PFF Team of Week 15
Khaled Elsayed gathers the green grades and make a team of Week 15's best at each position.
PFF Team of Week 15
Each week the staff at Pro Football Focus watches over a combined 400 hours of football to ensure we know who the best players are. It makes us the premier outfit in player evaluation, used by NFL teams and fans alike to understand which guys are getting the job done and which guys aren’t.
It’s with this knowledge we can put out our Team of the Week, going beyond the box scores and the highlight reel plays to see who were the best players on every play of every game.
Here’s the Team of Week 15.
(Note: Team will be updated after Monday Night Football games are analyzed and on Wednesday when All-22 footage helps us study plays in even more detail where needed with an asterisk noting any change.)
Quarterback: Tom Brady, NE (+5.7)
As much as this is a quarterbacks league, it’s not all down to them. So while New England lost it doesn’t take away from a fantastic display from Brady as he carried his troops.
Honorable Mention: Ryan Tannehill (MIA)
Running Back: Jamaal Charles, KC (+4.4)
Charles did this with only 20 yards rushing, such was his impact as a receiver where he ended the day with four touchdowns and 195 yards.
Honorable Mention: Ryan Mathews (SD)
Full Back: Marcel Reece, OAK (+2.5)
Complemented his skills with the ball in hand with some good lead blocking. Not something you can always say about Reece.
Honorable Mention: Chris Ogbonnaya (CLE)
Tight End: Jason Witten, DAL (+3.0)
71 receiving yards and a touchdown are a good day in anyone’s book. When you throw together some good work in the run game this was Witten at his best.
Honorable Mention: Andrew Quarless (GB)
Wide Receivers: DeSean Jackson, PHI (+4.3) and Dez Bryant, DAL (+3.9)
Monster day for Jackson who finished up with 195 yards on his 10 receptions, helped by forcing four missed tackles. The emotional Bryant did everything he could to help Dallas to a win, with the biggest receiving grade of the week even if he let himself down with his blocking (and leaving the field early).
Honorable Mention: Mike Wallace (MIA) and Julian Edelman (NE)
Tackles: Cordy Glenn, BUF (+5.6) and Mitchell Schwartz, CLE (+4.8)
Glenn may have been beat for a sack but didn’t allow anything else and was fantastic in the run game. Schwartz wasn’t dominant to that degree but was perfect in pass protection.
Honorable Mention: Russell Okung (SEA) and Orlando Franklin (DEN)
Guards: Josh Sitton, GB (+5.4) and Brandon Brooks, HOU (+5.4)
Though he was flagged Sitton did little else wrong. This was his highest grade of the year and his 12th positive of the year. Whoever inherits the offense in Houston will be pleased when they put on the tape of Brooks. He’s been a bright spot in a bleak year.
Honorable Mention: Wade Smith (HOU) and Uche Nwaneri (JAX)
Center: Jason Kelce, PHI (+4.4)
When you look past the horror show Kelce had against the Giants in Week 5, the Eagles center has himself the kind of year that would warrant Pro Bowl recognition.
Honorable Mention: Max Unger (SEA)
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: Calais Campbell, ARZ (+5.5) and Jurrell Casey, TEN (+4.4)
He maybe didn’t start the season as well as he might have hoped, but Campbell is finishing in fine form and that could mean big things for Arizona. Another two hits and five hurries for him this week. In the same game Casey continued his breakout year, emerging as one of the best defensive tackles in the league.
Honorable Mention: Gerald McCoy (TB) and Muhammad Wilkerson (NYJ)
Defensive Interior – Nose: Haloti Ngata, BAL (+4.9)
A big Monday Night for Ngata, throwing his weight around against a Detroit interior that just couldn’t keep up with him. But the end of the game he’d ended up with five defensive stops in the run game.
Honorable Mention: Terrance Knighton (DEN)
Edge Rushers: Robert Quinn, SL (+7.4) and Michael Bennett, SEA (+4.7)
Another excellent performance from legit DPOY candidate Robert Quinn. Our top-ranked 4-3 defensive end got Charles Brown benched and finished his day with two more sacks, a hit and seven hurries. Joining him is perhaps the best value free agent signing out there, Michael Bennett. His fantastic all round work should ensure a deserved pay day at the end of the year.
Honorable Mention: Greg Hardy (CAR) and Aldon Smith (SF)
Linebackers: Mychal Kendricks, PHI (+4.5) and NaVorro Bowman, SF (+4.4)
That’s more like it. The flashy Kendricks has long disappointed with his spotty play but this was the kind of performance the Eagles need to see out of him. Bowman earns his nod for his work in coverage that included allowing 2-of-4 for 9 yards with a pass break up.
Honorable Mention: Lawrence Timmons (PIT) and Lavonte David (TB)
Cornerbacks: Darius Butler, IND (+4.0) and Vontae Davis, IND (+3.7)
You think this Colts duo enjoyed playing against Case Keenum? Together they combined to allow 4-of-12 balls into their coverage for 29 yards with two interceptions and three pass break ups. They got their hands to more balls than the Texans receivers they covered.
Honorable Mention: Sam Shields (GB) and Sterling Moore (DAL)
Safeties: T.J. Ward, CLE (+4.6) and Chris Clemons, MIA (+1.7)
A quiet week for the free safeties but a number of impressive performances from their strong safety counterparts. Clemons had himself a solid day while the ever-excellent Ward made his customary number of big plays.
Honorable Mention: Troy Polamalu (PIT) and Kendrick Lewis (KC)
Kicker, Justin Tucker, BAL: To say he had a good Monday would be something of an understatement.
Punter, Matt Bosher, ATL: A huge day for Bosher to top our rankings for the week.
Returner, Brandon Tate, CIN: Gave his team good field position every time he touched the ball.
Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled