PFF Week: Up North, Week 7
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.
We’re rapidly approaching the halfway point of the season, and everyone still has plenty to play for in the AFC North and NFC North. In fact, six teams have a shot at the division lead this week, while the Vikings and Steelers could move within two games of the top should results go their way. With so much at stake, let’s take a look back at how Week 6 brought us to this point, and then see what the PFF team thinks will happen in Week 7.
Week 6 Wrap
In strong week for the Northerners, teams playing outside the divisions, except the Vikings, were victorious — while the only losses came in-house, as the Lions beat the Browns, and the Packers beat the Ravens. You can catch up on all the Week 6 action with our ReFocused articles, or skip ahead to your team with the links below:
Once the dust settled on that lot, Antonio Brown, Jamari Lattimore, and Elvis Dumervil found themselves on PFF’s Team of the Week, while eight players from the North divisions wound up on the ‘Had a Bad Day’ Team — and there’s some big names on that latter list, including the Super Bowl champs’ lead runner.
Things look rosier on the rookie front, as Giovani Bernard of the Bengals, and the Lions’ Larry Warford look entrenched in the Top 10 of PFF’s Race for Rookie of the Year, while Green Bay’s Eddie Lacy was unlucky to miss out. If you want to catch up on how your team’s top 2013 draft is faring, check out Khaled Elsayed’s First-Rounders in Focus: Week 6 article — although it doesn’t make for particularly positive reading, with only two of 10 selections from the AFC and NFC North currently grading in the green… and of those, only Cincy’s Tyler Eifert has earned significant snaps.
Eifert’s teammate Marvin Jones is the subject of this week’s Secret Superstars feature. As Gordon McGuinness writes, Jones is already within 11 yards of his 2012 output and the WR is rapidly improving.
Switching to the other side of the ball, the Week 6 edition of 32 Observations featured a notable stat line for the defense of each team in the league.For instance, Cleveland’s Buster Skrine and Joe Haden are the two most targeted CBs in the league on passes beyond 10 yards, while Detroit’s Israel Idonije is the most successful pass rushing D-lineman not to record a sack — he has gotten pressure on 13.5% of his pass rushes, but still has put a QB down.
There was praise this week for Green Bay’s Chris Banjo, who earned himself a place among the best-performed special teamers in Thomas Maney’s The Third Phase: Week 6.
And, after looking previously at the rookie QBs, Steve Palazzolo turned his attention to the rookie runners in this week’s Palazzolo’s Pitch. Steve made special mention of Eddie Lacy, Giovani Bernard, and Le’Veon Bell.
With Week 6 behind us, the PFF team submitted their weekly Power Rankings, with the Packers, Bengals, and Bears all holding on to their spots in the Top 10. The Lions and Ravens remain within a Flacco or Stafford hot streak of the top group, while the Steelers’ first win vaulted them up five spots.
Looking Ahead to Week 7
It’s a full slate of games for the AFC and NFC North again this week, highlighted by the Bengals top-of-the-table clash with the Lions, and the latest chapter of the Steelers/Ravens rivalry. Take a look at how our PFF analysts think each encounter will unfold — for a glimpse at what the rest of the league is up to try our Three To Focus On articles for each matchup.
That Detroit vs. Cincinnati game has our analysts split, but they’re far more confident in the Packers and Bears this week, while no one thinks the Vikings can beat the Giants. Check out all the tips in the PFF Pick’em: Week 7.
If you like to go a little deeper with your football analysis, Sam Monson’s Analysis Notebook is for you. Each week Sam highlights some of the most interesting plays and players from around the league, and this time he’s gone for a look at how the Rams dealt with JJ Watt, and the importance of a strong scramble drill.
Remeber, if you want to catch up on any of the recent Signature Stats pieces, or get a look at how we ranked the league’s 32 offensive lines, there’s plenty to explore on the site. And if that’s still not enough, why not subscribe to our Premium Stats section and get all the unique PFF data on every player, on every play, from every game so far.
So that’s it for Week 6, and Week 7 is just getting started. Who’s going to rule the roost in the AFC North and NFC North after this weekend?