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Dane Cruikshank’s pass breakup seals Titans’ win over Ravens in NFL playoffs

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Tennessee Titans v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

The number of Arizona Wildcats in the NFL has dwindled over the past few years, but at least one made a difference in Saturday’s playoff action.

Former UA defensive back Dane Cruikshank made a game-sealing pass breakup to lead the Tennessee Titans past the No. 1-seeded Baltimore Ravens and into the AFC Championship game.

Trailing 28-12 with 4:31 left, the Ravens faced 4th and 5 at the Titans 19-yard line. Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson tried to fit a pass over the middle to Mark Andrews but Cruikshank, who was smothering the tight end, used his long wingspan to knock it down.

Had the Ravens converted, they would have had a chance to make it a one-score game with a reasonable amount of time left on the clock.

That was Cruikshank’s only stat of the game. The former fifth-round pick has mostly been a special teamer for the Titans, who will face the Kansas City Chiefs or Houston Texans next Sunday with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.

The Titans also have former UA defensive end Reggie Gilbert, but he did not record any stats Saturday. Tennessee beat the New England Patriots in the Wild Card round the week before, becoming one of the feel-good stories of the playoffs.

In other Arizona-in-the-NFL news, former defensive tackle Earl Mitchell and the San Francisco 49ers have advanced to the NFC championship game after cruising past the Minnesota Vikings 27-10 on Saturday.

Mitchell did not post any stats but still had a role in the Niners holding Minnesota to 147 total yards. The 32-year-old recently came out of retirement to sign with San Francisco in time for the playoffs.