32 NFL observations after Week 9: CJ Stroud dominates through the air, Alex Highsmith ramps up the pressure and more

2RXJG4C Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) throws before an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Houston Texans: C.J. Stroud dominated with the deep ball in Week 9.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Edge Alex Highsmith produces more pressure this week than any other.

• Dig into the numbers for yourself: PFF's Premium Stats is the most in-depth collection of NFL and NCAA player performance data. Subscribe today to get full access!

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Each week, we’ve been taking a look at some of the more interesting nuggets readers can find out about teams with our “Premium Stats” product —whether it’s who the best pass-rushers are, who the most productive receivers are, or who grades the best at certain positions.

With a little time, we’ve trawled through to see what caught our eye not just from this week's action but for the season overall.

WR:CB Matchup Chart


ARZ | ATL | BLT | BUF | CAR | CIN | CHI | CLE | DEN | DAL | DET | GB | HOU | IND | JAX | KC | LVR | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN | NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF | SEA | TB | TEN | WSH

Arizona Cardinals

James Conner has the highest pass-blocking grade on the year among running backs.

Atlanta Falcons

Left tackle Jake Matthews had the highest pass-blocking grade of any tackle this week, as his 91.0 score beat out David Quessenberry into second.

Baltimore Ravens

Keaton Mitchell turned his nine rushing attacks into 138 yards, which came on the back of his week-leading eight forced missed tackles.

Buffalo Bills

Stefon Diggs was intent on making the most out of his opportunities. He forced six missed tackles on his six receptions, the most of any receiver this week.

Carolina Panthers

A big game in run defense for Frankie Luvu. He made the most tackles in the run game (nine) and secured the most defensive stops (five).

Chicago Bears

Linebacker Jack Sanborn tied for the most defensive stops in coverage this week with four. Only Ja’Whaun Bentley could match that number.

Cincinnati Bengals

Another strong day under pressure for Joe Burrow. He was pressured on 17 dropbacks but had the highest grade of the week (84.1) of any quarterback to be pressured on at least 10 dropbacks.

Cleveland Browns

Amari Cooper had the most yards of any player this week against zone coverage. His 128 beat Dalton Schultz by seven yards.

Dallas Cowboys

Nobody picked up more yards from the slot than wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. His 133-yard total was 53 better than anybody else.

Denver Broncos

He has only run 85 routes, but no rookie has a better yards per route run number than Marvin Mims‘ 2.89.

Detroit Lions

If you keep Jared Goff clean, he will punish you. His 94.0 grade is the highest of any quarterback without pressure, posting a fantastic 9:1 big-time play-to-turnover-worthy play ratio.

Green Bay Packers

A good day for Jordan Love, arguably the best of his young career. He recorded the third-highest adjusted accuracy completion percentage of any quarterback this week with an 87.5% mark.

Houston Texans

Which stat do you want to go for in a monster week for C.J. Stroud? Let’s look at his deep passing, where he completed the most passes (six), picked up the most yards (199) and had the most big-time throws (four) of any quarterback this week.

Indianapolis Colts

No interior defensive lineman had a better pass-rush win rate than the 28.6% figure that DeForest Buckner produced.

Jacksonville Jaguars

With 11 pass breakups, Darious Williams is two clear of any other defender in the NFL. He’s also spent the most snaps in coverage without getting flagged.

Kansas City Chiefs

No quarterback grades better when not using play action than Patrick Mahomes. His 87.0 grade edges out Lamar Jackson.

Las Vegas Raiders

Maxx Crosby extended his lead in terms of total pressures for the year. His number of 53 gives him a four-pressure lead over Micah Parsons in second.

Los Angeles Chargers

Over the first seven weeks of the season, Joey Bosa picked up 17 total pressures on 119 pass rushes for a 9.2 pass-rushing productivity score. In the last two weeks, however, he has ramped it up to net 11 on just 53 pass rushes and an improved 14.2 PRP mark.

Los Angeles Rams

Matthew Stafford has the best big-time throw percentage (41.7%) on deep passes of all quarterbacks to attempt at least 15 deep passes. He’s done this while having the sixth-lowest turnover-worthy play score on passes with over 20 air yards.

Miami Dolphins

Running back Raheem Mostert has the most 10-plus-yard runs with 19.

Minnesota Vikings

Josh Oliver has the second highest run blocking grade of all tight ends with an 83.2 score that is only bettered by C.J. Uzomah.

New England Patriots

Ja’Whaun Bentley has the second-highest pressures total (13) of any linebacker, with only Demario Davis producing more.

New Orleans Saints

Malcolm Roach has picked up 15 defensive stops in the run game on 90 snaps to produce the best run-stop rate (17.9%) of any player.

New York Giants

Tight end Darren Waller has the third-highest number of receptions without a drop with 36.

New York Jets

Edge rusher John Franklin-Myers had the best pass-rushing productivity score of Week 9. He turned his 25 pass rushes into a sack, four hits and three hurries for a league-leading 19.8 score.

Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles center Jason Kelce had the highest run-blocking grade of any interior lineman this week, with a particularly strong zone run-blocking mark. This pushed him to a 92.6 grade, with the nearest center at 82.4.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The weekly winner for most total pressures was not the Steeler you’d expect this week. Instead, it was Alex Highsmith, who led the way with 10.

San Francisco 49ers

Nick Bosa has won 23.1% of his pass-rushing opportunities — third-best of all edge defenders.

Seattle Seahawks

Geno Smith ranks third in grade on play-action passing with a 92.2 number that is bettered only by Matthew Stafford and Tua Tagovailoa.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

With seven first-down runs, Rachaad White had more than any other runner this week.

Tennessee Titans

In two weeks as Tennessee's starter, no quarterback has thrown the ball deep more than Will Levis. He has attempted 19 deep passes, two more than the next most in that period, Sam Howell, who is the only player to attempt more than Levis' five big-time deep throws in that period.

Washington Commanders

Rookie Emmanuel Forbes had his best game in the NFL this week. Targeted seven times, he only allowed two completions, with four of those incompletions forced. That number was the best of any defender this week.


Unlock the 2023 Fantasy Draft Kit, with League Sync, Live Draft Assistant, PFF Grades & Data Platform that powers all 32 Pro Teams

$31 Draft Kit Fee + $8.99/mo
$89.88/yr + FREE Draft Kit