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.
It was another great weekend of football for the current Buckeyes, as Urban remains undefeated and continues to build a program that will make The Houndie a 2-part weekly series in the near future.
The former Buckeyes didn't fare as well individually on the field, as injuries and bye weeks continue to limit the pool of available Houndie winners. However, we did see Ben Hartsock reappear in the box score and his '02 teammate stepped up to capture this week's award.
In Thursday night's tilt, back-to-back Houndie winner Antoine Winfield and his Vikings squad tried to keep within one game of the Bears, but fell at home to Tampa, 36-17.
Winfield had a slower night, with five tackles and a PBU, as the Bucs ran the ball 41 times for 159 yards. Michael Jenkins snagged four catches for 78 yards, giving him two solid games over the last three weeks, but the Vikings passing game remains inconsistent and Christian Ponder is starting to hear the boo birds even more.
Speaking of the Bears, they pulled off a fourth-quarter comeback to push their lead in the Norris Division to two games in the loss column, with a last second 23-22 win over Carolina. Both Dane Sazenbacher (inactive) and Chris Gamble (IR) watched from the sidelines, as Ben Hartsock made his first catch since week four of the 2010 season, when he was lining up in a Jets uniform. His catch went for 25 yards and help set up a Panther FG that put them up 16-7 early in the second half.
In Green Bay, the Packers grinded out a much needed win, 24-15, over Jacksonville. A.J. Hawk had six total tackles and Ryan Pickett had five, as the Packers held Jacksonville to 62 yards rushing. The Jags actually outgained the Packers, 341-238, but could only muster one TD in three red zone attempts.
The Rams and Patriots traveled across the pond to play the NFL's annual game in London. Unfortunately, the MLS All-Star game was probably more exciting for the Londonites, as the Patriots dominated and Tom Brady had four TDs in New England's 45-7 victory.
He still ranks third in the league, but James Laurinaitis had his quietest game of the season, logging just five tackles. The Patriots racked up 473 yards of total offense and Laurinaitis had a great view, as NE scored the last 45 points. On the other side, the great season-long storyline of Nate Ebner continues to grow, as once again he got quality PT and notched four tackles.
Miami and the NY Jets continue to surprise, with both in the exact opposite positions of what was expected in the preseason. Brian Hartline has slowed his pace in the last couple of weeks and it didn't help that Ryan Tannehill was hurt early in this one, but the Dolphins still won, 30-9, in New York. Hartline led the Dolphins in receiving with four catches for 41 yards and now sits outside the top ten in receiving with 33 catches for 555 yards. Austin Spitler had three total tackles on the defensive side.
Atlanta is another surprise, remaining the only undefeated team in the league, after their 30-17 win on the road at Philly. The Eagles are in a tailspin, losing their third straight and the talk of replacing Vick/Reid is growing louder by the minute. However, they're still in the division race, sitting two back in the loss column of the Giants.
Kurt Coleman was third on the Eagles with 8 solo stops, as the Eagles gave up 246 yards passing and three TDs to Matt Ryan.
Some former Buckeyes took center stage in the primetime games this weekend, with New Orleans traveling to Denver on Sunday and the Niners taking on Arizona on Monday.
The Saints' dismal season continued, as Peyton Manning torched their defense for his fifth straight 300+ yard performance in Denver's 34-14 win. Malcolm Jenkins did lead the Saints in tackles with eight and Will Smith chipped in with four total tackles, as the Saints fell to 2-5.
Injuries continue to mount for the Cardinals and they were no match for Alex Boone and the 49ers on Monday, falling 24-3. After winning their first four, the Cardinals have lost four straight and don't expect Beanie to be back until around Thanksgiving.
For the Niners, Donte Whitner led the way with eight tackles, as he helped hold the Cards to 265 total yards. Alex Boone continues to impress at the RG spot and Ted Ginn remains mainly a return specialist.
Ginn had only one chance to return a kickoff, taking the opener back 31 yards and returned five punts for a total of 59 yards. His 35-yarder on the Cardinals' third punt flipped the field and helped lead to a FG, which put San Fran up 10-0.
As I mentioned, a key cog in the '02 championship run stepped up his game this week, taking advantage of his newfound starting role. Will Allen has made a living as a special teamer, but lately has had a chance to start for the Steelers, putting together his second strong week in the last three games, parlaying it this week into his first-ever Houndie.
He led Dick Lebeau's troops with seven total tackles and more importantly broke up three passes, as the Steelers held RGIII to 16/34 passing for 177 yards, while also limiting him to eight yards on six carries in their 27-12 win. Cam Heyward saw extended snaps and contributed three total tackles as well.