Every Tuesday, PFF will be releasing its Team of the Week, representing the highest-graded players at each NFL position for that week. But Senior Analyst Sam Monson gets a jump on that by picking out the 10 most impressive individual performances from Sunday’s games.
Here are the 10 best players from Sunday’s Week 11 action:
1. Xavier Rhodes, CB, Minnesota Vikings
Rhodes was thrown at seven times by Carson Palmer and the Cardinals in Minnesota's victory. On those throws, Palmer had a passer rating of 0.0. That pretty much sums up the day from the Vikings’ No. 1 cornerback, who not only shut down anything into his coverage, but capitalized on a blown play to take an interception back 100 yards for the score, blazing away from even the Cardinals’ speedy receivers down the sideline to put vital points on the board.
2. Landon Collins, S, New York Giants
Collins has been reborn in his role in 2016, and has been a standout performer all season, but if anything he is getting even better as the year goes on. In the Giants' win against the Bears, he notched an interception and broke up two more passes. He was thrown at five times as the primary coverage defender and allowed just one catch for 23 yards to WR Josh Bellamy, but Jay Cutler had a passer rating in the single-digits when throwing in Collins’ direction.
3. Mitchell Schwartz, T, Kansas City Chiefs
Tampa Bay doesn’t provide the sternest of pass rushes, but Chiefs right tackle Schwartz was nonetheless perfect in pass protection in the Chiefs' loss. In 32 snaps, he didn’t allow a single pressure and wasn’t flagged for a penalty, and his run-blocking was strong, allowing the Chiefs to average 4.6 yards per carry on runs that went either side of his blocks over the day.
4. David Bakhtiari, T, Green Bay Packers
Bakhtiari’s run-blocking didn’t match that of Schwartz, but he once again was exemplary in pass protection for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in the team's loss to Washington. Pass protecting on 51 snaps, Bakhtiari didn’t allow a single pressure, and though he was flagged for holding, it was on a run play rather than in pass protection. Bakhtiari now has the league’s second-best pass blocking grade on the season, trailing only Cincinnati’s Andrew Whitworth, and he has a far harder task in terms of his QB trying to extend plays to make a lackluster offense function.
5. Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins
Cousins didn’t do a whole lot wrong in Washington's “Sunday Night Football” win against the Packers, and his 145.8 passer rating overall for the game does a pretty good job of telling that tale. When kept clean, that passer rating was 153.8, and the Packers were only able to pressure him on seven dropbacks over the course of the night. Cousins completed three of his four pass attempts over 20 yards in the air, scoring two touchdowns on those plays.
6. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
With Ezekiel Elliott and David Johnson making strong cases, Bell made the point that he is still the best running back in the game this week with a monster performance in Pittsburgh's win against the Browns. Bell gained 146 rushing yards on 28 carries (5.2 yards per attempt), but he had to break six tackles to get that far, and he added another 55 yards through the air on eight receptions. He beat six different Browns defenders for catches, including Joe Haden and new matchup coverage weapon Jamie Collins.
7. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
With no Marcus Peters in the lineup for the Chiefs, Evans was set up to have a big day, and he did exactly that. CB Steven Nelson was giving up six inches in height to the big receiver, and who knows what in catch radius, and while he managed to break up one deep pass in the end zone, he was otherwise overmatched. Evans caught six passes for 105 yards, with 65 of them coming against Nelson, including some impressive receptions at key times in the game.
8. Ryan Shazier, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers
If Shazier could play to this level every week, he would be the All-Pro linebacker his potential suggests he should be. He was thrown at four times in coverage and allowed three catches, but they went for a total of just four yards, with all four coming on one catch. He also recorded a sack, a hit and a hurry on the blitz, and his seven tackles and defensive stops led the team, and tied for the league lead among linebackers this week. This was an impact performance from Shazier that went a long way towards deciding the outcome of the game.
9. Logan Ryan, CB, New England Patriots
Last week Ryan was absolutely torched by the Seattle Seahawks – giving up 101 receiving yards and a touchdown – but this week he was virtually a shutdown corner against a far weaker 49ers passing attack in New England's victory. Ryan was targeted six times, allowing only two catches that went for just seven yards. He broke up two of the incomplete passes and made a couple of nice plays in the run game to completely reverse his fortunes in back-to-back games.
10. Danielle Hunter, DE, Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings defense pressured Carson Palmer on 27 of his dropbacks yesterday (62.8 percent). That is the highest rate any QB has been pressured in a single game this season, and Hunter accounted for nine of those pressures on his own, from 35 pass-rushing snaps. Hunter had a pair of sacks (including swarming on Palmer late in the game as he tried to mount a drive of significance), two hits and five additional hurries to tie Everson Griffen for the team lead in pressures on the day.