Many Buckeyes were on their bye weeks last week. How'd they do in their first week back in action?
After last week's light week, plenty more Buckeyes were in action in THE NATIONAL. FOOTBALL. LEAGUE. Former stars like Ted Ginn Jr, James Laurinaitis, and Nick Mangold returned to the field to help their respective teams. Let's take a jaunt around the league and see how everyone performed.
We'll start with the AFC East, where seven former Buckeyes currently make their living. Brian Hartline continues to keep piling up the catches, adding eight more for 79 yards for Miami against the Titans. Most unfortunately, it all happened in the midst of a massive blowout loss. Linebacker Austin Spitler and recently signed safety Anderson Russell were active on special teams but did not contribute any statistics. It's good to see Anderson Russell find work with a team, however, and get off the "whatever happened to" lists.
Another Buckeye in the AFC East took a loss along with his team, as Nick Mangold's Jets had trouble all game long with the Seahawks' defense. Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow, as has become the norm, had tough days and the Jets took a 28-7 loss on the road.
Elsewhere around the league, three former Buckeyes took part in the Bengals-Giants tilt. Veteran corner/safety/hybrid Nate Clements had a good game, with two solo tackles, a pass defensed and an interception of Eli Manning. Mike "NUUUUUUUUUUUGE" Nugent's Golden Toe made a return, with four extra points and a field goal. The Giants' Jim Cordle, on the other hand, didn't play many plays. Unfortunately the Giants could not make many either, as the Bengals shockingly blew out the Giants, 31-13.
The veteran Buckeyes for the Vikings just continue week after week to make plays. Michael Jenkins made two catches for 12 yards, but Antoine Winfield was the real star of the game. He again led the Vikings in tackles with nine (seven solo) and one tackle for loss. Winfield has always been a physical player against the run, and he showed that again this week. Guard (and former Buckeye) Rob Sims tried to hold the Vikings' defensive line at bay for Detroit, but unfortunately his efforts were not enough as the Lions lost, 34-24.
Another former Buckeye star named Jenkins had a big week. Malcolm Jenkins' Saints handed the Atlanta Falcons their first loss of the season, as Jenkins contributed 10 tackles (5 solo) to lead his team. Jenkins' play has been steadily improving of late, as has New Orleans'. Unfortunately, Jenkins drew a tough matchup this week against the Falcons' star Tony Gonzalez, who has just continued to wage war on the rest of the league's defenses. However, Jenkins is easily playing the best out of all the Saints' secondary players. Will Smith, the veteran defensive end, contributed five tackles and a hit on Matt Ryan.
Another former Buckeye safety in the NFC had a good day – unfortunately it did not translate to a victory for his team. The Eagles' Kurt Coleman had yet another statistically productive day, with six solo stops (8 total) and a tackle for loss. Unfortunately, as with many other Buckeyes this week, his team came up short to the Cowboys. Coleman hasn't been great, but with the struggles of the rest of the Eagles' secondary players, "not great" is about the best they can hope for.
The game with the most former Buckeyes this week ended in a tie, much to the delight of the Internet and Twitter sphere. Ted Ginn Jr. had a good game as a returner for the Niners, handling both the kick and punt returns and gaining over 100 yards on kick returns. Donte Whitner made a solid contribution as well with five solo tackles, and Alex Boone was strong on the line all game long (as is the 49ers' wont). Shockingly, James Laurinaitis did *not* lead the Rams in tackles (that honor went to safety Quintin Mikell), but he did contribute 7 stops and was around the ball quite a bit. Jake McQuaide was around the ball just as much, but was for the most part snapping the ball back to the Rams' special teams unit, which did pull off a couple of sneaky fakes.
Active last night for the Steelers in their Monday night battle with the Chiefs were safety Will Allen, tackle Mike Adams and defensive end Cameron Heyward. Allen had three tackles while Heyward was shut out of the stat sheet. Mike Adams, as is customary, had an up and down game, with Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethisberger departing with a shoulder injury (through no fault of Adams').
Other Buckeyes who were inactive, injured, did not record any noteworthy statistics, or were on a bye week were: AJ Hawk, Ryan Pickett, and Brandon Saine (Packers), Dane Sanzenbacher (Bears), DeVier Posey (Texans), Nate Ebner (Patriots), Michael Brewster (Jaguars), Larry Grant (49ers), Chris Gamble and Ben Hartsock (Panthers), Beanie Wells (Cardinals), Doug Worthington (Redskins), and Terrelle Pryor (Raiders).