Week 7 featured two game winning field goals, punches thrown and ejections, and some really unfortunate injuries. We'll start with the early games - the first of which involved three former Buckeyes.
The Bengals and Lions played a thriller and Mike Nugent was again huge for Cincinnati. After winning the game with a field goal in overtime last week against Buffalo, he did it again this week with the clock running out to give his team its second straight 27-24 win. Nugent was 2-3 on the day, and the game-winner was an impressive 54 yards, along with going 3-3 on extra points. On the offensive side of the ball, Dane Sanzenbacher had a clutch reception for seven yards on the last drive of the day. For the Lions, guard Rob Sims was matched up most of the day with Domata Peko and played very well. The Lions did not allow a sack and Sims earned himself a positive grade from Pro Football Focus.
In Miami, Brian Hartline had himself a solid game in his return to action. It wasn't enough to earn the 'Fins the victory, as the Buffalo Bills' defense made some big plays down the stretch, but Hartline led the team in catches with 6 on 11 targets for 69 yards.
Atlanta has a new Buckeye wide receiver, but it's not the retired Michael Jenkins. Brian Robiskie has made it back into the league, signed due to the injuries to Julio Jones and Roddy White. Robiskie was targeted and didn't make the catch, but we want to congratulate him on his return to the league.
Mike Brewster is still playing in a backup center role in Jacksonville. We're honestly shocked that he hasn't gotten more snaps yet, as center Brad Meester is really slowing down.
In New York, Nick Mangold's Jets earned themselves an overtime win over a depleted Patriots squad, and they did so without star wideout Santonio Holmes. Mangold had a tough game against rookie nose tackle Chris Jones, as he allowed two sacks. Nate Ebner was again active for the Pats, but again, did not record a statistic.
The Eagles and Cowboys played a tough, physical game in which the starting QB for the Eagles was knocked out of the game. Kurt Coleman played sparingly, but did manage to make a tackle. Will Allen, the former Cowboy, is now a Pittsburgh Steeler, and did not play this week.
Speaking of the Steelers, they earned a hard-fought victory against their ancient foes, the Baltimore Ravens. Four Buckeyes are on the rosters of these teams, but only one made an impact. John Simon (Ravens) and Allen (Steelers) did not record any statistics. Mike Adams lost his job after poor play, and only played in backup duty. Only Cameron Heyward had a notable performance, making one tackle and returning a short kick for 11 yards.
Back to early action – the Rams played the Panthers in the most drama-filled game of the day. Steve Smith got in several jawing matches, the Rams' Chris Long was ejected for throwing a punch in a scrum, and the Rams' starting QB, Sam Bradford, left with a bad knee injury that is feared to be a torn ACL. Tying it all together with Ohio State, is that in the aftermath of Long's ejection, former Buckeye national champion tight end (and Panthers special team staple) Ben Hartsock decided to help assist Long in finding his way to the locker room. The result was even more hilarious than you could imagine:
(Credit: FOX via NFL RedZone) (GIF via @CJZero)
Lost in the shuffle was a 2-catch game by Ted Ginn, for 34 yards, but the best game came from James Laurinaitis. Lil' Animal led his team in tackles with 11 (7 solo), and added a sack and pass broken up. Jake McQuaide continues to be a solid long snapper for the Rams.
And keeping with Hartsock's #TROLLHARD act from above, Laurinaitis wasn't about to be outdone. In addition to having the outstanding game that he had, after the previously alluded to sack, the artist formerly known as JL33 decided to pay homage to Cam Newton's famous Superman dance – but not quite:
Never change, Lil' Animal. Never change.
Donte Whitner's name change to 'Donte Hitner' has still yet to be processed in the wake of the government reopening, but he did manage to make 3 solo tackles in the 49ers' victory over the Titans. Alex Boone had a nice game at guard as well, but he did allow a sack to ridiculous athlete Jurrell Casey. Boone's run blocking was on point, as he paved the way for 3 rushing touchdowns – 2 off Boone's right side.
In Houston, DeVier Posey had the longest catch of his career, making a 42-yard grab from new starter Case Keenum. Unfortunately it wasn't enough, as Houston lost by one point on the road. Posey was targeted twice.
A.J. Hawk of Green Bay had another big game in terms of tackle volume against his home state squad, the Cleveland Browns. Hawk had 12 tackles (2 solo) and a QB hit. Hawk was able to finish lots of tackles that his teammates started. Defensive end/tackle Ryan Pickett did play but recorded no stats. The biggest story of the day was Jake Stoneburner being called up to the Packers off the practice squad. Stoneburner didn't record any stats but had a nice block on special teams. With the unfortunate injury to starter Jermichael Finley, expect to see more playing time for Stoneburner going forward.
The Giants play on Monday night, and Jim Cordle will start again at center for the winless Big Blue. Word is that Johnathan Hankins has also earned himself some more playing time.
The Saints and Raiders were among the teams on bye weeks, so that means that Terrelle Pryor and Chimdi Chekwa will return to action next week, as will Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins. You can read LGHL's exclusive sit down with Chekwa on all things Buckeyes, life in the NFL, and more here.
Be sure to vote for the Buckeye that had the best week in the poll and let us know who you voted for and why in the comments below.