NFL Week 17 Matchup Winners: Tristan Wirfs' return gives the Bucs offense a boost, Saints WR Rashid Shaheed continues to dominate

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Rashid Shaheed (89) makes a catch in front of Philadelphia Eagles cornerback James Bradberry (24) during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

As part of PFF's grading process, we chart every matchup on the football field, allowing us to take a detailed look at the in-game battles and highlight the players who come out on top each week.

There can be obvious matchup victories, such as a wide receiver putting up 150 yards against a struggling cornerback or an edge rusher repeatedly beating the same tackle to sack the quarterback. But there can also be those hidden wins, such as a guard quietly beating his opponent on every pass-block rep or a cornerback holding his receiver to zero targets over a game.

Here are the players who got the better of their matchups in Week 17.

DI Christian Barmore, New England Patriots vs. RG Robert Hunt, Miami Dolphins

The New England defense dominated in Week 17, and Barmore led the way with three pressures and one sack on 16 snaps against Hunt. The Pats interior defender won 38% of his pass-rush reps against the Dolphins guard. 

EDGE Carl Lawson, New York Jets vs. LT Charles Cross, Seatle Seahawks

Even a dominant day from Carl Lawson couldn’t save the New York Jets from playoff elimination. Lawson won 30% of his pass-rush reps against Charles Cross, generating five pressures (including a sack). 

RT Tristan Wirfs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos, Carolina Panthers

Wirfs' return from injury gave the Tampa Bay offense a boost, as he didn’t lose a single pass-block rep against Yetur Gross-Mators.

LG Ben Powers, Baltimore Ravens vs. DI Cam Heyward, Pittsburgh Steelers

Powers didn't keep a perfectly clean sheet, but losing only one of 18 pass-block reps against a pass-rusher of Cam Heyward's quality is just as impressive and deserves a mention.

WR Rashid Shaheed, New Orleans Saints vs. CB James Bradberry, Philadelphia Eagles

Shaheed dominated his matchup against James Bradberry. He was graded positively on six of his 11 routes against him, putting up 58 yards in the process.

WR Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers vs. CB Cobie Durant, Los Angeles Rams

Allen ran just eight routes against Durant, but he made it count. The Chargers receiver was graded positively for his separation five times and caught 36 yards and two first downs against Durant.

WR D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers vs. CB Jamel Dean, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Moore recorded 61 yards against Dean and was positively graded on five of his 13 routes against him.

CB Tariq Woolen, Seattle Seahawks vs. WR Corey Davis, New York Jets

Woolen kept a perfectly clean sheet against Jets receiver Corey Davis. He didny separation and consequently wasn’t targeted in coverage against the Jets pass-catcher. 

CB Stephon Gilmore, Indianapolis Colts vs. WR Darius Slayton, New York Giants

The Colts have been collapsing for quite some time now, but Gilmore is still playing at a high level. On 12 snaps against Slayton, he wasn’t negatively graded for his route coverage once and gave up only one completion for a mere five yards.

CB Darius Slay, Philadelphia Eagles vs. WR Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints

Slay faced the Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate Chris Olave on 13 snaps, and he didn’t give up any separation. Olave was still targeted twice and caught one pass, but it didn't move the chains. 


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