PFF Week: Down South, Week 13
Week 12 saw a change in both South divisions. Not at the top where the Saints won to stay a game ahead of the Panthers and the Colts still hold a two game advantage over the Titans, despite a second heavy loss in three weeks. The changes came at the bottom, where the Buccaneers, who had moved ahead of the Falcons on head-to-head record gained a game advantage as they won their third straight game. In the AFC the Jaguars took their second win in three weeks, and of the season, moved into a tie with the Texans and are ranked ahead of them based on the H2H. As usual our team took to the tape and picked out the performances of note.
It can be hard to put an individual performance within one game in context of the rest of the league. That’s where our teams of the week come in. Khaled Elsayed and the rest of our team have looked at all the play of Week 12 and picked out the PFF Team of the Week and the “Had a Bad Day” team.
Sometimes looking back at one game can’t do justice to a player and with the attention that rookies receive Khaled Elsayed has been updating the Race for Rookie of the Year. Star Lotulelei has been struggling in recent weeks and has taken another fall down the rankings. He’s not the only NFC South rookie featured, with Desmond Trufant and Mike Glennon also making appearances. There’s also a mention for another defensive rookie in Carolina as one to watch.
Not all players are looked at equally, something Neil Hornsby is trying to repair. He takes a look at the top performing special team players in the Third Phase. There’s mentions for two players from the South, including a free agent signing who hasn’t been able to force his way into the starting line-up.
Gordon McGuinness also looks for the players flying under the radar. In his look for the Secret Superstars from around the league in Week 12, he came across two lineman plying their trade in the South divisions.
Looking to Week 13
With no teams in action on Thanksgiving, fans of the eight teams in the South division could enjoy a relaxed day with turkey, family and football. However Sunday will be a different matter, with seven in action and New Orleans playing on Monday Night. Every team still has something to play for, be it a playoff spot or a paycheck for next year so our team break down the games and the main areas to watch in each game.
As usual our analysis team have looked at each game and picked the team they think will win. Despite only the Jaguars and Texans being picked unanimously to lose, the Buccaneers, Falcons and Saints have just one backer each. Of course to look more into the mindset of each of our team they also put together their Power Rankings, with Jacksonville finally climbing off the bottom of the pile to be replaced by another AFC South team. In fact three teams held the bottom spot on our eight ballots, all teams playing in the South and finishing in the bottom three overall. At the better end of things though the top South team on all ballots were from the NFC, with the Panthers beating the Saints on two sets of votes.
Rick Drummond took a look at our statistics database and looked at how effective team defenses are at rushing the passer. He breaks down defensive lines, linebackers and defensive backs, before looking at the combination of all of these in the overall defense.
In his Analysis Notebook Sam Monson breaks down the play of Robert Quinn against the Bears and the reason sacks aren’t the be all and end all of pass rusher statistics.
In this week’s 32 Observations, Nathan Jahnke builds an All-Pro team, using a single player from each team, picking out an interesting statistic about each. The AFC South has a distinct special teams feel, with two of the four being named for their prowess in that area, meanwhile the NFC South features two tight ends, as well as an offensive lineman.