HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The NFL playoffs are almost here — With one week remaining in the 2020 NFL regular season, the playoff picture is becoming clearer, but some Hawaii players and their teams are gearing up to make their final playoff push.
Starting with Saint Louis alumni Tyson Alualu and the Pittsburgh Steelers who have already locked up the AFC North Division title and the number 2 seed in the AFC playoffs with a victory over the Indianapolis Colts this weekend.
Alualu notched 2 tackles in the Division clinching win over the Colts, despite the small stat line on Sunday, the 11-year veteran has established himself as a problem in the middle of the Steelers defensive line.
Speaking of the Colts, Indianapolis is on the verge of making the post season and a chance to win their Division, something Punahou graduate DeForest Buckner and University of Hawaii alumni Rigoberto Sanchez is making sure happens this week.
Indy can win the AFC South with a win against the Jaguars this weekend and a Tennessee Titans loss, on top of that, the Colts can clinch a playoff spot with a win and a Ravens, Dolphins or Titans loss.
In his first season wearing the horseshoe, Buckner has notched 46 tackles, 7.5 tackles, two pass deflections, two forced fumbles and a safety.
The other player with Hawaii ties on the Colts, Rigoberto Sanchez recently returned to the field after removing a cancerous tumor, only missing two games due to the operation, Sanchez has averaged 46.5 yards per punt this year with a long of 60 yards and 17 balls down within the 20-yard line.
The last team on the verge of a playoff berth is the Miami Dolphins, led by former Saint Louis quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Despite getting benched in favor of veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick late in the Fins victory over the Las Vegas Raiders, head coach Brian Flores says that Tua is still the starter going into their final game of the regular season.
Miami will have a tall task at hand this weekend as they head to Buffalo to face the red hot Bills. In a win and they are in scenario, the Dolphins will be in the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
If Tua and the Fins can’t pull off the upset, then Miami would need the Ravens, the Browns or the Colts to lose for them to reach the post season.
These team’s path to the playoffs seems to be cut and clear, but in a season unlike any other, anything can happen.