The PFF Peerless Playoff Performers

| February 8, 2011

The Super Bowl is done, and the 2010 season is in the books.

So we can do two things: look ahead or reflect. There’s plenty of time to look ahead, so while these memories are fresh in our head we’ve gone through all 11 postseason games and picked out the best single-game performances at each position.

Not surprisingly, the best game anyone had in the playoffs was by a certain Super Bowl MVP.



Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay, Super Bowl (+10.6)

As it should be, the postseason’s best player saved his best for when it mattered most. Made some remarkable throws and was only slowed down by his receivers drops (six). He also had the second best rating of the playoffs, +9.1 vs. Atlanta.

Running Back: Marshawn Lynch, Seattle, Wild Card Round (+2.9)

Lynch entered beast mode and broke off one of the all time great runs. It turned a mediocre outing into something spectacular and one we’ll be talking about for years to come. That alone nearly him this spot.

Fullback: Michael Robinson, Seattle, Wild Card Round (+2.6)

One of the better games of his career as he tackled the Saints linebackers head on … and won.

Tight End: Greg Olsen, Chicago, Divisional Playoff (+4.0)

Although his receiving stat line will earn him praise, it was what Olsen did with his run blocking that may have been more impressive. He had some real joy against Lawyer Milloy and Lofa Tatupu.

Wide Receiver: Jerricho Cotchery, New York Jets, Divisional Playoff (+3.5)

After a bad year by his standards, Cotchery really came through in this one. His key play saw him rumble down the sidelines for 58 game-changing yards as he ended the day catching five of six for 96 yards.

Wide Receiver: Hines Ward, Pittsburgh Steelers, Super Bowl (+5.2)

Caught all seven balls thrown his way and manhandled any Green Bay safety that came down into the box on running plays.

Left Tackle: Matt Light, New England Patriots, Divisional Playoff (+4.3)

Gave up two pressures as Brady was given plenty of time. Run blocking was even better as Light ha no trouble getting to the second level and toying with David Harris.

Left Guard: Daryn Colledge, Green Bay Packers, Conference Championship (+4.1)

Got to the second level successfully three times and had just the one bad play as Lance Briggs beat him. Other than that one of the best games of his career.

Center: Scott Wells, Green Bay Packers, Wild Card Round (+5.0)

Five times Wells got to the second level against the Eagles and opened something up for his running back. Some centers would struggle to do that in a season.

Right Guard: Josh Sitton, Green Bay Packers, Super Bowl (+2.8)

The hardest thing about this was choosing which Sitton game to go with. The most consistent player at any position in the playoffs had the three highest grading games for a right guard this playoff season. A phenomenal player.

Right Tackle: Sebastian Vollmer, New England Patriots, Divisional Playoff (+3.8)

You can’t ask for much more than a perfect day in pass protection. That’s what Vollmer gave the Pats in this one.

Defensive End: Raheem Brock, Seattle, Wild Card Round (+6.7)

He’s just a pass rushing machine. Or at least he is now. The reinvention of Brock peaked when the guy who used to get no pressure in Indianapolis, got a sack and eight pressure against the Saints.

Defensive Tackle: B.J. Raji, Green Bay Packers, Conference Championship (+5.4)

The Freezer wiggled and jiggled after his interception return, but was dominant in the second half after a so-so first. Two hits and four pressures is a great return from an interior defensive lineman.

Defensive Tackle: Tommie Harris, Chicago, Divisional Playoff (+3.3)

It wasn’t just the sacks, but the way Harris had it in him to push back Mike Gibson to blow up running plays.

Defensive End: Glenn Dorsey, Kansas City Chiefs, Wild Card Round (+5.4)

It went unnoticed, but in defeat Dorsey probably had a career game. A couple of hits and pressures, along with four defensive stops. Challenge to Mr Dorsey: Show up the entire 2011.

Outside Linebacker: Lamarr Woodley, Pittsburgh, Super Bowl (+5.9)

Beat Bryan Bulaga routinely to finish the day with a sack, a hit and six pressures. Throw in a couple of defensive stops and allowing one reception for one yard and that’s a good day at the office.

Inside Linebacker: Bart Scott, New York Jets, Wild Card Round (+4.0)

He only had four tackles, but they were all around the line of scrimmage and he was too much for Jacob Tamme. Scott drives offensive blockers into running lanes.

Outside Linebacker: Tamba Hali, Kansas City, Wild Card Round (+5.2)

Feasted on Michael Oher with two sacks and four hits, and was also pretty disruptive in run defense with two more defensive stops added to the tally.

Cornerback: Tramon Williams, Green Bay, Super Bowl (+3.7)

Offered tight coverage throughout. Broke up two passes (at critical stages) and disrupted another when it looked like a third down completion was likely. Great timing, great player.

Cornerback: Sam Shields, Green Bay Packers, Conference Championship (+2.8)

The rookie corner will get beat at times, and will miss tackles. But the kid can make plays. His two picks were huge, and he only allowed two receptions all day.

Safety: Eric Berry, Kansas City Chiefs, Wild Card Round (+3.7)

This game was an example of why Berry went so high. Great range, and great playmaking saw him break up three passes.

Safety: Ed Reed, Baltimore Ravens, Divisional Playoff (+2.8)

Made a big goal-line stop and allowed nothing in coverage. Thrown at once, pass breaks up one. Nice stat line.

Kicker: Adam Vinateri, Indianapolis, Wild Card Round (+1.7)

Still clutch when called on upon.

Punter: Tim Masthay, Green Bay Packers, Conference Championship (+4.7)

As good a punting display as you’ll ever see. Masthay was so good he limited Devin Hester to just 38 return yards on his eight punts. Not bad in tricky conditions.

Returner: Antonio Cromartie, New York Jets, Wild Card Round (+1.3)

Thrust into the role, Cromartie responded with a couple of returns that put the Jets in the kind of field position they needed to be in. End result, they won.

  • jakuvious

    I’m curious what you guys think of Glenn Dorsey’s development as a 3-4 DE. I wasn’t too impressed with him for much of the season, but it seemed to me as a casual fan that he really turned it on in the last 3 or 4 games of the season (especially this one, and the Oakland game.) Do you think he can still turn into an elite, or at least very good, 3-4 DE?

  • http://www.profootballfocus.com Khaled Elsayed

    My biggest gripe with him would be he’s on the field too much. He’s not a consistent enough pass rusher to warrant the amount of action he sees, especially in pass rushing situations where Wallace Gilberry really shows him up.

    I don’t think he’ll ever live up to his draft status as a 3-4 end, but he’s a good enough run defender who has gotten better every year.