Best players at every position for Week 7
There were some big box score performances on Sunday, as the yards flowed for quarterbacks and the sacks flowed for pass rushers. But going beyond that, who would the tape determine worthy of a place on the PFF Team of the Week roster?
Let’s find out.
Quarterback: Tom Brady, Patriots (+7.3)
“Tom Terrific” showed up on Sunday, as he somehow pushed the Patriots to victory despite his receivers dropping a terrible nine balls. He looks unstoppable right now.
Running back: Todd Gurley, Rams (+4.2)
This might not be the last time we see Gurley on this team. He was incredible in forcing 11 missed tackles, looking like the kind of weapon the Rams have desperately needed.
Fullback: Jorvorskie Lane, Buccaneers (+2.5)
Sunday was ultimately disappointing for Tampa Bay, but a nice showing from the Buccaneers’ fullback was pivotal.
Tight end: Gary Barnidge, Browns (+2.4)
It was tight between Barnidge, Jordan Reed, and Jason Witten, but ultimately what the Browns’ TE was able to do on his six catches won the day.
Wide receivers: Mike Evans, Buccaneers (+3.0) and Amari Cooper, Raiders (+3.4)
If Cooper can play like that every week, he might stroll to the Rookie of the Year title. That’s how good he was in making the Charger’s secondary look silly. Evans is a real go-to weapon for Jameis Winston, and it showed up big against the Redskins.
Tackles: Terron Armstead, Saints (+6.8) and Morgan Moses, Redskins (+3.6)
You think the Saints missed Armstead? Back from injury and with a point to prove, Armstead allowed no pressure, but it was his dominating work in the run game that really stood out. Moses did allow a sack, but he continues to flash the kind of talent that suggests he could be the Redskins’ right tackle of the future.
Guards: Tim Lelito, Saints (+4.4) and Zack Martin, Cowboys (+5.9)
A first-time appearance for Lelito, who was part of the Saints’ left side that crushed the Colts’ defensive line. Martin is no debutant after his excellent rookie year, but his efforts in the Cowboys’ defeat were his best of the year.
Center: Rodney Hudson, Raiders (+6.5)
This was as good of a performance as we’ve seen from a center all year. Spending big money on linemen in free agency can be risky, but if Hudson can build on this game, it will prove worth it.
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: Kawann Short, Panthers (+7.0) and Ndamukong Suh, Dolphins (+4.2)
One of the best-kept secrets in the NFL was how good of a player Short is. It’s not a secret anymore, because he’s playing as well as any defensive lineman in the league. Suh annoyed with three penalties, but he also had five disruptions on the quarterback, including two sacks.
Defensive interior – nose: Marcell Dareus, Bills (+4.4)
Not the biggest week for those lined up opposite the center, but Dareus was one Bills’ defender to emerge with credit. He created a sack with his penetration, and was his usual disruptive self against the run.
Edge rushers: Cameron Jordan, Saints (+10.2) and Cameron Wake, Dolphins (+7.1)
“Team Cameron” this week, with two relentless pass-rushing efforts. Wake appears unleashed under Dan Campbell, adding two more sacks to his season total, and a further four hurries. But that paled in comparison to Jordan, who ended the day with nine disruptions and two batted passes. He’s playing lights out right now.
Linebackers: Dont’a Hightower, Patriots (+7.5) and Luke Kuechly, Panthers (+4.3)
It feels like every week either Kuechly or Thomas Davis makes this team, with this week the turn of Kuechly, who narrowly edged his teammate out for a spot. Partnering him, Hightower made seven defensive stops and added a ridiculous seven hurries. You don’t see performances like that very often.
Cornerbacks: Janoris Jenkins, Rams (+3.1) and Ronald Darby, Bills (+3.1)
Darby is going to keep his stranglehold on our race for Rookie of the Year with another excellent effort that saw him break up three passes. Over in St. Louis, Jenkins edged out LaMarcus Joyner, allowing just three receptions and deflecting two of his own.
Safeties: Reshad Jones, Dolphins (+2.9) and Patrick Chung, Patriots (+2.9)
An All-AFC East pairing, both of whom were particularly good in coverage. Chung made a couple of big plays (including one to prevent a touchdown), while Jones wracked up his second pick of the year in a one-sided victory over the Texans.
Kicker: Nick Folk, Jets
Blair Walsh blew his chances with a missed extra point, but the flawless Folk had no such worries.
Punter: Pat McAfee, Colts
The one Colt to come out of Sunday with credit.
Returner: Dwayne Harris, Giants
One play can often define a game; Harris was the guy to make that play.
For the worst players at every position in Week 7, view Bryson Vesnaver’s Worst Team of the Week roster.