10 best players from Sunday’s Week 14 action

Vic Beasley makes our list of the best performers from Sunday of Week 14 of the NFL season.

| 7 months ago
(Josh Lefkowitz, Getty Images)

(Josh Lefkowitz, Getty Images)

10 best players from Sunday’s Week 14 action


Every Tuesday, PFF will be releasing its Team of the Week, representing the highest-graded players at each NFL position for that week. But Senior Analyst Sam Monson gets a jump on that by picking out the 10 most impressive individual performances from Sunday’s games.

Here are the 10 best players from Sunday’s Week 14 action:

[Check out the 10 worst performances from Sunday of Week 14 right here, or access our Player Grades tool to see how every NFL player measures up through three weeks of the season.]

1. Janoris Jenkins, CB, New York Giants

One of the big reasons the Giants were able to come out on top against Dallas on Sunday night, as well as slow down what had been an unstoppable juggernaut of a Cowboys offense, was the performance of Jenkins against Dak Prescott and Dez Bryant. Jenkins was targeted eight times, allowed just two catches for 17 yards, and gave up a passer rating of 0.0 for the game, about 40 points lower than if Prescott had just thrown the ball into the turf every snap. Jenkins caught as many passes intended for Bryant as Bryant managed to bring in himself (one).

2. Cameron Wake, Edge, Miami Dolphins

Rain will affect a lot of aspects of a game, and the rain in Miami on Sunday led to a deluge of lost footballs and turnovers, but it did little to slow down the relentless onslaught of Wake’s pass rush. Wake rushed the passer 28 times and racked up a sack, two hits, two hurries and a forced fumble on Arizona RB David Johnson in the Dolphins’ win. Wake remains one of the league’s most destructive pass-rushers, and it turns out that even reducing the conditions to monsoon levels isn’t enough to slow him down or minimize his impact. He and the Dolphins’ D-line will play a pivotal role in the team’s stretch run, with QB Ryan Tannehill out for the year due to injury.

3. Kawann Short, DI, Carolina Panthers

San Diego’s offensive line has the tendency to go full disaster on occasion, and it did this week in a loss, capitulating in the face of the Panthers’ front four. Short took advantage to have arguably the best game of his season by racking up a pair of sacks, three hits and three hurries and a total of three defensive stops. Short also forced a fumble on Philip Rivers by strip-sacking him midway through the first quarter as he was in the act of throwing the football. This was Short at his best and typically this season the Panthers have been very successful when Short has had that kind of impact on the game.

4. Taylor Lewan, T, Tennessee Titans

Going up against Denver’s pass rush is typically a bad day at the office for offensive linemen, and though Lewan at left tackle has the easier task than his rookie teammate Jack Conklin on the right side – who faced Von Miller primarily – to come out of that game having surrendered just a single hurry over 28 pass-blocking snaps is impressive. Lewan was back to his early-season run-blocking form, too, moving bodies at the point of attack and allowing the Titans to put up 172 rushing yards on the ground.

5. Andy Levitre, G, Atlanta Falcons

If there’s one thing the Rams have going for them – and it really is only one – it’s that their defensive line is one of the best in the game. This week they were pretty much shut down by the Falcons scheme and the work of their offensive line. LG Andy Levitre was the best performer of the group, keeping a clean sheet when it comes to pass protection across 34 snaps, and run-blocking well. Levitre also didn’t get flagged in the blowout victory, and had his best game for the better part of a year.

6. Vic Beasley, Edge, Atlanta Falcons

Beasley’s sack-to-pressure ratio this season is ludicrous. League-wide this season edge rushers convert pressure into sacks about 15 percent of the time, while Beasley has converted pressure into a sack 28.6 percent of the time. Against the Rams he had six total pressures, but three of them were sacks, and one was the perfect pass-rushing trifecta of a sack, forced fumble and recovery for a touchdown. This year there have been few pass-rushers to make as many impact plays as Beasley.

7. Wesley Johnson, C, New York Jets

Early in this game the Jets looked destined to be blown out, but 145 rushing yards from Bilal Powell helped them claw back into the game, and the blocking of center Wesley Johnson was a big boost to that production. The 49ers have been playing this season effectively without a real nose tackle, and for a center that’s the cue to cut loose and dominate against undersized players in a tough spot. Johnson also had a perfect day in pass protection across 46 snaps of pass-blocking in the Jets’ comeback win.

8. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos

It came in a losing effort, but Thomas caught 10 of the 14 passes thrown his way for 126 yards, including moving the chains seven times for the Broncos in a game where offensive success was hard to come by. Thomas beat seven different Titans defenders for receptions, and was arguably the best thing about the Broncos offense in the game.

9. Isaac Seumalo, G, Philadelphia Eagles

Rookie offensive linemen tend not to produce from the outset, and Seumalo has had his struggles already this season, but not this week against Washington. This week he played 78 snaps and didn’t allow a single pressure, nor was he penalized in the game. He and left tckle Jason Peters were the only Eagles linemen to make it through the game without surrendering pressure of some kind, and this represents the best game of his rookie season so far.

10. Cody Whitehair, C, Chicago Bears

Whitehair has had ups and downs in a rookie season that has seen him kick inside from college tackle not just to guard, but all the way in to center. This week was the best performance of his season in the close loss to Detroit — which is saying something, given that he has had several very good outings. He didn’t allow a single pressure against Detroit over 37 pass-blocking snaps, but it was his run-blocking that really stood out. Chicago averaged 5.4 yards per carry on the ground, but 6.4 when they ran on either side of Whitehair’s blocking.

| Senior Analyst

Sam is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus, as well as a contributor to ESPN and NBCSports.

  • TorreyAnderson

    See, it’s things like this that make me feel like something’s wrong with the system. Vic Beasley has been on a TEAR and leads the league in sacks, and you’re praising how amazingly well he’s done this season, but he only has the 9th best “pass rushing” grade (and is only rated 20th overall for edge rushers).

    Does not compute.

    • Mike Jones

      because he compiles numbers in single games against terrible competition and all but disappears against above average offensive lines

      • Johnny

        Mike Jones, while that is true to some extent, that’s not why he’s ranked ninth as a pass rusher. The eight guys above him are on a “TEAR” as well. The numbers we can’t see are pressures and it seems that’s what Pro-football focus bases its rankings on. SO those numbers may not be top 5 worthy for Vic. He’s ranked 20th overall because his run defense is piss poor. These grades aren’t perfect but in this case it makes sense to me.

      • TorreyAnderson

        Are you just assuming that’s the case or do you actually have anything to back that up?

        • Mike Jones

          as a falcons fan i have watched literally every snap of his career…other than that and the fact that statistics exist….no nothing much to back it up

          • Michael

            Which statistics? You still haven’t offered any to support your opinion.

          • Mike Jones

            well if you cant figure out google then theres no amount of explaining i can do to help you….when the falcons play a team with a below average line or offense in general he can be very disruptive….and when the falcons play an above average line or offense he disappears and none of that is an opinion its a fact

          • Michael

            So you make assertions with no specific evidence to support them and, called on it, tell me to do your research? Weak. You’ve still offered no facts to support your broad statements of opinion. “Statistics exist” is the closest you’ve gotten. Are you having trouble with Google?

          • Mike Jones

            blah blah blah i have explained to you exactly why i said what i said and everything i said can be verified by you in literally seconds of googling if you actually care….but no here you are instead coming back only to whine about the fact that im unwilling to do those seconds of googling for you

          • Michael

            Verified by me? So it’s like I said, you want me to make your argument for you because you can’t make one with any evidence beyond “statistics exist” and “I’ve watched every snap.” Weak, weak, weak.

          • Mike Jones

            this is the part where i tell you to believe whatever you want i dont care at all if you dont want accept reality….you have literally spent days bitching at me time which could have been used to verify all my claims or come back and prove me wrong around 10,000 times now…the fact that you havent and are dragging this out this long leads me to believe you did go look it up and saw how his stat sheet lights up every time we played a bad offense and now youre just here trying to whine your way into some internet victory…so take it you win…beasley for hall of fame blah blah blah

          • Michael

            I haven’t looked anything up. I haven’t even said I disagree with you. I’m merely calling you out for your weak argument. Making unsupported claims and then telling anyone who challenges you that they should verify it or prove it wrong is lazy, locally fallacious thinking. The only one whining here is you.

          • Mike Jones

            blah blah blah

  • crosseyedlemon

    All the talk about how offensive line play has deteriorated throughout the league yet half the list is comprised of these guys.

  • Frank Nitti

    PFF knows: Lev Bell shoudn’t be on here!!! Average performance at best!