If I told you that in week six, Brian Hartline would have zero catches, would you believe the Dolphins still won? No, you would not. You would probably say "I really do not care, I just want them to feed the former Buckeye some more!" Well, spoiler alert: Hartline had zero catches and has fallen to seventh in the league in receiving yards (A.J. Green is first!!), yet the Dolphins still put a win up on the scoreboard against James Laurinaitis and his Rams in the biggest matchup on Buckeye fans' list this past week.
Besides Hartline, who had zero catches, and Laurinaitis, who again tied for the team lead in tackles with six solo stops, Austin Spitler was active and recorded a tackle on special teams for the 'Fins. Laurinaitis has now fallen down to 2nd place in the NFL in tackles but still continues to be the heart and soul of the defense. Jake McQuaide was on the field quite a lot, but unfortunately not for successful field goals as kicker Greg Zuerlein went 2-5 although two were admittedly adventurous attempts, including a 66-yarder.
Elsewhere in the AFC East, the New York Jets got a dominating victory against the Indianapolis Colts and Nick Mangold was a huge part of it. He opened up holes all day against the Colts' defense as Shonn Greene finally had a good game with three touchdowns. Mangold has been one of the lone consistent players for New York's offense all year, which somehow finds itself tied for first place with everyone else in the division.
In the AFC South, DeVier Posey did get some run for the Houston Texans on special teams. Most unfortunately, Posey's most notable play was a costly offsides penalty on a punt that gave the Packers a second chance on a drive that ended in a touchdown. It was just one of many mistakes in the Texans' home drubbing at the hands of the Packers. For the Pack, Ryan Pickett struggled, getting some penetration but missing several tackles in the backfield. He ended up with one solo stop. However, AJ Hawk was the big star of the defense. He recorded 10 total tackles (6 solo) and a big sack of Matt Schaub. Hawk's hit on Schaub was hard enough that Hawk himself was looking for a flag, which fortunately for him never came since the hit was perfectly legal.
Elsewhere in the NFC North, the Minnesota Vikings took home a loss from the Redskins, but it didn't prevent the two veteran Buckeyes on the team from contributing in a big way. Michael Jenkins had his best game of the season by far, recording six catches for 67 yards and a touchdown. Antoine Winfield also continues to be his usual physical self on the corner, leading his team with ten total tackles (5 solo) and 3 tackles for loss. Doug Worthington, former Buckeye D-tackle, has been added to the Redskins' 53-man roster, but did not record a statistic.
Another game involving Buckeyes on both sidelines was the Lions and Eagles' overtime duel. Rob Sims and Kurt Coleman played many plays against one another. Sims, the starting guard for the Lions, had a solid game pass-blocking as the Lions did not give up a sack all game against the vaunted Eagles pass rush. Kurt Coleman had a solid outing, recording 7 solo tackles. However, Sims' Lions got the last laugh as they came away with a 26-23 overtime victory.
The Giants' Jim Cordle was active for the first time this year, as the Giants beat up on the 49ers. The Niners really got beaten up, much to the certain dismay of such former Ohio State stars as starting guard Alex Boone, safety Donte Whitner and linebacker Larry Grant. Neither Grant nor speedster Ted Ginn recorded a statistic on offense or defense, although Ginn did return two kickoffs for an 11 yard average. Whitner recorded 3 solo tackles, including a tackle for loss, but it wasn't enough as the Giants beat up on the Niners in their own stadium.
Thursday night, the Steelers had three Buckeyes playing, as they took an unfortunate loss to the Titans. Will Allen was the big star at safety, as he recorded 8 stops and 5 solo tackles in his first significant starting action. Cameron Heyward and Mike Adams earned a few more snaps, and with Marcus Gilbert's injury, it looks like Adams may have to play more snaps next week against the Bengals out of necessity.
Speaking of the Bengals, they suffered a defeat in the "Battle of Ohio", with Nate Clements continuing to play at safety in the injury-ravaged secondary. He recorded one solo tackle. Mike Nugent rebounded from a tough week, nailing his only field goal attempt and three extra points.
Inactive, injured, non-stat recording or bye-week Buckeyes include: Chris Gamble and Ben Hartsock (Panthers - bye), Jake Ballard (Patriots - out for season), Michael Brewster (Jaguars - bye), Nate Ebner (Patriots - no stats), Will Smith and Malcolm Jenkins (Saints - bye), Santonio Holmes (Jets - out for season), Terrelle Pryor (Raiders - inactive), Brian Rolle (Eagles - no stats), Brandon Saine (Packers - inactive), Doug Worthington (Redskins - no stats), Dane Sanzenbacher (Bears - bye), and Chris Wells (Cardinals - injured).