The Houndie is an award formerly known as the Buckeye NFLer of the Week. After two years of existence, we searched for a catchier name, so with the help of a well placed typo and the ensuing 11W comments, the current title came to be.
The byes are over and it’s the stretch run for the NFL season, as we are finally starting to see some separation of the best teams in both leagues. Unfortunately, the Browns and the Bengals aren’t in any position for the playoffs, as both teams took it on the chin once again Sunday. The Bengals now own the league’s longest losing streak at 7 games, while the Browns continue to compete on a weekly basis.
On Thursday night, Brian Hartline continued his impressive sophomore season, leading the Dolphins in receiving for the second straight week. Though the Dolphins got shut out 16-0 by the vaunted Bears D, Hartline managed 5 catches for 70 yards, making it the 3rd straight week Hartline has topped the 70 yard mark.
In other receiver news, Michael Jenkins caught 5 for 58 in Atlanta’s 34-17 win over St. Louis. The Falcons are the surprise team in the NFC, holding the top record at 8-2 and a healthy Jenkins only strengthens their playoff run. Joey Galloway caught 3 passes for 32 yards in Washington’s OT win and his first catch of the day was his 700th in his career, becoming the 31st player to do so in NFL history.
After collecting back to back Houndies in his first 2 starts of the season, Troy Smith struggled at home in a 21-0 loss to Tampa Bay. He completed 16 of 31 attempts for 148 yards and a pick, but also led the 49ers in rushing with 5 totes for 45 yards. Ted Ginn continues his woeful season, with 1 catch for 7 yards and 3 kick returns for an average of 23 per. Ginn now sits at just 6 catches for 75 yards and is 6 games away from being labeled an “official bust.” Nate Clements chipped in with 2 solo tackles and 3 assists on the defensive side of the ball.
Beanie returned from injury, but is still limited, getting 8 carries for 39 yards in Arizona’s 31-13 loss at Kansas City. Mike Vrabel was credited with 2 solo stops, as his Chiefs still hold onto a one game lead in the AFC West. Continuing with the LB’s, A.J. Hawk had 3 solo stops and recovered a fumble in Green Bay’s 31-3 demolition of Minnesota, while Ryan Pickett chipped in with a single tackle. For the Vikings, Antoine Winfield also had 3 solo stops. The loss prompted the firing of Brad Childress as Minnesota’s head coach and allowed former Bears great Leslie Frazier to take over as the interim.
In that Rams loss to the Falcons, James Laurinaitis lead the way with 8 solo tackles and 3 assists, while Na’il Diggs contributed 3 total tackles. The Rams loss keeps them one game out of first in the NFC West, but 4 out of their last 6 are on the road.
Finishing off the secondary, Chris Gamble and the Panthers continued their miserable season with a 37-13 smack down at the hands of the Ravens. Gamble only had 1 tackle and is averaging just 3.5 per game, with no picks or sacks. Donte Whitner and the Bills snatched their second straight win with a 49-31 come from behind victory at Cincinnati. Whitner was 3rd on the team with 4 solos and 2 assists, as the defense held Cincy scoreless in the second half.
For the Saints, Malcolm Jenkins was bothered by a sore neck and may not have seen much action, as he was held out of the box score in New Orleans’s 34-19 win over Seattle. Will Smith got in the action with 2 solo stops, while Jay Richardson saw his first action of the year for Seattle, posting a solo tackle.
At the beginning of the season, we were clamoring for a Buckeye to step up each week to make this award more respectable and now that Santonio is back in full swing, he has become that guy. Holmes has either won the game or put NY in a position to win in each of the last 3 games. Three weeks ago, his run and catch in OT set up the game winning FG, while last week he caught the game winning TD with seconds left in the game. This week, he caught a 6 yard pass with 10 seconds left to give the Jets third straight win, a 30-27 triumph over Houston. On the day, Holmes caught 7 balls for 126 yards and added a 41 yard score in the 3rd quarter. Over the last 3 games, What it is Holmes has caught 17 for 316 yards and 3 TD’s, making the Jets offense even harder to stop as they enter the stretch run. This week, he gets to display his talents on the NFL Network Thursday night against the Bungels.