32 Observations: Week 15

| December 19, 2012

This week Pro Bowl voting ended, and you can’t turn on the television without hearing debates for who should win the end of the season awards, like MVP or Defensive Player of the Year. While you could debate who is better between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady forever, this week’s 32 Observations will take a different twist at looking at the best players. Here, I have assembled a 32-man roster taking one player from each team, as well as providing an interesting tidbit about each player. While they might not be the best player at their position, or the best player on that team, it is the best way I could put together a team only taking one player from each squad. The defense is a hybrid that could switch between 4-3 and 3-4.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills: Running back C.J. Spiller has averaged 11.3 yards after the catch per catch, which is the most for any back with at least 25 targets. For this team he is the third-down back.

Miami Dolphins: Defensive End Cameron Wake has five or more pressures in nine of his 14 games. For this team he would be an every-down outside pass rusher.

New England Patriots: Tight End Rob Gronkowski has 2.42 Yards Per Route Run, which is 0.57 more than any other tight end.

New York Jets: Right Guard Brandon Moore has allowed just five sacks in his last 2,943 pass blocks. In contrast, there is a guard that has allowed five sacks in his last 154 pass blocks.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens: Justin Tucker is the only kicker to have made over 95% of his field goals, and have less than 40% of his kickoffs returned. Tucker has made 23 of 24 kicks on the year, and has had just 38.2% of his kickoffs returned.

Cincinnati Bengals: Defensive Tackle Geno Atkins has a pressure on one in every 6.3 pass rushes. The next best for a tackle is one in every 8.4.

Cleveland Browns: Punt Returner Josh Cribbs has 12.9 yards per punt return, which is the highest average for all returners with at least 25 punt returns.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Safety Ryan Clark has a Run Stop Percentage of 7.3%, which is the highest in the league for all safeties.

AFC South

Houston Texans: Defensive End J.J. Watt gets a Run Stop on one in every 5.6 run plays he is in for, which is by far the lowest rate in the league, regardless of defensive position. For this team, he can play anywhere along the line in the base defense, and also as an interior pass rusher in the nickel defense.

Indianapolis Colts: Punter Pat McAfee has averaged 48.4 yards per punt, which is the third highest in the league.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Defensive Tackle C.J. Mosley improved once he saw more snaps with the defense. During the first four weeks as a backup, he had a Run Stop Percentage of 4.3%. Since then, as a starter, he has increased that to 7.0%. For this team, he will play defensive tackle in run situations.

Tennessee Titans: Left Tackle Michael Roos has improved as the season has gone on, allowing a pressure on one in every 17.8 pass plays over the first nine games, and allowing one in every 34.5 pass plays over the past five.

AFC West

Denver Broncos: Outside linebacker Von Miller has 82 overall pressures on the year, which is more than any other linebacker. That’s also more than what any other linebacker had last year.

Kansas City Chiefs: Cornerback Brandon Flowers is the only corner to be thrown at more than 40 times (65), allow a catch rate under 50 % (49.2%) and allow less than 12.4 yards per catch (12.2).

Oakland Raiders: Outside linebacker Phillip Wheeler has 27 total pressures, which is second-most for 4-3 outside linebackers, and nine more than any other outside linebacker not named Von Miller. He would play outside linebacker on passing downs in this defense.

San Diego Chargers: Safety Eric Weddle has a Run Stop Percentage of 15.3 when lining up within 8 yards of the line of scrimmage, which is the highest in the league.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys: Outside linebacker Anthony Spencer has 33 run stops, which ties the most for all 3-4 outside linebackers over the past three years. He would play defensive end/outside linebacker in the base defense.

New York Giants: Wide Receiver Victor Cruz has 2.38 Yards Per Route Run when lining up in the slot, which leads the league. He would play slot receiver in the offense.

Philadelphia Eagles: Left guard Evan Mathis has a Run Block Rating of +27.1, which is the highest for any guard over the past three years.

Washington Redskins: Quarterback Robert Griffin III has 12.4 yards per attempt on play-action passes, which is the highest in the league by more than a yard. He also runs play-action passes on 38.2% of his attempts, which is also the highest in the league.

NFC North

Chicago Bears: Cornerback Charles Tillman has a Tackling Efficiency of 36.0, which is the second highest for all cornerbacks.

Detroit Lions: Wide Receiver Calvin Johnson has 611 yards on deep passes, which leads the league. He has done this on 19 catches.

Green Bay Packers: Cornerback Casey Hayward has caused quarterbacks to have a rating of just 35.8 throwing his way when he lines up in the slot. That is the lowest in the league and makes him the slot cornerback for this team.

Minnesota Vikings: Wide Receiver Percy Harvin doesn’t always return kicks, but on the 16 times he has, he has averaged 35.9 yards per return which is the highest in the league for anyone with more than two returns. For this team he would be the kick returner, as well as a slot receiver and backup running back.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons: Right Tackle Tyson Clabo has been amazing in pass protection these past five games. He has allowed zero sacks, zero hits and two hurries over that time.

Carolina Panthers: Tight End Greg Olsen has 1.85 Yards Per Route Run, which is second most for tight ends. For this team, he would be the second tight end for passing downs.

New Orleans Saints: Center Brian De La Puente has five games with a Run Block Rating of +2.0 or better, which is the most in the league.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Wide Receiver Vincent Jackson has averaged 19.8 yards per catch, which is the highest rate in the league.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals: Inside Linebacker Daryl Washington has not only been a great pass rushing inside linebacker, but also has 53 stops which is the fourth-highest in the league.

St. Louis Rams: Outside Linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar has had 35 of his 39 tackles in the run game end up as run stops. That is 89.7% of his tackles, which is the highest stop/tackle ratio for 4-3 outside linebackers. He would play outside linebacker in the base defense for this team.

San Francisco 49ers: Fullback Bruce Miller had one of the better stretches of games we’ve seen from a fullback between Weeks 10-12. During that time he had a +5.9 run block rating, and the 49ers averaged 4.9 yards per run.

Seattle Seahawks: Running back Marshawn Lynch has run for 2 or more yards on 79.0% of his carries, which is the highest rate in the league.

 

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