10 best players from Sunday's Week 13 NFL action
Every Tuesday, PFF will be releasing its Team of the Week, representing the highest-graded players at each NFL position for that week. But Senior Analyst Sam Monson gets a jump on that by picking out the 10 most impressive individual performances from Sunday’s games.
Here are the 10 best players from Sunday’s Week 13 action:
1. Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
No A.J. Green? No problem. All you need is to face the Philadelphia secondary. Dalton was near flawless in the win over the Eagles, completing 74.2 percent of his passes for 332 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The Eagles didn’t get much pressure, but on the eight snaps they did hurry Dalton, he completed six passes (75.0 percent) for 103 yards and had a passer rating of 116.7. Three of his eight incompletions on the day were thrown away, and one was batted at the line.
2. K. J. Wright, LB, Seattle Seahawks
Wright doesn’t get nearly enough credit for being one of the league’s best linebackers. He is a complete player, excelling against the run and in coverage, and in the blowout win against the Panthers on Sunday night he was at his best. He was thrown at three times and allowed just one catch for seven yards all game, breaking up one of the incompletions. He was also a force in the run game, attacking blocks and forcing cuts without actually being the one to record the defensive stop.
3. Chris Harris Jr., CB, Denver Broncos
Cornerback numbers don’t get a whole load more pretty than those posted by Denver’s Chris Harris Jr. Sunday in the win over the Jaguars. He was thrown at nine times by Blake Bortles but allowed just three catches for 25 yards, while breaking up one pass and intercepting another. Bortles had a passer rating of just 2.8 when throwing the ball his way, around 37 points lower than if he had just thrown the ball into the stands every play instead.
4. Maurkice Pouncey, C, Pittsburgh Steelers
That this was by far the best game of Maurkice Pouncey’s season is one thing, but to do it against the formidable defensive front of the New York Giants is another thing entirely. Pouncey didn’t allow any pressure over the game, and was able to consistently get to the second level and make plays against the Giants linebackers, taking them out of position and paving the way for Le’Veon Bell to notch 119 rushing yards on the ground.
[Check out the complete grades recap from the Steelers’ win over the Giants.]
5. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
Travis Kelce was thrown at eight times in the win against Atlanta, and he caught every pass, racking up 140 receiving yards, with 82 of them coming after the catch. He didn’t get into the end zone for a score, but Kelce beat five different Falcons defenders for catches and QB Alex Smith had a passer rating of 118.8 when throwing the ball in his direction.
6. James Harrison, OLB, Pittsburgh Steelers
What Harrison is doing at his age is scarcely believable. Aided by going up against Giants LT Ereck Flowers – who has reverted to something close to his rookie levels after an encouraging start to his sophomore season – Harrison notched a sack, hit and five hurries from only 17 pass-rushing snaps. He generated some kind of pressure on a ridiculous 41.2 percent of his pass-rushing snaps in the game — at 38 years of age. He played a key role in Pittsburgh’s win.
7. Geno Atkins, DT, Cincinnati Bengals
He may not have recorded a sack this week, but Geno Atkins was a formidable thorn in the Eagles’ side all game long. He got QB Carson Wentz to the ground twice and recorded another four hurries from 44 pass-rushing snaps, but also did well against the run, affecting the point of attack with his quickness, burst and acceleration. The Bengals defense this season has relied too much on Atkins and edge rusher Carlos Dunlap, but both players stood up in a big way against the Eagles.
8. Akiem Hicks, DL, Chicago Bears
With a notable hiccup against one of the league’s best offensive lines when the team played the Tennessee Titans, the last month or so has seen Hicks look like Dan Hampton. Against the 49ers, Hicks had three sacks, two hurries and a team-leading seven stops from the front line of the defense. He was disruptive against both the run and pass in the win over San Francisco, and this marks his third excellent performance in the space of five games.
9. Shaquille Mason, G, New England Patriots
When you are part of an offensive unit that holds Aaron Donald to his lowest grade of the season, you are doing something right. Mason didn’t allow a single pressure from his 48 snaps in pass protection against one of the league’s most pressure-happy defenses, and helped clear a path for LeGarrette Blount to average 4.9 yards per carry and the team to rush for 133 yards overall on the ground in the win over the Rams.
10. Ladarius Webb, S, Baltimore Ravens
The move back to his college position of safety hasn’t exactly allowed Ladarius Webb to rediscover his best play, as he simply isn’t the player he once was before injuries really did a number on his career. But he did own the best play from any defensive back in Sunday’s games in the win over Miami, coming across from his safety position to take the ball away from the intended receiver in the course of making the hit, turning what could easily have been a touchdown into a turnover when the best most players would have managed was an incomplete pass.