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 a bittersweet weekend of football, as the Buckeyes' season came to an end with a win over Michigan and my fantasy team fell once again to come up a game short of the playoffs.
Thankfully Jay Cutler returned and led the Bears to a win, which will keep my football season going for at least six more weeks, unless of course he gets injured again.
After 11 games in the books, there are five teams vying for one playoff spot in the NFC, while it looks like Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Indy will battle for the last two spots in the AFC.
Cincinnati won their third straight for the second time this season and now sit tied with the Steelers at 6-5. They finish the season with three of five on the road, including trips to San Diego, Philly and Baltimore, while hosting Dallas and Pittsburgh.
The Bengals gave Carson Palmer the return he deserved in their dominating 34-10 win over the visiting Raiders, holding the former disgruntled employee to 146 yards passing. NUUUUUGE made all four XPs and 2 of 3 FG attempts, hitting from 55 and 20 yards, while missing from 48 yards late in the first half.
While the Bengal fans are once again coming out in public, the Steelers fans are setting up their Big Ben shrines, hoping he comes back this week against Baltimore, after their U-G-L-Y 20-14 loss at Cleveland. With third-stringer Charlie Batch under center, his three interceptions were trumped by eight fumbles from his teammates, sending Mike Holmgren out with one last win.
Will Allen registered three tackles, including a solo stop, while Cam Heyward chipped in with a solo tackle in the loss.
Switching to the NFC North, the Bears took down the Vikings, 28-10, and watched with the nation as the Giants took care of the Packers, 38-10, giving Chicago the one-game advantage heading down the stretch.
As expected, Minnesota's passing game struggled against a hungry Bears D. Michael Jenkins was targeted just four times, hauling in two catches for 17 yards and giving him just six catches for 47 yards over the last three games.
Antoine Winfield made seven solo stops and picked Jay Cutler off to start the second half, returning it 31 yards to the Bears 40-yard line, which led to the Vikings only TD on the day.
In the Packers loss, A.J. Hawk paced the defense with 10 tackles, including eight solo stops, while Ryan Pickett added a couple.
Down in Miami, the Dolphins crept back in the playoff picture with a 24-21 comeback win over Seattle at the buzzer. Brian Hartline had five passes go his way, but he snatched just two of them for 17 yards. The yardage put him over 800 for the year, which still has him in the top 12 for the league.
Week 12 saw the return of Beanie Wells, who was on his way to winning this week's Houndie, until James Laurinaitis and the Rams squashed those plans.
Wells scored Arizona's first two TDs, but finished the day with 48 yards on 17 carries, as the Rams picked off four Ryan Lindley passes.
Lil' Animal had a team-high 14 tackles and one of the aforementioned picks. With the Rams leading, 31-17, and the Cardinals driving late in the game, Laurinaitis got his first on the year at the St. Louis 8, returning 18 yards to help secure the win.
JL now had 106 tackles on the year, which moves him one behind Chad Greenway for second in the NFL.
On Monday night, the Eagles continue to suck, losing their seventh straight, 30-22, to the lowly Panthers. Kurt Coleman had just three tackles in the loss.
This week's feature game was down in New Orleans, where plenty of Buckeyes faced off in a critical game for the NFC playoff picture. Jim Harbaugh made waves this week naming Colin Kaepernick the starter and with the help of his defense, the Niners came away with a 31-21 road victory.
Malcolm Jenkins continued to put up tackles with seven total, while also breaking up a pass, and Will Smith was right behind with six.
For the Niners, it was good and bad for the Buckeye bros playing out west. Ted Ginn muffed a punt in the second at the NO 11, which led to a 14-7 Saints lead two plays later.
But this week's winner of the Houndie had his back.
Since coming over to San Fran from Buffalo last year, Donte Whitner has helped solidify Harbaugh's defense. Sunday, he was second on the team with 8 total tackles and added a huge pick-six.
With the Niners taking a seven-point lead early in the third, Whitner stole a Drew Brees pass and raced 42 yards for the TD, the second pick-six for the Niners in a five-minute span.
This is Whitner's first Houndie since Week 11 of last year and the win put San Fran in the driver's seat for the two seed in the NFC.