Week 14 of the 2017 NFL season saw some great performances from some of Hawaii’s finest football products.
While there is only one NFL representative from the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warrior football team currently playing in the league, there are plenty of former high school standouts from the islands making an impact on the next level.
Here, we’ll take a quick look at some of Hawaii’s NFL representatives and how they performed this week:
Note: Only players who made an impact in Week 14 are on this list.
Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans
Sunday was another rough outing for the former Heisman Trophy winner and St. Louis standout. Mariota threw for 159 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions. The Titans would go on to lose 12-7 to the Arizona Cardinals, but the Titans will still likely make the playoffs due to the sorry state of the AFC.
But for Mariota, it arguably his worst performance of the season. His development has taken a step back this season, whether it’s his fault, an injury or the fault of his coaching staff for putting him in bad situations on offense.
Rigoberto Sanchez, P, Indianapolis Colts
The former Rainbow Warrior punter/kicker has been the most consistent player for the Indianapolis Colts this season. Against the Buffalo Bills -- despite the severe weather conditions -- Sanchez was able to launch seven punts for an average 38.4 yards per punt.
He had a long of 47 yards and was able to pin the ball inside Buffalo’s 20 yard line twice. Despite Sanchez’s effort, the Colts lost to the Bills 13-7.
Max Unger, C, New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints have been on a roll this season, but hit a slight speed bump this week against the Atlanta Falcons. Usually a run dominant team, the Saints couldn’t run the ball consistently with Alvin Kamara leaving the game early on in the first quarter.
Former Hawaii Preparatory Academy graduate Max Unger did his best to anchor the Saints’ offensive line, but the Saints were outmatched as they fall to 8-5 on the season.
DeForest Buckner, DL, San Francisco 49ers
The former Punahou standout had a standout game for the San Francisco 49ers in a 26-16 loss to the Houston Texans.
Buckner recorded two tackles and picked up one sack, leading San Francisco’s defensive line to victory. On the season, Buckner now has 46 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Kamu Grugier-Hill, LB, Philadelphia Eagles
Kamu Grugier-Hill has been a consistent force for the Philadelphia Eagles’ special teams unit, and continued his fine form on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams in a 43-35 win.
The Kamehameha graduate recorded one tackles on special teams on the game.
Manti Te’o, LB New Orleans Saints
One of Punahou’s finest-ever football players, Manti Te’o has been a rotational player for the New Orleans Saints defense, but he had a breakout game this past Thursday against the Atlanta Falcons.
Te’o racked up a total of 10 tackles on defense, a season-high for the former Heisman Trophy finalist.
Kaimi Fairbairn, K, Houston Texans
Another Punahou graduate, Kaimi Fairbairn has been inconsistent as of late after a hot start to his rookie season for the Houston Texans.
On Sunday, Fairbairn went 1-of-2 on field goal attempts in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers, but did convert a season-long 55 yard kick.
Hau’oli Kikaha, LB, New Orleans Saints
The former Kahuku standout has been used sparingly this season for the New Orleans Saints, but has been very effective when given an opportunity to shine.
Thursday was no different as Kikaha was given limited playing time on the Saints defensive line, but was able to pick up a sack. On the season, in limited action, Kikaha has six tackles and four sacks.
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