All-Star Team of the Week: Week 5

This week's best from every position assembled into a full lineup of outstanding performers.

| 3 years ago

All-Star Team of the Week: Week 5

2014-TOTW-WK05We saw a number of close games in Sunday’s slate of action, particularly in the early games, but five weeks into the season we are starting to see teams and players begin to separate from the pack and take their position at the top.

So with that in mind, let’s see who made the grade this week in the PFF All-Star Team of the Week.

(Note: Updated after Monday Night Football)


Quarterback: Russell Wilson, SEA (+5.0)

Wilson was at his brilliant best on Monday night, making Washington pay with both his arms and his legs. That big showing on Monday saw him leap ahead of Cam Newton in this week’s quarterback grading.

Honorable Mention: Cam Newton, CAR

Running Back: Pierre Thomas, NO (+4.4)

112 total yards, a touchdown, six missed tackles forced. That’s a sure fire way to put yourself in position to be our starting running back on this roster, and it’s exactly what Thomas did against Tampa Bay on Sunday.

Honorable Mention: Marshawn Lynch, SEA

Full Back: Henry Hynoski, NYG (+2.0)

Nothing pleases me more than being able to talk about a true blocking full back having earned his spot here, with Hynoski excelling as a run blocker against the Atlanta Falcons yesterday. One of three full backs to earn a grade “in the green” for their run blocking, he was a class above in Week 5.

Honorable Mention: James Develin, NE

Tight End: Antonio Gates, SD (+2.5)

Maybe he’s not the player he once was, but Gates showed on Sunday that he can still be a viable target for the Chargers, reeling in four receptions for 60 yards and two touchdowns.

Honorable Mention: Jared Cook, STL

Wide Receivers: Vincent Jackson, TB (+3.5) and Sammy Watkins, BUF (+3.2)

The Buccaneers couldn’t quite hold on against the Saints yesterday, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort from Vincent Jackson, four missed tackles forced and 144 yards through the air giving him the highest grade of any receiver this week so far. For Watkins it’s been an up and down rookie season so far but we definitely saw the positive this week, slowly but surely making the Bills look smart for picking him up in May’s draft.

Honorable Mentions: Demaryius Thomas, DEN and Brandon Marshall, CHI

Tackles: Joe Staley, SF (+6.8) and Doug Free, DAL (+4.8)

Perfect in pass protection and some fantastic work as a run blocker saw Joe Staley stand tall above all other offensive tackles in Week 5. Opposite him Free wasn’t quite perfect, allowing two hurries, but he too was very good as a run blocker, edging out fellow NFC East tackle Justin Pugh for the starting role here.

Honorable Mentions: William Beatty, NYG and Joe Barksdale, STL

Guards: Joel Bitonio, CLE (+4.3) and David DeCastro, PIT (+3.7)

Bitonio looked nothing like a rookie as he stood out for the Browns’ offensive line on Sunday, with a perfect day in pass protection and some impressive work as a run blocker. For the Steelers DeCastro may not have been quite at as high a level as Leary, but he too was good in the running game, opening holes for Le’Veon Bell throughout the game.

Honorable Mentions: Ben Grubbs, NO and Marshal Yanda, BAL

Center: Corey Linsley, GB (+4.1)

The theme for our offensive line this week appears to be their strength as run blockers with the dominance of the Packers’ starting center from Thursday night holding onto the spot throughout the weekend, seeing him a step above the rest at the position.

Honorable Mention: Alex Mack, CLE


 Click to Page 2 for the defense…

| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

  • Chris

    No Bengals defenders? I am utterly shocked!

    • Sonic the Hedgehog

      What about Garrett Atkins?

      • Barron Buc

        *Geno, Garrett was a baseball player.

  • Luke

    I can’t imagine how Marcell Dareus didn’t make this list. He had 3 sacks and stuffed the run game all day long.

    • Chris

      They ranked him 4th rushing the passer but they disagree with his work against the run, where he graded -0.6.

      They ranked him 6th on the week.

      • H Christian Runfola

        he had 3 tackles for loss against the run as well..pretty suspect rankings…and how does 3 sacks and 2 other pressures rank 4th against the pass…..?

        • Chris

          1. McCoy: 9 pressures in 57 rushes (4 hits, 5 hurries)
          2. Hankins: 4 pressures in 21 rushes (1 sack, 1 hit, 2 hurries)
          3. Short: 3 pressures in 22 rushes (1 sack, 1 hit, 1 hurry,
          4. Dareus: 4 pressures in 41 rushes (3 sacks, 1 hurry)

          • anon76returns

            You’re looking at season-long numbers. No D linemen rushes the QB 57 times in one game.

          • Chris

            Taken straight from the week 5 summary against the Saints:


            You should probably look up the stats before you assume I am wrong. There were 62 pass plays in the game (taken from Brees’ snap count), McCoy was in for 57 of them and rushed the passer on all 57.

          • Hannah Hayes

            Me tinks you don’t be knowin’ what ye be speakin’ of, matey.

  • ND

    ummm… in what world was demarious thomas not the top wr this week

    • Hannah Hayes

      In a world where you don’t understand what you are reading.

    • Chris

      Demaryius had 149 YAC out of his 226 yards. That is 60 more than 2nd place. Taking slants to the house doesn’t require any skill, just physical ability.

      He actually graded 22nd thanks to a 2nd to last run blocking grade.

      • Barron t

        A run blocking grade shouldn’t drag a reciever down that much, especially in a pass-heavy offense

        • Chris

          The part about doing all his work on slants that don’t require any skill was the major point there. The secondary point was he nearly ranked dead last as a run blocker. But point taken.

          • djkkramer

            except only a couple of those catches were on slant routes. Most of the YAC came on the go route at end of first half.
            Not to mention that stiff arm on a LB on that slant that resulted in a touchdown seemed to involve some skill to me. Perhaps a different kind of skill than you’re referring to.

          • JJ

            Receivers that don’t run block are only doing half their job, or if you take into account the snap counts and rush/pass attempts in the game Thomas only did 60% of his job. This isn’t pee wee football where you make a big splash play then you don’t have to do anything when you run the ball, but hey, I guess Patrick Peterson is pretty scary when you actually have to try and put your hands on him.

          • [email protected]

            Sounds to me like you guys are jealous of his ability. You don’t want to give credit to amazing athleticism. Those ‘splash’ plays won the game. A whole game worth of blocking would not have 1/10 of the effect.

          • djkkramer

            Coming from a guy who didn’t even watch the game since Cromartie was matched up with Thomas throughout…

            I can’t remember a single play in the game where a corner made a tackle on a RB unless it was one of Hillman’s 8-12 yard runs in the second half after Ball got hurt.

          • shawnthesheep

            Catching a slant and turning it into a big play does not require skill?

          • [email protected]

            Don’t tell Jerry Rice that! They might take away his best receiver ever status!

          • [email protected]

            You should work in the field of creation science. Your ability to vociferously defend utter nonsense is amazing.

      • Brian Bigger

        It could be said, it takes more talent for YAC than to catch a football. I agree with the run blocking grade.

        • Chris

          Exhibit A: Thomas stems his route outside, works across the CB back inside, catches a slant, is tackled for a 5 yard gain.

          Exhibit B: Thomas stems his route outside, works across the CB back inside, catches a slant, goes 75 yards untouched for a TD.

          I would contend he should receive [nearly] the same grade for those two catches. Obviously broken tackles and jukes can raise it a bit, but for the most part anybody can run after the catch. It’s the getting open and making the catch that is the hard part.

          Another easy way to see this.

          Player A: 12 catches, 225 yards, 2 TDs, 50 YAC.

          Player B: 12 catches, 225 yards, 2 TDs, 200 YAC.

          Player A worked a more complicated route tree down the field in the intermediate and deep passing game.

          Player B did nothing but catch bubble screens and slants, and took 2 screens to the house untouched for 80 yards a piece.

          Both of those guys would set Broncos’ franchise records, but only one of them would grade really well.

          • Brian Bigger

            That would be true if that was the case. Did you review DT’s 8 receptions? Intermediate, deep, and short routes were an even mixture. The variety and complexity of routes should be evaluated higher than running similar routes. Breaking tackles is a key component of any metric for wrs or rbs. This is the same player that led the league in YAC last year. This isn’t a coincidence.

          • Chris

            No I have not reviewed all of his routes and/or receptions. I was simply offering a hypothetical that likely is the basis for DT’s grade being lower than his franchise record yardage would imply.

            I realize there is some skill running slants, and that some players are better at picking up YAC than others. You also can’t teach raw physical ability and just as I wouldn’t penalize a DT for physically overpowering a guard I’m not penalizing DT for YAC.

            The argument I’m making is more like not giving an OLB credit for a free rush sack. “Anybody” could have made that sack, because he wasn’t blocked. Sure his speed and ability to finish helped the play, but he wouldn’t receive the same grade as someone who beat a defender to secure the sack.

            How about this for a hypothetical.

            A: DT beats a CB inside and catches a 5 yard slant: +1
            B: DT beats a CB inside and catches a 5 yard slant, shrugs off the CB, stiff arms the LB, and runs for 75 yards: +1.25
            C: DT gets an inside release and works a skinny post up the seam away from the safety for a 25 yard gain: +2

            So a receiver who is repeatedly doing C all game is going to grade better than one who is doing A and B? Does that convey my point better?

          • Brian Bigger

            That makes sense for the most part. Although, I would counter than running a mix of routes and performing on all of them would enable some bonus points instead of running the same route and making a play on that all game long.

            On a separate note, I think Todd Bowles made a huge mistake as a DC in this game. I know that it is there M.O. to blitz and play man to man in passing situations, which is generally what they did. This is not the team nor the qb where this will work successfully on a continual basis.

          • Chris

            You’re absolutely right. The way to beat Peyton right now is to do what the Seahawks do. You can’t play a lot of man because Peyton loves his crossing routes, levels concepts, and pick plays/rubs. He could throw most of those until he’s 50.

            To beat him you need to challenge him to make the deep throws, the throws he struggles with more now due to his arm strength fading.

            Split the field into thirds, limit anything underneath, and make him beat you deep down the seams.

      • Brian Bigger

        Not a big surprise. Rick Drummond tends to grade defensive players higher. Just an observation I have seen this year.

      • anon76returns

        First off, you are once again looking at season-long cumulative grades, which should have zero bearing on whether a player was the “best of the week”.

        Furthermore, PFF corrected the error in DT’s grade that gave him such a low blocking score (it was an erroneous pass blocking grade, not run blocking, FWIW). You’re arguing that DT didn’t play well based on a (since corrected) clerical error on PFF’s part. Not very compelling reasoning.

        • Chris

          I did not look at season long grades. I was using week 5 grades. I know how the website works.

          You’ll also notice that my main argument, the argument I’ve been making everywhere else, was that DT’s passing grade wasn’t higher because a lot of his yardage was YAC. I tacked on the poor run blocking at the end. Which is compelling reasoning. It’s the same reasoning why he still barely beat out Vincent Jackson for the top spot in passing grades despite 78 more yards and 2 more TDs – he had 109 more YAC.

    • [email protected]

      This site is a joke. Demaryius Thomas is the 22nd best WR of the week?? Is this the Onion?

      • Brian Bigger

        They did change that. However, the offense grades were rather low considering they hung 41 against a top 5 defense and no one has scored 40+ against AZ since Dec, 2012.

        • [email protected]

          This site will give you headpats and bellyrubs if you are a good player. Once you become great it makes them feel insecure and they feel the need to nitpick everything you do.

  • humblebrag

    anyone notice that Carolina’s LBs go as their DL goes?

  • Knucklebear

    Kind of surprised that no Chargers made the list. Granted it was against the Jets but to dominate so thoroughly in every aspect of the game I would have expected a charger or two to make the list.

  • Barron Buc

    Shame we couldn’t pull out the win in New Orleans

  • Barron Buc

    Hey Chris, what do you think about Gerald vs Geno now? Hopefully Geno goes back to form for you guys, he’s one of my favorite players because he reminds me so much of McCoy

    • Chris

      I’m always going to be biased being a Bengals fan. Geno was the best in the business in 2012, maybe in history. He wasn’t as good as McCoy last year, but we didn’t get a full year from him so it’s not quite fair to compare the two.

      As far as this year, Geno is clearly showing rust and still recovering from the injury – he is not at full strength yet. If I have to rank them RIGHT NOW McCoy is going to get the nod, but if you want my opinion who is going to be better later in the year I can’t not say Geno. I feel like he’ll get better as the year recovers, as he gets his conditioning back and whatnot.

      Actually I think he’s one of the reasons the Bengals had so much trouble against NE. He is not playing like a Pro Bowl tackle, but more like an average tackle. When he’s not wrecking the backfield and/or drawing double teams it makes life more difficult for everyone else. Plus not having Burfict was huge as well. Brady wasn’t otherworldly in that game – the problem was we couldn’t stop the run.

  • mutzki

    In the Safety section it should read Vikings offense as the Packers played the Vikings, not the Bears

  • Paul

    EJ Gaines does not play for Buffalo.

  • JJ

    Why did PFF stop doing the “Had a Bad Day” team?

  • shawnthesheep

    Branden Oliver also forced six missed tackles. And he had more rushing yards than Thomas, more total yards (182) and 2 TDs. So how did Thomas outperform him?

    • [email protected]

      Because they wrote an article 4 days ago saying how irreplaceable Danny Woodhead was.

      • Chris


  • Joe

    Were the Bears unlucky to “have gone up against” the highest graded quarterback the last two weeks, or did the Bears *allow* the highest graded quarterback the last two weeks?

  • Darnell

    Curious how the grading works on the Watt/Romo play?

    Is it a + for the pressure or a – for failing to finish and allowing Romo free to throw the TD?

  • ChickenHunter

    Luke Keuchly: “He may have allowed nine receptions through the air, but they went for a total of just 47 yards.” WTF? He’s a middle LB, not a corner, lol. He only covers, shotrt and intermediate routes and has a whole secondary behind him and OLBs to his side.. That mean he got EATEN UP!!! Look at where all these players are from!! There’s not one west coast player on this D list!! East coast homer.

  • ChickenHunter

    Luke Keuchly: “He may have allowed nine receptions through the air, but they went for a total of just 47 yards.” WTF? He’s a MLB, not a corner, lol. He basically only covers short and intermediate routes and has a whole secondary behind him and OLBs to his side. That mean he got EATEN UP!!! Look at where all these players are from!! There’s not one west coast player on this D list!! East coast homer.

    • JT

      it doesn’t mean anything if he lets a guy catch a 5 yard pass when they need 15 to get a first down……derp he also had 15 big time tackles and missed none on the day.

  • Graniterlm

    They should start figuring out average times for hits and hurries. A coverage hit or hurry that takes someone four seconds to get there shouldn’t be awarded as a stat. It would be cool to know how long on average it takes each player to get a sack, hit or hurry. I know they have stats for sack times but I’m not sure about the others. If a lineman gets to the quarterback in less than two seconds and forces a int then that’s a pretty good hurry. If it takes him four seconds and someone gets open down field for a 50 yard TD then that wasn’t very good but it goes down as the same hurry.

  • mike

    How does free edge out Pugh yet Pugh doesn’t make honorable mention

  • Brandon

    Are you seriously trying to tell me that Hekker did better than Jon Ryan this week? Ryan had every single one of his punts land inside the 20, i believe almost all of them were actually inside the 10. Then to make it even better, none were returned and he also rushed for a crucial first down.