Former Cougar Brett Keisel started on the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive line and helped limit the Oakland Raiders to only 98 yards of total offense in week eight of the NFL season.
Despite its penchant for offensive firepower, BYU continues to send playmakers on the defensive side of the ball to the next level. Former Cougars Chris Hoke and Brett Keisel both started on the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive line and helped limit the Oakland Raiders to only 98 yards of total offense in week eight of the NFL season. The Raiders edged the Steelers 20-13 despite the dominating performance by Pittsburgh's defense. Hoke and Keisel recorded two tackles, respectively. Shaun Nua, a third Pittsburgh defensive lineman from BYU, is on the Steelers' practice squad.
Second-year Green Bay Packers linebacker Brady Poppinga started and added one solo tackle and one quarterback hurry in the Pack's 31-14 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Another former BYU defensive standout, safety Aaron Francisco, recorded three solo tackles for Arizona in a losing effort. Rookie wide receiver Todd Watkins is on the Cardinals' practice squad.
The only two unbeaten teams in the NFL continued to roll in week eight. Offensive tackle John Tait started for Chicago in the Bears' 41-10 drubbing of San Francisco. Tait has started in all seven of the Bears' victories. Tight end Gabe Reid also saw action for Chicago, which amassed over 400 yards of total offense. Linebacker Rob Morris and the Indianapolis Colts also improved to 7-0 by edging Denver 34-31 in a shootout.
Head coach Andy Reid's Philadelphia Eagles were downed 13-6 in a bad weather affair with Jacksonville. Offensive lineman Scott Young saw action in the Eagles' loss. Eagles all-purpose back Reno Mahe, who led the NFL in punt return average a season ago, returned two punts for 24 yards and one kickoff for 18 yards.
Head coach Mike Holmgren's Seattle Seahawks also were narrowly defeated in week eight. The Hawks were downed 35-28 by Kansas City. Tight end Itula Mili recorded one catch for four yards for Seattle. Seattle tight ends coach Jim Lind coached at BYU with Holmgren in the early eighties. Tampa Bay tight end Doug Jolley did not play in the Buccaneers' 17-3 loss to the New York Giants.
Head coach Brian Billick and offensive coordinator Norm Chow had better success in week eight. Billick's Baltimore Ravens beat New Orleans 35-22 to remain in first place in the AFC North. Offensive lineman Ben Archibald is on the Saints' practice squad. Chow's Tennessee Titans, for their part, edged Houston 28-22 to win their second game in a row. Tennessee linebacker Colby Bockwoldt saw action in the Titans' victory. Offensive lineman Scott Jackson was picked up by Houston and added to its 53-man roster last week but was inactive in week eight.
The Cincinnati Bengals were downed by Atlanta 29-27. Rookie full back Fahu Tahi is on the Bengals' practice squad. The Denney brothers -- Ryan and John -- and their respective teams -- Buffalo and Miami -- both were idle in week eight.