Sometimes you can’t believe your eyes. From top to bottom in Week 7 there were some shockingly good performances from players who have been shockingly bad throughout their NFL careers.
Well, they do say every dog has his day, right?
Quarterback — Matt Moore, Carolina(+7.2)
We’re as shocked as anyone to see this name, but the Panthers gave him time and he made some big time throws to lead them to win No. 1.
Running Back — LeGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay (+3.8)
Only had 11 carries, but turned those into 108 yards, with 95 after contact. And he forced five missed tackles. Looks like a real find.
Fullback — Le’Ron McClain, Baltimore (+2.3)
Not a great week for fullbacks, but McClain did a good job of leading the way when given the chance to. Made a couple of nice plays catching the ball, as well.
Tight End — Zach Miller, Oakland (+4.5)
Playing exceptionally well right now. Only caught three balls for 65 yards but his run blocking was immense. Best season as a pro after disappointing ’09.
Wide Receiver — Kenny Britt, Tennessee (+4.6)
Dominated the Eagles’ defensive backfield on his way to a 225-yard, three-touchdown day. A physically imposing receiver who is just too much for some defensive backs.
Wide Receiver — Roddy White, Atlanta (+4.4)
Caught 11 of 12 balls thrown his way, including four that were ridiculously good catches. One of the league’s premier receivers right now.
Left Tackle — Jared Veldheer, Oakland (+2.8)
It says something about his performance that he committed three penalties and still graded out the highest left tackle of the week. Perfect in pass protection and dominant with his run blocking.
Left Guard — Justin Blalock, Atlanta (+3.5)
Been a long time coming for Blalock, who is starting to play to the talent levels he was touted as having out of college. Perfect in pass pro, he had his hands full against a busy Bengals defense but won his battles.
Center — David Bass, San Francisco (+4.4)
The Carolina defensive tackles haven’t played that badly all season, and a large part of it was how Bass sealed them in.
Right Guard — Anthony Herrera, Minnesota (+3.2)
Did his bit to keep Favre clean by not allowing any pressure, but had one of his better days run blocking as well. Can he keep it up against teams not suffering from so many injuries?
Right Tackle — Barry Richardson, Kansas City (+2.9)
Didn’t give up so much as a pressure on Matt Cassel while being a key component in his team’s ability to run the ball seemingly at will against the Jags.
4-3 Defensive Front
Defensive End — Terrell Suggs, Baltimore (+7.0)
May not have registered a sack, but it’s never bad when you get a quarterback hit and six more pressures. Stellar in run defense with three defensive stops.
Defensive Tackle — Antonio Dixon, Philadelphia (+7.3)
Obliterated the Titans’ interior time and time again. Not known for his pass rush, he brought in a sack and two batted passes, but his real success was stopping the Titans running up the gut.
Defensive Tackle — Jason Jones, Tennessee (+5.3)
Is there a better guy at getting up the field from the tackle spot? Four quarterback pressures and four defensive stops for a player having a superb year.
Defensive End — Julius Peppers, Chicago (+5.9)
A lot of Peppers’ best work this year has come in run defense, and he’s certainly dispelling those questions about his work ethic. Two-hit, three-pressure day.
Outside Linebacker — Ernie Sims, Philadelphia (+5.5)
Never before have we seen Sims play like this. It was like a light went on in his head. He didn’t miss tackles, nor was he lost in coverage, and he made plays. Can it continue?
Middle Linebacker — Ray Lewis, Baltimore (+5.2)
Still playing at a remarkable level; if he’s lost a step, it should be noted he can afford to. Such is his level of talent. His day included forcing the (essentially ) game -inning fumble. He made 11 tackles, eight of which were defensive stops.
Outside Linebacker — James Anderson, Carolina (+4.3)
Playmaker from the outside linebacker spot got a hit and pressure on the QB, four defensive stops and broke up a pass. All in a day’s work.
3-4 Defensive Front
Defensive End — Justin Smith, San Francisco (+5.7)
Superb display as Smith burst through the Panthers’ line time and time again. Notched six defensive stops on the day. Phenomenal.
Nose Tackle — Albert Haynesworth, Washington (+2.8)
Is it cheating to put him here? He’s just so talented that when he gets on the field he makes plays.
Defensive End — Alan Branch, Arizona (+4.5)
Seizing the opportunity with more playing time available. Did a great job getting to the QB with two sacks, a hit and a pressure.
Outside Linebacker — DeMarcus Ware, Dallas (+4.9)
Playing so, so well. A sack and three pressures, and winning his battles in the running game. There may not be a more complete outside linebacker in the league right now.
Inside Linebacker — Derrick Johnson, Kansas City (+4.8)
Todd Bouman must have angered D.J., as he really spoiled his return to the NFL. Johnson returned one pass for a TD and broke up another two in a virtuoso display.
Inside Linebacker — Patrick Willis, San Francisco (+3.1)
It was nice to see Patrick Willis play like Patrick Willis for a day. All over the field with eight tackles, Willis made some big plays when required as the Panthers struggled to get their run game going.
Outside Linebacker — Cameron Wake, Miami (+3.5)
Another big week for Wake, who is always there or thereabouts with this team. Just the one sack, two hits and three pressures this week. Oh, and he’s silencing those concerns about his run defense.
Cornerback — DeAngelo Hall, Washington (+5.1)
Four interceptions. Let me repeat, four interceptions. That is all.
Safety — Eric Berry, Kansas City (+3.7)
Finally delivering on some of that first-round talent. Berry looked good coming up in the box and broke up a pass to go with his interception. Breakout day?
Safety — Quintin Mikell, Philadelphia (+3.4)
May just be the best safety in the league nobody is talking about, and maybe he has been for a while. Did a really good job coming up to support the run against the Titans.
Cornerback — Greg Toler, Arizona (+1.2)
Struggled with his run support, but a real standout game in coverage. Allowed just four of nine balls thrown his way to be complete and broke up two of them.