PoF: Best Single Games – Centers
Khaled Elsayed today begins a new series honoring the best single-game performances we've seen over the past five years. And it starts with the men in the middle - ...
PoF: Best Single Games – Centers
Welcome to the Pro Football Focus Page of Fame for centers, where only the best one-off performances during our time grading are mentioned.
If this is your first visit to a “PFF PoF” then the rules are pretty simple. Each game is it’s own island, and only the highest grades make it onto the list.
Anything over a +6.0 grade for this position will get the recognition it deserves!
1. Chris Myers, 2011 – WK1, IND @ HST: +8.4
Pass Blocking: +0.6, Screen Blocking: 0.0, Run Blocking: +7.7, Penalties: +0.1
Negative plays tend to show up a lot more for an offensive linemen than the positive ones. Well here that wasn’t the case, with Myers surrendering no pressure and no penalties. Instead, his brilliance was evident for all to see with some tremendous run blocking that earned him the highest grade of any center in 2011.
2. Manny Ramirez, 2013- WK12, DEN @ NE: +8.0
Pass Blocking: -0.6, Screen Blocking: +0.5, Run Blocking: +7.9, Penalties: +0.1
You don’t often see centers physically overpower defensive tackles, but the big bodied Ramirez was too strong for the Patriots defensive tackles. He had no problem getting movement at the point of attack, while also proving able to work off double teams and get to the second level where he opened up some big lanes to inspire some big lanes for Knowshon Moreno.
3. Jonathan Goodwin, 2008 – WK14, ATL @ NO: +7.8
Pass Blocking: +0.8, Screen Blocking: +0.5, Run Blocking: +6.4, Penalties: +0.1
The Saints would end up rushing for 184 yards against the Falcons as they bid to derail their rivals’ playoff momentum — and 108 of those came either side of center. Suffice to say Goodwin, who didn’t give up as much as a hurry on his 35 pass blocks, played his part with the highest grade of 2008 from a center.
4. Nick Mangold, 2009 – WK7, NYJ @ OAK: +7.6
Pass Blocking: -0.6, Screen Blocking: 0.0, Run Blocking: +8.1, Penalties: +0.1
Even though Mangold would earn a negative grade for his work in pass protection, his work in the run game was so good it propelled him to the top grade of any center in 2009. Kirk Morrison and Desmond Bryant in particular got a firsthand demonstration of the power possessed by the Jet.
=5. Jake Grove, 2009 – WK2, IND @ MIA: +7.0
Pass Blocking: +0.9, Screen Blocking: 0.0, Run Blocking: +6.0, Penalties: +0.1
Injuries derailed a promising 2009 for Grove, but it did leave us with some fine memories. None stood out more than the demolition job he put on the Colts’ beleaguered defensive interior and overmatched linebacker group. The Dolphins’ 239 yards rushing is proof of that.
=5. Geoff Hangartner, 2009 – WK17, IND @ BUF: +7.0
Pass Blocking: +0.6, Screen Blocking: 0.0, Run Blocking: +6.3, Penalties: +0.1
For the first half of 2009 Hangartner was something of a whipping boy. Some poor performances saw him languishing at the bottom of our positional rankings amid questions of why he was starting. Well, a better second half of the year culminated with a fine performance against an Indy team fully focused on the impending playoffs.
7. Chris Myers, 2014 – WK8, HST @ TEN: +6.8
Pass Blocking: +0.5, Screen Blocking: 0.0, Run Blocking: +6.2, Penalties: +0.1
One hurry allowed in pass protection and some tremendous run blocking. Myers had the Titans defensive line on skates as he set up some big cutbacks lanes, with 58 yards coming on 6 carries off either A gap. Not too shabby at all.
=8. Nick Mangold, 2008 – WK12, NYJ @ TEN: +6.7
Pass Blocking: +0.4, Screen Blocking: +0.5, Run Blocking: +5.7, Penalties: +0.1
Even though Mangold was responsible for a sack, that still couldn’t take the shine off a fantastic day that would give him the second-highest grade of any center in 2008. His work was done paving the way for a ground attack that finished with 192 rushing yards.
=8. Nick Mangold, 2009 – WK6, BUF @ NYJ: +6.7
Pass Blocking: +0.8, Screen Blocking: 0.0, Run Blocking: +5.8, Penalties: +0.1
Working in tandem with Brandon Moore and others to tremendous effect, Mangold was the spearhead for a line that would set up a Jets tally of 318 yards. Buffalo simply didn’t know what had hit them.
=10. Phil Costa, 2012 – WK6, DAL @ BAL: +6.6
Pass Blocking: +1.0, Screen Blocking: 0.0, Run Blocking: +5.5, Penalties: +0.1
You wonder how the Cowboys’ 2012 season might have turned out if they’d have been able to keep Costa healthy. In the one game he managed 100% of the snaps (yep, all 95 of them) he was superb. Surrendering no pressure and being a big part of the team running for 227 yards (95 came in the A-gaps), it was both fun to watch and depressing for what we didn’t get to see the rest of the year.
=10. John Sullivan, 2012 – WK16, MIN @ HST: +6.6
Pass Blocking: +0.8, Screen Blocking: 0.0, Run Blocking: +5.7, Penalties: +0.1
Adrian Peterson may have been earning the praise of a nation, but lets not forget he got some help up front. Sullivan was the most consistent of those linemen, and in 2012 his high point was the Vikings’ stunning defeat of a Texans team expected to roll them over.
Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled