In this week's action, eight teams faced off in the NFL to determine who moved on to the next round in the NFL playoffs. Five of the eight teams that played employ our former scarlet and gray stars. Unfortunately, only two of those teams moved on to the next round. (Hint: Luke is the only happy NFL fan this week.) The games were not overly well-played, but they were exciting in their own way.
First, we'll start out with the debacle that was the Bengals-Texans game on Saturday. Andy Dalton and Matt Schaub both did their best Mark Sanchez impressions, but in the end, Andy Dalton was just a tad worse and missed AJ Green on a sure game-winning touchdown, allowing the Texans to escape 19-13.
Usual starting safety Chris Crocker was injured the week before, so former Buckeye star corner Nate Clements started at strong safety in his place. Clements had a strong game, making 8 solo tackles. Unfortunately, the linebacker play was so terrible in front of him that he was forced to make several touchdown-saving stops of Houston players all game long. But we digress. Sadly, Mike Nugent's injury kept him out for this game and his spot was taken by kicker Josh Brown. For Houston, wide receiver DeVier Posey got a few snaps at wide receiver, but was not targeted. His main impact came on special teams, where he made two stops, including a nice one which I tweeted about on punt returner Adam Jones. And I'll stop there before this turns into a rant about how awful Cincinnati played the whole game.
Moving on to the Seahawks-Redskins - not much to speak of there, as Doug Worthington is a 'Skin but found himself on the bench most of the game, only contributing one assisted tackle. Maybe that can count for a trillion in football. His team saw their star quarterback, Robert Griffin III, suffer an aggravation of a previous knee injury and is out for the playoffs, and maybe some of next season, depending on the diagnosis from Dr. James Andrews.
Ted's Vikings were also sans an important former Buckeye, as Antoine Winfield's broken hand suffered in week 15 kept him out of their rematch against Green Bay. They could have used him in the secondary (he had been playing mostly as a safety) as Aaron Rodgers put up 274 yards against them in a game that also wasn't all that exciting. The Vikings had a surprise starter, Joe Webb, at quarterback, and his favorite target was former Buckeye Michael Jenkins. Jenkins had three catches for 96 yards and a 50 yard touchdown late in the fourth. Unfortunately the touchdown was in garbage time, as the game was pretty much out of the Vikes' reach, but it sure looked impressive on the stat sheet.
On the Packers' side of the football, A.J. Hawk and Ryan Pickett were not overly large contributors to the 24-10 victory. Each player had two tackles. However, next week they will have another chance to pad some stats against a strong running team in the 49ers.
Looking ahead to next week, the AFC teams don't feature many Buckeyes. DeVier Posey for the Texans and Nate Ebner for the Patriots have been getting spotty playing time at best. The real money is in the NFC, where the Packers and 49ers will square off in a game that will involve the aforementioned Hawk and Pickett on the Packers' side. For San Francisco, safety Donte Whitner, guard Alex Boone, speedy return man Ted Ginn Jr. and special teamer Larry Grant make up the former Buckeye denizens. The eyes of Buckeye faithful will turn toward the late games, as the Pack and Niners face off on Saturday at 8:00 PM on FOX, while CBS will air the Patriots-Texans matchup Sunday at 4:30.