Best players at every position from Week 13
There were some big box score performances on Sunday, as the yards flowed for quarterbacks and the sacks flowed for pass rushers. But going beyond that, who would the tape determine worthy of a place in the PFF Team of the Week?
Let’s find out.
Quarterback: Cam Newton, Panthers (+8.0)
How good is Newton right now? His five-touchdown day was full of big-time throws, as he worked the Saints’ secondary over relentlessly. He’s a big reason why Carolina is 12-0.
Running back: Jeremy Hill, Bengals (+3.1)
Cincinnati wanted to see more out of Hill, and they got it. He may have fallen just short of 100 yards, but his 22 carries really put the Browns on the back foot.
Fullback: John Kuhn, Packers (+1.0)
Kuhn impressed on his 21 snaps in a week where few fullbacks did much work.
Tight end: Delanie Walker, Titans (+5.1)
Another big day for Walker, continuing his strong year. It wasn’t just the 92-yard, one-touchdown day, but also some impressive blocking from the former 49er.
Wide receivers: Allen Robinson, Jaguars (+4.6) and Odell Beckham Jr, Giants (+2.5)
There’s no slowing Beckham Jr. down right now, with the Giant getting plenty of work against the Jets. Still, as good as he was, his effort paled in comparison to Robinson, one of a few promising young players on the Jacksonville roster.
Tackles: Joe Thomas, Browns (+4.0) and Lane Johnson, Eagles (+4.1)
Our two tackles were identical in the fact that neither man allowed any pressure, though Johnson was flagged for a penalty. Still, his work in the run game more than made up for that blot on his record book.
Guards: Kelechi Osemele, Ravens (+5.2) and Patrick Omameh, Bears (+4.8)
A first appearance on this list for Omameh, who is really starting to look like he belongs in the NFL these past three weeks. Osemele is no stranger to our Team of the Week roster, but it’s worth noting that he’s back to his best after a sluggish start to the year.
Center: Patrick Lewis, Seahawks (+3.1)
Lewis had already proved to be an upgrade over Drew Nowak, but if he can continue to play like this, he’ll be more than that just an upgrade.
Each week, we put forward a hybrid defense that features two edge rushers (4-3 defensive ends or 3-4 outside linebackers), three players on the “interior” of the defensive line (3-4 defensive ends or defensive tackles), and two linebackers (all inside linebackers and 4-3 outside linebackers).
Defensive interior – ends: Aaron Donald, Rams (+9.5) and Malik Jackson, Broncos (+8.4)
Donald was at his unblockable best, as he picked up a sack and four more quarterbacks hits. The Broncos’ Jackson didn’t get as many hits on the quarterback, but did end up with an impressive nine quarterback disruptions.
Defensive interior – Nose: Dan Williams, Raiders (+4.3)
He might just be a situational player, but Williams has been a fantastic pickup for the Raiders, making an impact whenever he is on the field. This week was no different.
Edge rushers: Michael Bennett, Seahawks (+7.8) and Olivier Vernon, Dolphins (+7.0)
It took some effort to keep Von Miller out, but Vernon (who had 11 disruptions) and Bennett (who had six, in addition to stellar work in the run game) both put in some effort.
Linebackers: Jamie Collins, Patriots (+5.5) and Lavonte David, Buccaneers (+4.1)
No Luke Kuechly this week, but there is a Jamie Collins, who returned to the Patriots’ lineup with a bang that saw him dominate in the run game. David had himself a big day to, with a game-sealing interception and stops galore in the run game.
Cornerbacks: Ross Cockrell, Steelers (+3.0) and Kyle Fuller, Bears (+2.8)
2014 fourth-rounder Cockrell isn’t a guy who gets a lot of press, but he’s carved out a role for himself in Pittsburgh. Five times the Colts targeted him, and he broke up as many balls as he allowed to be completed. Completing the sophomore pairing is Fuller, who made it six positively graded games in a row.
Safeties: Eric Weddle, Chargers (+4.4) and Malcolm Jenkins, Eagles (+3.4)
Nice work by Weddle, who hasn’t had his best year, but could use his wonderful efforts against Denver to drive up his free agency price tag. Jenkins is one guy who has really delivered for the Eagles’ defense, consistently making plays. His effort against New England, highlighted by his pick-six, just reinforced that.
Kicker: Shayne Graham, Falcons
What will become of Graham when Matt Bryant is healthy? He’s ensured, at the very least, that he’s the next man up on the kicker list.
Punter: Marquette King, Raiders
Season-best grade for King, who got plenty of distance and hang-time with his punts this week.
Returner: Dwayne Harris, Giants
A touchdown always helps your case, but Harris did more than that with his returns.