The 2021 NFL season's streak of unpredictable outcomes continued in Week 11. The Buffalo Bills were blown out at home by the Indianapolis Colts, the Minnesota Vikings knocked off the division-leading Green Bay Packers, the Houston Texans defeated the AFC-leading Tennessee Titans on the road and Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks fell to 3-7 after losing at home to Colt McCoy and the Arizona Cardinals.
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 11’s top performers. Here, we present PFF’s Team of the Week and player awards from Week 11 of the 2021 NFL season.
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PFF TEAM OF THE WEEK
QB: Taylor Heinicke, Washington Football Team
RB: Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts
WR: Elijah Moore, New York Jets
WR: Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team
TE: Adam Trautman, New Orleans Saints
Flex: Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
LT: Brady Christensen, Carolina Panthers
LG: Joel Bitonio, Cleveland Browns
C: J.C. Tretter, Cleveland Browns
RG: Jack Driscoll, Philadelphia Eagles
RT: Penei Sewell, Detroit Lions
DI: Jeffery Simmons, Tennessee Titans
DI: Quinnen Williams, New York Jets
Edge: Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys
Edge: Robert Quinn, Chicago Bears
LB: Ja’Whaun Bentley, New England Patriots
LB: Kyle Van Noy, New England Patriots
CB: Darius Slay, Philadelphia Eagles
CB: Bryce Hall, New York Jets
S: Adrian Phillips, New England Patriots
S: George Odum, Indianapolis Colts
Flex: Elijah Molden, Tennessee Titans
Offensive Player of the Week: RB Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts
Taylor went nuclear against the Buffalo Bills in Week 11, totaling five touchdowns — four rushing and one receiving — en route to a career-high 88.4 PFF grade for the game.
The second-year back handled 32 carries and racked up 147 yards after contact, seven broken tackles and six explosive runs of 10 or more yards. He converted 43.8% of his carries into a first down or touchdown.
Highest first-down/touchdown percentage among RBs with 25-plus carries in a single game (2021)
|1. Jonathan Taylor (W11 at BUF)||42.8%|
|2. Derrick Henry (W5 at JAX)||27.6%|
|3. Derrick Henry (W2 at SEA)||25.7%|
*Out of 18 RBs
Turns out Jonathan Taylor the receiver is also really good.
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— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) November 21, 2021
Defensive Player of the Week: CB Darius Slay, Philadelphia Eagles
Big Play Slay stole the show on the defensive side of the ball in Week 11. The Eagles outside corner earned a career-high 94.0 coverage grade against the New Orleans Saints, allowing just one catch for nine yards while breaking up a pass and taking an interception on a comeback to the house for six points:
BIG PLAY SLAY ????????????????
— PFF (@PFF) November 21, 2021
Slay now owns the fourth-highest coverage grade among all cornerbacks for the 2021 season and ranks behind only Jalen Ramsey when we look at play in just zone coverage.
Slay endured a couple of down years playing in man-heavy systems that left him isolated against top receivers. But now that he’s in a predominantly zone scheme, he’s turned back into the Big Play Slay that we came to know early on in his NFL career.
Rookie of the Week: Edge Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys
Parsons continues to be a sensation, moving seamlessly between off-ball linebacker and edge rusher.
The Cowboys star moved back to the defensive line this week against the Kansas City Chiefs, and he finished with an elite 90.4 pass-rush grade. The rookie recorded a 22.5% pass-rush win rate and seven pressures overall, two of which were sacks.
Highest pass-rush grade from a rookie since 2006 (@PFF)
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2. Aldon Smith (2011) – 90.2
3. Von Miller (2011) – 88.5 pic.twitter.com/w9FRHJGpZq
— Anthony Treash (@PFF_Anthony) November 22, 2021
Parsons is not just the clear-cut Defensive Rookie of the Year for 2021. He’s one of the most impactful pass-rushers in the NFL.
Offensive Line of the Week: Philadelphia Eagles
No offensive line lost fewer reps in pass protection this week than the Philadelphia Eagles, who lost only six for three pressures as a unit.
Rookie guard Landon Dickerson tackles Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson all pitched shutouts, with zero pressures allowed, marking the third consecutive week in which Johnson has kept a perfect slate in pass protection.
Meanwhile, the ground game saw 3.0 yards before contact per attempt on running back carries, the third-highest mark of the week.
Secret Superstar of the Week: T Brady Christensen, Carolina Panthers
Christensen let up six pressures in each of his first two starts and earned less than inspiring PFF grades of 48.1 and 62.5. But instead of maintaining that subpar play, the former BYU Cougar stepped up big filling in for Dennis Daley in Week 11, earning an 81.1 PFF grade and winning every single one of his 26 pass-blocking reps.
Quarterback Cam Newton averaged 8.1 yards per attempt and picked up a 132.1 passer rating from a clean pocket, and Christensen played a part in him finishing there.
Play of the Week: Cam Newton’s first touchdown back at Bank of America Stadium
Carolina may have fallen short to the Washington Football Team, but the Panthers' offense showed encouraging signs from start to finish. The passing offense turned in a 55% successful play rate, and Newton didn’t record a single turnover-worthy play — something a Panthers QB hasn't achieved since Week 1.
The veteran quarterback finished with three total touchdowns for the game — two passing and one rushing — and his first was a beautifully designed fake quarterback draw that offensive coordinator Joe Brady brought with him from his days with the LSU Tigers.
Joe Brady just called this for a touchdown with Cam https://t.co/WfFmBXyVdw
— Seth Galina (@pff_seth) November 21, 2021
CAM NEWTON QB1
— PFF (@PFF) November 21, 2021
Biggest Game-Changing Moment: Tyler Huntley’s game-saving play for the Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore looked to be in a let-down spot when word broke that starting quarterback Lamar Jackson wouldn’t be able to play. And even with the Chicago Bears producing the third-lowest successful pass rate of Week 11 (32.5%), the Ravens still found themselves down 9-13 with just over a minute to play.
Few expected Baltimore to come back, as Huntley didn’t record a single big-time throw and led the team to -0.18 EPA per pass play entering that last-chance drive. However, the former undrafted free agent caught a big break with a DPI on a turnover-worthy throw and completed his three pass attempts for 56 yards to lead Baltimore down the field to a score.
One of those passes was a game-changing moment where the Ravens win probability was well below 50%:
— PFF BAL Ravens (@PFF_Ravens) November 21, 2021
Baltimore Win Probability Change: +28%