Defensive end Davin Bellamy poised to be a breakout Breaker in USFL

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Davin Bellamy made his first impression loud and clear on Opening Weekend in the new United States Football League.

The New Orleans Breakers defensive end lined up on the first play from scrimmage last Sunday against the Philadelphia Stars, then sacked Stars quarterback Bryan Scott.

As he spun Scott to the ground, Scott’s helmet flew off and skittered along the turf. Bellamy walked away with a purpose. The tone was set.

“It was a freebie,” Bellamy said earlier this week to NBC Sports. “But the best thing about that – it was the preparation through the week. We knew once we got that look (from the Stars offense) to just come screaming off the edge and that’s what I did and kind of let things fall where they may.

“You’re never upset about the freebies, so I think it was a good momentum swing for the defense and also kind of demoralized their first drive.”

Bellamy posted two more sacks in the Breakers’ 23-17 win. He was later voted USFL Defensive Player of the Week by fans on social media.

But it wasn’t just him taking the shine off the Stars. It was the Breakers defense as a whole.

Scott was sacked six times in all and suffered a 37-yard pick six at the hands of linebacker Vontae Diggs. The defense also made a goal-to-go stand against the Stars on the ensuing drive after Diggs’ big play.

The Breakers special teams got in on the fun, too. Wide receiver Chad Williams blocked a punt out of the end zone for a safety. Williams was later voted USFL Special Teams Player of the Week, giving the Breakers two of the three Player of the Week awards from Week 1 (Birmingham Stallions quarterback J’Mar Smith was voted Offensive Player of the Week).

RELATED: How to watch New Orleans Breakers vs Tampa Bay Bandits: TV/live stream info for Sunday’s USFL game

  • When: Sunday, April 24 at 3:00 p.m. ET
  • Where: Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama
  • TV and Live Stream: NBC and Peacock

The feeling was, as Bellamy put it, “contagious.”

He knows that feeling well. During his college career at Georgia, he contributed to some of the best defenses in the nation, including a top-10 defense during the Bulldogs’ run to the 2017 CFP National Championship game.

He looks to help make the Breakers defense an elite unit, too.

“I’m a firm believer that nothing just happens on Sunday,” he said. “Everything happens through preparation. What everybody saw (last) Sunday is kind of what we’ve been gearing up to through the camp and everything, just demanding a lot out of each other.

“You never reach perfection, but you always strive for it, and that’s kind of what this defense has been doing through the three weeks of camp. (Last) Sunday was just trusting your training out there.”

This Sunday on NBC and Peacock, the Breakers face the Tampa Bay Bandits, whose defense posted three sacks and 12 tackles for loss in a 17-3 win Monday night against the Pittsburgh Maulers.

As part of that prime defensive matchup, Bellamy will get after Bandits QB Jordan Ta’amu, who was a teammate of his when he was on the Houston Texans’ practice squad in the NFL. (Bellamy has spent time with five NFL teams but he spent the most time in Houston, where he had a two-year run over 2018 and 2019 plus another in 2020).

MORE: 2022 USFL Schedule, Week 2 – How to watch/live stream this weekend’s spring football games

“(Ta’amu is) a great player,” Bellamy said. “He’s dynamic with his arm and he’s also dynamic with his legs and also, he’s a great leader. I know about the (defensive coordinator) over there, Pepper Johnson, who coached with Bill Belichick and played with (Lawrence Taylor), so you know that defense is gonna be locked and ready to go. And especially with a leader like Jordan at the top, they’re gonna come out and give us a really good game.”

For Bellamy, the USFL is a chance to show NFL teams he’s matured from his time after graduating from Georgia and can be a plug-and-play pass rusher.

It’s also the next step in a football career that began when he was five years old and already big enough that he had to play up in weight class.

Looking back, Bellamy believes playing up prepared him to be a physical, fearless player. There was a time, however, when a 10-year old Bellamy wanted to quit football.

His mother, Bridget, who raised him on her own and teaches at the same high school he’d later attend (Chamblee Charter HS, Chamblee, Ga.), had none of it. She signed him up for football anyway.

“That’s the best decision someone ever did for me,” said Bellamy, who believes his mother’s efforts to raise him puts his own life in proper perspective.

“We’ve been through a lot – evictions, cooking dinners on a hot plate because you have no electricity, walking to hotels,” Bellamy recalled. “To see how she kept on going through real-life situations, that makes it easy to understand that even though this football thing can take you through ups and downs, it’s just a game.

“To watch how she balanced all that helps me in my day-to-day, going through this. If she can go through raising an African-American male son on the east side of Atlanta with no help, working two jobs, getting evicted left and right, then this football journey’s easy. So, I definitely have learned a lot from her.”

MORE: Everything you need to know about the 2022 USFL season – Teams, key dates, TV schedule, how to watch, and more

Under Bridget’s watchful eye and with her constant support, Davin became a two-sport athlete in football and basketball.

When he got to Chamblee Charter, it looked like basketball could take precedence. But one day in his junior year, a coach on the football team, Rosaria Rice, caught up with him after a great game on the court.

“He’s the one that was like, ‘I know you’re doing your thing in basketball, but you’re six-five, 225 (lbs.),'” Bellamy said. “And he said, ‘There’s a kid in South Carolina right now that’s about your size’ – and at the time, he was talking about Jadeveon Clowney. He said, ‘He’s gonna make a lot of money and I could see you doing the same thing. But you’ve gotta be six-eight, six-nine to go to the NBA.’

“And from that point on, he kind of took it upon himself to create me a football highlight tape, pack me in his car, and we’d gas up the Monte Carlo and we’d start taking visits.”

Football became the path for Bellamy.

Since then, it’s taken him to an SEC championship and a Rose Bowl victory – both coming in the 2017 season, the latter coming with headlines when he told Baker Mayfield to “humble yourself” after Bellamy’s Bulldogs beat Mayfield’s Oklahoma Sooners.

And while his pro career hasn’t seen him play an NFL regular season game yet, he’s gained “priceless” knowledge and tricks of the trade from decorated players like J.J. Watt, Carlos Dunlap and even the aforementioned Clowney.

Now, he comes to the USFL, older, wiser, and ready to put himself on the map – and knowing the best way to do it.

“Essentially, man, it’s trying to find that fine line of doing what you have to do to better yourself and your career,” he explained, “but also understanding that we’re all on that mission to win.”

***

First and 10 with Davin Bellamy 

10 quick questions to get to know the new talent of the USFL

Do you have a pre-game ritual?

“I like to work out about an hour or two hours before the game. I go to workout, do a little lower body, do a little pump, do a little activation. But this is gonna sound very cliché, my whole thing is you practice how you play. And I tend to like to practice really hard. I try to make practice harder than the game. So I kinda have the same routine that I have before practice. I wake up in the morning. If the game’s at 1, I grab a cup of coffee, eat, go work out and then go play the game basically.”

Do you have a post-game ritual?

“It’s immediate recovery. That’s the most important recovery, within the first 30 minutes. Immediately, before I do anything, I jump into the cold tub. The first 24 hours after a game, it’s strictly (the cold tub), and then the next 48, we’ll go towards the hot. But right after the game, I’m shooting toward the cold tub. That’s immediately what I do. The first 20 minutes are so important for inflammation.”

Favorite football player?

“If you had asked me this question 15 years ago, I would’ve just mentioned anybody. … But I’m gonna do a blast from the past. I’m gonna go with Aldon Smith. That’s somebody I’ve modeled my game around. So I’m gonna go with Aldon Smith, even though he’s not in the league currently.”

Favorite movie?

“My favorite movie may be… I’m gonna go ‘American Gangster’ with Denzel Washington.”

Favorite vacation spot?

“I’m gonna go with L.A.”

Favorite food?

“I love me some good, seasoned salmon.”

Most famous person you’ve met outside of football?

“In college, me and Migos got pretty close. At the time, when I was like 21, I was like, in awe – I was like ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe this is happening.’ … That was a big deal.”

How would your family and friends describe you as a person?

“Very goal-oriented. I’m a jokester. Very serious. Perfectionist… But if you pretty much ask anybody, they’ll probably say, ‘He’s about his business. He’s funny, but he’s about his business.’ That’s basically it. I’m very goal-oriented, very mission-oriented. I don’t let things deter me from what I’ve got going on.”

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?

“I expect people to be as genuine as I am. Like, you know how, if you have a big heart, you expect people to do the same? So, it’s kinda like a trick question, because I don’t wanna change that. But I’ve ended up getting the short end of the stick a lot. So, if I could change something, it would be just to, I guess – I don’t know, it’s kind of a trick question – not be so trusting.”

Name one thing about yourself that not everybody knows about you.

“No one knows that I played the saxophone from fifth to eighth grade, and the only reason I stopped was because of football. … I don’t (practice nowadays) but I really do miss it. I just don’t have the time, especially the last six, seven months of my life, which have been so chaotic – dealing with injuries, different teams and just trying to get back to where I’m trying to get to. I’ve been focused on my ultimate goal. Nothing else has really mattered. But when it’s time to breathe and exhale and the mission’s complete, I’m definitely gonna pick the saxophone back up.”

How to Watch USFL Week 2: New Orleans vs Tampa Bay Bandits

  • When: Sunday, Apr. 24 – 3 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock
  • Where: Protective Stadium – Birmingham, Alabama
  • Live Stream: Peacock

NFL Playoffs Bracket 2023: Super Bowl TV schedule, start times, seeds, dates, and results for every AFC & NFC game

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The 2023 NFL playoffs are here and the hunt for the Lombardi Trophy is underway for the top teams in the league en route to Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona on February 12th. This year’s big game features a match up between Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles vs Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

RELATED: Top seeds meet in Super Bowl for first time since 2017

The Eagles look to win their second Lombardi Trophy in franchise history–their first came in 2017 when they defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII in 2017. The Chiefs will be making their third Super Bowl appearance in the last four seasons. Kansas City’s last Super Bowl win was Super Bowl LIV in 2020 when they defeated the San Francisco 49ers.

RELATED: In two weeks, Andy Reid faces the team that fired him 10 years ago

Check out the NFL playoffs bracket for 2023 below as well as the full schedule, teams, TV channels, live streams, playoffs seeding, start times for postseason games and more. Plus, check back often to see which teams advance and who goes home.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs Schedule

NFL Playoffs Bracket 2023

Here’s a look at the 2023 postseason bracket heading into Conference Championship matchups between the 49ers and Eagles and Bengals and Chiefs.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs scores: Final bracket, recaps, results for every AFC and NFC postseason game

 

2023 NFL Playoffs TV Schedule

The 2023 NFL Playoffs begin Saturday, January 14th with the Wild Card round – see below for tune-in times and networks for all six matchups across Super Wild Card Weekend, as well as everything we know so far for the Divisional Round.

Super Bowl LVII – Philadelphia Eagles vs Kansas City Chiefs

  • Date: Sunday, February 12
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Network: Fox

2023 NFL Playoff Scores – Wild Card Weekend

Saturday, January 14

Seahawks (7) vs 49ers (2)

Chargers (5) vs Jaguars (4)

Sunday, January 15

Dolphins (7) vs Bills (2) 

Giants (6) vs Vikings (3) 

Ravens (6) vs Bengals (3) 

Monday, January 16

Cowboys (5) vs Buccaneers (4) 

Divisional Round Scores

Saturday, January 21

Jaguars (4) vs Chiefs (1)

Giants (6) vs Eagles (1)

Sunday, January 22nd

Bengals (3) vs Bills (2

Cowboys (5) vs 49ers (2)

Conference Championships Scores

Sunday, January 29

NFC Championship Game: 49ers (2) vs Eagles (1)

AFC Championship: Bengals (3) vs Chiefs (1)

Final 2023 NFL Playoffs Standings

AFC Playoff Picture 2022-23

  1. Kansas City (14-3)x
  2. Buffalo Bills (13-3)x
  3. Cincinnati Bengals (12-4)x
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8)x
  5. Los Angeles Chargers (10-7)x
  6. Baltimore Ravens (10-7)x
  7. Miami Dolphins (9-8)x

RELATED: What to know about the 2023 Pro Bowl –  Dates, how to watch/live stream info, AFC, NFC coaches, competition schedule

NFC Playoff Picture 2022-23

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (14-3)x
  2. San Francisco 49ers (13-4)x
  3. Minnesota Vikings (13-4)x
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-9)x
  5. Dallas Cowboys (12-5)x
  6. New York Giants (9-7-1)x
  7. Seattle Seahawks (9-8)x

X – Clinched playoff berth

 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL season and playoffs, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

2023 NFL Playoffs Schedule: Bracket, game dates, times and TV network for Super Bowl LVII and more

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The 2023 NFL playoffs are full steam ahead and we’re right around the corner from the ultimate showdown: Super Bowl LVII. The Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs emerged victorious from Conference Championship weekend and will face off in the biggest game of the NFL calendar on Sunday, February 12th in Arizona.

RELATED: In two weeks, Andy Reid faces the team that fired him 10 years ago

See below for a full rundown of the 2023 NFL playoffs schedule, game dates, times, streaming and TV networks heading into Super Bowl LVII and stay tuned to NBC Sports and ProFootballTalk for previews, analysis, recaps and reactions to every playoff game on the road to Super Bowl LVII.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023: Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

2023 NFL Playoffs Schedule

Super Bowl LVII: How to Watch/Live Stream

2023 NFL Playoff Scores:

Wild Card Weekend

Saturday, January 14

Seahawks (7) vs 49ers (2)

Chargers (5) vs Jaguars (4)

Sunday, January 15

Dolphins (7) vs Bills (2) 

Giants (6) vs Vikings (3) 

Ravens (6) vs Bengals (3) 

Monday, January 16

Cowboys (5) vs Buccaneers (4) 

Divisional Round

Saturday, January 21

Jaguars (4) vs Chiefs (1)

Giants (6) vs Eagles (1)

Sunday, January 22nd

Bengals (3) vs Bills (2) – CBS, Paramount+ at 3:00pm ET

Cowboys (5) vs 49ers (2)

Conference Championships

Sunday, January 29

NFC Championship Game: 49ers (2) vs Eagles (1)

AFC Championship: Bengals (3) vs Chiefs (1)

RELATED: Patrick Mahomes: “I don’t think we have any cigars, but we’ll be ready to go at the Super Bowl”

Final NFL Playoff Picture

Here is the final playoff picture for the 2022-23 NFL season following the Lions win over the Packers on Sunday Night Football, which made the Seattle Seahawks the final team to earn a playoff berth, the #7 seed in the NFC.

RELATED: FMIA Divisional – Tales Of Outsmarting, Outplaying, And Outbuilding The Other Guys

2023 AFC Playoff Picture

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (14-3)
  2. Buffalo Bills (13-3)
  3. Cincinnati Bengals (12-4)
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8)
  5. LA Chargers (10-7)
  6. Baltimore Ravens (10-7)
  7. Miami Dolphins (9-8)

2023 NFC Playoff Picture

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (14-3)
  2. San Francisco 49ers (13-4)
  3. Minnesota Vikings (13-4)
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-9)
  5. Dallas Cowboys (12-5)
  6. New York Giants (9-7-1)
  7. Seattle Seahawks (9-8)

 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2023 NFL playoffs, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!