Three of the NFL's best teams, the Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals, all lost outright in Week 10 after being favored by more than a touchdown. Amazingly, upsets of that magnitude have been commonplace in 2021, and they will make the playoff and award race all the more entertaining.
Now that the first run of PFF analysis has been finalized and made available in PFF's Premium Stats, it’s time to highlight Week 10’s top performers. Here, we present PFF’s Team of the Week and player awards from Week 10 of the 2021 NFL season.
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PFF TEAM OF THE WEEK
QB: Mac Jones, New England Patriots
RB: Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
WR: Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
WR: Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills
TE: Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
Flex: Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers
LT: Trent Williams, San Francisco 49ers
LG: Joel Bitonio, Cleveland Browns
C: David Andrews, New England Patriots
RG: Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys
RT: Trent Brown, New England Patriots
DI: David Onyemata, New Orleans Saints
DI: Calais Campbell, Baltimore Ravens
Edge: Maxx Crosby, Las Vegas Raiders
Edge: Chris Jones, Kansas City Chiefs
LB: Shaq Thompson, Carolina Panthers
LB: Kyle Van Noy, New England Patriots
CB: Tre’Davious White, Buffalo Bills
CB: Kenny Moore II, Indianapolis Colts
S: Adrian Amos, Green Bay Packers
S: Kyle Dugger, New England Patriots
Flex: Jourdan Lewis, Dallas Cowboys
Offensive Player of the Week & Rookie of the Week: QB Mac Jones, New England Patriots
Jones turned in a 92.5 PFF grade against the Cleveland Browns in Week 10, tying his Week 6 performance against the Cowboys for the highest single-game grade by a rookie quarterback since 2016.
All the intangible traits that made Jones such an alluring prospect shined against Cleveland. He was pinpoint accurate, processed the defense, anticipated throwing lanes, manipulated defenders and was as consistent as can be from down to down.
Mac Jones put on a clinic yesterday.
— Anthony Treash (@PFF_Anthony) November 15, 2021
The Patriots quarterback threw only one uncatchable pass against the Browns. He also delivered three big-time throws and didn't commit a single turnover-worthy play. The 15th overall pick led New England to its most efficient single-game passing offense in the last decade.
No rookie quarterback since 2006 has turned in a higher PFF grade than Mac Jones (87.0) through the first 10 weeks. He’s the fifth-highest-graded quarterback in the NFL for the entire season and jumps to first when looking at the last six weeks.
Defensive Player of the Week: CB Jourdan Lewis, Dallas Cowboys
Players like Jourdan Lewis often get overlooked. He predominantly plays in the slot, a position that’s undervalued yet arguably just as difficult to defend as the outside because there is more space to cover without the benefit of the sideline.
This week, Lewis performed at an extraordinarily high level in the slot for the Dallas Cowboys — and he deserves a lot of recognition.
Lewis saw four total targets in the slot and allowed zero yards while forcing two incompletions, recording one passing stop and making a heady play late in the game by diving for a deflected ball and grabbing it for an interception.
Lewis actually did end up playing one snap as an outside corner against tight end Kyle Pitts. Atlanta thought they had a mismatch on this third-down play and went directly to the rookie tight end on an out-route at the sticks. Lewis, unfazed, played tight man coverage and forced an incompletion.
Offensive Line of the Week: New England Patriots
The Patriots' offense was firing on all cylinders Sunday, and the big men up front played a big part in that, earning the highest grade among offensive lines by over six grading points.
The run-blocking was the backbone of the group’s success. They turned in a 90.0-plus run-blocking grade as a group and led the running back room to 2.3 yards before contact per attempt (excluding garbage time), the second-best mark of the week.
Secret Superstar of the Week: CB Mark Gilbert, Detroit Lions
Detroit’s corner situation was less than ideal entering the Steel City on Sunday, and it got even worse when starter Jerry Jacobs went down with an injury in the second half.
This forced the Lions to throw Mark Gilbert, a 2021 undrafted free agent, onto the field to handle a press-heavy workload with the game on the line.
Gilbert had only 14 snaps under his belt before Week 10, so this was obviously a concern. However, he stepped up to the plate and made a couple of game-saving plays.
The first came via a third-down pass breakup in regulation with the Pittsburgh Steelers approaching field-goal range.
The second was a bad play turned into a great one. The rookie corner initially got burned for a 36-yard go ball, but instead of sulking in defeat, he recovered and forced a fumble after the catch to give Detroit the ball at midfield.
Detroit eventually got the opportunity to kick a game-winning field goal a few plays after that big moment, but the kick fell short. Gilbert at least gave the team a chance of obtaining the victory, though. He rose to the occasion in a pivotal time for Detroit and helped prevent a loss.
Play of the Week: Philadelphia Eagles WR DeVonta Smith “Mossing” Denver Broncos CB Patrick Surtain II
A year ago, cornerback Patrick Surtain II and wide receiver DeVonta Smith celebrated a College Football Playoff National Title as teammates at Alabama. This week, they became competitors on the field as the two first-round picks went toe-to-toe in Denver.
It’s only fitting that the matchup gave us the play of the week, as Smith handled Surtain’s physicality with ease and “Mossed” him in the end zone on an out-and-up for a 36-yard touchdown.
DEVONTA SMITH MOSS’D PATRICK SURTAIN ????
— PFF (@PFF) November 14, 2021
Smith caught another ball on Surtain later in the first half for an 11-yard first down. Those would end up being the only receptions the rookie corner allowed all game.
Surtain forced an incompletion on Smith on a corner route in Cover 2, but it’s clear the receiver won the first of hopefully many more matchups between the two rising talents.
Biggest Game-Changing Moment: Terry McLaurin surviving a big hit to extend Washington’s scoring drive to put the game on ice
The Washington Football Team entered their home showdown with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as 9.5-point underdogs. And a majority of the public assumed they couldn’t cover that number, as over 70% of the cash and tickets were on the Bucs to win by 10 or more.
To everyone’s surprise, it was the Football Team that ended up winning by 10 points. A key reason why the Football Team held onto victory was the 10-minute scoring drive they had in the fourth quarter to ensure Tom Brady had no time left on the clock to do his normal thing and save the day.
The play that made that scoring drive possible came courtesy of wide receiver Terry McLaurin, who took a massive hit yet still managed to hang on to a chain-moving reception on third-and-5 with just three minutes left to play.
TERRY MCLAURIN TOOK A SHOT BUT STILL HELD ON ????
— PFF (@PFF) November 14, 2021
Washington Win Probability Change: +12%