PFF Week: Up North, Week 10
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 ‘Up North’ edition covers all things pertaining to the AFC and NFC North divisions for a one-stop Saturday shop built to keep you in the loop and on top of your football-watching game.
What a difference a play makes. Right at the midway point of the season the AFC North-leading Bengals and the NFC North-leading Packers both suffered major injury setbacks that could have a big impact on the second half of their campaigns. The PFF Midseason All-Pro and All-Division teams were announced this week, and its hard to imagine the AFC and NFC North squads without Geno Atkins and Aaron Rodgers… so how do the Bengals and Packers cope? The flip-side is, of course, that it gives hope to the chasing pack.
The NFC North is locked in a three-way tie for first place, and with the Bears hosting Detroit this week while the Packers begin life without their star QB there’s a case to be made for all three as division champs. In the AFC North, the Ravens this week get a second successive chance at closing the gap on the Bengals’ to just two games, and with Cincy’s defense banged up both Baltimore and the Browns can justify a little glass-half-full thinking.
Week 9 Wrap
Week 9 offered up some dramatic outcomes in the AFC North and NFC North, highlighted by the Bears’ break-through win in Green bay and the Browns’ strong showing against the Ravens. As always, the PFF analysis crew’s Re-Focused series captured the key points from each matchup.
Those results earned four players from the North divisions a place on the PFF Team of the Week, while six suffered the ignominy of a place on the ‘Had a Bad Day’ Team. Of course, the real squad to be on this week was the PFF Midseason All-Pro Team. Calvin Johnson made the cut, as expected, and was joined on offense by the Brown’s Joe Thomas, while Cleveland’s T.J. Ward was the lone entrant on defense. That poor showing was boosted a little by Cordarrelle Patterson of the Vikings making the special teams list, and by honorable mentions for Jordy Nelson, Antonio Brown, and David DeCastro. Turning to the All-Division squads, both the AFC North team and the NFC North team featured newcomers such as Giovanni Bernard, Jordan Cameron, and Larry Warford alongside the established stars on the best-of list from the first half of the season.
Speaking of Bernard and Warford, they both held their place among the Top 10 in the Week 9 edition of the PFF Race for Rookie of the Year, while Eddie Lacy of the Packers sits at No. 8.
Lacy’s recent performances earned him a big tick from Ben Stockwell in the Second Quarter edition of the NFC Stock Report. The Stock Report monitors how players’ form fluctuates throughout the season, and Lacy’s jump from a +0.9 overall PFF grade from the first four games to a +7.6 mark over the past four makes him one of the hottest commodities in the NFC. Over in the AFC Stock Report, the Bengals’ Marvin Jones made one of the stronger moves into the green, while James Ihedigbo of the Ravens has seen his grade drop from a +10.4 first quarter performance to a -4.5 in the four game since.
Elsewhere at PFF, Neil Hornsby used the midpoint of the season to review the special teamers nominated for Pro Bowl honors in his regular Third Phase series; there was praised heaped on Browns CB Chris Owens in Gordon McGuinness’ weekly Secret Superstars feature; and Nathan Jahnke highlighted the work of the league’s sophomores in the Week 9 edition of 32 Observations.
So, with ever team over the eight games played mark, the PFF analysis team set down their opinion on the state of the league with the Week 9 Power Rankings. The Packers’ loss to the Bears, and the loss of Aaron Rodgers, saw them tumble down to 10th in the PFF poll, just behind the Lions and Bengals. The Bears turn for home in 13th spot, and the Ravens and Browns are side-by-side at 18th and 19th respectively — although it took a five-spot Baltimore slump and a four-place Cleveland jump to place them as neighbors.
Looking Ahead to Week 10
While every game is important in the NFL, the Bears/Lions and Bengals/Ravens clashes seem to have extra emphasis this week… and who knows what we can expect from the Rodgers-less Packers against the Eagles. Each week the PFF experts highlight three key elements to each game in the Three To Focus On series, and this time of year there’s plenty to discuss.
The Vikings kicked-off Week 10 with a dramatic win over the Redskins, proving there’s still something to play for in season 2013. Ben Stockwell captured the key points to the come-from-behind victory in his Re-Focused article, and Sam Monson offered some insight into Kevin Williams’ move to NT in his Thursday Night Football edition of the Analysis Notebook.
Sam was one of only three PFF experts to pick the Vikings to win on Thursday, and he’s the only man who sees Atlanta beating Seattle this week — is he right again? You can see all the tips from our analysts in the PFF Pick’em for Week 10.
With half a season of data behind them the PFF Signature Stats now offer some of the most powerful insights in football. This week, Michael Renner used the unique Yards Per Coverage Snap stat to evaluate the best, and worst, performing cornerbacks in the NFL — and anytime Darrelle Revis floats to the top of a CB ranking you can feel good about the accuracy of your analysis. Of course, there’s plenty more unique measures of the NFL available in the Premium Section, and with few things set in stone for season 2013 there’s never been a better time to use PFF’s vast resources to figure out where your team is headed.