One of the tasks that I’ve chosen with Bucky’s 5th Quarter is chronicling the NFL performances for all the Wisconsin Badgers playing in The League every week.
So, here’s what we saw from our lads in Week 16. Spoiler: it was a rough week for Jake Ferguson.
Pittsburgh Steelers (Wisconsin of the NFL)
T.J. Watt: 2 tackles, 4 hurries, and 2 hits in a rare sack-free game for the superstar. Heading into the final game of the season, Watt is tied with the Bengals’ Trey Hendrickson for the NFL lead in sacks with 17.
Keeanu Benton: Logged both a QB hit and QB hurry across 22 snaps.
Nick Herbig: The good is that Herbig had a sack and an otherworldly 99.0 PFF grade. The bad is that he puzzlingly played only 2 snaps.
Isaiahh Loudermilk: Recorded 1 tackle in very limited action.
Jake Ferguson: Jake logged 4 grabs for 33 yards in a controversial win over the Lions. With one game left, Jake’s numbers sit at 65 catches for 692 yards and 5 TD in a breakout season for the First Team All-Pro Grandson.
Tyler Biadasz: Kept Dak 100% clean across 65 snaps, only allowing a sole QB hurry.
Alec Ingold: Had one grab for 18 yards and blocked a lot.
Andrew Van Ginkel: The Notorious AVG had (for him) an Avg. game against the high-flying Ravens offense, registering only 3 tackles and a QB hurry.
Jonathan Taylor: Logged 21 carries for 96 yards and a score, with a lost fumble (and 1 catch for 8 yards) in a win over the Raiders. 2023 hasn’t been the year Taylor was expecting, but there’s no reason to think 2024 won’t be better as he’s still only 24.
Zack Baun: Had his best game as a pro, with a sack, QB hit, batted ball, and 2 tackles, to go along with a sterling 83.6 PFF grade. A late season mini-breakout for Baun is coming at the perfect time with free agency looming for him.
Ryan Ramsczyk: Has been put on IR due to a knee condition, and there’s some concern that his NFL future may be in jeopardy.
TJ Edwards: Had 3 tackles and a QB hit in the Bears’ win over the Falcons. Everyone knows that I love me some TJ Edwards, but a quiet game for him vs Green Bay Sunday would be outstanding.
Jack Sanborn: A lone tackle in only 10 snaps. Criminally underutilized, per usual.
Russell Wilson: Wilson was unceremoniously (and unfairly) benched pregame by the Broncos’ brass and has certainly played his last snaps for Denver. Russ deserved far better in a solid bounce-back season of trying to will a decidedly mid-team to respectability. He’ll end the year with 3070 passing yards, 26 passing TDs against 8 INTs, and another 341 yards and 3 TDs with his feet.
Matt Henningsen: 2 tackles on 11 defensive snaps for the smartest player in the NFL
Joe Tippmann: Allowed 2 QB hurries but no sacks or hits across 71 snaps as his impressive rookie year draws near its end. Hopefully, his heart will be just as into protecting human anonymous YouTube comment Aaron Rodgers in 2024.
Rob Havenstein: Allowed a sack, but still registered a strong 80.0 PFF grade in a win over the Giants.
Leo Chenal: Logged 5 tackles and ended up with a solid 80.1 PFF grade, good for second best on the Chiefs’ D, while also recording a fumble recovery in a win over the Bengals.
Kevin Zeitler: Missed the game with a knee injury.
Melvin Gordon: 6 carries for 10 yards and a TD.
Michael Deiter: Yielded a sole QB pressure in 61 snaps. Dieter has been really solid for the Texans in the 2nd half of 2023, and has hopefully earned himself a new contract when his one-year deal expires at the end of the season.
Dare Ugunbowale: 1 carry for 0 yards in a very quiet game.
Alex Erickson: Had a huge game for the Chargers, logging 98 yards on 7 catches to lead the team in both grabs and yards. It’s nice to see Alex gaining some career momentum in L.A. and he should get some serious looks for a new deal before 2024 after his one-year deal with the Chargers runs out.
David Edwards: Didn’t allow a sack, hit, or hurry on Josh Allen in limited duty for the Bills.