The Houndie is an award formerly known as the Buckeye NFLer of the Week. After 2 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 was created.
Week 8 is in the books and we’ve officially reached the second half of the NFL season, with only 2 more weeks of byes and then the stretch run. With at least 20 teams having a realistic chance to make the playoffs, there will be plenty of Buckeyes vying for some post season play.
In case you didn’t hear it, Thaddeus Gibson was cut from the Steelers over the weekend, as they had to make room for a DT and expected to sign him back to the practice squad, but San Fran has started a collection of Buckeyes out west and added to their stash by claiming Gibson off waivers. Meanwhile, Matt Wilhelm signed with the Packers and Bobby Carpenter joined the always dangerous Lions.
We start off this week in Kansas City, where the Chiefs continue to win and the Bills inch closer each week to their first victory, going down in defeat 13-10 in OT, their second straight OT loss. Donte Whitner was second on the team with 6 solo tackles and 4 assists, giving him 65 tackles in 7 games, good for 10th in the league and second amongst defensive backs. On the other side, Mike Vrabel recorded 4 solos and 8 assists, his highest output as a Chief, while Donald Washington got 4 total tackles in the win.
The Rams stayed within a half game of Seattle by taking down Carolina 20-10. Lil’ Animal gave a run at this week’s award by leading the Rams with 7 solo stops and an assist, while also snagging his first interception of the season and his second sack. Na’il Diggs chipped in with 2 solo tackles and Larry Grant was held statless. Chris Gamble only had one tackle on the day.
A.J. Hawk and the Packers went into New York and recorded their first road shutout since 1991, with a 9-0 victory over the Jets. Hawk had a slower day than usual, getting credit for 3 solo stops and 2 assists, while Ryan Pickett is still out with an injury. For the Jets, Santonio Holmes caught 3 passes for 43 yards and Big Vern snuck in with a tackle.
Down in the ‘Nati, Brian Hartline and the Dolphins continued the dismal season for the Begals by coming from behind for the 22-14 win. Hartline caught 5 balls for 53 yards, while Nugent was held to just 2 extra points. The Bengals are now 2-5 and in serious danger of being the biggest disappointment in the NFL.
In other offensive performances, Joey Galloway caught 1 pass for a whopping 2 yards in Washington’s 25-37 loss to Detroit. While in the desert, Beanie and the Cardinals continued their season long struggles, as Wells rushed for 50 yards on 16 carries and caught 1 ball for 14 yards. He did score a 1-yard TD in the second quarter to put the Cards up 14-7, but the defense couldn’t hold on and they went down in defeat 38-35 to Tampa Bay.
A person we don’t get to mention too often is Donnie Nickey, who is still hanging around down in Tennessee as a special teamer. Nickey made headlines this week by getting thrown out of the game after accidentally getting up a punching a ref, instead of the defender, in the chest during the Titans 25-33 loss to San Diego.
In turbulent Minnesota, the Vikings lost once again, this time to the Patriots, 28-18. As we all know, the Randy Moss news has dominated sports talk the past couple of days, but the real problem is in the coaching and QB situation. Antoine Winfield had a quiet game by his standards, recording 4 total tackles.
In Sunday night’s action, the Saints defense hassled Big Ben and the Steelers all night and won 20-10 in New Orleans. Malcolm Jenkins had 4 solos and an assist, while Will Smith looks healthy again, getting 1.5 sacks and 3 tackles. Monday night saw the return of Gonzo, who played for the first time since week one. His return was just in time, as the Colts lost Dallas Clark for the season and Austin Collie for significant time this past week. Gonzo caught 4 balls for 55 yards in the win.
This week’s winner was an easy decision and goes to a player that has created more buzz amongst Ohio State fans than any other player in the league this season. Though the game wasn’t played in the states, Troy Smith made his debut as the starter for the 49ers, leading them to a 24-16 win over the Denver Broncos over in England. With San Fran down 10-3 to start the 4th, Troy scampered in from a yard out to pull even at 10 and then hit Michael Crabtree for a 28 yarder to go ahead for good. Troy completed his last 5 attempts for a total of 110 yards and finished the day 12 of 19 for 196 yards and no turnovers. It looks like Troy will get a chance to finish off the season as the starter. Unfortunately for Ted Ginn, the chemistry hasn’t had a chance to rub off yet, as he was held without a catch once again, but carried the ball 1 time for 9 yards and continued to return both punts and kickoffs, while Nate Clements had 4 solo stops on D. It will be great to watch Troy finally get his chance the rest of the way, as the 49ers still aren’t out of it in the wild NFC West.