Badgers in the NFL: Week 8

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

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 8.

RB Montee Ball, Denver Broncos

The NCAA all-time leading touchdown scorer got his first score in the NFL Sunday in the Denver Broncos' 45-21 victory over the Washington Redskins.

With the help of his offensive line, Montee Ball (2009-12) fought his way forward for a 4-yard touchdown in the third quarter. The touchdown came on one of 11 carries for Ball -- tied for the second-most of his career -- and helped give the second-round draft pick a total of 37 yards on the ground, also the second-most of his career.

Ball's opportunities came in large part due to Ronnie Hillman being benched by John Fox because of his fumble-prone hands. The benching should be a warning sign for Ball that if he isn't able to produce or take care of the ball, he could easily find himself on the bench.

If his professional career is to shape up anything like his collegiate one, the touchdown should get Ball headed in the right direction as the Broncos head into the second half of the season.

Denver takes its 7-1 record into the bye week before heading east to challenge the Chicago Bears Nov. 10 in Week 10.

QB Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

It was shaping up to be one of the worst performances of his professional career before Russell Wilson (2011) hit Golden Tate with an 80-yard touchdown pass with 3:45 remaining in the third quarter. Until that point, Wilson had accumulated just 42 yards through the air.

The 2012 third-round draft pick finished the night 10-of-18 for 139 yards, two touchdowns and a 117.6 passer rating. He also added 16 yards on three rushing attempts.  Wilson's 10 completions and 139 yards were each the fourth-fewest of his career in the two respective categories.

In the Monday Night Football game against the St. Louis Rams, Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks' offense tallied just 135 total yards of offense. Wilson was also sacked a career-high seven times for a net loss of 48 yards.

The good news for Wilson and the Seahawks is that they are currently riding the best start in franchise history and sit atop the NFC West with a 7-1 record (one game ahead of the San Francisco 49ers) halfway through the season.

The Seahawks host the 0-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 9 as Wilson looks to move to a perfect 12-0 at home in his NFL career.

Other notes from Badgers in the NFL:

  • 2008 undrafted free agent defensive tackle Nick Hayden (2004-07) had three tackles and one quarterback hit in the Dallas Cowboys' 31-30 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
  • 2011 second-round draft pick tight end Lance Kendricks (2008-10) caught two passes for 23 yards in the St. Louis Rams' 14-9 loss to Seattle on Monday Night Football. Quarterback Kellen Clemens targeted Kendricks five times, the second-most of the season for the third-year player.
  • 2009 fourth-round draft pick linebacker DeAndre Levy (2005-08) recorded five tackles and one tackle for a loss in the Lions' 31-30 victory over the Cowboys. This was Levy's 10th straight game with at least five tackles, the longest such streak of his career.
  • 2012 sixth-round draft pick punter Brad Nortman (2008-11) had five punts for a total of 216 yards (43.2 yards per punt) and pinned the Tampa Bay Buccaneers inside the 20-yard line three times.
  • Jake Byrne (2008-11), Owen Daniels (2002-05), Garrett Graham (2006-09), J.J. Watt (2009-10) and Ricky Wagner (2009-12) were all on bye this week.
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