Cougars in the Pros -- Week 13

Former BYU Cougar Brett Keisel, in his first season since resigning with the Pittsburgh Steelers, continues to fill up the stat sheet in his first full season as starter.

Former BYU Cougar Brett Keisel, in his first season since resigning with the Pittsburgh Steelers, continues to fill up the stat sheet in his first full season as starter. Keisel dominated from his defensive end position in week thirteen of the NFL season, helping Pittsburgh hold Tampa Bay to just three points in a 20-3 victory. Keisel logged six total tackles, five solo, one sack for a loss of six yards, and one quarterback hurry on the day. He now has four sacks on the season, which ranks him third on the team. Keisel also ranks first among Steelers defensive linemen in tackles and fumble recoveries. Fellow former Cougar defensive lineman Chris Hoke also saw action in the Steelers' victory. Former Cougar Shaun Nua is on the Steelers' practice squad. Former Cougar tight end Doug Jolley is on the Buccaneers.

Aaron Francisco racked up six solo tackles for the Arizona Cardinals as they downed NFC West rival St. Louis 34-20. Rookie wide receiver Todd Watkins is on the Cardinals' practice squad. Continuing with the theme of defensive standouts, defensive end Ryan Denney recorded two tackles, including one solo takedown, in the Bills' narrow 24-21 defeat to San Diego. Denney also added another sack and a quarterback hurry to his already impressive season. Denney's four sacks on the year rank him third on the Bills. Ryan's younger brother and fellow BYU alum, John, serves as Miami's first-team long snapper. Jacksonville downed the Dolphins 24-10 in week thirteen.

Former Cougar player and coach and current NFL head coach Brian Billick saw Cincinnati edge his first place Baltimore Ravens by a tally of 13-7. Fellow NFL head coach and former Cougar coach Mike Holmgren faired better in week thirteen as his Seattle Seahawks edged Denver 23-20. Jim Lind, Seattle's tight ends coach, also coached at BYU. Former Cougar tight end Itula Mili was inactive in week thirteen. The Chicago Bears returned to the victory column in week thirteen by downing Minnesota 23-13. Bears offensive tackle John Tait started for the 12th consecutive week. Former Cougar and current Bears tight end Gabe Reid also played in the win. Rookie fullback Fahu Tahi, who recently was picked up by the Vikings, was inactive for the game.

Houston Texans offensive lineman Scott Jackson played in his first career NFL game. Jackson, in his second season, helped Houston down Oakland 23-14. The New Orleans Saints downed the other Bay Area team, the 49ers, 34-10. Offensive lineman Ben Archibald is on the Saints' practice squad. He appeared in five games for New Orleans last season.

Second-year linebacker Brady Poppinga continued his breakout season as he registered six tackles, including four solo takedowns, in Green Bay's 38-10 loss to the New York Jets. The Indianapolis Colts also came up short this week for only the second time this season. The Colts were edged 20-17 by AFC South foe Tennessee. Colts linebacker Rob Morris had a solo tackle in the loss. Fellow former Cougar and current NFL linebacker Colby Bockwoldt also recorded one solo tackle for the Titans. Former BYU coach Norm Chow, the Titans offensive coordinator, aided by a rookie quarterback, guided his offense to 382 total yards in the upset.

Head coach Andy Reid's Philadelphia Eagles outlasted Carolina 27-24 on Monday Night Football despite being without the services of Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb (Syracuse University), who is injured. All purpose back and special teams extraordinaire Reno Mahe continued to rack up special teams yards with four punt returns for 24 yards and four kickoff returns for 67 yards. Mahe also recorded one solo tackle on special teams. Eagles offensive lineman Scott Young did not play in the victory.

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