PFF Week: Up North, Week 8
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.
Week 7 Wrap
While it’s officially time to enjoy The Fall Classic in MLB, that doesn’t mean PFF has put away the pencils, paper and spreadsheets. While many of us here like to unwind with nine innings of strategy and gamesmanship our true calling is the NFL where one snap of the ball can change a season. Whether it’s a big play that secures a come from behind win that builds confidence in fellow teammates the coaches or a season ending injury, a team’s fate can change in the blink of an eye.
The Bengals snared a last-second win at Detroit for a double as they kept their momentum rolling along in the AFC North. The Steelers and Ravens engaged in a bit of a pitcher’s duel with the fourth straight game decided by a field goal in the series. The Browns were simply no match for the ace pitching of Aaron Rodgers in their matchup against the Packers, with the loss resulting in a change of the rotation.
Elsewhere in the NFC North, the Bears went yard often against Washington but had to reach into their bullpen with the loss of Jay Cutler. Finally, the Vikings went into MetLife Stadium against the Giants and new quarterback Josh Freeman simply couldn’t find the strike zone on Monday Night Football (be sure to try out the interactive section of the ReFo). Want to know more about your team’s games last week? Yes, yes you do and you can find all the games right here.
After the games it’s time to check and see how the lineup has done and figure out just who’s hot and who isn’t. Overall, the PFF Power Rankings represent the lineup of the 32 teams from top to bottom in the eyes of the analysts at this point in time. The PFF Team of the Week only has four players from the AFC/NFC North on it while the ‘Had a Bad Day Team’ almost put a whole team out on the field by itself with players from the two divisions. In MLB, that means some players could be headed to the minor leagues with the team bringing up some rookies for look. The PFF Race for Rookie of the Year features a pair of players from the North’s who have been solid contributors for their teams so far. Sadly, the Secret Superstars by Gordon McGuinness for Week 7 lacks any representatives from the AFC/NFC North but is still worth a look on the scorecards.
This week’s Analysis Notebook by Sam Monson is a triple play of goodness for PFF readers. The first installment is a look at how Tony Gonzalez is still effective at this point, the second bonus edition takes a look at how Trent Richardson is better than his stats indicate with the Colts and finally, the third offering is centered around how the Bucs currently deploying Darrelle Revis at this point.
In baseball, games are decided by the skill of the pitcher (most of the time) and in the NFL it often comes down to if the quarterback is in the zone and puts the ball where it needs to be. Sometimes, time is the quarterbacks ally and at other points it’s a major obstacle. Rick Drummond takes a look at how those quarterbacks that hold onto the ball at four or more seconds fare so far this season. Coming at you off the mound is Palazzolo’s Pitch which deals with the reality of the Jets cornerback’s, coping with Peyton Manning and a step up in play by David DeCastro. Speaking of improvement, Nathan Jahnke’s 32 Observations highlights a player on each team that have elevated their play so far in 2013.
Looking Ahead to Week 8
With the league almost at the mid-point of the season where do they go from here? Now is when teams need to stay healthy so they set up their stretch run in a few weeks. At this point they are what they are and educated PFF readers are able to consistently identify the strengths and weaknesses of their favorite club with ease. This week the AFC/ NFC North gets a chance to start separating/ catch up in their matchups around the league.
The Lions get ready for a duel against the Cowboys while Packers head up to Minnesota who are fielding their third different quarterback in as many games. In the AFC, the Browns seek to spoil the Chiefs undefeated season, the Steelers take a long flight out to the West Coast after facing the Ravens and Marvin Lewis’ Bengals get another crack at Rex Ryan who has won all three matchups with the Jets. For a more detailed look at the games check out the Three to Focus On articles below.
– An NFC North player heads up the batting order thanks to his special teams play in The Third Phase: Week 7 by Thomas Maney.
– Baseball has fielding percentage as a metric to gauge its players but PFF has its own Signature Stats with this week’s article focusing on Run Stop Percentage by ILB’s thanks to Michael Renner.
– It’s time to get your Cracker Jacks and peanuts with the prize being the PFF Pick’em: Week 8 where you get to see how the analysts think this week’s action is going to go.