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Knights in the NFL: AFC Championship Recap

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

We saw a great matchup between the Broncos and Patriots on Sunday, where there were five former Rutgers stars on New England's active roster. While Kevin Snyder was activated just before the AFC Championship game, Logan Ryan, Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, and Jonathan Freeny were all expected to make significant contributions to their defense.

Kevin Snyder

Unfortunately, Snyder did not see the field on Sunday after being called up from the practice squad two days before. Regardless, this was a good opportunity for Snyder to be on the sidelines, and hopefully see action next season with New England.

Logan Ryan

Ryan gave Demarius Thomas fits in their Week 12 matchup, and he had another solid performance on Sunday Ryan recorded 5 tackles, a pass deflection, and held Thomas to just 2 catches for 12 yards. Despite his strong effort, Ryan was called for a terrible pass interference play on the first drive that kept the drive alive, later resulting in a touchdown from Peyton Manning to Owen Daniels. Ryan made huge strides this season to be a strong defensive back for Belichick, and in just his third season, we can expect him to continue to grow into a productive NFL player.

Devin McCourty

McCourty had a relatively quiet game, only recording two tackles and a pass deflection while covering tight end Vernon Davis. Following the difficult loss, McCourty again proved himself as a classy leader of his team, as he was sent out to conduct the post-game interview with CBS instead of HC Belichick or Tom Brady.

McCourty also shared some of his thoughts on the game in the locker room surrounded by reporters.

Duron Harmon

Harmon started in the nickel position on Sunday, but was unable to record any stats against the Denver offense. He did, however, celebrate his 25th birthday the day before, so wishing Duron a happy belated!

Jonathan Freeny

In the first quarter, Manning set up a lateral pass to running back Ronnie Hillman. Freeny followed the play perfectly, punching the ball loose and recovering the fumble. This great defensive play set up the Patriots' first score of the game. This was, without a doubt, the play of the game by any of the former Rutgers players.