There are some repeat offenders as we look at the best players from the past week. This batch includes some Pro Bowlers, a rookie and yes, multiple Cromarties.
Quarterback — Tony Romo (+6.7)
Despite the Cowboys’ woes, Romo’s career year continued against the Titans. Some negatives on the stats sheet, but Romo took his beating and was the cream of the crop in picking up 400+ yards.
Running Back — Cedric Benson, Cincinnati (+4.6)
That’s as good as we’ve seen Benson run. He forced seven missed tackles and picked up 3.1 yards per carry after contact.
Fullback — Corey McIntyre, Buffalo (+2.2)
We didn’t enough of McIntyre, but the partnership of him lead blocking for Fred Jackson just works.
Tight End — Jason Witten, Dallas (+3.9)
A nice return of 84 yards, but what pushes Witten above Zach Miller is his as always-excellent run blocking.
Wide Receiver — Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants (+3.4)
Two more touchdowns (and he should have had a third but for an inexcusable drop) as Nicks terrorized the Texans’ secondary.
Wide Receiver — Malcolm Floyd, San Diego (+3.4)
Eight receptions for 213 yards. Amazing. Floyd doesn’t need to make defenders miss when he can stretch the defense the way he does.
Left Tackle — Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati (+4.0)
Almost perfect in pass protection (just one quarterback hit) and was a strong component of a Bengals run game that got going.
Left Guard — Carl Nicks, New Orleans (+3.8)
Nicks is be one of the best run-blocking guards in the league. He dominated up front against the Cardinals.
Center — Ryan Kalil, Carolina (+6.1)
Playing more like he did in 2009, Kalil was at his best versus the Bears. Has it in him to utterly own defensive tackles and get to the next level.
Right Guard — Ryan Lilja, Kansas City (+3.8)
Lilja had a point to prove against the Colts and that he did. A near-flawless game on his return to Indianapolis shows he still has it.
Right Tackle — Langston Walker, Oakland (+5.2)
Yes, that Langston Walker. Of the Raiders. Perfect in pass protection and used all his physicality to impose himself as a run-blocker.
4-3 Defensive Front
Defensive End — John Abraham, Atlanta (+3.9)
People said John Abraham was past it. John Abraham just abused the best left tackle in the game. Over and over again. People were wrong.
Defensive End — Cliff Avril, Detroit (+3.8)
Six total quarterback pressures highlighted a big day for Avril, but we were quietly impressed by his run defense before cramps ended his day early.
Defensive Tackle — Kyle Williams, Buffalo (+4.2)
Superb against the run, with the Bills switching back to four man fronts. You just can’t hide his talent with three defensive stops.
Defensive Tackle — Nick Hayden, Carolina (+4.4)
He only played 29 snaps but was on fire for nearly all of them. He picked up a sack and was dominant in the run game. His five defensive stops highlighted this breakout game.
Outside Linebacker — Trevor Scott, Oakland (+3.0)
An active day from Scott in which he picked up four quarterback pressures and four defensive stops. Thrived in his first every-down game this year.
Middle Linebacker — E.J. Henderson, Minnesota (+2.7)
Not showing any ill effects of the horrific injury, Henderson picked up six tackles and a further three assists.
Outside Linebacker — Lance Briggs, Chicago (+2.8)
Briggs keeps on appearing on this list and continues to be one of the most well-rounded linebackers in the league. Six defensive stops (including a sack) and some good work in coverage.
3-4 Defensive Front
Defensive End — Mike Neal, Green Bay (+4.6)
So Ryan Pickett goes down and look who steps up. A sack, hit and a pressure get your attention but he really held his own against the Redskins’ line.
Defensive Tackle — B.J. Raji, Green Bay (3.5)
Raji looked a lot better in the run game, but his alternating between good and bad teams leads us to ask some questions about his consistency at the nose tackle spot.
Defensive End — Marcus Spears, Dallas (+2.8)
Spears doesn’t offer anything as a pass-rusher but he showed first-round talent (for a change) as a prototypical 3-4 end in this one.
Outside Linebacker — Tamba Hali, Kansas City (+7.6)
Possibly the best pass-rusher in the league at the moment. Eleven pressures against the Colts — the Chiefs didn’t need to blitz with Hali so dominant.
Inside Linebacker — Desmond Bishop, Green Bay (+7.7)
Talk about stepping up when an opportunity presents itself. Bishop blitzed like a man possessed (seven total pressures) and contributed six defensive stops.
Inside Linebacker — Takeo Spikes, San Francisco (+2.9)
Good day for the NFL’s most reliable tackler. He isn’t flashy but just does what he needs to.
Outside Linebacker — Clay Matthews, Green Bay (+3.9)
Another big day for Matthews, who picked up six total pressures. A good day, even if he was dwarfed by the play of Hali.
Cornerback — Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Arizona (+4.7)
A nice interception return was the exclamation mark on a strong return to form for DRC.
Cornerback — Antonio Cromartie, New York (+4.2)
Cromartie stepped up with his best game in a long time. Gave up one touchdown, but broke up four of the eight balls thrown his way. He has skills.
Safety — Cody Grimm, Tampa Bay (+4.6)
What a day for the rookie. A big interception return and four defensive stops, as he continues to look better after his tough start to the season.
Safety — Thomas Decoud, Atlanta (+3.5)
Decoud relished the free safety role against the Browns, coming up to help in the run game and protecting his struggling cornerbacks