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Badgers in the NFL: Defensive players shine again in Week 12

When you think of Wisconsin, the run game usually comes to the forefront, but in the NFL it has been all about the defensive side of the ball for the Badgers. Chris Borland, DeAndre Levy and Dez Southward all had top games for their respective pro outfits.

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Before we get into how all your favorite former Badgers did in the NFL this weekend, I think it's important that we take a moment to remember something monumental that happened last Thursday. The Raiders won a professional football game! HOLY CRAP CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!?! There were no Badgers involved on either side of that game, but it is a historic achievement and one that must be noted. If not for your children, then your children's children. Bards will sing of this day for millennia.

Anyways, multiple Badgers acquitted themselves nicely in Week 12 of the NFL, but not quite as nicely as last week. J.J. Watt didn't catch any touchdowns and Chris Borland had zero interceptions. Fear not, Badger fans, because new heroes stepped up and took on the cause of Badger defensive players doing awesome things in the pros.

Atlanta safety Dez Southward picked off Brian Hoyer late in the Falcons eventual loss to the Browns. He also had two tackles and a pass defended. If you watched how bad that Hoyer throw was, you'll be surprised to know that he engineered a last minute drive to get the Browns in field goal range and was also the winning QB on the day. The Browns have some mysterious forces on their side this year. I wouldn't want to play them in the playoffs. Jim Leonhard had four tackles for the Browns and may be the Browns talisman since this is his first year with the team.

DeAndre Levy led the Detroit Lions in tackles with 10 (1 TFL, 1 QB hit) as his team had its doors blown off by Touchdown Tom and the Patriots. I don't know what James White did to Bill Belichick, but he can't get a sniff of a carry in the slap-happy committee backfield the Pats run. He probably wouldn't let Belichick hit on his mom. Jonathan Casillas had his best game as a Patriot since being acquired in a trade at the beginning of the month, recording four tackles (1 TFL).

Borland had his worst (LOL) game tacklewise since becoming a starter in San Francisco, and STILL LED THE TEAM IN TACKLES with eight. Two of those were behind the line of scrimmage, and what I wouldn't give to have Borland in the middle of the Eagles defense instead of the Eli Manning of the Matthews family.

Watt had a quiet game on offense, Ryan Mallett didn't even target him once, but made up for it on defense. He had seven tackles (1 TFL), a pass defended and a QB hit. Watt's backup (I'm assuming?) at tight end, Garrett Graham had four catches for 41 yards to lead the Texans. Kevin Zeitler didn't give up a sack to Watt, so I'm going to count that as a good day for him.

Finally for a little offensive news, Russell Wilson captained the Seahawks to a victory over the Cardinals on Sunday, throwing for 211 yards and a touchdown on 17-of-22 passing. A model of efficiency! He also added 73 yards on the ground. He is like what would happen if we put Joel Stave on Tanner McEvoy's shoulders. Which, if you remember, I've been calling for since August!

Make me offensive coordinator!

Owen Daniels caught two passes for seven yards in the Ravens victory over the Saints. Nick Toon had three catches for 42 yards, but as you may have heard his team didn't do so well against the Ravens.

Chris Maragos had a tackle for the Eagles, but Beau Allen didn't find his way on to the stat sheet. LeSean McCoy finally had a good game though, so whatevs haterzzzzzzz!

Nick Hayden had six tackles for the Cowboys, but Dallas is the worst and I hope he has a bad Thanksgiving. See, it's double Hate Week for me. The Cowboys are my NFL Gophers. I hate them both so much.