not make the trip. Lynch missed the final seven games of the regular season after surgery to repair a sports hernia. Evidently, he did not feel ready to play against the Vikings. For the season, Lynch played in just seven games, rushing 111 times for 417 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 80 yards on 13 receptions. Lynch’s status for this week against Carolina, as well as his future in Seattle after this season, are up in the air. A former first-round draft pick of the Bills in 2007, Lynch was traded to Seattle in 2010.
• Seahawks RB Bryce Brown: Yes, there are three former Bills running backs on the Seattle roster. Brown spent one game with the Bills at the start of the 2015 season, but was inactive, just as he was against the Vikings in the playoffs. Brown played three games in the regular season for the Seahawks, rushing 25 times for 72 yards and a touchdown. He played 5 percent of Seattle’s snaps. Brown spent 2014 and that lone game at the start of 2015 with Buffalo.
• Seahawks QB Tarvaris Jackson: He appeared in just four games for Seattle, going 4 of 6 for 37 yards in playing just 30 offensive snaps (3 percent) during the regular season. He did not play against the Vikings. Jackson was with Buffalo in 2012, but did not appear in any games.
• Panthers DT Dwan Edwards: After earning the top seed, Edwards and his Carolina teammates were on a bye last week. In the regular season, the 11-year veteran played in 14 games, making 12 tackles and one sack in 375 defensive snaps (34 percent). Edwards spent two seasons with the Bills in 2010-11.
• Steelers LB Arthur Moats: He made four tackles on defense, one on special teams and had one quarterback hit in Pittsburgh’s improbable 18-16 win over the Bengals in the wild-card round. Moats played 41 defensive snaps, 55 percent of Pittsburgh’s total. During the regular season, he appeared in all 16 games with 11 starts, making 35 tackles with four sacks and two passes defensed. Moats played exactly 50 percent of Pittsburgh’s defensive snaps in the regular season. A former sixth-round draft pick of the Bills in 2010, Moats spent four years in Buffalo before signing as a free agent with Pittsburgh for the 2014 season.
• Steelers CB Ross Cockrell: He had a fumble recovery for Pittsburgh in the win against Cincinnati, playing 10 defensive snaps (14 percent) and another two on special teams (7 percent). During the regular season, Cockrell played in 15 games and made seven starts. He had 44 tackles, 11 passes defensed, two interceptions and a forced fumble in taking 684 defensive snaps (62 percent). Cockrell, a fourth-round pick of the Bills in 2014, was cut by Buffalo during training camp.
• Steelers OL Doug Legursky: He played four snaps on special teams (14 percent) in the win over the Bengals. During the regular season, Legursky played in 11 games for the Steelers, taking just two offensive snaps, but playing 13 percent of the Steelers’ special teams snaps. Legursky was with the Bills in 2013.
• Patriots TE Scott Chandler: He made four starts in 15 total games during his first season in New England, catching 23 passes for 259 yards and four touchdowns. Chandler played 381 offensive snaps, 34 percent of New England’s total, and another 81 on special teams (16 percent). Chandler signed with the Patriots after being cut by the Bills last offseason. He spent five years in Buffalo, from 2010-14.
• Patriots DL Alan Branch: He made 15 starts and played in all 16 games for New England during the regular season, finishing with 35 tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles and two passes defensed. Branch played 434 defensive snaps (40 percent) for the Patriots, along with 114 on special teams (23 percent). Branch played the 2013 season in Buffalo. He was cut by the Bills prior to the start of 2014.