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Pro Blue: Trio of former Wolverines help Detroit Lions clinch first division title in 30 years

The Lions are hosting a home playoff game, thanks to some former Wolverines.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL doesn’t stop for the holiday season, and plenty of former Wolverines made big plays in Week 16. Let’s kick off Pro Blue with three former Wolverines who helped the Detroit Lions do something they haven’t done in three decades.

Former Wolverines help Lions clinch first division title in 30 years

Christmas came early for Detroit Lions fans on Sunday, with Dan Campbell leading the team to a win over the Minnesota Vikings, clinching the first division title in 30 years.

Former Wolverines have helped the Lions all season long, including in this most recent win. Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, who led the league in pressures and quarterback hurries entering Week 16, had four of them against Minnesota, along with a pass defended.

On the offensive side of the ball, Donovan Peoples-Jones had a catch for 11 yards, which helped convert a key third down in the fourth quarter. Graham Glasgow started at right guard and helped the Lions rush for 143 yards and three touchdowns, while only allowing Jared Goff to be sacked once.

If you want to see locker room celebration videos from Hutchinson and other Lions players, our friends at Pride of Detroit have you covered.

For the Vikings, safety Josh Metellus led his team with 10 total tackles, including a tackle for loss.

Kwity Paye records another sack in career year

The Indianapolis Colts losing to the Atlanta Falcons did not help their playoff chances, but defensive end Kwity Paye did his part, sacking Taylor Heinicke in the second quarter.

With two tackles in the game, Paye has now set a new personal record for total tackles in a season. He’s up to 47 tackles and 8.5 sacks, which is also a new career-high for the third-year defender.

Nico Collins catches touchdown in loss to Browns

The Houston Texans still have some work to do to clinch a playoff, and it doesn’t help losing to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Former Michigan wide receiver Nico Collins was able to find the end zone in the loss, scoring from five yards out in garbage time.

As we’ve covered on the Pro Blue recaps, Collins has made a solid case for a Pro Bowl bid. In 13 games, he’s racked up 64 catches for 1,022 yards and seven touchdowns.

Ronnie Bell scores on Christmas

Collins wasn’t the only former Wolverine wide receiver to score in the fourth quarter this week. On Christmas night, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Ronnie Bell found the end zone in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

This was Bell’s second career NFL touchdown. In that same game, Jake Moody converted both extra points and his lone field goal attempt from 45 yards out, and cornerback Ambry Thomas had four solo tackles and a pass defensed.

Other notable performances

-In a win over the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots linebacker Josh Uche had a sack, his third of the season.

-In a win over the Tennessee Titans to keep their playoff hopes alive, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Devin Bush had six tackles and a tackle for loss.

-In a loss to the New York Jets, Khaleke Hudson led the Washington Commanders with 15 tackles, 10 of them solo.

-In a loss to the Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis had five tackles, three of them solo and one of them for a loss.

-In a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals safety Dax Hill had seven tackles and cornerback D.J. Turner II had three, including a tackle for loss.

In that same game, Steelers center Mason Cole helped his team rush for 113 yards and two rushing scores, while being part of an offensive line that only gave up one sack.

-In a loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Mike Danna had two tackles and a pass defensed.