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Badgers in the NFL: Week 7

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.

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

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 7.

P Brad Nortman, Carolina Panthers

Brad Nortman (2008-11) is turning into a force for the Carolina Panthers. The former Badger led the league in gross punting average this past week with an average of 51.3 yards on his three punts for a total of 154 yards. The 51.3 yards-per-punt average is the second-highest of Nortman's career.

Nortman is currently averaging 47.3 yards per punt on the season, 4.3 yards more than his average a year ago, and already has 10 punts that have pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line just six games into the season -- half of his 2012 total.

A 30-15 victory over the St. Louis Rams allowed for Nortman to be the only kicker in the top-six whose team won this week.

Carolina travels to Tampa Bay to play the Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football in Week 8.

DE J.J. Watt, Houston Texans

The good news? J.J. Watt bounced back after recording zero tackles in a Week 6 loss to St. Louis. The bad news? The Texans did not.

Despite a team-high six tackles to go along with three quarterback hits, one sack and one forced fumble, Watt was unable to propel his Houston team to a victory against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. The sack was Watt's first full sack since Week 3 and he used the opportunity to pay tribute to the late Oail Andrew "Bum" Phillips, who passed away this past week. Phillips was a coach of the Houston Oilers and the father of Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.

As a result of the 17-16 loss, the Texans have dropped five straight games and are now 2-5.

The Houston defense is a tough one to figure out, as it has yielded the third-fewest amount of yards (1,874), but is 25th in points allowed per game (27.7) In Sunday's game, the Chiefs recorded 157 yards after the catch, their second-most in the last two seasons, according to ESPN State & Information.

Moving forward, Watt will have to put the defense on his back even further as linebacker Brian Cushing was taken out of Sunday's game with a broken fibula and a torn LCL.

Houston will use a bye-week to get back on track before hosting the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football in Week 9.

QB Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Whether it's Sunday, Monday or Thursday, the Seattle Seahawks have proven time and time again that they know how to win under the leadership of Russell Wilson (2011).

After defeating the Arizona Cardinals, 34-22 on Thursday Night Football, Seattle is now tied for the second-best record in the league at 6-1 (Kansas City, 7-0). Since Wilson's arrival at the beginning of last season, the Seahawks hold the second-best record in the league at 17-6, trailing only the Denver Broncos at 19-4.

Wilson completed 18-of-29 passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 29 yards on eight carries in Thursday's win over Arizona. The Virginia native did fumble the ball three times, however, and lost two of them.

Wilson's touchdown passes gave him statistics competitive with many of his young peers at the quarterback position. A 31-yard heave to Sidney Rice gave Wilson his sixth career touchdown pass of 30 or more yards, just one fewer than Robert Griffin III and three behind Andrew Luck. His second touchdown pass, 15 yards to Zach Miller, was Wilson's fifth touchdown pass of 15 yards or more on the season, tied with Cam Newton for third in the NFL.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Wilson completed 71 percent of his passes that were at least 15 yards down the field, including two touchdowns. In his previous three games, Wilson completed just 31 percent of those throws with one touchdown and one interception.

The Seahawks travel to St. Louis to take on the Sam Bradford-less Rams on Monday Night Football in Week 8.

Other notes from Badgers in the NFL

  • 2013 second-round pick running back Montee Ball (2009-12) did not see any playing time in the Denver Broncos' 39-33 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football. Knowshon Moreno carried the ball 15 times for 40 yards and Ronnie Hillman rushed four times for 25 yards and fumbled on the goal-line late in the fourth quarter.
  • 2010 fourth-round pick tight end Garrett Graham was targeted a team-high eight times (a season-high and the second-highest of his career) but only managed to bring in three receptions for 38 yards in the Houston Texans' 17-16 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
  • 2009 fourth-round pick linebacker DeAndre Levy (2005-08) continued his hot streak as he racked up eight tackles (seven solo) and deflected one pass in the Detroit Lions' 27-24 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.