Buckeyes in the NFL, Week 12: Your fumbles belong to them, Pryor Benched and Mangold's Struggles

By Mike Young on November 25, 2013 at 11:15 am

Rule changes have made it difficult to play defense in both the NFL and college football. Luckily, we have A.J. Hawk to guide us through a perfectly fundamental tackle and strip. Young linebackers take note. 

Meanwhile, the only Buckeye NFL quarterback is healthy enough to play but a starting job is no longer his. The Jets probably have one of the worst offenses in the NFL and are receiving little help from their offensive line. An OSU standout is giving a boost to the Steelers defensive line. 

Plus, Eleven Warriors has stats from all former Ohio State players in the NFL, which includes the above, clutch fumble recovery by Nate Ebner

mcgloin remains under center   

He's only played in three games, but it's enough of a sample size to declare Matt McGloin the better option as Oakland QB.    

The Penn State grad won his first start last week, stepping in after Terrelle Pryor sprained his knee. Pryor was limited in practice all week and questionable heading into Sunday's game against the Titans. Still, he was on the active roster. 

Head coach Dennis Allen contends Pryor isn't fully healthy, but told reporters McGloin earned another start.

"I thought Matt played well. For him to lead us back when we needed a touchdown," Allen said, after the game. "He got us the touchdown we needed to give us the lead, we just couldn't hold it defensively."

Including the touchdown pass, McGloin went 19-32 for 260 yards and threw an interception in a loss. Turnovers were the biggest concern for Pryor, before his injury. He's thrown 10 on the year, half of which came in his last three games. 

Whether his benching is truly performance based or because of injury, Pryor isn't expressing his frustrations.

"It's just a game ... You get hurt, other guys play well, why not keep continuing with it?" He told the The San Francisco Chronicle's Vic Tafur. "I don't blame Coach. I'm a team player. I hope Matt has a lot of success."


Mangold not performing at typical all-pro level?

With Jack Mewhort dominating on the left side of Ohio State's offensive line, he's earning consideration as one of the best Buckeye linemen in recent memory. 

An Eleven Warriors poll still declared center Nick Mangold the top lineman of the past decade – by a wide margin. His reign of dominance extended to the professional ranks, evidenced, in part, by his four Pro Bowl appearances.

Some stats show he's no longer playing at that level. Gang Green Nation writer Scott Salmon uses Pro Football Focus' grades to prove that point.

Through 12 weeks, Mangold grades out as the 30th best center, overall. He's responsible for 12 quarterback hurries – a realtively high total, for him – and is struggling with run blocking, according to Pro Football Focus' metrics. 

The Jets offense ranks as the NFL's second worst offense, according to Football Outsiders' weighted offense metric and the team is scoring the second fewest points per game. Clearly not all Mangold's fault, but he's not immune to criticism.

All of the Fumbles

Nine former Buckeyes saw action on defense or special teams yesterday. Five of them recovered fumbles. Which, yeah, don't even bother calculating those odds.

Nate Ebner, GIF'd up top, landed on a fumbled punt in overtime to help his Patriots to top the Broncos in improbable fashion. He went modest after the game, saying, “I was in the right place at the right time.”

Will Allen, A.J. Hawk, Cam Heyward and James Laurinaitis also collected fumbles. 

Highlight of the week

Like all Brandon Weeden turnovers, this one just fell into the defense's lap. Not to discredit Cameron Heyward, but the disgraced, ginger QB has led the Browns to exactly zero wins. His futility is highlighted by seven interceptions and four fumbles, this season. Anyhow, here's Heyward scooping one of his fumbles and moving nimbly along the sidelines. 

How ex-Buckeyes Fared During Week 12 

Player team position stats/Notes
Mike Adams Pittsburgh Steelers OT Literally carried RB Le'Veon Bell for a short game 
Will Allen Pittsburgh Steelers S Recovers fumble caused by William Gay's illegal hit
Jake Ballard Arizona Cardinals TE No stats but his character on Scandal is stirring it up
Alex Boone San Francisco 49ers OG Plays tonight at Washington 
Michael Brewster Jacksonville Jaguars OL Jags get win no. 2 & he is running flag routes
Chimdi Chekwa Oakland Raiders CB Role increased due to injury and recorded 2 tackles
Kurt Coleman Philadelphia Eagles DB Attended Indiana game on bye week
Jim Cordle New York Giants C Left game vs Cowboys early due to knee injury  
Nate Ebner New England Patriots DB Jumped on a fumble to set up game-winning field goal
Reid Fragel Cleveland Browns OT Inactive in loss to Steelers 
Ted Ginn Jr. Carolina Panthers WR Targeted 10 times, only caught 3 passes in win 
Johnathan Hankins New York Giants DT Still seeing inconsistent snaps, team lost to Cowboys
Brian Hartline Miami Dolphins WR 5 rec, 78 yds, in come-from-ahead loss to Panthers
Ben Hartsock Carolina Panthers TE Inactive in win, experts say he is missed
A.J. Hawk Green Bay Packers LB 11 tackles, sack, 1 forced fumble with unforced facemask
Boom Herron  Indianapolis Colts RB Only 3 fewer carries than Trent Richardson – 4, 33 yds
Cameron Heyward Pittsburgh Steelers DE Weeden did what he does, Heyward lucky recipient
Santonio Holmes New York Jets WR 1 rec, 12 yds, N.Y. media tries to bait him
Malcolm Jenkins New Orleans Saints S 5 tackles, 1 pass deflection in win, Thursday
James Laurinaitis St. Louis Rams LB 7 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 bloody jersey
Nick Mangold New York Jets C Said team struggles on 3rd downs. 1st, 2nd, 4th bad too
Jake McQuaide St. Louis Rams LS Snapped 2 FGs, 4 XPs and loves Mirror Lake jump
Mike Nugent Cincinnati Bengals K Bengals on bye week 
Ryan Pickett Green Bay Packers DT 3 tackles and target of unintelligible criticism
DeVier Posey Houston Texans WR 1 rec, 5 yds (same as last week) in loss to Jaguars
Terrelle Pryor Oakland Raiders QB Seemingly healthy but McGloin starts over him
Brian Robiskie Atlanta Falcons WR Inactive again in loss to Saints 
Dane Sanzenbacher Cincinnati Bengals WR Bengals on bye week, Kryptonite is @DavidZavac
John Simon Baltimore Ravens LB Inactive in win over Jets
Rob Sims Detroit Lions OG A lead blocker on one big play, Lions lose to Bucs
Jake Stoneburner Green Bay Packers TE Played a few snaps in tie
Donte Whitner San Francisco 49ers S Plays tonight at Washington  

[Screengrab via @Daniel_Doelling]

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