Top 10 Performances, Week 1

Showcasing best performances of Week 1, regardless of position, Neil Hornsby lists the Top 10.

| 3 years ago

Top 10 Performances, Week 1

Top-Perf-WK01We’ve always said our grades need intelligence applied to them and that’s what we’ll try to do here; this isn’t just an arithmetic exercise. Strength of opponent and where the balance of the overall grade came from (run, pass, and coverage) is taken into account.

Feel free to disagree and name the omissions below in the comments section.


1.  Cameron Wake, DE (MIA)  +7.7

Simply destroyed one of the best right tackles around in Sebastian Vollmer on the way to seven Tom Brady disruptions including two strip-sacks.

2.  Matt Ryan, QB (ATL) +5.9

According to the NFL Top 100 Players Poll at least 14 quarterbacks are better than the Falcons’ star. A 94.1 QB rating when under pressure says maybe things will be different in 2015.

3. Derek Newton, RT (HST) +5.7

Right tackle has been a weakness since Eric Winston departed but became the strength of the offense against a decent Washington front-five. Perfect in pass protection and strong in the running game, both at the point of attack and second level.

4.  Luke Kuechly, MLB (CAR) +5.5

Fortunate to win DPOY ahead of Watt and Quinn in 2013, was the lynchpin of a brilliant defensive display vs. Tampa Bay. What’s the odds he plays better this year and gets none of the plaudits?

5.  J.J. Watt, DE (HST) +7.4

Business as usual for our “best player in football in 2013”. He’s so consistently great he makes the outstanding seem mundane.

6.  Le’Veon Bell, RB (PIT) +4.2

A remarkable 84 of his 109 rushing yards came after contact. Then he throws in another 88 yards through the air. By far the best performance of his young career.

7.  Matthew Stafford, QB (DET) +7.1

We said this was the year of no excuses and he made none. OK, so the opposition wasn’t great, but the throw back across his body, directing traffic, to Calvin Johnson for a touchdown was probably worth a place on this list in itself.

8.  Aqib Talib, CB (DEN) +2.7

There may have been better graded performances by corners this week, but none against the type of weaponry that the Colts can deploy. Thrown at 10 times he allowed only five catches for 27 yards with two knockdowns.

9.  Jurrell Casey, DE (TEN) +6.4

New position, new contract, same performance level including seven QB disruptions and two stops in run defense. Only the quality of the O-line he faced stopped this ranking from being higher.

10.  Kelechi Osemele, LG (BAL) +5.7

It’s been a bad few days for the Ravens, but Osemele’s performance was at least a bright spot. Returning from injury in Week 7 last year he put in his best display since the Super Bowl against a very creditable Bengals D.


Follow Neil on Twitter: @PFF_Neil

| 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.

  • Jordan MacGeever

    Jared Odrick and Branden Albert must have been close to this top 5. But I’ll agree with them nice list

    • LIMetfan22

      Lol I guess this is the best fins fans can hope for after a decade without a playoff win.

      • Imaginepieces

        Fuck the Jets.

  • Anicra

    Most of the time I understand PFF scoring for example

    Rodgers vs Wilson on Thursday night- Wilson scores -1.7 and Rodgers scores +0.7. For me that doesn’t pass the eyeball test, Wilson goes 5 /6 for 34 yards in short middle pass and receives -1.2?

    Another area is Deep Left 0/2 for 0 scores -1.1 which initially makes sense, however if you watch Seattle passing they try to dominate the redline (path near to sidelines). Lockette on one play fails to understand it, leans to the middle giving up that area and Wilson ball is exactly where it should be if he guarding and running straight down the redline.

    I hope these scores are verified by more than one scorer. Because preseason I lost all faith. You would post an outrageous score on a game. Follow it up with a post of a scoring review on the game for the readers…then 3 to 5 days the scores would totally change.

    If anyone doubts what I said on scoring go look, find a preseason Refo on a game and compare it with their scores, in the Refo, so and so scored a -3.5 for the game and PFF premium stats the score is no longer that value.

    I just don’t get it.

    • SeattleSteve

      If Brad Jones doesn’t hold (twice on 3rd down) – along with several dropped interceptions… idk how anyone watching can think Russel played good. He got lucky several times.

      • Pacopicopiedra

        Well. Played well. Not good.

    • Hannah Hayes

      They reanalyze every game with the All-22 afterwards. Sometimes they change grades after further review for checks and balances. It is a good thing. Most times the effect is very minimal but there are the aberrations in which the grade changes can seem substantial.

      It is unfortunate that sometimes it creates mismatches within the Refocused articles as they are written prior to the ALL-22 check, but the grade/stat changes rarely effect the narrative within the articles much.

      It shouldn’t be that big of a deal really so long as it isn’t happening consistently. That would show something very wrong with their front end grading; something I don’t believe is the case. Everyone makes mistakes. That is why the grade changes are a good thing.

      • LightsOut85

        Hmm, I had always thought they always used the All-22. How do they (initially) grade players who you don’t see on a TV-type feed? (ie: possibly ding a CB who blew coverage, but we never saw because he wasn’t thrown at).

        • Chris

          I wonder this myself. A CB might play 60 snaps and you only see him on the TV feed (live or replay) about 10 times. I’m guessing the only thing they can do is assume that if a CB wasn’t targeted, his coverage was adequate. Then of course they watch the all-22 and see the truth.

          It’s cool to see some grades come out as early as 3:00 AM Monday, but I’d rather they just wait until the All-22 comes out instead of having to go back and correct themselves.

          • LightsOut85

            I agree. I rarely read the reFo articles myself (BECAUSE I have the premium), but I can understand the argument that it might not work in their favor with people who aren’t quite “sold” on PFF.

            What I’m still scratching my head over, is Hannah saying that most of the time the changes are minimal. (ie: I’d imagine every similar scenario (WR, CB, S) would change a good deal. Can you even mark who was on the field without the A22?).

        • Hannah Hayes

          They wouldn’t “ding” him. If they can’t make a clear call, the play is not graded.

          • LightsOut85

            Ah, thanks. That’s extra “odd” then. (Yea, I know it’s about “getting product out there fast”, but given that they’ve got enough critics (whether warranted or not), it’s strange they’d put out something that isn’t even what they claim (ie: “every play graded”). I don’t think it’d be a big deal to wait until the A22 is out & initially put out the complete product. I know I don’t mind).

          • Hannah Hayes

            They do grade every play for the most part. Imagine over 99% of all plays for all players. Some plays they don’t grade because sometimes it is just difficult to tell what exactly happened(and you shouldn’t register a point value to something you aren’t sure about). This goes for stats as well. If you consider that each play has 22 people on the field and there are roughly 120 plays run every game, and 256 games a regular season, 675,840, there is probably under 6,000 plays by individual players that don’t get a grade. That isn’t going to reflect in an individual’s grade.

          • LightsOut85

            …okay, haha. If that is the case, I don’t know what the big deal is between the initial grades & the “All 22 checked” grades.

            Which, is what I was talking about, if that wasn’t clear. I was originally commenting that I didn’t know they released grades with “regular” footage before watching A22 (I assumed A22 was the ONLY thing they used, since you literally don’t see many players, every play, with standard TV footage). Unless you thought I was commenting regarding some players NEVER getting graded (which might explain this has drawn out this long, haha). I knew not EVERY SINGLE play was graded.

  • grenadiadrian

    Justin Smith should be on this list as well.

  • LightsOut85

    Not a Falcon fan but I have to say that Matt Ryan is criminally underrated. His “wins above expected” (%) (PFR) is pretty good too (ie: he (/his offense) wins more than you’d expect based on the points his team allows) – not to mention ATL’s never had great rushing DVOA. He carries that team.

    • corners

      because he has a hard time winning playoff games.

      How many playoff games has he won since 2008?

    • Kevin

      Criminally underrated, if anything, is an understatement. Last year, he threw for 4,500 yards, 26 TDs, 17 INTs and 6.9 yards per attempt. Those are pretty good numbers, above average QB stuff. And he did that with crazy little support. His No. 1 WR for much of the year was Harry Douglas, his offensive line was abysmal and the running game (like usual) was non-existent.

      People need to shut up about playoff wins. He does have one, and most of the Falcons teams were a lot worse than their record stated. They honestly were never that good in any year. The “only” one playoff win has a lot more to do with the Falcons’ otherwise lackluster talent than Matty Ice himself.

  • guy

    Your stats gave matt ryan a 7.9 grade, but it only shows him having a 5.4 here? What the heck?

    • Hannah Hayes

      I imagine the 7.4 from the refocused article was prior to the ALL-22 double check or it was a miss appropriation in the article.

  • Radical

    I think it’s probably not a good idea to post “Re-Focused” articles until the All-22 is reviewed and the final grades are in. The discrepancies in grading undermines your own articles. I understand the pressure to get content out there, but if the content of previous articles have to be stricken through and narratives completely changed after the fact, it really lessens the impact of what you guys put out there.

    • gasolinesnuggie

      Seriously, focus on quality, not quantity. It might not pay off in the short-term, but it will pay off ten-fold in the future, compared to the alternative (this).

  • Hola Backgrinder

    The Matt Ryan stats might be a little misleading. He played most of the game with a very clean pocket and no pass rush at all, all the time in the world. He actually fell off right at the end when the Saints blitzed a couple of times and got a small amount of pressure. Have to see how he does week in week out. He’s a very good QB, but last weeks game was a pretty big Christmas gift after Junior Gallette and Cameron Jordan didn’t bother showing up for the Saints.

    • Oballistikz

      You cannot be serious. He was elusive in the pocket and made plays. That aside our line held off your pass rush. Please do not pretend like you guys didn’t play hard

      • Hola Backgrinder

        He absolutely made plays, and your line absolutely held off the Saints pass rush for almost the entire game. Why do you think I’m not aware of that? Reread my comment, I was pretty clear on that. My only point is you can’t expect things to be this easy for him every week, particularly if he has 2 backup tackles for any extended stretch.