Week 2 of the NFL season began with a barnburner in New England and a few Buckeyes had a hand in both the Jets loss and Patriots win. Santonio Holmes improved off his week 1 numbers with 3 catches for 51 yards. Nate Ebner saw some time in the Pats defensive backfield as well on special teams. And Nick Mangold had a “moment”. Yup.
Week 2 former Bucks were led by Ted Ginn (Panthers) and followed close by Terrelle Pryor (Raiders) and Brian Hartline (Dolphins). Ginn hauled in 3 catches for 62 yards and his first touchdown of the season in the Panthers 24-23 loss.
Pryor led the Raiders to their first win of the season with 126 passing yards and another 50 yards on the ground.
Hartline had 5 catche4s for 68 yards as the Dolphins edged the Colts 24-20 and moved to 2-0.
On the defensive side of the ball, last year’s B1G defensive player of the year, John Simon, recorded his first tackle in his first action as a Raven as they defeated the Browns 14-6. James Laurinatis registered 5 tackles in the Rams loss to the Falcons. Donte Whitner recorded 5 tackles and 2 pass deflections in the 49ers 29-3 defeat on SNF.
Will Allen continued his good season in Dallas with 4 tackles and 1 pass deflection in the 17-16 loss to the Chiefs. Malcolm Jenkins sealed the win for the Saints over the Bucs with an INT late in the game and returned it 31 yards. Jenkins also recorded 2 tackles and 1 pass deflection.
The Packers AJ Hawk shone with 5 tackles and Ryan Pickett had 1 pass deflection in the 38-20 drubbing of the Redskins. Former Buckeyes raised their games on MNF as the Bengals Mike Nugent was 2-2 on FG’s and Cam Heyward recorded 2 pass deflections as the Steelers lost a close one to the Bengals, 20-10.
Last but not least, long snapper Jake McQuaide was perfect on all snaps in the 31-24 Rams loss to the Falcons.
The Buckeye Battle Cry will be counting down the Top 25 players of the past decade all spring/summer. Every Monday through May and June, Jim will be announcing a new player. Starting in July, we will be announcing new additions on Monday and Thursday. Our #1 player will be presented on Monday, August 30th. Three days later, the 2010 season officially begins.
It is hard to quantify the impact that lineman have on the game due to a lack of stats that are easy to track. Beyond stats, few people pay attention to what is going on along the line unless there are problems, in which case it is naturally entirely the lines fault.
Despite these limitations in exposure and stats, it is safe to say that Nick Mangold was one of the best players to wear the scarlet and gray over the last ten years regardless of position.
A three year starter at center, Mangold was known as much for his humor off the field as for his leadership and tenacity on it. You may also remember him for the playing time he received in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl as a true freshman. Earning playing time so early in his career in such an important game was a sign of things to come.
Mangold was named a First-Team All-American in 2005 and was drafted 29th overall in the 2006 NFL Draft by the New York Jets.
Mangold quickly moved into the starting lineup with the Jets and became a key member of an excellent offensive line. Mangold was a Pro Bowl selection at center in both 2008 and 2009 and is building a reputation as one of the best lineman in the entire NFL.
Center is one of the most crucial positions on offense, and few have played it better than Nick Mangold, in college and in the NFL.
For his leadership of the line in his three years as a starter, for his All-American season in 2005, and for his continued excellence in the NFL, Nick Mangold is number 22 in our countdown of the top 25 players of the last decade.