Just because they no longer play at Wisconsin doesn't mean that they aren't still Badgers. With that in mind, here's a look a how the Badgers of the NFL did in Week 4.
The Battle of the Badgers
Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas put on its best Camp Randall imitation for Sunday's game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Houston Texans as four Badgers took the field in the only overtime game in NFL Week 4.
With Houston having three Badgers (DE J.J. Watt, TE Owen Daniels, and TE Garrett Graham) suiting up, compared to Seattle's lone Badger (QB Russell Wilson) it didn't exactly seem fair on paper - and it wasn't on the field for the first three quarters either.
After leading his team down the field for an opening drive field goal to give the Seahawks a 3-0 lead, Wilson (2011) and the Seattle offense were shutdown by Watt (2009-10) and the Houston defense for the rest of the first half.
As soon as the clock flipped over to 15:00 in the second quarter, Houston's offense took control. Just five seconds into the quarter, Graham (2006-09) caught a 31-yard touchdown pass from Matt Schaub to put the Texans up 7-3. The reception was one of five on the day for Graham as he racked up 69 yards - a season high.
With the help of Graham and Daniels (2002-05) - who caught 6 passes for 72 yards - the Texans scored 20 points in the second quarter and took a 20-3 lead going into the half. From there, it was all Seattle.
A third quarter field goal helped to cut the Seattle deficit to 14 heading into the fourth where Wilson was prepared to throw as many punches as it took to land the knockout. Before the knockout on the scoreboard, Seattle nearly knocked Watt out of the game. The Pro Bowl defensive end was forced to leave the field due to blood. Calling the injury a "bloody nose" did not do it justice, so this picture tweeted by Melanie Collins of Yahoo! Sports should help to paint the bloody picture.
Watt has yet to miss a game in his professional career and he was not going to let some blood get in the way of his team getting the win. Only problem? Wilson was going to do anything and everything to get Seattle to its first 4-0 start in franchise history, including running the ball.
In the first three games, Wilson only rushed for 54 yards - a mark that eleven other quarterbacks had topped. Through the first three quarters of the Houston game, he had three rushes for three yards.
Part of the problem was that Seattle had three offensive lineman out and Houston's front-seven is notorious for getting to the quarterback. As Seahawks' head coach Pete Carroll said after the game, "He was running for his life."
The turning point came on Seattle's 14-play, 98-yard drive to open the fourth quarter. Wilson ran four times for 53 yards, including this huge conversion on fourth-and-three from inside the Texans' 10-yard line which allowed for the Seahawks to cut the lead to seven thanks to a three-yard touchdown run from Marshawn Lynch. Wilson finished the day with a below average 12/23, 123 yards and one interception passing day, but ran the ball 10 times (career high) for 77 yards (second highest of his career).
With less than three minutes to go in regulation, Richard Sherman intercepted Matt Schaub and returned it 58 yards for the game-tying touchdown. Steven Hauschka kicked a 45-yard field goal in overtime to give the Seahawks the 23-20 win.
Watt, who finished the day with eight total tackles, half of a sack, and three quarterback hits, was not happy with his team's performance after the game.
"We were dominating the whole first half...and the second half we just didn't finish the game. It's very, very frustrating."
Other notes from Badgers in the NFL
- 2013 second-round pick RB Montee Ball (2009-12) rushed eight times for 24 yards in the Denver Broncos' 52-20 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Ball was the third option in the Broncos' crowded backfield once again as Knowshon Moreno and Ronnie Hillman both saw more carries.
- Undrafted DT Nick Hayden (2004-07) recorded 5 total tackles in the Dallas Cowboys' 30-21 loss to the San Diego Chargers
- 2012 fourth-round pick WR Nick Toon (2008-11) caught his first career pass for 18 yards in the New Orleans Saints' 38-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football. It was just the second game Toon has seen action in.