Sure we had an almighty blowout and three games so low on quality it looked like teams were trying to lose, but that doesn’t mean every performance was bad. In fact, there were quite a few good ones. Who were they? Well, that’s what our Team of the Week is here to show.
We’ve got Super Bowl MVP’s, All-Pro studs, and even a couple of guys some of you may not be all too familiar with. That’s what happens when you look past reputation and look to performance. You get the All-PFF Team for Week 7.
Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (+7.1)
Yawn. Aaron Rodgers plays well. Again. Is anyone surprised? Factor in spikes, throwaways and dropped passes and you get a quarterback who missed one pass all game for a 96.3% completion percentage.
Running Back: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings (+4.9)
Narrowly beating out Matt Forte, and doing so with less help from his blocking than the still impressive DeMarco Murray, Peterson picked up an average of 4.3 yards … after contact.
Fullback: Jed Collins, New Orleans Saints (+2.1)
Wasn’t Korey Hall supposed to be the fullback for the Saints? He can have no complaints the way Collins is playing.
Tight End: Owen Daniels, Houston Texans (+3.5)
71 yards is about what you’d expect from Daniels, but it was his impressive run blocking that cemented his place on this team.
Wide Receivers: Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers (+3.6) and Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers (+3.2)
Add 143 yards to Smith’s tally for the year, as he caught 7-of-9 balls thrown his way. The Steelers’ Brown had the same ratio, and fewer yards, but did manage one of the sweetest one handed grabs of the weekend. He’s one to keep an eye on.
Tackles: Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns (+4.6) and Eric Winston, Houston Texans (+3.6)
And that is why Joe Thomas is, on his day, the best left tackle in football. Pass rushes handled with ease (perfect in protection) and impressive in the run game. It would be nice to see him play like that consistently. Winston was also perfect in pass pro, and just as imposing in the run game. In these tackles we trust.
Guards: Carl Nicks, New Orleans Saints (+3.6) and Chris Kuper, Denver Broncos (+3.6)
Nicks has been better as the year has gone on, culminating with his expected owning of whoever the Colts were going to line up at DRT. At the right guard spot it was the work Kuper did at the second level that got him the nod over one of those rare impressive Davin Joseph displays.
Center: Chris Myers, Houston Texans (+3.5)
After a bad (by his standards) display against Baltimore, Myers rebounds with further evidence as to why he is playing better than any center in the league right now.
4-3 Defensive Front
Defensive Ends: Julius Peppers, Chicago Bears (+5.8) and Terrell Suggs, Baltimore Ravens (+4.8)
Two of the more complete defensive ends in the league form our paring this week. Why? Well Peppers channeled his inner Reggie White to club move his way past Donald Penn to the tune of six pressures, while Suggs did a lot of good work in run defense. To go with a sack and three pressures, naturally.
Defensive Tackles: Brandon Mebane, Seattle Seahawks (+4.2) and Brodrick Bunkley, Denver Broncos (+3.7)
Amazing no teams made a harder play for Mebane in the offseason. His sack and two pressures were nice, but his four defensive stops in the run game were nicer. Bunkley matched that total, but was only on the field for 22 snaps. Essentially when he was on the field he was either beating up on Mike Pouncey, or getting double-teamed. Shrewd signing.
Linebackers: James Anderson, Carolina Panthers (+3.9), David Hawthorne, Seattle Seahawks (+4.2) and Daryl Smith, Jacksonville Jaguars (+3.4)
A seven-tackle (and four-stop) day for Anderson, who was also able to break up a pass and pick up a sack. On the other side, Daryl Smith did what Daryl Smith does: a bit of this (a sack) and some of that (just 32 yards allowed on five balls thrown his way), while earning positive grades in every area. A mention for Von Miller as an OLB as well, though he did a lot of his good work as a pass rusher and wasn’t quite as visible as the other men in the run game. In the middle, Hawthorne was all over the field, looking back to his best. An interception and pass defensed in coverage, a sack and two pressures blitzing, and seven defensive stops. BIG day.
3-4 Defensive Front:
Defensive Line: Calais Campbell, Arizona Cardinals (+4.0), Paul Soliai, Miami Dolphins (+2.5) and Muhammad Wilkerson, New York Jets (+2.6)
Campbell went on a tear towards the end of the second quarter, giving Chris Kemoeatu a torrid time on his way to a hit and three pressures. Wilkerson had his best day as a pro with some exceptional work in run defense. Two defensive stops really don’t tell the story of his performance. On the nose, Soliai was all power, and too much of it for the interior of the Broncos’ offensive line.
Outside Linebackers: Shaun Phillips, San Diego Chargers (+4.1) and Cameron Wake, Miami Dolphins (+3.7)
Wake outdid the two sack, two hit and two pressure day of Phillips, by adding an extra pressure. That said, Phillips picked up an extra defensive stop in the run game. Call it a draw? Nope, call them both winners for their performances this week.
Inside Linebackers: Karlos Dansby, Miami Dolphins (+4.5) and Brian Cushing, Houston Texans (+4.3)
Dansby appeared to be doing it all himself at times given the woes of his partner next to him. Cushing, in a good sign, is playing near the level that won him Rookie of the Year.
Cornerbacks: Darrelle Revis, New York Jets (+3.9) and Johnathan Joseph, Houston Texans (+3.8)
These two were so good that somehow a remarkable display from Al Harris didn’t earn him a spot on the team. Joseph had his best game as a Texan, allowing one completion for no yards, and breaking up another. Teams seem to have forgotten how good a healthy Revis is after 2010, throwing the ball at him five times. One completion for 15 yards was the result, while he himself ended up with an interception and two pass defenses.
Safeties: Chris Conte, Chicago Bears (+2.9) and Reed Doughty, Washington Redskins (+2.5)
Quite the trip to London for Conte, who was in primary coverage four times, gave up a 2-yard touchdown, intercepted a ball and broke up another one. Doughty will never be the best in coverage, but he helped the ‘Skins out plenty in run defense here.
Always a good day when you can nail three kicks from 50 yards plus like Josh Scobee (+5.0) did … Sam Koch (+4.0) may have been the most reliable Raven on the field … Eric Weems (+2.2) had a big play called back, but didn’t let that dishearten him with some good work with his punt returns … Red Bryant (+3.0) blocked two field goals.