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Pro Blue: Nico Collins leads explosive Houston Texans offense to playoff win & other wild card performances

Collins went off, and some former Wolverines helped

NFL: AFC Wild Card Round-Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The first round of the NFL playoffs is officially over, and plenty of former Wolverines have standout performances for their respective teams in the Wild Card round.

Here are the best Pro Blue performances from this past weekend, starting with a wide receiver who continues to make big plays.

Nico Collins balls out again

After being one of the worst teams in the NFL last season, the Houston Texans have turned things around quickly, winning as a home underdog against the Cleveland Browns on Saturday.

Former Michigan receiver Nico Collins has been a big part of that turnaround, catching six passes and leading all receivers in the game with 96 yards. With a 4-yard carry on an end-around, Collins had 100 yards from scrimmage and caught a touchdown in the first quarter.

Not a bad performance for your playoff debut.

Three former Michigan Wolverines help Detroit Lions rewrite franchise history

Last week was the best week for football fans in the state of Michigan in a long time. Not only did the Michigan Wolverines win the national championship, but the Detroit Lions won a playoff game for the first time in 32 years, narrowly defeating the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football.

The Lions have been one of the best teams in the NFL all season long, and a few former Michigan Wolverines helped them get to this point.

Just as he’s been all season long, Pro Bowl defensive end Aidan Hutchinson was a monster in this game, racking up six tackles, five quarterback hits and two sacks in his playoff debut. He also had nine pressures, according to Pro Football Focus.

Admittedly, one of the sacks was awarded to him on a technicality, as he was the first player to touch Matthew Stafford when he tripped in the pocket.

Along with Hutchinson, guard Graham Glasgow led an offensive line that rushed for 79 yards and two rushing touchdowns, but he was part of a unit that gave up three sacks. Donovan Peoples-Jones also caught a punt and returned it for four yards.

No matter what happens the rest of this postseason, these guys will always be a part of the Lions team that broke the playoff win drought that lasted for more than three decades.

Brandon Graham turns back the clock

While the Philadelphia Eagles have been eliminated from the playoffs after losing to Tampa Bay Buccaneers, veteran Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham had a solid showing.

Graham, the longest-tenured former Michigan Wolverine in the NFL, had five tackles, a sack and three tackles for loss. Over 11 career playoffs games going back to 2011, Graham has racked up 17 tackles, 10 QB hits, six tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.

He also shared a moment with Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. Graham was the first player that Roseman drafted.

Graham is now a free agent but has only played with the Philadelphia Eagles over his 14-year career. He hinted to the media that next season will likely be his last if he re-signs with the Eagles.

Wolverines to watch in Divisional Round

Saturday, Jan. 20: Nico Collins (Houston Texans) vs Baltimore Ravens, 4:30 p.m. EST on ABC; Rashan Gary & Jon Runyan (Green Bay Packers) vs Ambry Thomas, Ronnie Bell & Jake Moody, 8:15 p.m. on FOX.

Sunday, Jan. 21: Aidan Hutchinson, Graham Glasgow and Donovan Peoples-Jones (Detroit Lions) vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 3 p.m. EST on NBC; Mike Danna (Kansas City Chiefs) vs Buffalo Bills, 6:30 p.m. EST on CBS

Other notable performances

-In an upset win over the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers linebacker Rashan Gary had a solo tackle. His teammate, Jon Runyan, was part of an offensive line that helped the Packers rush for 143 yards and three touchdowns, while the unit didn’t give up a sack.

In his playoff debut, Cowboys tight end Luke Schoonmaker had one catch for seven yards.

-In a win over the Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Mike Danna had a tackle.

-In a loss to the Buffalo Bills, center Mason Cole was part of an offensive line that helped the Pittsburgh Steelers rush for 106 yards and only gave up one sack.