PFF Team of Week 12
It takes into account which quarterbacks made plays and which ones let their receivers do all the work. Which defensive tackles stood up offensive linemen to redirect runners. Which cornerbacks were bailed out by dropped passes.
So with that in mind enjoy our Team of Week 12.
Quarterback: Jay Cutler, CHI (+5.4)
When Cutler plays like that it’s easy to see why many think he has it in him to be an elite quarterback. He was near perfect under pressure, completing 75% of passes while pressured on 44.1% of drop-backs.
Running Back: Stevan Ridley, NE (+2.5)
An interesting week. No running back really stood out so I wouldn’t have any issues with anyone going in the direction of Marcel Reece, BenJarvus Green-Ellis or even Michael Bush. As it is, Ridley kept on picking up sizeable gains to keep the Patriots in manageable situations.
Full Back: Bruce Miller, SF (+2.9)
The standout fullback this year courtesy of his consistent lead blocking, Miller also showed some nifty hands in the passing game to pick up some 49er first downs.
Tight End: Matt Spaeth, CHI (+6.7)
How can it be that a tight end with only 13 receiving yards makes the team? Well, in a week where no tight end stood out, the exceptional blocking of Spaeth (and it was exceptional) deserves recognition.
Wide Receivers: Andre Johnson, HST (+4.0) and Calvin Johnson, DET (+3.9)
The two Johnson’s kicked-off Thanksgiving with explosive performances, as they combined for 328 yards and a touchdown. That was enough to edge Torrey Smith into a reserve role despite his own big day.
Tackles: Duane Brown, HST (+8.7) and Orlando Franklin, DEN (+5.3)
That may very well be the best left tackle performance we’ve ever seen, as the athletic Brown made a number of fantastic blocks and showed no signs of slowing down the longer the game went on. Franklin surrendered a sack and a hurry but continued his fine season.
Guards: Evan Mathis, PHI (+6.8) and Dan Connolly, NE (+4.4)
While the Eagles flat out stink right now, one guy who isn’t letting up is guard Mathis. He looked a little off his superb 2011 at the start of the year, but is playing better than that these past five weeks. Connolly was perfect in pass protection like Mathis, putting forth his best game as a Patriot.
Center: Dallas Reynolds, PHI (+3.8)
It’s often said (by me) that the Panthers’ interior defensive line is the cure for many a center and guard’s problems. Well, that was the case with Reynolds’ best day as an Eagle.
Defensive Front 4-3
Defensive Ends: Israel Idonije, CHI (+5.2) and Osi Umenyiora, NYG (+5.0)
That was the best either man has looked this year, as they combined for two sacks, two hits and eight hurries. Idonije worked over Phil Loadholt, while Umenyiora did the same to Marshall Newhouse.
Defensive Tackle: Geno Atkins, CIN (+8.9) and Ndamukong Suh, DET (+8.1)
Atkins, a legit defensive player of the year candidate, turned 33 pass rushes into a sack, two hits and eight hurries. Ridiculous numbers. Meanwhile, if you can look past that groin kick Suh had probably his best game as a pro as he decimated Ben Jones.
Linebackers: Nick Barnett, BUF (+3.0), Koa Misi (+2.8) and D’Qwell Jackson, CLV (+2.7)
What, no Von Miller? Indeed Miller was off his game this week, not something you can say about Barnett or Misi. Misi was stout in the run game, while Barnett picked up three defensive stops and a pass deflection. In the middle, Jackson did some nice work in coverage, allowing four of six into his coverage for 32 yards with a pass defense.
Defensive Front 3-4
Defensive Line: Barry Cofield, WAS (+3.7), J.J. Watt, HST (+8.9) and Antonio Smith, HST (+6.1)
At times Cofield has struggled as a nose tackle, but he’s enjoying himself at the moment and is really starting to pick up some pressure. He managed three hits and two hurries of Tony Romo on Thanksgiving. On either side of him it’s the Texans’ duo who combined for three sacks, a hit, 12 hurries and three batted passes. Yep, they were pretty good.
Outside Linebackers: Dwight Freeney, IND (+4.1) and Anthony Spencer, DAL (+3.7)
Two guys who could be among the more sought after free agents at the end of the year. Freeney picked up two hits and four hurries, while Spencer managed two sacks and two hurries. Throw in some good work in the run game from both and you’ve got the formula for making this team.
Inside Linebackers: Jerrell Freeman, IND (+3.8) and Brendon Ayanbadejo, BLT (+3.6)
Freeman was all over the field on Sunday, racking up 13 tackles with eight of them going for defensive stops. Though normally a special teamer, Ayanbadejo got some playing time and really made the most of it where his coverage skills were evident for all to see.
Cornerbacks: Joe Haden, CLV (+4.7) and DeAngelo Hall, WAS (+4.1)
This was Haden at his best. Thrown at five times, with just one reception allowed for 4 yards and a pick and pass defense to his name. Hall wasn’t much worse in giving up five of eight for 36 yards and an interception of his own. If only he could play like this every week.
Safeties: Mike Adams, DEN (+4.9) and Danieal Manning, HST (+2.7)
The feisty Adams kept T.J. Ward out of this team with a strong effort, particularly his work in the run game. Manning is the free safety, making a big pass deflection to prevent a touchdown and seemingly always in good position.
Kicker: Justin Tucker (BLT)
Punter: Mike Scifres (SD)
Returner: T.Y. Hilton (IND)
Special Teamer: Colt Anderson (PHI)
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