Two players from Hawaii will suit up to play in tonight’s Monday night game between the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens. Kamalei Correa, a St. Louis graduate, will go up against the Texans and Punahou graduate Ka'imi Fairbairn.
But they won’t the only players with ties to the islands that played in Week 12 of the 2017 NFL season. In fact, there were six other players from Hawaii that played and made an impact over the long Thanksgiving weekend.
Let’s take a look at some of Hawaii’s representatives in the NFL and how they did this past weekend:
Note: Only players who made an impact are featured in the list below.
Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans
The most familiar face in the NFL from the islands is St. Louis graduate and former Heisman Trophy winner, Marcus Mariota.
While Mariota is loved by his teammates and fans, his performance in Week 12 left a lot to be desired, even though he managed to guide the Tennessee Titans to a 20-16 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
Mariota threw for 184 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions while completing 68 percent of his passes. He may have had a completion rate, but Mariota’s performance against the Colts was subpar. With a 7-4 record on the season, the Titans have a real shot at the playoffs, even with Mariota playing below expectations.
Rigoberto Sanchez, P, Indianapolis Colts
The long Rainbow Warrior representative in the NFL, Rigoberto Sanchez had another good outing on Sunday against Mariota’s Titans, despite losing 20-16.
Sanchez punted the ball five times, averaging 47 yards per punt including a long of 54 yards. He managed to pin the ball in his opposition’s 20 yard line on one occasion.
Max Unger, C, New Orleans Saints
Hawaii Preparatory Academy graduate Max Unger has been an unsung hero this season for the New Orleans Saints offensive line.
He has created running lanes for running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara all season-long, allowing Kamara to gain 188 yards from scrimmage on Sunday in the Saints loss 26-20 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Despite the loss, the Saints running and passing game was still effective, and Unger and the offensive line deserves credit for their hard work in the trenches.
Tyson Alualu, DL, Pittsburgh Steelers
Tyson Alualu has been a rotation player on the defensive line this season for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but has been effective in a limited role.The former St. Louis Crusader recorded one tackle against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, helping the Steelers win 31-28.
DeForest Buckner, DL, San Francisco 49ers
The box score might tell a different story, but former Punahou standout DeForest Buckner has been very effective for the San Francisco 49ers this season.
The 49ers are 1-10 on the season, but nobody expected them to be much good in 2017. Buckner, however, has graded out as one of the highest performing defensive lineman in the league this season, despite only recording one tackle against the Seattle Seahawks yesterday in a 24-13 loss.
Kamu Grugier-Hill, LB, Philadelphia Eagles
After receiving some fame last week as an emergency fill-in kicker for the Philadelphia Eagles, Kamu Grugier-Hill was back to performing on special teams on Sunday against the Chicago Bears.
The Kamehameha graduate recorded two tackles against the Bears, helping his team improve to 10-1 on the season.
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