PFF Team of Week 11
Each week the staff at Pro Football Focus watches over a combined 400 hours of football to ensure we know who the best players are. It makes us the premier outfit in player evaluation, used by NFL teams and fans alike to understand which guys are getting the job done and which guys aren’t.
It’s with this knowledge we can put out our Team of the Week, going beyond the box scores and the highlight reel plays to see who were the best players on every play of every game.
Here’s the Team of Week 11.
(Note: Team will be updated after Monday Night Football games are analyzed and on Wednesday when All-22 footage helps us study plays in even more detail where needed with an asterisk noting any change.)
Quarterback: Nick Foles, PHI (+4.6)
Another fine outing from Foles who continues to impress and repay the faith in him. Russell Wilson might think himself a little unlucky that his lack of playing time knocked him down to a mention.
Honorable Mention: Russell Wilson (SEA)
Running Back: Bobby Rainey, TB (+6.9)
If this grade holds up under our All-22 review, then it will be the highest that we’ve ever given a back. Rainey, who averaged 5.4 yards per carry, made many a Falcons defender look stupid.
Honorable Mention: Rashad Jennings (OAK)
Fullback: Jerome Felton, MIN (+2.0)
We haven’t seen enough of this type of Felton this year, but it was nice of him to make an appearance against the Seahawks.
Honorable Mention: John Kuhn (GB)
Tight End: Delanie Walker, TEN (+4.4)
Some excellent run blocking, 10 catches (on 10 targets) for 91 yards and a touchdown, and taking a helmet to the head. All in a day’s work for Delanie.
Honorable Mention: Charles Clay (MIA)
Wide Receivers: Michael Floyd, ARZ (+3.7) and Vincent Jackson, TB (+3.6)
The scary thing about the grade of Floyd is it would have looked even better but for the team deciding to use him in pass protection on a couple of plays. Jackson truly is a quarterbacks best friend, making average throws look amazing on the box score.
Honorable Mention: Calvin Johnson (DET) and Anquan Boldin (SF)
Tackles: Jordan Gross, CAR (+5.5) and Mitchell Schwartz, CLE (+3.9)
Perfect in pass protection and mauling in the run game. Gross is playing lights out at the moment. On the right side Schwartz gets the nod despite allowing six hurries. Sometimes numbers really don’t tell the whole story.
Honorable Mention: Donald Penn (TB) and Austin Pasztor (JAX)
Guards: Mike Iupati, SF (+2.8) and Marshal Yanda, BAL (+7.7)
Iupati went down after 41 snaps but that was still more than enough time for him to inflict some punishing blocks in the run game. Still, the damage he did paled in comparison to Yanda who entered his own version of beast mode, seeking out and destroying Bears linebackers at the second level for sport.
Honorable Mention: Larry Warford (DET) and Josh Sitton (GB)
Center: Stefen Wisniewski, OAK (+4.2)
Let himself down a tad with a hit allowed, but more than made up for it with some superb work in the run game that got him the highest grade of all centers this week.
Honorable Mention: Gino Gradkowski (BAL)
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 (defensive tackles or 3-4 defensive ends) and two linebackers (all inside linebackers and 4-3 outside linebackers).
Defensive Interior – Ends: J.J. Watt, HOU (+10.0) and Gerald McCoy, TB (+5.8)
Our top ranked 3-4 end and top ranked defensive tackle joining forces to cement their status’ as the best at their position this year. McCoy makes it on the back of his superb pass rushing, ending the day with three sacks and six hurries (along with a batted pass). As for Watt he had just the seven quarterback disruptions and the usual stellar work in the run game.
Honorable Mention: Kyle Williams (BUF) and Red Bryant (SEA)
Defensive Interior – Nose: Paul Soliai, MIA (+4.4)
We weren’t short on contenders here but Soliai gets the nod with his usual top quality work in the run game. His name isn’t big on the stat sheet, but his presence is big when teams try to run on the Dolphins.
Honorable Mention: Marcell Dareus (BUF)
Edge Rushers: Justin Houston, KC (+7.7) and Shaun Phillips, DEN (+5.5)
A fantastic effort from Phillips to finish with two sacks, three hurries, two batted passes and three more stops. Sometimes the numbers really do tell it all. Houston didn’t do much rushing the passer but it’s hard to ignore his eight defensive stops in the run game.
Honorable Mention: Jeremy Mincey (JAX) and Jason Pierre-Paul (NYG)
Linebackers: Vontaze Burfict, CIN (+7.0) and Curtis Lofton, NO (+3.7)
It doesn’t matter that he keeps getting flagged for penalties when he puts in an effort like this. The one-time troubled player has proven the Bengals right to take a chance on him. If ever a team were built for Lofton it was the 49ers, with his work downhill impressive.
Honorable Mention: Karlos Dansby (ARZ) and Patrick Willis (SF)
Cornerbacks: Alan Ball, JAX (+4.8) and Joe Haden, CLE (+3.1)
Big day from Ball who broke up four passes (on seven targeted balls), allowing just 31 yards all game long. Haden had two picks as Andy Dalton picked up a 16.7 QB rating throwing at him.
Honorable Mention: Terence Newman (CIN) and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (DEN)
Safeties: Jairus Byrd, BUF (+3.6) and Reggie Nelson, CIN (+3.1)
With each passing week Byrd seems to be doing something to ensure his price tag goes higher and higher come the offseason. Nelson had a pick and added three stops in an all-action display.
Honorable Mention: Yeremiah Bell (ARZ) and Eric Weddle (SD)
Kicker, Robbie Gould, CHI: Held his never in tricky conditions to kick the Bears to VICTORY.
Punter, Bryan Anger, JAX: Kicked like you’d expect a third round punter to.
Returner, Keshawn Martin, HOU: Took one all the way and looked dangerous every time he touched the ball.
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