Badgers in the NFL: Week 6

Matt Sullivan

Following your favorite Wisconsin football alumni week to week in the NFL can be a difficult task. Don't fret -- here's a recap of how the Badgers' brightest NFL stars did in their games this past weekend.

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 6.

OLB DeAndre Levy, Detroit Lions

Those who are successful in life are often times their own worst critic. DeAndre Levy (2005-08) took that to heart on Sunday after the Detroit Lions' 31-17 victory over the Cleveland Browns when describing how he played.

"It was OK. Other than the two picks I don't think I played too well."

"Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?"

With the two interceptions, Levy now has four on the season, tied for most in the NFL. Levy's four interceptions are more than any Lions' linebacker since Jimmy Williams recorded five in the 1989 season -- and Levy still has 10 games remaining.

After recording a career-high 14 tackles last week, Levy notched a team-high seven tackles against the Browns and now leads the Lions with 49 total tackles on the season.

The Lions host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday in Week 7.

DB Chris Maragos, Seattle Seahawks

Chris Maragos (2006-09) made headlines this weekend not for his play as a defensive back, recording one total tackle against the Tennessee Titans, but for his play as a back-up special teams player.

With Seattle's usual place kicker, Steven Hauschka, in the locker room being checked out for a possible concussion, the team's punter and normal place holder, Jon Ryan, took on the duties of field goal kicking. Maragos, normally a safety, stepped into Ryan's usual role as place holder. With two backups in on the play, it's no wonder why the play ended as poorly as it did.

The Seahawks had driven down the field and had a chance at a 22-yard field goal on the final play of the first half. Maragos fumbled the snap, tried to get up and run with the ball, only to fumble it away and allow Tennessee cornerback Jason McCourty to recover the football and run 77 yards in the other direction for a Titans touchdown to end the first half. Luckily for the Seahawks, the 10-point swing did not come back to bite them as the team went on to win, 20-13.

Maragos held all four seasons at Wisconsin, so it's not like he didn't have any experience in the field goal department before.

"I held all four years at Wisconsin," Maragos said after the game. "But I messed it up. I didn't get the snap down, so then it's a fire call and you try to roll out. I should have just gone down. Our defense was playing well all game and I should have just taken a knee."

Here is the play.

The Seahawks have themselves a short week as they take on the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale on Thursday Night Football in Week 7.

QB Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

In 19 games as a starter for the Wisconsin Badgers and the Seattle Seahawks, Russell Wilson (2011) has yet to lose a game at home.

As was the case in college, Wilson has used a strong running game to his advantage. The second-year quarterback averaged 11.1 yards per attempt off play-action fakes in Sunday's 20-13 victory over the Titans compared to just 4.9 yards per attempt on all other passes. Here is an example of just how effective Seattle's play-action game has become. The 24-yard completion to Sidney Rice helped to set up a three-yard touchdown run by Marshawn Lynch.

Wilson finished the day 23-of-31 for 257 yards through the air while running the ball 10 times for 61 yards. This was the second time in three games that Wilson was not responsible for at least one touchdown, but just the third time in his career. Wilson has yet to rush for a touchdown this season and only has four scores on the ground in his career.

The 257 yards through the air marks the second highest total of the season for Wilson, behind his 320 yard passing performance in the season opener against the Carolina Panthers.

Other notes from Badgers in the NFL

  • 2013 second-round pick Montee Ball and the Denver Broncos stayed undefeated with a 35-19 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Ball, however, was all but absent yet again as the former Badger running back was held to just 15 yards on five carries, with all 15 yards coming on one rush. Ball was the Broncos' fourth-leading rusher in Sunday's game and if he doesn't break one loose sometime soon, the NCAA's all-time leading touchdown scorer could find himself buried even further down the Denver depth chart.
  • 2010 fourth-round draft pick Garrett Graham managed just two receptions for 25 yards in the Houston Texans' 38-13 loss to the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. With fellow Badger tight end Owen Daniels heading to Injured Reserve with a broken fibula, the Texans will need Graham to step up in his absence from here on.
  • 2011 second-round draft pick Lance Kendricks recorded his third straight week with a touchdown, the longest such streak of the tight end's career, in the St. Louis Rams' 38-13 victory over the Houston Texans. Three of Kendricks' 16 receptions this season have been touchdowns (one touchdown every 5.33 receptions). Prior to this season, Kendricks was averaging one touchdown per 17.5 receptions in his career.
  • 2012 sixth-round draft pick Brad Nortman punted the ball three times for an average of 33 yards per punt Sunday in the Carolina Panthers' 35-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. All three of Nortman's punts landed inside the 20-yard line.
  • 2011 first-round draft pick J.J. Watt had one of the worst games of his career on Sunday in the Houston Texans' 38-13 loss to the St. Louis Rams. For just the second time in his career, the defensive end's stat-line read zeroes across the board. Zero tackles, zero sacks, zero stuffs and zero pass deflections. Nothing. Watt is due for an off game, however, as last season's defensive MVP had a streak of 20 games in which he recorded a total of 24 sacks.
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