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Alex Carrington Is Buffalo Bills' Surprise Player Of 2012

Several Buffalo Bills players performed "against all odds" in 2012 - but none, arguably, had a bigger impact than reserve defensive tackle Alex Carrington.

Rick Stewart

Our friends at Gillette are wondering which Buffalo Bills player performed "against all odds" in 2012. You're free to make your own; my vote in this debate is third-year defensive tackle Alex Carrington.

Prior to the season, there was some doubt as to whether or not Carrington was a lock to make the team, let alone become the type of contributor that made him worthy of a third-round draft pick in 2010. Not only did Carrington make the team, he became one of the team's best stories as a specialist, earning a nickname along the way.

Dubbed "Megahand" by teammate Stevie Johnson, Carrington blocked a (probable) team record four kicks this past season. He had another tipped kick that somehow made it through the uprights in the season finale, and one of those blocks - in Week 6 against the Arizona Cardinals - preserved a late fourth-quarter tie and allowed the Bills to win in overtime.

Perhaps more significantly, Carrington became a productive wave player despite playing only about 30 percent of defensive tackle snaps behind entrenched starters Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus. Carrington's final statistics were correspondingly meager - he finished the season with 19 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble - but any Bills fan that caught most of the team's games noticed Carrington flashing into the backfield far more often than in his first two seasons.

Add in the fact that Carrington was one of just 10 Bills players to register 200 or more special teams snaps (his 233 snaps there dwarfed every other defensive lineman), and Carrington was one of the more dependable and unheralded members of Buffalo's team last season. For a guy that wasn't a sure bet to make the team, that's a solid contribution, regardless of overall team success.

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