All-Star Team of the Week: Week 6
With the season flying by, we were once again treated to an excellent slate of games on Sunday, with comebacks and big performance all around. That’s not what you came here for though, so let’s dig in to the top performers at each position so far this week.
Who made our Team of the Week in Week 6?
(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: Jay Cutler, CHI (+6.6)
Picking up the win in Atlanta, Jay Cutler produced one of the best performances you’ll see all year to edge out Joe Flacco as our starting quarterback this week. He went 8-of-13 for 239 yards on throws traveling at least 10 yards downfield.
Honorable Mention: Joe Flacco, BAL
Running Back: Matt Forte, CHI (+3.5)
An impressive and well rounder game from Forte saw him just edge out Houston’s Arian Foster. His work as a receiver in recent weeks has been noticeable, with 182 yards through the air in the past two weeks alone.
Honorable Mention: Arian Foster, HOU
Fullback: Kyle Juszczyk, BAL (+1.8)
With the lack of a true fullback standing out this year, the versatility of Juszczyk sees him find a spot in the Team of the Week once again. He might not be the most dynamic pass-catcher in Baltimore, but through six weeks he has yet to drop a pass, continuing that on Sunday as he picked up a first down as a receiver and added some solid second-level blocks.
Honorable Mention: Jamize Olawale, OAK
Tight End: Rob Gronkowski, NE (+3.4)
Slowly but surely getting back to his best, Gronkowski showed how important he is for the Patriots’ offense with a big showing on Sunday. 94 yards from seven receptions sees him at 194 yards in the past two weeks alone, giving opposing defenses reason to fear him again.
Honorable Mention: Brent Celek, PHI
Wide Receivers: T.Y. Hilton, IND (+4.1) and Mohamed Sanu, CIN (+4.0)
Hilton’s inclusion here seemed like a given since Thursday night when he put up 223 yards against the Houston Texans. He’s had a fine start to 2014, and already has 605 yards through six games. Sanu stepped up big time for the Bengals this week, with 11 receptions for 132 yards in A.J. Green’s absence.
Honorable Mentions: Brandon Marshall, CHI and Larry Fitzgerald, ARZ
Tackles: Trent Williams, WAS (+6.1) and Mitchell Schwartz, CLE (+3.9)
Perfect in pass protection, solid as a run blocker, and some nice work on screens for good measure, you won’t find a better performance on the offensive line than the one we saw from Williams on Sunday. On the other side, Schwartz continued a solid start to the season with his best performance yet. He did allow a hit on quarterback Brian Hoyer, but added some impressive work as a run blocker to make up for it.
Honorable Mentions: Joe Thomas, CLE and Menelik Watson, OAK
Guards: Shawn Lauvao, WAS (+4.1) and Marshal Yanda, BAL (+5.8)
Combining with Williams for an All-Washington left side of the line, Lauvao was perfect in pass protection but really stood out with his run blocking. If we’re going to talk about run blocking this week though, look no further than Marshal Yanda. He’s rebounded after an up and down season a year ago and is currently our highest graded guard as a run blocker by some distance.
Honorable Mentions: Fernando Velasco, TEN and Zach Martin, DAL
Center: Roberto Garza, CHI (+3.6)
Both Garza and David Molk each allowed two hurries this week but Garza just edged it with his overall performance, including adding a solid block on a screen in his first start at center since Week 1.
Honorable Mention: David Molk, PHI
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: J.J. Watt, HOU (+8.2) and Nick Fairley, DET (+4.7)
Another week and more praise for J.J. Watt. Simply put, he took over in the fourth quarter against the Indianapolis Colts. Two sacks, two hits, two hurries, three batted passed, and a fumble returned for a touchdown. Ridiculous. He’s joined by Fairley, who performed at a higher level than we’ve seen from him since Week 16 of 2013, with a sack and two hurries to go along with some nice work against the run.
Honorable Mentions: Cullen Jenkins, NYG and Linval Joseph, MIN
Defensive Interior – Nose: Ian Williams, SF (+3.4)
Williams excellent start to the season continued in the win on Monday night, with six tackles resulting in a defensive stop. A joy to watch in the middle of the San Francisco defense.
Honorable Mention: Brandon Williams, BAL
Edge Rushers: Ezekial Ansah, DET (+5.4) and Ryan Kerrigan, WAS (+6.1)
Ansah rushed the passer 26 times on Sunday, coming away with a ridiculous four sacks, a hit and four hurries, working out at a quarterback disruption once every 2.88 pass rushing attempts. Opposite him Kerrigan had six total pressures and added some nice work in coverage. Four passes were thrown at him, but despite three receptions they went for a total of just two yards.
Honorable Mentions: Whitney Mercilus, HOU and Von Miller, DEN
Linebackers: Rolando McClain, DAL (+5.2) and Justin Durant, DAL (+3.1)
Remember when Rolando McClain had retired and looked to be done with football? Well now he’s our third highest graded inside linebacker through six weeks, thanks in no small part to a standout performance both in coverage and against the run in the big win over the Seahawks on Sunday. He’s joined by fellow Cowboys linebacker Justin Durant, who had six tackles which resulted in a defensive stop in Seattle.
Honorable Mentions: Karlos Dansby, CLE and Nigel Bradham, BUF
Cornerbacks: Jason Verrett, SD (+4.1) and Sam Shields, GB (+3.1)
Verrett continued his strong start to his career by allowing just 36 yards through the air and coming away with a pass break-up and an interception. Shields allowed just one reception all game and came away with an interception, not bad for being on the field for just 35 snaps.
Honorable Mentions: Jerraud Powers, ARZ and T.J. Carrie, OAK
Safeties: Reggie Nelson, CIN (+3.0) and Donte Whitner, CLE (+2.0)
An interception in coverage and a total of three defensive stops saw Reggie Nelson claim the starting role over Devin McCourty. At stong safety Whitner had his best performance of the year for the Browns, with some nice work in coverage earning him his spot here.
Honorable Mentions: Devin McCourty, NE and Dawan Landry, NYJ
Kicker Matt Bryant, ATL: The only kicker to make two field goals of 50 yards or more so far this week.
Punter: Pat McAfee, IND: Another strong performance from McAfee as he, Jon Ryan and Ryan Quigley begin to separate from the pack at the position in 2014.
Returner: Griff Whalen, IND: Nothing groundbreaking but some solid work both as a kick returner and a punt returner, with 110 yards from five total returns.
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