The Week 9 All-PFF team
The Week 9 All-PFF team
Unfortunately, our regular presenter of this well-loved feature is away washing his hair so you’ll have to make do with lightweight pretender and founder Neil Hornsby. We apologize in advance for the bad-mouthing of your favorite players and any tawdry language that he may inadvertently use — he’s not quite house-trained yet.
You’ll be glad to know that family favorite Khaled Elsayed will be back next week to right all wrongs and generally tidy up the mess.
Read on — but beware, it’s not for the faint-hearted!
Quarterback — Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (+11.6)
Why was the result against the Cowboys so lopsided? Are they really that bad? Try and focus more on the positive, which came in the form of one of the year’s best performances; Rodgers failed to complete only seven of his 34 passes, with one being a throw away and another two drops.
Running Back — Peyton Hillis, Cleveland (+5.8)
I make no bones about it; Hillis is rapidly becoming one of my favorite players. What’s not to like about this old school back who started the season as a third-down after- thought and averaged 3.9 yards per carry this week after contact, while toting the rock 29 times?
Fullback — Tony Richardson, N.Y. Jets (+3.2)
He’s been very inconsistent this year but the Lions’ linebackers can be a tonic for fullback ills. It proved so here, with Richardson having his best day this year. The Browns’ quartet will be an entirely different proposition on Sunday.
Tight End — Tony Moeaki, Kansas City (-0.5)
A frankly quite appalling week for tight ends. I’m tempted not to pick one in protest, but Moeaki at least worked hard, being on the field for 85 offensive snaps of a hard-fought game. I’m not ignoring the two drops, just putting them in the small print.
Wide Receiver — Nate Burleson, Detroit (+2.9)
While Calvin Johnson was being blanketed by Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie had no problems with Bryant Johnson (does anyone?), Burleson had his way in the slot with Drew Coleman (try writing that in Tehran without being flogged). He caught five passes for 89 yards and a TD against Coleman.
Wide Receiver — Percy Harvin, Minnesota (+3.3)
The real hero of the comeback win against the Cardinals was Harvin. It was as tough a performance as you’ll see all year, as time and again the young WR dragged himself back onto the field and made plays to keep the Vikings in the game.
Left Tackle — Duane Brown, Houston (+7.0)
I redid the numbers and checked my math, but the fact remains Brown had the best performance of any tackle this week. Travis Johnson and Stephen Cooper (at the second level) were the main ones to suffer in the running game and only a single hurry was conceded in pass protection. Has the corner been turned … as it previously so often has been of him?
Left Guard — Carl Nicks, New Orleans (+3.5)
Despite being by far the best guard in the NFL this year, I still have a nagging sensation he won’t get selected to the Pro Bowl. Don’t let this happen — lobby on your forum, write to your Congressman, do whatever it takes to ensure justice is served.
Center — Alex Mack, Cleveland (+3.4)
This has been a mediocre sophomore season for Mack after a terrific start last year. Obviously energized by the news he had made Peter King’s half-year All-Pro team (a year too late, Petey), he went out and played like a star.
Right Guard — Eric Wood, Buffalo (+3.8)
After a shocking start to the year, a rest in the bye week seems to have kick-started Wood’s season. His pass protection has come on in leaps and bounds and this was his best day run blocking in well over a year.
Right Tackle — Kareem McKenzie, N.Y. Giants (+4.9)
No surprise at RT as McKenzie continues to crush pretty much whoever he goes up against. This week it was Raheem Brock’s turn.
4-3 Defensive Front
Defensive End — Jared Allen, Minnesota (+9.0)
Is there a better cure for an ailing pass rusher than the Cardinals’ Levi Brown? Obviously not, as Allen got both his two hits and seven of his nine hurries against the rapidly sinking left tackle.
Defensive Tackle — Kyle Williams, Buffalo (+5.8)
No sacks against the Bears but almost as good as last week, when he also made this team. No one is playing better at the moment and we particularly love him because he’s a guy we touted in his rookie year as one to watch. When stardom hits don’t forget who your real friends are.
Defensive Tackle — Richard Seymour, Oakland (+6.3)
I see Seymour these days like a slumbering monster: He occasionally flicks away a few bothersome flies as he sleeps but when awoken, you better watch out because he will destroy you. I don’t know if the Chiefs said anything in particular to upset him, but I’d keep quiet next time.
Defensive End — Ray Edwards, Minnesota (+6.8)
Let’s bookend the two Vikings this week. Edwards didn’t have quite as much success as Allen rushing the passer (well, he wasn’t facing Levi Brown, was he?) but he was a fair bit stouter against the run.
Outside Linebacker — Reggie Torbor, Buffalo (+4.1)
A third Bills player makes the squad. Others may be laughing at your record, Buffalo, but the boys at PFF are right behind you and I’m boldly predicting your first win this week. Very solid all-around play from Torbor was highlighted by two pass breakups.
Middle Linebacker — Paul Posluszny, Buffalo (+4.2)
Another Bills defender makes four. This is turning into a regular love-in. You’d almost think we just pulled in a big contract from Orchard Park. We haven’t, but surely that will happen before the Bills figure out what they are doing on defense. What position is Posluszny going to play? His five stops and 2 QB hurries suggest if the roulette wheel stops at MLB, it may be the Bills’ lucky day.
Outside Linebacker — Chad Greenway, Minnesota (+3.4)
Whatever else happens, you know Greenway is going to bring it against the run. Some days he may meet better players and get beaten, but you know it won’t be for lack of effort. This week he played the Cardinals — guess who won.
3-4 Defensive Front
Defensive End — Randy Starks, Miami (+3.6)
A Dolphins fan kindly wrote in to ask our opinion of what would need to happen for Miami’s defense to become one of the best. We answered that Starks would have to get back to his 2009 form. He obliged, but the linebackers and safeties decided that covering Ray Rice was optional.
Nose Tackle — Antonio Garay, San Diego (+3.9)
Shush! It’s a secret not many people know — let’s just keep it to ourselves: Antonio Garay is actually a very good player and, unlike a lot of NTs, gets his share of pressure on the QB. Unfortunately the four sacks will get him noticed, so in order to gain maximum kudos maybe you better start sharing your wisdom with your less well-informed forum buddies now.
Defensive End — Jacques Cesaire, San Diego (+2.5)
So this may be a slight “default” selection, but even so I’m not sure I saw the day coming when Cesaire would make this squad. Three years of generally anonymous to poor play and he made it on the back of a sack, a hurry and two stops. Don’t go rushing to vote him to Hawaii just yet.
Outside Linebacker — Tamba Hali, Kansas City (+4.8)
On the other hand, you can almost certainly pencil in Hali’s name to your Pro Bowl ballot right now. Although, shockingly, I’m led to believe he’s not ahead in the voting by the good people of Monaco. They simply don’t believe his run support is up to much. Well he did fine in that regard this week, so you Europeans may need to reconsider and be quick about it.
Inside Linebacker — Lawrence Timmons, Pittsburgh (+4.3)
He’s good in coverage, he’s good rushing the passer, but his real forte is run defense. Three more stops this week to add to his ILB-leading 37.
Inside Linebacker — Derrick Johnson, Kansas City (+4.0)
After a couple of down game (Weeks 5 and 6), Johnson is back at his best and his last three games have been as good as anyone’s. Another player we love — after campaigning for his reinstatement to the starting lineup all last year, he hasn’t let us down at all. Your agent says the check is in the mail, right?
Outside Linebacker — Lamarr Woodley, Pittsburgh (+4.5)
The two OLBs in Pittsburgh have agreed to rotate this award on a regular basis to help my busy schedule by not having to retype Pittsburgh again. Typing Pittsburgh wastes the time I should be spending telling you about his two sacks, three hurries and excellent coverage.
Cornerback — Tramon Williams, Green Bay (+3.3)
We elevate him to our Pro Bowl short list and this is the result. Clearly animated by our accolade, he gave up only 32 yards on eight targets with two passes defensed.
Safety — Chris Crocker, Cincinnati (+4.0)
I watched Crocker quite closely in the Dolphins’ matchup and although he made his share of mistakes, there was a lot to admire too. He graded pretty ho-hum in that game but this rating wasn’t quite the surprise to me it might have been three weeks ago. Targeted five times, he registered the remarkable stat line of zero receptions and three passes defensed.
Safety — Amari Spievey, Detroit (+3.3)
This is really Roman Harper’s award, and I apologize to him but it’s my game and I’m hoarding the toys. Spievey was only playing because C.C. Brown was injured, and Spievey decided to show the world the injustice inherent in that statement by bringing it at every opportunity. Check out the third quarter, 7:02 left in the Jets game — watch him close, fill the hole and bring down LT for no gain.
Cornerback — Jabari Greer, New Orleans (+3.3)
It would be easy to pick Darrelle Revis, but he has his Island and what does Greer have? Life’s a bitch because he didn’t even start on his return from injury and also swapped sides with Tracy Porter to allow the youngster to match up with Steve Smith. They probably shouldn’t have bothered, as when Malcolm Jenkins was injured and Greer played full-time, he was targeted four times and gave up one 1 catch for 3 yards as well as returning an interception for a TD and defensing a pass. His rating for the day? A perfect zero.
Neil Hornsby | PFF Founder
Neil founded PFF in 2006 and is currently responsible for the service to the company's 22 NFL team customers. He is constantly developing new insights into the game and player performance.