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.
Every team has now played at least eight games in the 2010 season and this upcoming Sunday is the last bye week for teams. There is no clear cut favorite in either league, as the NFL also starts their annual Thursday night slate this week.
For starters, you may have seen the story of Gonzo being done for the year, doing damage to his left PCL in last week’s game, the same injury he suffered in the right knee last year. Also, for the Cardinals, Beanie Wells’ knee is clearly still bothering him, as he barely sniffed the field in Sunday’s loss, taking one carry for a negative two yards. Wells has never recovered from his preseason injury, averaging 3.3 YPC on 70 attempts this season.
One player who did return from injury this week, but looks to be headed back to the shelf as well is Ryan Pickett. Big #79 tried to give it a go 2 weeks ago, but tweaked his ankle once again in the second quarter and could be out multiple weeks.His teammate, AJ Hawk had his second straight slow week, recording 2 solos and an assist in their 45-7 whitewashing of the Dallas Cowboys. The Packers have now won 3 straight and sit atop the NFC North as they head into their bye week and then a date with Farve and the Vikings in week 11.
No team had more of a tumultuous week than the Vikings, who let Randy Moss walk and there is clearly a rift between Farve and Childress. However, Brett used his magic once again, leading the Vikes to 14 points in the last 4 minutes to send the game into OT, where the Vikings prevailed 27-24 over the Cardinals. Antoine Winfield was 4th on the team with 4 solo tackles, as the Vikings prepare to face the Bears and Packers in the next 2 weeks.
Speaking of the Bears, they went into Toronto and handed the Bills their 8th straight loss on the season, taking them down 22-19 with a late TD. Donte Whitner did his job once again, leading the team with 7 solo tackles and an assist. The Bills have now lost their last 3 games by a combined 9 points, but with Detroit and Cincy on the schedule for the next 2 games, a win could be on the horizon.
Down in Carolina, the Saints took care of the Panthers, 34-3. For the Panthers, Chris Gamble had 5 solo tackles and an assist, while Malcolm Jenkins had a 2 solo stops and an assist. Will Smith didn’t crack the box score and I didn’t see any news about his lingering injuries, but he is obviously struggling with them, registering only 2.5 sacks thus far.
In Philly, Kurt Coleman got plenty of pub the last couple of days after his hard hit on Austin Collie, that sent Collie off on a stretcher with a concussion. Most believed on Sunday that the hit was illegal, but the NFL offices disagreed and will not fine or suspend Coleman. Kurt saw plenty of action, recording 3 total tackles in their 26-24 win.
Out in Oakland, the Chiefs went down for the 3rd time in the last 5 and now sit just a half game ahead of surprising Oakland. Donald Washington continued his improvement for the Chiefs, making 4 total tackles for the second straight week. He has been used mostly as a gunner on special teams and is making a name for himself on this team. Vrabel had another quiet game statistically, registering a solo tackle and an assist. The Chiefs have come back down to earth a bit, but their schedule sets up nicely for them and a playoff berth is a realistic possibility.
On the offensive side of things, Brian Robiskie and the Browns shocked the league for the second straight game, this time with a 34-14 thumping of the Patriots. Robo chipped in with 1 catch for 20 yards, as the Browns rode an effective running game and stellar defense to victory. In Atlanta, the Falcons held off the Bucs 27-21, with Michael Jenkins snagging 2 balls for 55 yards. For Miami, Brian Hartline caught 4 balls for 85 yards in Miami’s 26-10 loss in Baltimore. Hartline’s numbers were good enough for the team lead and he now has caught 18 passes over the last 4 games.
In Monday night’s action, Mike Nugent missed both his FG attempts (51 and 45), as the Bengals lost their 5th straight, going down to the Steelers 27-21. He did hit all 3 XP’s, but has cooled of late hitting 2 of his last 5 over the previous 3 games.
In one of the more exciting games of the weekend, the Jets pulled one out against the Lions, 23-20 in OT. For the Lions, Bobby Carpenter saw his first action with his third team this year, registering 2 solo stops for the Lions. On the other side, Nick Mangold once again controlled the O-line, paving the way for the Jets’ 417 total yards of offense, with some blocking help from Ben Hartstock. However, the MVP for the Jets and winner of this week’s Houndie is Santonio Holmes. Jets fans have been waiting for Holmes to breakout and his 5 catches for 114 yards were crucial for their win. His biggest play came in overtime, as he took a quick slant 52 yards down to the Detroit 16. Nick Folk knocked in a 30 yard FG 3 plays later and the Jets climb back atop the AFC East.