The Houndie: Week 13

By Corey Carpenter on December 7, 2010 at 1:00p

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.

Entering week 13, there were an NFL record 19 teams either tied or within a game of first place, with 4 falling off after Sunday's games. There are plenty of Buckeyes vying for playoff spots to give us something to root for before the Sugar Bowl.

We start off today with the disappointing news of Troy Smith losing his starting job to Alex Smith, after a chilly 34-16 loss at Green Bay. Smith struggled in the 16 mph winds and 20 degree temp, connecting on just 10 of 25 with a TD and a pick. Troy went 3-2 as a starter and clearly had the team behind him, completing 52 percent of his passes for an 80.2 QB rating, 5 points higher than Alex. With Singletary fighting for his job and the 49ers still with a chance at the division crown, it will be interesting to see how the team reacts to the guy who lead them to a 1-6 start.   

Also for the Niners, Ted Ginn averaged just 16 yards on 5 kick returns, along with 30 yards on a pair of punt returns, while Nate Clements had 5 solo stops. For the Packers, A.J. Hawk had 4 solo tackles, while Ryan Pickett chipped in with 2 solos and an assist.

Down in Cincy, the Saints took advantage of a stupid offsides penalty by the Bungles and scored a late TD win 34-30. Malcolm Jenkins registered 6 total tackles, while Will Smith contributed a couple of solo stops in the Saints fifth straight win. The Bengals cut Aaron Pettrey earlier in the week, instead of Marvin Lewis.

In Minnesota, the Vikings 38-14 win over Buffalo featured picks by Buckeyes on both teams. Antoine Winfield made 3 solo stops and got his second INT on the year in the second and returned it 41 yards to the Buffalo 5 yard line. The Vikings would punch it in 2 plays later and take a 28-7 lead. Donte Whitner snagged his first of the season, while also taking credit for another 7 total tackles. Whitner’s 111 on the season now has him tied for 4th in the league.

The Rams stayed tied for the division lead with a 19-6 road win in Arizona. Laurinaitis helped hold the Cards to 225 total yards with 6 solo tackles and Na’il Diggs had his best game of the year with 5 solo stops, but injured his shoulder and is probably out for a while. Larry Grant got in the action with an assist and Beanie toted it just 3 times for 24 yards and no catches for Arizona.

In other defensive news, Bobbby Carpenter got 1 tackle in Detroit’s 24-20 controversial loss to the Bears, Chris Gamble was benched last week and “sat out” this week with a hamstring issue, while Mike Vrabel was shutout and Donald Washington had 1 tackle in KC's win over Denver.

On offense, Brain Hartline dislocated some fingers, sitting most of the second half and was held without a catch for the first time since week 1. Brian Robiskie caught 2 passes for 10 yards in the Browns 13-10 win over Hatline’s Dolphins. In Monday night’s action, the lone bright spot for the Jets may have been Santonio Holmes. The Jets couldn’t do anything and got whipped 45-3 by the Patriots, but Holmes had 7 catches for 72 yards to continue his strong play.

It's not always the flashy stats that take home the Houndie, sometimes a single play can capture the coveted award. Such is the case this week, as Michael Jenkins wins his first Houndie of the year for his game winning TD catch. Trailing 24-21, Matt Ryan hit Jankins towards the sideline at the 3 and MJ tip toed his way to the endzone. Cleary the 3rd option in the Falcons passing game, it was his first TD grab of the season and he finished the day with 3 catches for 30 yards. The win however was huge for Atlanta, keeping them one game in front of NO for the division lead and ahead of the Bears forhome field in the playoffs.


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Buckeye Black's picture

I wish the Browns would get Beanie.  Him and Hillis in the backfield would be a thing of beauty.  Too bad about Troy, I wouldn't count him out yet, A. Smith will falter.

Chris Lauderback's picture

I can't imagine the Cardinals are gonna wait forever for him to be healthy, though I don't know why the Browns would want him when they appear to have a more durable/productive version of Beanie in Hillis already.

Through 12 games, Beanie has missed 3 altogether and carried the ball five times or less in four others thanks to injuries. The same questions he faced here (is it lack of toughness? is he injury prone? is it a combo of both?) are gaining legs in Phoenix.

I'd love to see him stay healthy and reach his potential but I struggle with believing it will become reality.

btalbert25's picture

The Pick Troy had was when the game was totally out of reach, they were down an insurmountable amount with less than 2 minutes left.  All in all it's a real shame because Troy never really got the opportunity to prove his worth.  Getting 17-20 pass attempts per game just is tough to get it going. 

The Stanley Jackson 5's picture

Really surprised Troy is getting benched.......I mean they lost to Green Bay and Tampa Bay......who are both just much better teams than the 49ers regardless of who is quarterbacking.........and without Frank Gore..........ah well........I suppose there is a reason giant cross-man is going to get fired at the end of the year..........

Corey Carpenter's picture

I just think NFL coaches are going to go down with the guy they first put their belief into. Once Troy has an offseason with the playbook, he'll have ample opportunity next year to become the starter. Teams were starting to realize he had a limited knowledge of the playbook.

The Stanley Jackson 5's picture

Ahh...good point.......I sure hope he does get that opportunity next year with amply paid, UM declining, Coach Jim Harbaugh....

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

I'm not sure. It looks like there will be another coaching change for the 49ers and with that comes the risk that he gets lost in the shuffle. It also may provide him with a better opportunity as well.

I just don't get how their offense doesn't work. They drafted a bunch of folks for the O' line so it is suppose to be good, they have Gore, Westbrook, Crabtree, Vernon Davis, who all appear to be decent weapons to me. Their defensive side of the ball has some players too. I think Willis is one of the best MLBs in the league right now and they have some talent on the D line and Nate holding down the backfield. This team should be much better than it is.

Poe McKnoe's picture

There's no deck to get lost in.  I'm hoping Alex Smith faceplants HARD.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

Has Mangold ever won this very prestigious award? I know -- way to bring this up after the J-E-T-S get destroyed by a team the Browns whipped up on.

I may be reaching here but he could very well be the best pro-level player to recently come out of Ohio State. If I'm building my ideal offense and defense at every position, Mangold would be my starting center.  Before the " homer"comments start flying, there may be a few more I look at but he is clearly one of the best if not the best center in the league. I'm not sure another Buckeye makes that list on either side of the ball.

Corey Carpenter's picture

You are not reaching, I think Mangold is one of the best Buckeye pros and is widely considered one of, if not the best center in the game.

KenK's picture

Nah, Hartsock is the engine that drives the Jets ground game.. I kid, I kid...

Johnny Hooker: "He's not as tough as he thinks". Henry Gondorff: "Neither are we".

ATL Buckeye's picture

Unrelated to FB, can we get a basketball houndie award for Mike Conley who is proving to be the only member of the Thad-Five that has this pro thing figured out this year? Averaging 16ppg, 7ass, and 2 steals is remarkable for a guy who was also close to being labeled a OSU bust. Seems to be putting it together this year.

asclifton's picture

And a nice OSU/Arkansas connection.

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Just shows that the front office in San Fran are comparible to fantasy football guys. He went 3-1 in his four games. And the team obviously loved him and don't rally around Alex Smith. And did Alex Smith ever go 3-1 in a 4 game stretch? Doubt it.

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama