With the Tennessee Titans on a bye week this week, Hawaii's most familiar face in the NFL -- Marcus Mariota -- didn't play in Week 8. But for as popular as Mariota may be in the islands, he is not the only player from the state that fans can root for on Sundays.
Yesterday, there were seven players with ties to the islands that played and made an impact for their respective teams. Please note that only players who played on Sunday and made an impact will be featured below.
Here’s a Week 8 update on Hawaii’s homegrown talent in the NFL:
Tyson Alualu, DL, Pittsburgh Steelers
Alualu has come in recent weeks for the Steelers as a rotation player on the team’s defensive line. But even though he’s not getting many snaps on the field, he’s making the most of his opportunities this season.
On Sunday, the former St. Louis Crusader recorded three tackles and a sack against the Detroit Lions in Pittsburgh's 20-15 win.
Rigoberto Sanchez, P, Indianapolis Colts
The former Rainbow Warrior punter/kicker has been on a roll for the Colts this season, and his fine form continued in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Rigoberto Sanchez is living up to expectations: pic.twitter.com/te5lTugLAb— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) October 27, 2017
Sanchez recorded four punts, averaging 45.8 yards per punt including a long of 51 yards.
DeForest Buckner, DT, San Francisco 49ers
While the stats haven’t showed it, the former Punahou standout has been one of the most disruptive defensive linemen in the NFL this season. On Sunday, Buckner racked up five tackles in the 49ers loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, 33-10.
Manti Te’o, LB, New Orleans Saints
One of Hawaii’s most decorated high school football players, Manti Te’o has been a serviceable player for the Saints this season, and he continued to show why he’s highly-regarded as a sure-handed tackler.
Te’o accumulated five tackles for the Saints defense in a 20-12 victory over the Chicago Bears this past weekend.
Max Unger, C, New Orleans Saints
The Hawaii Preparatory Academy product has been an anchor for the Saint this season as New Orleans stands at 5-2 on the season, with one of the most dynamic offenses in football.
The Saints 20-12 win over the Bears was founded upon the Saints running game led by Mark Ingram, with excellent blocking from Unger and the rest of the team’s offensive line.
Shawn Lauvao, OL, Washington Redskins
The former Farrington graduate left Sunday’s game against the the Dallas Cowboys after suffering a stinger.
The Redskins lost to the Cowboys, 33-19.
Kaimi Fairbairn, K, Houston Texans
In what was the most entertaining game of the weekend, the Houston Texans narrowly lost to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, 41-38.
Fairbairn, a Punahou graduate, scored eight points in the loss, including a 31 yard field goal and five extra points.
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