All-Star Team of the Week: Week 3
With only Monday Night Football left to go, we have almost another full card of games graded and up in Premium stats for you to browse. It’s hard to believe that we’re almost at the quarter mark of the regular season again but we’re starting to see players emerge and set themselves up for big seasons.
With than in mind, let’s take a look at our All Star Team of the Week from Week 3.
(Note: Team will be updated as needed after Monday Night Football and by Wednesday when All-22 footage helps us study plays in even more detail.)
Quarterback: Andrew Luck, IND (+5.0)
He only wound up playing a little more than three quarters, but his performance on the road in Jacksonville was still good enough to see off our next-highest-graded quarterback.
Honorable Mention: Kirk Cousins, WAS
Running Back: Zac Stacy, STL (+2.9)
67 yards on 12 carries, with four missed tackles forced on the ground. Adding another 54 yards through the air Stacy had the best showing of any running back in the league yesterday.
Honorable Mention: Ahmad Bradshaw, IND
Fullback: Patrick DiMarco, ATL (+1.5)
A better week for fullbacks this week saw us see at least some grades in the green. The best of those came from Atlanta’s Patrick DiMarco on Thursday night, with some impressive work as a lead blocker.
Honorable Mention: Anthony Sherman, KC
Tight End: Jason Witten, DAL (+3.7)
Four receptions for 49 yards might not seem like a lot but Witten added a lot of fine work as a run blocker that pushed him to the top of the class at the position this week.
Honorable Mention: Andrew Quarless, GB
Wide Receivers: Julio Jones, ATL (+4.0) and Emmanuel Sanders, DEN (+3.0)
Big games on Thursday and Sunday, respectively, saw Jones and Sanders post the second- and third-highest receiving totals amongst wide receivers in Week 3. Both had receptions of 40 yards or longer, though Jones also added two touchdowns.
Honorable Mentions: Pierre Garcon, WAS and Jeremy Maclin, PHI
Tackles: Trent Williams, WAS (+5.7) and Joe Barskdale, STL (+4.4)
A big performance against the Eagles, where he allowed just the one quarterback hurry and did some nice work as a run blocker, sees Trent Williams make the team at left tackle. On the right, it’s the familiar face of Joe Barksdale, who looked very good for the second week in a row.
Honorable Mentions: Anthony Castonzo, IND and Marcus Gilbert, PIT
Guards: Justin Blalock, ATL (+3.4) and Marshal Yanda, BLT (+2.6)
Flipping sides from last week when we saw more right guards stand out, it was all about the guys on the left this week, with Blalock seeing off two other left guards to be our highest-graded of the week. On the right, Yanda was the only right guard in the Top 5.
Honorable Mentions: Kelechi Osemele, BLT and Chris Chester, WAS
Center: A.Q. Shipley, IND (+3.1)
Three positively graded games in a row for Shipley, who looks a completely different player from the one who struggled out of position in Baltimore. He allowed a hit in pass protection but was still solid, and added some fine blocks in the running game.
Honorable Mention: Russell Bodine, CIN
Each week we put forward a hybrid defense that features two edge rushers (4-3 defensive ends or 3-4 outside linebackers), three players on the “interior” of the defensive line (3-4 defensive ends or defensive tackles) and two linebackers (all inside linebackers and 4-3 outside linebackers).
Defensive Interior – Ends: Kyle Williams, BUF (+9.3) and Jason Hatcher, WAS (+4.6)
When he plays as good as this there are very few defensive linemen in the league who can match Kyle Williams. Five total pressures, stout against the run, a nightmare for interior offensive linemen everywhere. Joining him this week is new Washington defensive lineman Jason Hatcher, who continued his strong start to the season as a pass rusher with five total pressures.
Honorable Mentions Allen Bailey, KC and Muhammad Wilkerson, NYJ
Defensive Interior – Nose: Ian Williams, SF (+5.2)
Two sacks and a hurry as a pass rusher, along with some nice work against the run. That’s how you kick start a season that had been disappointing through the first two weeks.
Honorable Mention: Dontari Poe, KC
Edge Rushers: Khalil Mack, OAK (+6.2) and Von Miller, DEN (+5.2)
Mack may have yet to deliver on a consistent basis as a pass rusher, but he showed just how good he is against the run on Sunday. On the other side Miller added a sack and eight quarterback hurries to go along with a good day against the run.
Honorable Mentions: Junior Galette, NO and Tyrone Crawford, DAL
Linebackers: Donta Hightower, NE (+5.1) and Paul Worrilow, ATL (+4.3)
Positive grades against the run, as a pass rusher and in coverage, where his lone reception allowed went for -7 yards, saw Hightower lead the way at inside linebacker on Sunday. Worrilow was another of the many Falcons who had a big game on Thursday night, and it earned him his spot here.
Honorable Mentions: Jerod Mayo, NE and Lawrence Timmons, PIT
Cornerbacks: Brandon Flowers, SD (+4.5) and Kyle Fuller, CHI (+5.0)
Targeted eight times in coverage, Flowers had one pass breakup and allowed four receptions. Those four receptions went for just 29 yards, though, as he stood out as our second highest-graded cornerback this week. Kyle Fuller had a fantastic game on Monday night, with an interception and a pass breakup to show for his efforts.
Honorable Mentions: Perrish Cox, SF and Robert Alford, ATL
Safeties: Earl Thomas, SEA (+4.1) and Kam Chancellor, SEA (+4.7)
Two key parts to arguably the best secondary in football. Chancellor and Thomas both stood out against the run and in coverage on Sunday. Combined, they allowed just 27 yards through the air, with Chancellor coming away with an interception for good measure.
Honorable Mentions: Charles Woodson, OAK and Eric Weddle, SD
Kicker: Chandler Catanzaro, ARZ: One of just three kickers to successfully make a 50+ yard field goal so far this week, four of his kickoffs also resulted in a touchback.
Punter: Jon Ryan, SEA: Six punts from Ryan with all but one of them landing inside the 20 yard line, and an average of 50.2 yards per punt.
Returner: Devin Hester, ATL: He gets the nod here in the same week where he became the most prolific kick returner in NFL history. Looking a threat to take in the distance every time he touched the ball, he was the only player to return a punt for a touchdown this week.
Follow Gordon on Twitter: @PFF_Gordon