Historic NFL Match-Up Set With 5 Heisman Winners

Lamar Jackson from the University of Louisville wins the Heisman Trophy on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016 in New York, NY Todd J. Van Emst/Heisman Trust Editorial use only, NO SALES, No Archiving

For the first time in NFL postseason history, five Heisman Trophy winners will suit up in the same game when the Tennessee Titans take on the host Baltimore Ravens on Saturday night in the AFC’s Divisional Round.

But it’s not the first time five Heisman winners have been on the sidelines for an NFL game. More on that in a moment.

This weekend, the Ravens will trot out leading NFL MVP candidate Lamar Jackson (2016) as well as running back Mark Ingram (2009) and back-up QB Robert Griffin III (2012). Jackson and Ingram, in particular, helped lead the Ravens to an NFL-best 14-2 record this year and a first-round bye.

The Titans, powered by running back Derrick Henry (2015) with Marcus Mariota (2014) as a back-up QB, bull-rushed their way out of the Wild Card round with an upset last week over the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

Griffin joined the Ravens late in 2018 while Ingram signed as a free agent with Baltimore ahead of the 2019 season. That made Baltimore the first NFL team with three Heisman winners at the same time since the 1998 Los Angeles Raiders featured Tim Brown (1987), Charles Woodson (1997) and Desmond Howard (1991).

The Raiders also featured three other teams with three Heisman winners when Brown, Bo Jackson (1985) and Marcus Allen (1981) joined forces from 1988 through 1990.

It was the 1990 Raiders that took on a Detroit Lion team led by Barry Sanders (1988) which also included rookie backup QB Andre Ware (1990).

In a Monday Night game for the ages, the Raiders came back from a 24-14 deficit to win 38-31 en route to an AFC West title. The four Heisman winners who played in the game (Ware didn’t see action) all scored touchdowns, including two by Sanders.

Sanders, in fact, ran for 176 yards on 25 carries while Jackson rushed for 129 yards on 18 carries. Allen had 46 total yards in the game while Brown had a pair of receptions.

Click here for highlights on the historic game.

The only other team to feature three Heisman winners was the 1970 Kansas City Chiefs with Billy Cannon (1959), John Huarte (1964) and Mike Garrett (1965).