Many former Patriots players, coaches will be in AFC, NFC championship spotlight

Nick Goss
NBC Sports Boston

The matchups are set for the AFC and NFC championship games Sunday, and there are players and/or coaches with ties to the New England Patriots on each of the four remaining playoff teams.

The team with the most former Patriots players and coaches is the Tennessee Titans, who knocked off the Pats and the Baltimore Ravens to set up an AFC Championship Game showdown versus the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Titans head coach Mike Vrabel spent eight seasons in New England and won three Super Bowl titles as a linebacker. A couple of his players also won a Lombardi Trophy (or two) as a member of the Patriots, including Super Bowl XLIX hero Malcolm Butler.

The most notable former Patriots player who will be competing on championship Sunday is San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who will take on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship at Levi's Stadium. The Patriots traded Garoppolo to the 49ers for a second-round draft pick during the 2017 season, and he has led San Francisco to a 20-5 record (including the playoffs) as its starting quarterback. If Garoppolo leads the 49ers to a Super Bowl LIV title, they will tie the Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl wins with six.

Here's a list of coaches (listed in their current roles) and players with Patriots ties whose team is playing on championship Sunday.

Tennessee Titans
Mike Vrabel, Head coach
Dean Pees, Defensive coordinator
Jon Robinson, General manager
Dion Lewis, RB
Cody Hollister, WR
Malcolm Butler, CB
Logan Ryan, CB






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Kansas City Chiefs
Brendan Daly, Defensive line coach
Mike Pennel, DL

Green Bay Packers
Jared Veldheer, OL

San Francisco 49ers
John Lynch, General manager
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB
Jordan Matthews, WR


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Many former Patriots players, coaches will be in AFC, NFC championship spotlight originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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