We'll start on Thursday night, where the Miami Dolphins' season looks to be in playing-out-the-string mode after losing to the Buffalo Bills. Brian Hartline had four catches for 49 yards, while Austin Spitler made a stop on special teams for the 'Fins. Unfortunately, Hartline had to make a tackle as well on a Ryan Tannehill interception and the Dolphins fell again, 19-14.
Elsewhere in the AFC East, Nate Ebner had his most statistically productive game as a Patriot in their blowout of the Indianapolis Colts. Ebner made 3 tackles (2 solo) and played a few snaps not only on special teams, but defense as well. The New York Jets had a nice bounceback week, and Nick Mangold was effective in blocking the St. Louis Rams' defensive line. His blocking contributed to two touchdowns on the ground for the Jets. James Laurinaitis contributed 10 solo tackles, 2 tackles for loss and a hit on Mark Sanchez, so the blocking for the Jets wasn't perfect, but the play of Laurinaitis and long-snapper Jake McQuaide was not enough to help the Rams beat New York. Lil' Animal is now 4th in the league in tackles.
The Cincinnati Bengals won a second straight game, this time against the hapless Chiefs. Veteran safety Nate Clements made four tackles, and Nuge (Mike Nugent) kicked four extra points. His services were not needed as much as they have been throughout the year for the men in stripes, as Cincinnati dominated all game long. In other AFC North action, the Ravens and Steelers had their usual slugfest on Sunday night. Mike Adams and his fellow giant bumblebees (seriously, if you missed the game, the old-school Steeler uniforms are ridiculous) could not pull off a victory. However, Adams had a solid game against the Ravens defense and was pointed out several times by NBC color man Cris Collinsworth for individually good play. Cameron Heyward and Will Allen made small contributions on defense, contributing 2 and 1 solo tackles respectively.
Switching to the NFC North, AJ Hawk was the star of the week for the Green Bay linebacking corps. The secondary had a field day against Matt Stafford, Rob Sims and the rest of the Lions, and AJ Hawk flew around all day, making 10 tackles (8 solo) and a tackle for loss. Ryan Pickett knocked down Matthew Stafford hard, and also contributed two stops of Lions runners. The aforementioned Rob Sims tried his best, but unfortunately he and the rest of his line mates gave up five sacks in a 24-20 loss. Side news - Brian Robiskie is now with the Lions. For this game, however, he was inactive. There is some hope for Robo to make the active roster for Thanksgiving though, as wide receiver Titus Young was sent home from practice today and is suspended.
In the NFC East, the Eagles and Redskins matched up and unfortunately Philadelphia safety and former Buckeye Kurt Coleman was victimized time after time by rookie sensation Robert Griffin III. The most egregious play was this one, where Santana Moss made him look lost in pass coverage:
Ouch. Griffin was 14-15 for 200 yards and ran for 84 more yards, picking apart the hapless Eagle defense. Kurt Coleman's play, along with the rest of his secondary mates, has been worsening of late and it seems like it's only a matter of time before he is benched.
Malcolm Jenkins made a much better contribution for former Buckeye secondary members against the Oakland Raiders (Terrelle Pryor's team, although in no way could it be called that). Jenkins made 5 solo stops, but more importantly, an interception that he ran back for an impressive 55-yard touchdown, breaking multiple tackles and tightroping the sideline. It was an insanely athletic play and maybe the best play a Buckeye has made all season long in the NFL. Will Smith contributed 5 tackles (4 solo), good for 3rd on the team, and a sack of Carson Palmer as the Saints won big and got their record back up to .500.
Houston and Jacksonville played in the best game of the day. Unfortunately, neither Buckeye on either side of the ball saw much of the field, as Michael Brewster (Jags) and DeVier Posey (Texans) were active but did not record any statistics.
In the Monday Night game, so far Alex Boone has been part of a dominating performance by the 49er offensive line against a Bears defense that looks to be totally unprepared for how physical the Niners are at the point of attack. Safety Donte Whitner has one solo tackle, but the Bears' offense appears to be totally incapable of forward motion with Jay Cutler out. Ted Ginn has been returning kicks and punts, and it appears that he will get much more work with the latter the rest of the way. Larry Grant is also active for the Niners, while wideout Dane Sanzenbacher remains inactive.
Other inactive, bye week, or injured former Buckeyes include: Brandon Saine (Packers), Jake Ballard (Patriots), Antoine Winfield and Michael Jenkins (Vikings), Chris Gamble and Ben Hartsock (Panthers), Beanie Wells (Cardinals), Doug Worthington (Redskins), and Jim Cordle (Giants).