PFF Week: Down South, Week 5
It’s your last chance to get caught up on the happenings at PFF before the next slate of games is upon us and our new ‘PFF Week’ posts provide quick access to the week that was. The ‘Down South’ edition covers all things pertaining to the AFC and NFC South divisions for a one-stop Saturday shop built to keep you in the loop and on top of your football-watching game.
Week 4 Wrap
Week 4 had a late game collapse from the Buccaneers, while there was a second half to forgot in an overtime loss for the Texans and Matt Schaub. The meanwhile Jaguars had another game to forget, although that was to the benefit of the Colts. The Titans and Saints both had comfortable wins on the scoreboard, the Saints in the lights of Monday Night Football. The Falcons played under the lights on Sunday night, but weren’t able to get the final drive to win the game. Our team took a look at each of the South teams in action, the Panthers had their bye at the earliest opportunity, and broke down the performances to remember.
As usual, our team were busy putting out content to review the week, starting with the PFF Team of the Week, with the highlight being a quarterback from the AFC South keeping the NFC South’s best in the honorable mention. The “Had a Bad Day” team also made mention of an NFC South quarterback, being a rookie making his first start not keeping him off the dishonorable mention. He was far from the only south player though, with three players named as starters on defense.
Gordon McGuinness’ Secret Superstars features four AFC players this week, with one from the AFC South. Almost as the epitome of the series, he comes from team sitting in the cellar and wasn’t even playing in 2012. Neil Hornsby also brought us the latest instalment of our newest series, The Third Phase. Focusing on the unsung heroes of the little talked about phases of the game, Neil points out the performance of the Titans’ recently demoted MLB in making sure the coaches don’t forget about him.
The Race for Rookie of the Year is starting to warm up, with around a quarter of the season now played and, with a week off, has Star Lotulelei been knocked off the top? Khaled Elsayed breaks down the guys in the hunt and includes an undrafted NFC South rookie as one who could break into the list soon. With the attention the 2013 rookies are getting currently, Khaled has also taken a look at the how the first 32 players off the board last year have started their second season. He breaks down who has taken last year’s play to the next level and who has suffered the dreaded “Sophmore Slump” putting the 2012 First Rounders in Focus.
As mentioned, a quarter of the regular season has now been played, so our team thought it was time to take a look back. While one big game might get you into the PFF Team of the Week, it takes more than that to make the PFF Team of the Month. That’s exactly what has happened for players such as Andre Johnson and J.J. Watt, among a number of South players named as both starters and given honorable mentions. Ben Stockwell also took a look over the first quarter of the season and updated the Stock Report for both the AFC and the NFC. Whose “stock” has been rising in the first four games and whose agent has been seeing their possible commission dropping.
Looking Forward to Week 5
While Tampa Bay enjoy a week off, although following Week 4’s loss they may be kept busy, the other seven South teams will be focusing on their upcoming games. Indianapolis and Tennessee face tough home tests, with both hosting 4-0 teams. Jacksonville will be travelling to the Midwest and hoping to get on level terms with their hosts. New Orleans, trying to keep their record perfect, travel to the Windy City, while Carolina, fresh from their bye, travel to the Southwest trying to get to .500. For the second week in a row, both primetime games feature South teams, with Houston facing their third 2012 playoff opponent in a row and Atlanta moving to Monday Night to try and replicate New Orleans performance last week.
After putting forward the areas each game could be won and lost, our analysts have put their dignity where their mouth is and published their Pick’ems, not pretty reading for fans of the South with five losses being predicted, and their Power Rankings, which have two South teams propping up the table and the NFC South leaders trying to hold up southern pride.
Nathan Jahnke’s 32 Observations this week focused on running backs. He picks out information such as the difference between Arian Foster’s running when winning and losing and how Chris Johnson is doing in the Redzone this season. He also looks at where the Falcons have success running the ball, as well as the defenses DeAngelo Williams and Doug Martin have success against.
Khaled Elsayed took advantage our the vast amount of information we collect here at PFF (selections of it available for our subscribers) to take a look at the Offensive Packages teams put out and how they vary between teams.
Khaled also took a look through our Signature Statistics to see who the most effective pass rushers our through a quarter of the season, with the top two and five of the top 10 interior defenders coming from South teams, guards may be a priority position for the divisions soon.
Palazzolo’s Pitch this week sees Steve looking at how cornerbacks match up with top wide receivers as well as the versatility of some of the top tight ends and helps to expand on the difficulty in covering them covered last week.
Finally, there has already been a Week 5 game complete and Ben Stockwell has the performances that made the difference in the ReFocused, while Sam Monson takes a look at a rookie making a name for himself this year in his Analysis Notebook and picks out two of the good plays he made in Thursday Night Football.
Don’t forget to check back next week to catch the analysis of the Week 5 games and — if you are a PFF Premium subscriber — the full grades of statistics. If you are still unsure about whether or not to sign up, Steve Palazzolo explains how PFF fits in the analytic and advanced statistics spectrum here.