PFF Team of Week 13
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 13.
(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: Peyton Manning, DEN (+4.6)
It seemed like Manning was slowing down after his hot start to the year, but he came back from some tough moments against Kansas City to put the Broncos firmly in control of the AFC West.
Honorable Mention: Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)
Running Back: Adrian Peterson, MIN (+5.9)
As good as Peterson has looked all year in picking up 211 yards with 99 of those coming after contact. Never a bad thing when you can break eight tackles.
Honorable Mention: C.J. Spiller (BUF)
Full Back: Jerome Felton, MIN (+6.8)
After his big 2012 Felton has been underwhelming so far, but not against the Bears. His bulldozing display ensured he has the second highest grade we’ve ever given a fullback right now.
Honorable Mention: Marcel Reece (OAK)
Tight End: Rob Gronkowski, NE (+4.8)
How much better do the Patriots look with Gronkowski? A positive grade with his run blocking, 127 yards and a touchdown will do that.
Honorable Mention: Heath Miller (PIT)
Wide Receivers: Josh Gordon, CLE (+5.4) and Alshon Jeffrey, CHI (+5.1)
Even with a big day for Eric Decker these two made it very easy for me. 261 yards for Gordon and 249 for Jeffrey in a couple of jaw-dropping efforts.
Honorable Mention: Eric Decker (DEN) and Andre Johnson (HOU)
Tackles: Trent Williams, WAS (+6.4) and Andre Smith, CIN (+4.5)
Smith didn’t start but injuries ensured the Bengals had to make use of him, where he responded with some fine run blocking. Much the same for Williams who allowed just the one hurry and was too powerful for the Giants defenders.
Honorable Mention: Nate Solder (NE) and LaAdrian Waddle (DET)
Guards: Andrew Whitworth, CIN (+4.5) and Kraig Urbik, BUF (+3.8)
Whitworth shifted to left guard to help the team out, and his run blocking didn’t miss a beat in a fine effort. On the right side Urbik had plenty of joy in helping C.J. Spiller get back on track.
Honorable Mention: Rob Sims (DET) and Uche Nwaneri (JAX)
Center: Dominic Raiola, DET (+4.5)
A rare winning thanksgiving for Raiola who certainly played his part as the Lions ran all over the Packers.
Honorable Mention: John Sullivan (MIN)
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: Ndamukong Suh, DET (+7.1) and Jurrell Casey, TEN (+6.1)
A big day for Suh who found some of his early season form as he went to work on a Packers line that failed to adapt to him and their own injuries. On the other side Casey is taking well to a new role that the Titans are asking of him, with him looking light on his feet and more explosive rushing the passer. He was already very good and now everyone knows about it.
Honorable Mention: Alan Branch (BUF) and Karl Klug (TEN)
Defensive Interior – Nose: Barry Cofield, WAS (+6.6)
Whether the Giants ran or threw, Cofield was there to make a presence of himself. Three stops against the run and four quarterback disruptions will do nicely.
Honorable Mention: Dontari Poe (KC)
Edge Rushers: Trent Cole, PHI (+7.0) and Brian Orakpo, WAS (+6.5)
Cole rolled back the years as he went to work on Bradley Sowel to the tune of two sacks, a hit and five hurries. There’s still some gas left in his tank. On the other side, Orakpo made Will Beatty look very sluggish while constantly redirecting Giants runners.
Honorable Mention: Jason Babin (JAX) and Julius Peppers (CHI)
Linebackers: Zach Brown, TEN (+3.5) and K.J. Wright, SEA (+5.3)
A big day for Brown who picked up a sack and four other defensive stops as the Titans defense got on a roll. A fine outing from Wright, particularly in coverage where despite being targeted eight times he gave up just 23 yards with one pass break up.
Honorable Mention: Chad Greenway (MIN) and Lawrence Timmons (PIT)
Cornerbacks: Patrick Peterson, ARZ (+3.8) and Cary Williams, PHI (+3.3)
Two pass breaks ups and a pick that was called back represent a good afternoon for Peterson who allowed just one reception all day. Williams has had a rough debut year for the Eagles but with a big pick and another pass break up he’s sitting pretty now.
Honorable Mention: Brent Grimes (MIA) and Darius Slay (DET)
Safeties: Will Hill, NYG (+3.9) and Antrell Rolle, NYG (+3.0)
You don’t normally see safeties tandems playing this well. Hill got the headlines with his game-clinching strip fumble, but Rolle deserves plenty of credit for his part in slowing down the Redskins offense in the second half.
Honorable Mention: George Wilson (TEN) and T.J. McDonald (SL)
Kicker, Adam Vinateri, IND: As the Colts struggled to find the end zone, their superstar kicker bailed them out with five big kicks.
Punter, Chris Jones, DAL: With a long of 58 Jones gave his coverage unit plenty to work with.
Returner, Jeremy Ross, DET: Showed the Packers they were wrong to let him go (at least for his returning anyway).
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