With the OIA playoffs wrapping up this past weekend throughout the state, it’s easy to forget that there were also some professional players from the islands playing on Sunday in the NFL.
Some of Hawaii’s finest products made an impact on the gridiron in Week 9 of the 2017 NFL season and win or lose, they still made their presence known to their opposition.
Here’s a Week 9 update of Hawaii’s homegrown talent in the league.
Note: Only players who made a significant impact on their team this past Sunday are featured in the list below.
Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee titans squeaked out a 23-20 victory over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9, led by former St. Louis graduate Marcus Mariota who threw for 218 yards, two touchdowns with one interception.
With a passer rating of 100.0, Mariota also completed 67 percent of his passes to improve his team’s record to to 5-3 on the season.
DeForest Buckner, DT, San Francisco 49ers
Yesterday was another tough day for the San Francisco 49ers as they fell to division rival Arizona Cardinals. DeForest Buckner, a Punahou graduate, recorded two tackles in the loss, increasing his tackle total to 41 on the season.
Manti Te’o, LB, New Orleans Saints
Another former Punahou standout, Manti Te’o didn’t have much of an impact during his team’s victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 9, recording just one tackle on the game, but his New Orleans Saints defense held the Buccaneers to 10 points in a 30-10 win.
Hau’oli Kikaha, LB, New Orleans Saints
The former Kahuku graduate has been sparingly used this season for the New Orleans Saints, but Hau’oli Kikaha made most of his opportunity on the field in Week 9 during the Saints’ 30-10 victory over Tampa Bay.
Kikaha recorded three tackles, including a sack. In the three games Kikaha has played in this season, he has recorded a sack in each one.
Kamu Grugier-Hill, LB, Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles are one of the hottest teams in the NFL, and former Kamehameha - Kapalama linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill has been a consistent part of their special teams this season.
Grugier-Hill recorded three tackles for the Eagles in his team’s 51-23 victory over the Denver Broncos.
Rigoberto Sanchez, P, Indianapolis Colts
The former Rainbow Warrior punter/kicker has been among the most consistent punters in the entire league this season, and he’s only a rookie.
Rigoberto Sanchez has six punts during the Colts’ 20-14 victory over the Houston Texans, averaging 41.5 yards per punt including a long of 50 yards.
Max Unger, C, New Orleans Saints
The former Hawaii Preparatory School graduate has anchored the Saints offensive line this season, and Week 9 was no exception.
Unger and the rest of New Orleans offensive line opened up lanes for running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, who combined for 145 rushing yards on 26 total carries.
Kai’mi Fairbairn, K, Houston Texans
Week 9 was a tough week for the Houston Texans as they lost rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson for the season after a tearing his ACL during practice. But another Texans rookie has also been impressing this season, and that’s former Punahou graduate, Ka'imi Fairbairn.
Fairbairn has been a solid addition for the Texans this season but along with the rest of his team against the Colts on Sunday, he didn’t have much success on the field.
Fairbairn missed his only field goal attempt against the Colts in a 20-14 loss, which was also his first miss of the season.
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