To think, if it had been the other way round maybe, for the first time since this race started, we’d have had someone other than Robert Griffin III at the top of the charts.
As it is we haven’t, and we have no new faces in the Top 10 despite some strong performances from contenders wanting to break in. What we have seen is one defensive back make a strong claim to be defensive player of the year. And, if these rankings mean anything, you know at least one person currently endorsing that claim.
1. Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS (+24.3)
Just another week for RG3 who went 14 of 15 for 200 yards against an admittedly woeful Eagles team. Still, let’s not play down the achievements of a man who now has 12 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
2. Russell Wilson, QB, SEA (+16.8)
It will still surprise some to see Wilson ahead of Luck, but while his Colts peer was struggling, Wilson was likely reflecting on a fantastic start to life in the NFL and wondering what he can do to push the Seahawks to the playoffs. Who would have thought that possible with a third-round rookie starting?
3. Andrew Luck, QB, IND (+10.6)
Part of the problem for Luck is that the Colts are already asking so much out of him. The upshot is a lot of really good play, but also some maddeningly bad stuff. The kind you expect from a rookie thrown in at the deep end. Still, kudos for how quickly he’s been able to turn that franchise around.
4. Kevin Zeitler, RG, CIN (+14.6)
Up to second in our guard rankings and it’s easy to see why. Zeitler doesn’t wow you nor does he make any major mistakes, which is more than you get out of most veteran guards. That line in Cincinnati could be very good for a very long time.
5. Matt Kalil, LT, MIN (+12.9)
Had the week off, which meant there was no reason to demote our ninth-ranked left tackle who has given up just 12 quarterback disruptions on the year.
6. Casey Hayward, CB, GB (+17.0)
A significant jump for a defensive back who was simply superb against Detroit. For the season, he has allowed 26 of 57 for 341 yards, with five interceptions and seven more pass break ups. Superb.
7. Chandler Jones, DE, NE (+11.0)
An unfortunate ankle injury saw him play only 11 snaps against Indianapolis. Will this linger? If it does how much longer can he keep a spot in the Top 10?
8. Lavonte David, LB, TB (+6.7)
Is sixth in our 4-3 outside linebacker rankings and that should really let you know how much of a positive impact he has had on the Buccaneers’ defense. A tackling machine, he leads all his OLB peers in terms of defensive stops.
9. Doug Martin, RB, TB (+8.3)
After exploding onto the scene a couple of weeks back, Martin has taken something of a step back. Still, he has his 1,000 yard season and is our sixth-ranked running back on the year.
10. Alfred Morris, RB, WAS (+5.3)
Morris is just about hanging on after his worst performance of the year where he was flagged for two penalties, fumbled the ball and picked up just 3.8 yards per carry.
Nobody dropped out this week, but with some Seahawks back from their bye don’t be surprised if there are some changes in store next week.
Five To Watch
Bobby Wagner, MLB, SEA: He returns from his bye week safe in the knowledge that if he keeps doing what he’s doing, and those around him falter, he’ll crack the Top 10.
Bruce Irvin, DE, SEA: One big performance from Irvin is what is separating him from being one to watch, and one on the main list.
Luke Kuechly, LB, CAR: If we were just looking at his play at middle linebacker he’d have cracked the Top 10 by now.
Cordy Glenn, LT, BUF: Back from injury and going about his business like a veteran. You don’t always notice Glenn, and that’s a good thing.
Mitchell Schwartz, RT, CLV: At times you see Schwartz and you can’t help but be impressed. At other times? Not so much. Just three quarterback disruptions in his past three games.
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