At one point in time, this award was known as the Buckeye NFLer of the Week. Thanks to a typo and the ensuing LOLsession from the commentariat, it was renamed as the Houndie. Same intent, but now with a better name.
One of the great things about being a Buckeye fan is, even though the current team looks like a pile of pooh, we can all turn our attention to the NFL on Sundays and hopefully watch the former Bucks make an impact around the league.
Luckliy, this past weekend was a great example of that. After a couple of slow weeks in the Houndie category, multiple players stepped up their performance and action for the award came down to the wire.
There had been rumors earlier in the week that Nick Mangold might make his return from injury this week, a couple of weeks ahead of schedule, but when it came down to it, his ankle is still to tender to take the grind on an NFL matchup.
Without him, Mark Sanchez fumbled 4 times and the Jets had just 38 yards rushing in their embarrassing 34-17 loss to Baltimore. Santonio had another slow game, hauling in 3 for 33 yards in the loss, even though he was targeted 12 times.
Also not playing this week was Chris Gamble, who has been battling an ankle injury thus far, but sustained a concussion against the Jaguars last week and didn't make the trip to Chicago.
In that Bears game, Dane Sanzenbacher caught 1 pass for 16 yards, as the Bears thankfully rediscovered their run game in the 34-29 win over the Panthers. Since Earl Bennett is out for some time, the Great Dane will continue to get the start in the slot for Chicago.
Special mention goes out this week to Jake Ballard, who hauled in 3 catches for 33 yards and his first NFL TD in the Giants win.
In other receiver news, Brian Roboskie finally got on the board this year, grabbing 3 balls for 25 yards in the Browns 31-13 home loss to the Titans.
Brian Hartline snagged 3 for 31 yards in the Dolphins 16-26 road loss at San Diego, while last week's winner, Michael Jenkins had just 1 catch, for a yard and a TD in Minny's 22-17 loss to the hapless Chiefs.
Also in those games, Na'il Diggs continues to see his playing time increase, notching 3 solo stops for the Chargers, while Austin Spitler had a special teams tackle for the 'Fins.
Donald Washington continued to take advantage of his recent PT with 5 solos in the Chiefs win and Antoine Winfield had 7 tackles, including 1 for a loss for the Vikings, who now fall to 0-4.
Speaking of 0-4, the Rams took another one on the chin, this time to the tune of a 17-10 home defeat to the Redskins. James Laurinaitis had 7 total tackles and his first pick of the year, but the Rams offense was inept for most of the day and it doesn't get easier after this week's bye, as the Rams travel to Green Bay and Dallas, before facing the Saints at home.
In the game that should have featured the most Buckeyes, the 49ers took their Youngstown Karma into Philly and came away with a hard fought 24-23 win. Ted Ginn didn't catch a pass for the third time this season, but had 3 kick returns for 74 yards, while his 2 punt returns netted -6 yards.
Also for the Niners, Larry Grant didn't record any special teams tackles and Donte Whitner sat with an injury. For the Eagles, Kurt Coleman was benched and didn't see any tackles, but Brian Rolle got his first NFL start and was third on the team with 5 tackles, while also defending a pass.
The "Dream Team" now sits at 1-3 and I'm sure there will be more shakeups over the next few weeks, so both of these guys could see their status change in a heartbeat.
Down in Jacksonville, Will Smith made a run at the Houndie with his 2 tackles (both for losses) and 2 sacks, his first on the season. He was also credited with 3 hits on the QB and Malcolm Jenkins had 3 solo stops, as the Saints won 23-10 and improved to 3-1.
In Houston, the Steelers fell to 2-2, as the Texans pounding the run game and scored the 17-10 upset. Little Ironhead saw his most action on the season, getting credit for 2 tackles and a QB hit, while Will Allen notched a special teams tackle.
Finally defensively, A.J. Hawk, Ryan Pickett and the Packers demolsihed the Broncos, 49-23 and still look like the best team in the league right now. Hawk had 6 total tackles and Pickett 4, as the Pack D forced 4 Denver turnovers and held them to 4/11 on 3rd downs.
While in Oakland, Chimdi Chekwa has seen his PT increase over the last couple of weeks and he made his mark with 3 tackles in the Raider's 31-19 loss to the Patriots.
I must admit, awarding this week's Houndie was one of the more difficult decisions I remember in the history of this award. There were 3 players who had huge impacts on their games, two in a winning effort and one in a defeat.
We just haven't heard much from Bobby Carpenter in his NFL career, but he seems to have found a role with the undefeated Detroit Lions and the play he made Sunday, is the type that propels teams into a great season.
The Lions were down 27-3 early in the 3rd, when Carpenter picked off his good friend Tony Romo and made a spectacular 34-yard return to kick start the Lions, who finished the comback with a TD in the final 2 minutes, to seal the 34-30 road win and remain unbeaten. Carpenter also finished with 6 tackles and a pass defended, while the INT was the first of his career.
Down in Cincy, the Bengals shocked Western New York and the rest of the nation, with a dramatic 23-20 win over the undefeated Bills. Mike Nugent played a huge role, nailing FG's of 31 and 21 to keep Cincinnati within striking distance at 17-6 early in the 3rd.
Then after some stingy D and a completely different offense, the Bengals clawed back to tie with 4:09 remaining, which set the scene for Nuge's game winning 43-yarder as time expired. Nugent is now 10 for 10 on the season and the Bengals are hanging tough at 2-2.
However, I couldn't pass up the effort and numbers Beanie Wells put up out in Arizona, even though the Cardinals once again let a victory get away, losing to the Giants, 31-27.
Wells had 138 yards on 27 carries and scored 3 TD's, the best numbers put up by an OSU back in the NFL, since Dec. 30, 2001, when Eddie put up 26/130 and 2 TD's. I saw most of this game and Beanie was running with authority after sitting out last week with a bad hammy.
Wells is second in the league with a 107 YPG and now leads the league in rushing TD's. This is Beanie's second Houndie of the season, after being shut out last year, but after watching him Sunday, his name will be in the discussion all year, if he can stay healthy.