PFF All-Star Team: 3rd Quarter

Ben Stockwell assembles a lineup featuring the best of the NFL at each position in the month since our Mid-season All-Stars.

| 3 years ago

PFF All-Star Team: 3rd Quarter

2014-3Q-ALL-STARSFour weeks have passed since we announced our mid-season All-Pro team, Thanksgiving has been and gone and that means it’s time for us to put out our All-Star team for the third quarter of the season.

Using the same format as our All-Star Team of the Week and All-Pro teams here’s our tip of the cap to the players who have put themselves and their team in position for a special end of the season over Weeks 10 to 13.


Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers, GB (+17.1)

A spectacular string of games for Rodgers as his weakest performance of the month was in Minnesota with just a pair of touchdown passes and no interceptions. He had a nearly perfect 149.3 passer rating off of play action, going 20 of 24 for 248 yards and three touchdowns for November.

Honorable Mention: Drew Brees, NO

Running Back: C.J. Anderson, DEN (+15.3)

Anderson took full advantage of injuries ahead of him on the Broncos’ depth chart in a month that saw him carry the load for the Denver offense. No back played more than his 250 snaps in November. The touchdowns and passing game may have stayed with Manning but Anderson was the engine driving the Broncos’ offense this month.

Honorable Mention: Marshawn Lynch, SEA

Fullback: Ryan Hewitt, CIN (+4.7)

About 40% of Hewitt’s snaps have come in the last three weeks and his quality showings as a lead blocker against New Orleans (+2.3) and Tampa Bay (+2.9) propels him ahead of the ever-present Anthony Sherman this month.

Honorable Mention: Anthony Sherman, KC

Tight End: Brent Celek, PHI (+7.4)

His biggest receiving game of the season came at home to the Panthers and kickstarted his month. Even though he only had seven catches for 66 yards in the following three games, his work as a blocker didn’t diminish for the surging Eagles offense.

Honorable Mention: Rob Gronkowski, NE

Wide Receivers: Odell Beckham Jr., NYG (+7.1) and Dez Bryant, DAL (+7.8)

His rookie season will be remembered for that catch of lore. Even without that snag this was a terrific month for Beckham who is proving to be the shining light in a largely disappointing season for the Giants. He is joined by Bryant who ensured that Beckham’s efforts in Week 12 were part of a losing effort and lit up Wembley stadium for a pair of touchdowns against the Jaguars in Week 10 as well.

Honorable Mention: DeAndre Hopkins, HST and Emmanuel Sanders, DEN

Tackles: Joe Staley, SF (+10.8) and Lane Johnson, PHI (+7.1)

After an inconsistent start to the season Staley rediscovered his best form in the last month surrendering only four pressures (1 Ht, 3 Hu) and producing a series of punishing displays as a run blocker. Opposite him, Lane Johnson has provided the sure pass protection that the Eagles struggled for at right tackle during his suspension early in the season.

Honorable Mention: Jason Peters, PHI and Sebastian Vollmer, NE

Guards: Evan Mathis, PHI (+12.1) and Marshal Yanda, BLT (+11.1)

After missing almost all of the first 10 weeks of the season, Mathis has slipped seamlessly back into the Eagles’ lineup and his best form. Mathis is still dominant as a run blocker and expect him to keep rising through the rankings in the final four weeks of the season. However, that top ranking will be out of reach with Marshal Yanda showing no signs of slowing up as his three games this month extended his record to 17 straight games with a positive grade.

Honorable Mention: Joel Bitonio, CLV and John Greco, CLV

Center: Nick Mangold, NYJ (+7.8)

Completing a powerful interior trio, Mangold graded positively in every game this month as a run blocker including a destructive display as the anchor for the Jets’ 277-yard rushing effort on Monday night. Adding to that power is the fact that Mangold also didn’t surrender a pressure in his three starts, with only five (1 Sk, 1 Ht, 3 Hu) having been surrendered all season.

Honorable Mention: Jeremy Zuttah, BLT


Click to Page 2 for the Defense…

| Director of Analysis

Ben joined Pro Football Focus in 2007, and has since been in charge of the company’s analysis process. He also contributes to PFF’s weekly NFL podcast.

  • Lelouch vi Britannia

    Whatever happened to the Offensive Line rankings? I’ve checked every week and they’re nowhere to be seen, but you were doing it one-third of the season at a time this year… 3/4 of the season has come and gone and you’ve yet to publish the second-third rankings.

    • nono

      PFF has admitted that combining grades for offensive lines is not a good way to really rabk performance. I am glad they got rid of it. I also they should get rid of the cumaltive team grades in the premium section. This site is great for individual grades. But i do not think combining grades positively reflects team play due to grades being different for every position

      • Chris

        I agree. This site is more of an advanced player scouting network. Combining grades doesn’t work very well because coaching and gameplanning factors in so much.

        Think of it like, if a college team pulls in a top 10 recruiting class will they necessarily be a top 10 team? No, because they have to get that talent to translate to the field appropriately every week.

        Summing all the individual grades to get a team grade is like grading the talent on recruiting class, but it doesn’t translate very consistently to on field performance for the same reason.

      • Lelouch vi Britannia

        They could also average out rankings relative to each player’s position. Eg 10th out of 70 starters is 86th percentile, 6th out of 32 is 81st, and then you average that out…

  • Football

    Bench Warmer: Johnny Manziel (+10)

    • Chris

      I love how all of Espn’s and NFL’s homepages and twitters were just blowing up with Manziel crap all week and then it’s, ‘oh, they’re sticking with Hoyer. Well what do we do now?’ LOL

      • Dillon Senju

        Hey chris I see you post on here all the time and I know you have the premium. Im a pats fan and I’m wondering if you would tell me the overall grades for Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Devin Mccourty and Revis ? Also in your opinion who do you think are the top 5 corners in the game overall, not just based on this year.

        • chris

          hightower 19.3
          collins 10.7
          mccourty 9.2
          revis 17.8

          very solid defensive play this year by this group. I still think revis is the best in the league on a year by year basis

          • Dillon Senju

            Thanks a lot man ! and wow I would not have Patrick Peterson in my top 5, I seriously think he is the most overrated player (I’m not even including last weeks performance of julio jones into this). mine is Revis, Sherman, Joe Haden, vontae davis, brandon flowers. I don’t think revis ever stopped being the best back from when being on the jets . Being a pats fan i witnessed revis play a bunch as he consistantly shut down pats receivers especially randy moss. outside of that amazing 1 handed catch revis won those battles.

          • Chris

            Peterson shadows more than almost any other corner, but he’s not as good at is as Revis so it hurts his performance.

            When PFF ran an article comparing Revis, Sherman, and Peterson based on certain sides of the field, Peterson beat out Sherman at LCB. He has the skills and the athletic ability, he just shadows too much IMO. He’s very, very talented.

            Haden only gives 100% if he’s shadowing AJ Green. He seems to loaf too much.

          • nono

            i dont think th patriots use revis to shadow this year… i think they are using him similary to how the bucs did…not sure tho

          • Chris

            Yea I was referring to Revis back with the Jets. IMO he is the only corner to successfully shadow #1s and not get burned consistently. Everyone else has failed trying to imitate him. But no I don’t think they’re using him like that this year. I was just referring to how Peterson is still really good when he stays at LCB, he just shadows too much.

          • Matt

            One guy that seriously isn’t even talked about is Chris Harris. He has shadowed #1’s more then Sherman or Peterson, gives up less TD and plays the slot which is much harder then playing outside and something Revis, Sherman and Peterson don’t do. Harris is the best cb in football.

          • Dillon Senju

            NO absolutely not . Revis does play the slot. Revis plays EVERYWHERE . I watch EVERY single game revis plays and he plays EVERYWHERE, left side, right side, slot,EVERYWHERE. I hate when people say he doesnt because he really does. And Chris harris Jr, is good but he is not on Revis Level. Or sherman level.

          • SPVANDERWAHL

            Perhaps you haven’t watched several rookies burn Sherman this season, he was good against SF last week (but that’s not saying much since it appears Kaepernick was throwing to him) but that isn’t representative of his body of work this season. He is not playing at the level he played last season. Chris Harris is playing great at the position;

          • Dillon Senju

            Oh boy your one of those who looks at the few times sherman gets burnt and says he’s having a bad year. Sherman is a loud mouth idiot, i understand that, but he is playnig very well this year. maybe not as well as last year but he’s still playing among the best just look at PFF’s grades on him. Chris Harris might be having a better year ill admit that, but does that mean he is better overall?

          • Brandon

            Revis and Sherman or the two best CB. Revis moves around more than Sherman but Sherman makes more game changing plays. To say one is better than the other us a matter of opinion but no one else should be in the convo.

          • Dillon Senju

            my god brandon thank you !!

          • nono

            Career wise

            sherman hasnt done anything to make me think he will ever be as good as revis was in his prime

          • [email protected]

            I understand why people like Revis, but honestly when i watch him i’m glad i have Sherman instead. Sherman just impacts the game more by taking the ball away.

            Ask people in New England how much they love having Brandon Browner out there, and he’s nowhere as good as Sherman but he’s got the big play ability.

          • Anonymous

            They actually probably hate having browner considering he leads the team with double digit penalties in 4 less games than everyone else and doesn’t have too many plays where he has a takeaway.

            They love having Revis though I can tell you that much; and I’m a Jet’s fan.

          • [email protected]

            I doubt that. Browner brings a physical edge that rubs off on the whole defense. They are a much tougher team than last year.

          • Brandon

            Sherman already has more career INTs than Revis in half the seasons.

          • [email protected]

            Sherman is outspoken. He’s anything but a loudmouth idiot. Just because you don’t like him doesn’t mean he’s stupid. He’s smarter than 99% of the people on this planet.

          • Brandon

            Sherman has gave up less TDs. than any other CB playing more than 75% of the snaps. I don’t know what games you have been watching.

          • Bob

            Yeah but can’t tackle for shit

          • Brandon

            I don’t know what you have been watching. He is one. He is the third ranked corner against the run.

          • Bob

            List the Source because when I see him he misses tackles Earl Thomas, Kam, and Maxwell are better tacklers

          • SPVANDERWAHL

            Chris Harris Jr is underrated and the best corner in the league currently. He doesn’t do much self-promotion like Sherman and Peterson but he is still the best

          • Dillon Senju

            what is up with you guys thinking Chris Harris is the best ? Lol he just isnt. I get that he’s very good I do, he’s playing better than Talib is. I just dont think he is better than Revis or Sherman. Revis and Sherman are the two ELITE Cb’s. No other CB is near them OVERALL (which means im not just counting this season but all past seasons as well) . Chris Harris might very well be better than Peterson though, I dont think Peterson is that good.

          • Chris

            Sherman is the least targeted CB this year, which shows how much QBs respect him. That also means he should have a head start in yards allowed per snap. Usually if you’re targeted less you give up less yards, so the least targeted CB should be near the top of yards allowed per snap. Which he is, currently ranking 6th. Guess who leads that category. Chris Harris.

            QB rating when targeting a corner is another useful metric. Sherman ranks a solid 3rd. Guess who ranks ahead of him in 2nd? Chris Harris.

            Sherman has 1 more INT (3-2), but he has also allowed a TD. Harris is one of only 7 CBs who have played at least 50% of the snaps to not allow a TD into his coverage yet this year.

            Harris leads the league in yards allowed per reception at 7.3 per catch. Sherman ranks 94th at 14.3, almost double Harris.

            Harris hasn’t allowed a catch over 22 yards this year. Sherman has allowed a long of 60 yards.

            Harris ranks 7th in passes defended with 8. Sherman ranks 45th with only 4, half the amount of Harris.

            Sherman might have the reputation so no one throws at him, but Harris is having the best year of any CB. Across the board.

          • Brandon

            Dufe neing good for a half a year doesn’t make you the best.

          • Brandon

            Chris Harris hasnt really done much shadowing. He is good though. To me shadowing is overrated. Sherman shadows only when Pete thinks it’s necessary. We you shadow a player now that puts your other corner and nickel corner out of position which actually makes your defense worst.

          • Chris

            Harris is the real deal. It killed Denver when they lost him late last year.

          • Anonymous

            Revis plays the slot when he’s shadowing a certain receiver.

          • Brandon

            Earlier on in the year he wasn’t shadowing the nbr. 1 reciever. Was burnt for 2 tds against the Giants.

          • Anonymous

            The Pats are using him in a variety of ways. In some games he shadowed the #1 (Jennings vs. Minnesota, AJ Green vs. Bengals, Keenan Allen vs. SD are the first games to come to mind). In other games he shadowed the #2 (Tate vs. Detroit) and in other games they moved him around based on match ups. I did notice that in games he didn’t shadow anyone, he did have a specific assignment on 3rd downs. So he’d follow a set receiver on 3rd down in various games (Mike Wallace, James Jones, Eric Decker, and Dwayne Bowe).

            And against GB they started him on Cobb and moved him to Nelson (I think that’s because their original plan wasn’t working). Yes he gave up the TD to Nelson, but GB only scored 3 points after halftime.

          • Brandon

            I don’t care how you are used. You are not the best if you always get abused. He has given up more TDs than any corner in the league and also leads all cornerbacks in the league in penalties.

          • Chris

            This is one of the most idiotic things I’ve ever read.

            1. How a player is used has a huge impact on how they perform. More difficult assignments usually equals worse performance because it’s tougher. I just had a discussion with someone about Hightower’s and Collins’ coverage grades, where Hightower’s is inflated because he doesn’t drop back much like Collins (which is harder), and spends most of his time covering the flat (which is easier).

            How about a QB who spends all game checking down versus one who takes deep shots all day? Yet they have the same completion %. You’re telling me one isn’t better than the other because it doesn’t matter how they’re used?

            If I asked you to add single digit numbers you’d get them right every time. If I asked you to multiple double digit numbers, you’d start to make some mistakes. It is purely inane to suggest that a CB taking on tougher assignments doesn’t lead to a greater propensity for mistakes.

            2. Again, PFF ran an article this summer comparing Revis, Sherman, and Peterson. It showed how many snaps each played at LCB, RCB, and in the slot. Peterson played more all over the place than the other two because he was tracking #1s while Sherman and Revis both played majority zone last year.

            Sure Peterson’s overall numbers aren’t top 5 (he graded top 15 the last 2 years), but when they isolated to his snaps just at LCB he had the best numbers of the group. Again, Peterson’s numbers at LCB were better than Sherman’s, but he had issues when asked to track to other positions on the field.

            You sound like a Seahawks fan, because they’re all Peterson haters. I’m not saying he’s better than Sherman, but he does have a ton of talent and he puts up great numbers at LCB. He shouldn’t be tracking #1s IMO and if they kept him at LCB I’d argue he’d be top 5.

          • Kevin

            IMO I’ll take Hayward over Chris Harris. Hayward has been so underutilized this year though so I know most people will disagree. In the slot Hayward is 1st in targets per snap, 1st in receptions per snap and 2nd in yards per snap(only behind Revis).

            I’ll never forget his rookie year as far as CB’s go. That was probably the most impressive rookie CB I’ve ever seen. CB is far from an easy position to come in as a rookie and perform and he did it with the best of them.

          • Chris

            Yea he had a great rookie year. Injuries ruined his second year and he’s still trying to get back to full stride.

          • Kevin

            Yeah, I understand Hyde is a really good tackler, and run defender but I nearly cringe every time Hayward is on the bench while Hyde is dropping into coverage. IMO Hayward is one of the best pure coverage CB’s in the NFL. He hasn’t had a ton of snaps on the outside but I have no doubt he will fare just as well outside as he has inside. I do like Shields more than Hayward but not by much and that may be projecting a bit on my part based on Shields insanely high potential. I mean Shields could easily be a top 3-5 CB in coverage and probably right now isn’t too far outside the top 10 if he is. Anyway, If I could ask MM/Capers one question it would be, why isn’t Hayward seeing at least 75% of the defensive snaps. 2nd and not very far behind at all is why in the world is Hawk just not being benched. Maybe the better question is for Thompson and why hasn’t a ILB been drafted in the 1st 2 rounds.

            Hawk is one of the worst starting ILB’s in the NFL and has been on the field way too much. I understand every time he is replaced an injury occurs to the player replacing him, almost like Hawk is some voodoo doctor or something. IMO he has been the weak link for years and a big reason this defense has failed to live up to all the potential they have on that side of the ball. Got a little off topic here.

            Now I think about it, Barrington will be injured within 4 weeks. He played way to well against the Pats and Hawk is already making up his voodoo doll.

          • Chris

            Lmao I agree with all of this. Hawk is terrible. I have a buddy thats a packer friend, I remember telling him how poorly Hawk grades and he was like that’s weird I think hes pretty good. I said watch him more closely the next few weeks and he comes back and is like MAN HAWK BLOWS

          • Kevin

            Well its weird. A lot of Packers fans like Hawk. IMO it is the fans that maybe watch the game every week but don’t go far beyond that. I usually watch the games at least 3x a week to focus on different areas of the game. I also find myself annoyed when the announcers talk up Hawk like he is one of the better players on the field. Last year was horrible with this. It seemed like every week they were referring to Hawk as one of the best Packers defenders. It truly is a disservice to the players that have earned this title but aren’t being talked about nearly as much.

            Last year Hawk just seemed to slow, I almost thought him dropping 15-20 lbs would help his game a bit but now I realize he has just hit a wall and is steeply declining. He is just as slow in coverage, worse than ever at fighting off blocks, and doesn’t stand a chance in the running game.

            I’ve never liked Hawk as a player even if I did underrate him a bit a couple years ago(he was never really good but he probably wasn’t as horrible as I believed) but now he truly is that bad and has held this defense back for far too long. It honestly made my day seeing him benched in favor of Barrington.

            I highly doubt Hawk is back next year, thankfully. If they can hit on a high drafted ILB next year, I feel this unit becomes a top 10 defense fairly easily and closely resembles their 2010 unit.
            It just sucks seeing a high potential defense being held back because of 1 player. I mean CB, Safety, OLB are all very good/deep units IMO and the DL has performed really well also with Daniels leading the team as the monster he is, Guion has been a very good surprise, and the youth on the line has a lot to offer in the future. I’ll stop here, I can honestly hate on Hawk for hours straight. Maybe I’m being a homer and thinking too much of this defensive unit but I truly feel there is a lot of potential on this team with some units being some of the better in the NFL(Mainly CB and OLB with Matthews)

            That is way longer than I thought…. My bad. Hawk is a personal subject. I’ve had to watch him be horrible for far too long.

          • [email protected]

            So what you’re saying is:
            A) Peterson is better because he shadows.
            B) Peterson shouldn’t be shadowing.

          • Chris

            If you got that out of what I said, I’m not sure you actually read it start to finish.

            A) Peterson is very talented. When PFF ran a piece comparing the top corners, he had the best numbers at LCB.
            B) Shadowing #1s is one of the most difficult things in football. I’d argue only Revis has done it successfully long-term.
            C) Peterson is asked to shadow a lot, way too much IMO, and it’s a detriment to his numbers.

          • [email protected]

            You mention that article a lot, isn’t that the same article that concluded that Richard Sherman was better?

          • Chris

            No. Peterson had better stats at LCB, but the article showed when he shadowed he tanked his stats.

        • Chris

          Somebody beat me to it haha.

          Top 5 corners? Revis, Sherman, Grimes, Peterson, Harris.

          • Josh Knepshield

            Grimes and Peterson are NOT top 5 this year.

          • Chris

            He said not based just on this year.

          • Brandon

            Peterson hasn’t been top 5 in any year.

          • Phil

            Stop watching Football

      • [email protected]

        Manziel and Tim Tebow will both win more playoff games in their career than Andy Dalton, Jay Cutler and Tony Romo put together.

        • Chris

          Throw Russell Wilson in there and you got yourself a deal!

          • [email protected]

            That goes without saying. Russell Wilson has already won 4. I have better chances of dating a supermodel than those 3 bozos winning 4 playoff games.

        • Mike Rushing

          Tim Tebow won nothing. Denver’s defense did tho.

          • [email protected]

            Yes, suddenly Tim Tebow starts at QB and suddenly Denver’s defense is 10 times better. Thats what happens when you run the football and don’t turn it over.

        • Tom

          Tim Tebow is awful what are you talking about bum completed 48% of his passes lol.

  • Jason

    Man, Wake had an awesome game last week, was he that bad the rest of the “quarter”?

    • Brandon

      To me he is theost underrated player in tje NFL over the last 5 years

  • NFL Buddha

    You have to give Legarret Blount his due now that he is back in New England. Had Moron McDaniels left the Packer game in his hands and on the ground the Patriots would be 10-2 on their way to 14-2 instead of 12-4

    • The Last of the Cooks

      I know the Packers are good, but a loss to them still only counts once.

  • CaptainHurt

    Its odd to me that on a site with soo much information the analysis from the fans is still prehistoric. People say Chris Harris isn’t the best corner but no one explains why…Revis was burnt crispy by Jordy Nelson & Randall Cobb but for some reason that’s completely ignored. Sherman has shown his kryptonite is guarding quick athletic receiver’s and its ignored. Chris Harris has been the best corner in the league for two years but he doesn’t self promote. Sites like this should help cut out the bullshit popularity contests but I see actually evaluating play is still not a priority. Its pathetic when we have an enormous amount of information to use.

    • [email protected]

      Best at doing what? There are corners who have very different strengths. I watch Sherman every week and he’s the best at what he does. Revis is completely different.