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NFL playoff schedule, January 8th: Buffalo Bills connections

The Bills connections and the viewing info for today’s playoff games.

The 2017 NFL playoffs continue today, and while the Buffalo Bills missed the postseason for the 17th straight season, some of you may actually enjoy watching other teams play. There’s also a host of former Bills on the field today you should keep an eye out for.

Miami Dolphins vs Pittsburgh Steelers

1:05 p.m. ET, CBS

Buffalo faced off against both of these teams in 2016 going a combined 0-3. In all three contests, Buffalo’s defense allowed a 200-yard rusher. With the cold becoming a factor, Jay Ajayi and LeVeon Bell could both have big games today, too.

The biggest former Bills player on the field today will be Mario Williams. Well, on the field might be asking too much. After checking out during the 2015 season, the Bills cut Williams last offseason and he signed a big contract with Miami where he has been extremely disappointing. He might not be active. Linebacker Kiko Alonso, tight end Marqueis Gray, safety Bacarri Rambo, and guard Kraig Urbik will all be familiar to Bills fans after this time in Buffalo.

On the Steelers roster, former Bills draft pick Ross Cockrell is a starting cornerback and will see lots of playing time. Linebacker Arthur Moats is another contributor on Pittsburgh after the UDFA stuck with the Bills for a while, mainly as a special teams contributor and Favre streak-ender. Former Bills special teams coordinator Danny Smith holds the same job for Pittsburgh.

New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers

4:40 p.m. ET, FOX

The Bills didn’t face either of these teams in 2016, but both are on national television enough to be familiar.

On the Giants, linebacker Kelvin Sheppard is best remembered as the player traded away to acquire Jerry Hughes. He’s the only former Bills player on the field for New York.

With the propensity to not sign many free agents, the closest connection to Buffalo on the Packers is former University of Buffalo running back James Starks. Green Bay’s coaching staff features Tom Clements, who was offensive coordinator in Buffalo from 2004 to 2005 under Mike Mularkey. Former Bills quarterback and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt is the quarterbacks coach.