Best player at every position in NFL Week 10
Week 10 of the 2016 NFL season is complete, and PFF’s grades for every player to take a snap are in the books. Here are the top performances over the week at every position:
Week 10 offense
Quarterback: Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins, 90.0
Ryan Tannehill made one of the throws of the season this week against the San Diego Chargers, and it was a big reason for his passer rating under pressure coming in at a ludicrous 137.5—more than 10.0 points higher than when he wasn’t under duress. Either way, Tannehill’s performance this week was excellent, and it marked his best game of the season since Week 2. This has been far from a vintage year for the Miami QB, but games like this show you there’s a lot of upside still there.
Running back: Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles, 82.9
All of a sudden, the Philadelphia Eagles fashioned a running game against the Atlanta Falcons, and Ryan Mathews, in particular, had a big day. He carried the ball 19 times for 108 yards, with 47 of them coming after contact, scoring twice and adding another 30 yards on two receptions in the passing game. This was a game that reminded fans of why Mathews is a former first-round draft pick.
Wide receiver: DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins, 86.2
Ryan Tannehill wasn’t the only member of the Miami Dolphins’ offense to have a big day, as DeVante Parker—a 2015 first-round pick—had arguably his best game as a pro. Parker caught five of the eight passes thrown his way for 103 yards, with 56 of them coming after the catch as he broke a pair of tackles to gain additional yardage.
Wide receiver: Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos, 83.9
Demaryius Thomas has had bigger days when it comes to statistics, but he hauled in some spectacular catches against the Saints, including a ludicrous one-handed effort over the middle. He caught eight of the 11 passes thrown his way for 87 yards and a touchdown, beating CB Delvin Breaux for the score by simply winning at the catch point down in the end zone. This was the kind of game that showcases the potential Thomas has to be one of the game’s very best.
Slot receiver: Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings, 90.2
With Josh Norman tracking receivers only as long as they play outside, the Vikings simply lined Stefon Diggs up in the slot on 41 of his 50 snaps on offense, allowing him to go off against rookie CB Kendall Fuller. Diggs caught 13 passes for 164 yards, with 106 of those yards coming against Fuller. He also beat four other Redskins defenders for catches.
Tight end: Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 92.5
One of the more unlikely names to make the team of the week, Tampa Bay’s Cameron Brate had a huge game against the Bears. He caught all seven of the passes thrown his way for 84 yards and a touchdown, posting career highs in both receptions and yardage and forging a nice connection with QB Jameis Winston that the Bears’ defense just couldn’t stop.
Left tackle: Duane Brown, Houston Texans, 89.4
Going up against the Jaguars’ pass-rush certainly helped, but Duane Brown was effectively perfect in pass protection, keeping a clean sheet on 33 pass-blocking snaps and not falling foul of the officials, with zero penalties over the game. Brown, if anything, was even better as a run blocker, and Houston averaged over 11 yards per carry on runs that went either side of his blocks.
Left guard: Rodger Saffold, Los Angeles Rams, 82.8
The overall matchup in this game was between two pretty bad teams, but Roger Saffold was facing a tough New York defensive front and had the best game of his season. He didn’t allow any pressure over 36 pass-blocking snaps—the first game of his season with no pressure—and run blocked well against Jets’ linemen that typically dominate in that area of the game.
Center: Mitch Morse, Kansas City Chiefs, 85.5
Mitch Morse began the season struggling, but has turned it around in recent weeks; this game was his best of the season against a resurgent Carolina defensive front. Morse didn’t allow a single pressure in pass protection, marking the fifth straight game with no pressure for him, and he made a couple of very nice blocks on LB Luke Kuechly when asked to pull-block on the move.
Right guard: David DeCastro, Pittsburgh Steelers, 89.4
Retaining his spot on the team of the week, David DeCastro had his second strong game in a row. Against the Cowboys, he was excellent, allowing no pressure on 55 pass-blocking snaps and run blocking like it was his sole purpose on this planet. He made life particularly tough for rookie Maliek Collins on the line and LB Sean Lee at the second level.
Right tackle: Ricky Wagner, Baltimore Ravens, 84.0
While the rest of the Baltimore offensive line found life hard against the Browns back on Thursday night, RT Ricky Wagner was having an excellent game. Wagner surrendered just one hurry on 48 pass-blocking snaps, and had a solid game as a run blocker.
Week 10 defense
Edge defender: Cameron Jordan, New Orleans Saints, 92.2
This was Cameron Jordan at his most dominant, as he victimized Denver RT Donald Stephenson so badly that he got him sent to the bench—then set about taking Stephenson’s backup to school. For the game, Jordan posted 10 total pressures and eight defensive stops, giving him 18 impact plays on defense over just 78 snaps, or a play-defining moment on almost a quarter of all the snaps he was on the field for.
Defensive interior: Earl Mitchell, Miami Dolphins, 85.8
Miami got DT Earl Mitchell back from injury this week, and he showed them just what they had been missing during his time in the trainer’s room with one of the best games of his career. Mitchell made three defensive stops, including one absolutely crushing play against the run where he bulldozed through the line and killed the run deep in the backfield while Miami was backed up against its own goal line.
Defensive interior: Ndamukong Suh, Miami Dolphins, 85.6
Mitchell is joined on the team of the week by his teammate, Ndamukong Suh, which won’t surprise anybody that was watching the game. Suh posted a sack, hit, and two hurries, as well as a pair of batted passes and four defensive stops. Suh was at his disruptive best in this game and made a significant impact against both the run and pass.
Edge defender: Terrell Suggs, Baltimore Ravens, 84.8
This was a very close call, with Green Bay’s Nick Perry also in the mix, but the game Terrell Suggs had against one of the league’s best in Joe Thomas was remarkable. For the game, Suggs posted a sack, hit, and six pressures, with one of the hurries causing an interception and the sack forcing a fumble. Not all of the pressure came against Thomas, but the two plays that caused turnovers did.
Linebacker: Vontaze Burfict, Cincinnati Bengals, 93.9
One of the most active players on Monday night, Vontaze Burfict was making impact plays all over the field for the Bengals. He may not be at his best in a lot of space, but in coverage he broke up a pass and forced a fumble from Jerrell Adams after the catch. He was also dominant on the blitz as a pass-rusher, not just finding open lanes, but actually destroying blockers—including offensive linemen—who had a good angle to pick him up.
Linebacker: Gerald Hodges, San Francisco 49ers, 94.7
Gerald Hodges didn’t make that many plays against the Cardinals, but every one he did make was a significant one. In addition to posting three defensive stops and getting the better of LG Mike Iupati in particular, he made a crucial interception of QB Carson Palmer late in the game to put the result of the contents firmly in doubt from what had been a 13-point spread. It wasn’t quite enough, but this was a fine performance from Hodges.
Cornerback: Keith Reaser, San Francisco 49ers, 91.8
Another unlikely member of the team of the week, Keith Reaser had a huge game for the 49ers at cornerback going up against Carson Palmer and the bevy of receiving weaponry he can deploy. Reaser was thrown at five times, allowing three catches for 41 yards, but breaking up the two incompletions and forcing a fumble by ripping the ball from J.J. Nelson early in the game.
Cornerback: Ladarius Gunter, Green Bay Packers, 88.6
Ladarius Gunter this season has either been getting beat like a drum or doing pretty well, with very little inbetween. While the rest of the Packers’ defense was acting like it was the first time they’d tried playing that side of the ball, Ladarius Gunter was pretty much locking his guy down. He was only targeted twice in the game, breaking up one of them and allowing a catch for 8 yards on the other. He also had another pass breakup on a play that was nullified by penalty, and posted a pressure on the blitz.
Slot cornerback: Steven Nelson, Kansas City Chiefs, 87.1
Steven Nelson retains his spot on team of the week with another fine performance for the Chiefs. He was thrown at six times by Cam Newton, surrendering four catches for just 31 yards; while he was covering Kelvin Benjamin, he allowed just one catch on three targets, breaking up one of the incompletions.
Safety: Kam Chancellor, Seattle Seahawks, 91.8
Kam Chancellor has games where he can change the result with his performances, and this was one of those games. He led the team with five defensive stops, and nine combined solo and assisted tackles. In coverage, he broke up one pass intended for Rob Gronkowski and killed a couple more throws by cutting off the receiver’s route with excellent positioning on the play.
Safety: Eric Berry, Kansas City Chiefs, 85.6
Eric Berry was the Chiefs defender tasked with most directly shutting down Cam Newton this week, and he rose to the challenge. In coverage, he broke up one pass and picked off another, taking that one back to the house for six crucial points as Kansas City came back from down 17-0 to win. Berry also spied Newton on a couple of occasions and limited the damage he could do taking off.
Week 10 special teams
Punter: Bradley Pinion, San Francisco 49ers
Bradley Pinion punted seven times for the 49ers this week, with one of them being downed by the coverage team, three fair caught, and the other three coming back for just 13 return yards in an excellent display of directional punting.
Kicker: Cairo Santos, Kansas City Chiefs
Cairo Santos was one of three players to make four kicks this week, but was the only one to have all of them hit from at least 30 yards out, including one from over 40. He also averaged 70.2 yards per kick-off.
Special teamer: Justin Simmons, Denver Broncos
Any time you leap clean over the line to block a game-winning kick at the death, setting up a return going the other way for two points and effectively winning the game, you’re going to wind up as the PFF special teamer of the week. Take a bow, Justin Simmons.
Return specialist: Alex Erickson, Cincinnati Bengals
Nobody made it to the house this week, but Alex Erickson came pretty close on Monday Night Football, making it 84-yards back towards the end zone before being chased down by the last man.