PoF: Best Single Games - Tight Ends
Welcome to the Pro Football Focus Page of Fame for tight ends, where only the best one-off performances during our time grading are mentioned.
If this is your first visit to a “PFF PoF” then the rules are pretty simple. Each game is it’s own island, and only the highest grades make it onto the list.
Anything at or over a +7.0 grade for this position will get the recognition it deserves!
1. Kevin Boss, 2008 – WK16, CAR @ NYG: +9.2
Receiving: +1.3, Run Blocking: +7.4, Pass Blocking: +0.3, Penalties: +0.2
On the surface the 46 receiving yards and one touchdown may not stand out as the highest grade we gave a single performance from a tight end in 2008, but the excellent blocking of Boss was something else, with the Giant resembling an additional offensive lineman at times.
2. Jeff King, 2009 – WK6, CAR @ TB: +8.6
Receiving: +0.7, Run Blocking: +7.5, Pass Blocking: +0.2, Penalties: +0.2
King ended his 2009 Week 6 outing with a touchdown to his credit on one of his two receptions. It was his blocking, however, that caught our eye. As the team rushed for 267 yards (with 82 of them outside the TE) he definitely played his part in that.
3. Marcedes Lewis, 2010 – WK13, JAX @ TEN: +8.5
Receiving: -0.4, Run Blocking: +8.5, Pass Blocking: +0.2, Penalties: +0.2
With 36 receiving yards (and a drop), this grade wasn’t built on the pass catching of Lewis. No, it was his blocking that did the damage as he had a lot of fun dealing with Jason Babin, Dave Ball and any other defensive end the Titans lined up. Making it look oh so easy.
4. Rob Gronkowski, 2011 – Divisional Playoff, DEN @ NE: +8.1
Receiving: +5.0, Run Blocking: +2.7, Pass Blocking: +0.2, Penalties: +0.2
Feed the Gronk and he shall score. New England ended TebowMania with Gronkowski central to their plans. He picked up 145 yards and three scores while being targeted 12 times. Not content with imposing himself as a receiver, Gronkowski was also a big contributor in the run game.
5. Vernon Davis, 2011 – Divisional Playoff, NO @ SF: +7.5
Receiving: +5.3, Run Blocking: +1.5, Pass Blocking: +0.5, Penalties: +0.2
In one of the great playoff contests of all time it was Vernon Davis who was the star of the show. He would catch the pass that sent the 49ers to the Conference Championship, but he’d already done plenty of damage, ending the game with 180 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
6. Rob Gronkowski, 2012 – WK8, NE @ SL: +7.4
Receiving: +3.7, Run Blocking: +3.0, Pass Blocking: +0.5, Penalties: +0.2
A trip to London saw Gronkowski spiking microphones and winning over an international audience with his natural charm. On the field he delivered as well with two touchdowns, 146 yards and some top-notch blocking for the highest grade of any tight end in 2012.
7. Aaron Hernandez, 2011 – WK15, NE @ DEN: +7.2
Receiving: +5.5, Run Blocking: +1.0, Pass Blocking: +0.0, Penalties: +0.4
A big receiving day for Hernandez who would force three missed tackles on his way to 129 yards and a touchdown in a game that put the Broncos in their place. As ever, he didn’t do much with his blocking, but when you can pick up 98 yards after the catch, it’s something you learn to live with.
=8. Jason Witten, 2009 – WK3, CAR @ DAL: +7.1
Receiving: +1.9, Run Blocking: +4.7, Pass Blocking +0.3, Penalties: +0.2
A nice day for Witten, who delivered in every phase of the game. His run blocking was the star of the show, but he produced impressively in the passing game with all nine balls thrown his way caught for 77 yards.
=8. Ben Hartsock, 2008 – WK1, DET @ ATL: +7.1
Receiving: +0.3, Run Blocking: +6.4, Pass Blocking: +0.3, Penalties: +0.1
In his day there were few blocking tight ends like Hartsock, and this was certainly his day. Kicking off the new season in style, he made life a lot easier for Michael Turner with his excellent work outside the tackles. He even added a reception for 17 yards to show how much fun he was having.
=10. Matt Spaeth, 2012 – WK12, MIN @ CHI: +7.0
Receiving: +0.7, Run Blocking: +6.0, Pass Blocking: +0.2, Penalties: +0.1
This wasn’t one for the fantasy players. Spaeth may have turned his only target into a touchdown, but it was his blocking that earned him the third-highest grade of 2012 as the Vikings found out just how much of a special talent he was in that regard.
=10. Greg Olsen, 2012 – WK4, CAR @ ATL: +7.0
Receiving: +2.5, Run Blocking: +4.2, Pass Blocking: +0.1, Penalties: +0.2
It ended in a disappointing defeat, but the performance of Olsen was something that was extremely encouraging for Panthers fans. With some excellent blocking alongside 89 receiving yards and a touchdown, they knew they’d landed a weapon at tight end.
=10. Chad Mustard, 2007 – WK17, MIN @ DEN: +7.0
Receiving: +0.6, Run Blocking: +5.1, Pass Blocking: +0.7, Penalties: +0.1
With less than 100 snaps prior to his Week 17 outing, Mustard didn’t really get much of a chance to showcase his skills in 2007. But given hefty playing time in the season finale he duly delivered with a superb and punishing display of blocking that saw him manhandling Vikings like it was going out of fashion.