NFL News & Analysis

32 NFL Observations, Week 17

Houston, TX, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) runs with the ball after a reception during the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The culmination of the 2017 NFL season brings with it the final iteration of 32 Observations by PFF Analyst Mark Chichester, finding an interesting piece of information about all 32 teams after one week of football. We will have many more interesting facts and statistics all throughout the playoffs though, so stay tuned!

If you would like to make some observations of your own, you can do so with PFF Elite, where you can find several signature statistics for every offensive and defensive position in football.



Buffalo Bills: Through 17 weeks, quarterback Tyrod Taylor took an average of 3.16 seconds to throw. This was the longest time among all 39 quarterbacks with at least 180 dropbacks this year. Taylor has now finished atop this statistic in each of the last three seasons (3.35 seconds in 2016 and 3.22 in 2015).

Miami Dolphins: Wide receiver Jarvis Landry forced a total of 17 missed tackles this season, which was the second-most among wide receivers. Since he entered the league in 2014, Landry has forced 76 missed tackles, which is second only to Golden Tate (95) in that span.

New England Patriots: Tight end Rob Gronkowski ended the 2017 campaign with an average of 2.40 yards per route run. Gronkowski has led all tight ends in this statistic in five of his eight professional seasons.

New York Jets: Inside linebacker Demario Davis racked up 40 run stops this year, which is second among all linebackers.


Baltimore Ravens: This year, rookie cornerback Marlon Humphrey allowed a passer rating of just 53.5 on throws into his coverage. This was the fifth-best mark among cornerbacks this year and the fifth-best rating ever recorded by a rookie in the PFF era (2006-present).

Cincinnati Bengals: Though 17 weeks, cornerback William Jackson allowed just 34.9 percent of the throws into his coverage to be caught. This is the best rate among corners this year and also the best rate recorded since 2011 (Derek Cox – 32.1 percent).

Cleveland Browns: When covering the slot this year, cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun allowed just 0.42 yards per coverage snap. This is the best mark among cornerbacks with at least 110 slot coverage snaps this year and the second-best mark ever recorded by PFF.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Through 17 weeks, rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster has caught 58-of-77 targets for 917 yards and seven touchdowns, all good for a passer rating when targeted of 134.0. This is the best mark among all wide receivers this year and the best mark ever recorded by a rookie.


Houston Texans: Over 16 games, edge defender Jadeveon Clowney racked up 19 tackles that resulted in zero or negative yardage for the opponent. This is tied with Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee for the most among defenders this year.

Indianapolis Colts: Throughout the season, edge defender Jabaal Sheard hit the opposing running back in the backfield a total of 25 times, which was more than any other edge defender in the league.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Offensive lineman Jermey Parnell is the only offensive tackle in the league who logged more than 400 pass-blocking snaps without allowing a sack. He joins Ryan Clady (654 pass-blocking snaps in 2008), Joe Thomas (571 in 2007), Andrew Whitworth (532 in 2014) and Duane Brown (492 in 2011) as the only tackles in the PFF era to achieve this feat.

Tennessee Titans: Through 17 weeks, safety Kevin Byard tallied eight interceptions and seven pass breakups, both of which are the most among safeties this year. His 15 combined pass breakups and interceptions tie him with Troy Polamalu (2011) for the second-most ever recorded by PFF.


Denver Broncos: When defending against 50-50 balls this year, fourth-year cornerback Bradley Roby allowed a catch rate of just 17.39 percent, all told for a playmaker index (number of pass breakups and interceptions by targets in coverage) of 52.2 percent. Both of these rank first among the 29 cornerbacks with at least 20 contested targets this year.

Kansas City Chiefs: Quarterback Alex Smith ended the 2017 season with a passer rating of 131.4 on deep throws (throws of 20 or more yards downfield). This is tied with Damon Huard (in 2006) for the second-best deep passer rating ever recorded in the PFF era. Matt Ryan’s 136.1 rating in 2016 currently tops the list.

Los Angeles Chargers: Through 17 weeks, cornerback Desmond King recorded 36 total stops, the most among cornerbacks this year and the most ever recorded by a rookie corner in a single season.

Oakland Raiders: Through 17 weeks, star edge defender Khalil Mack racked up 53 stops and 78 quarterback pressures, which ranks first and third among all edge defenders, respectively. Over the last three seasons, Mack has accumulated 256 pressures and 151 stops – both are the most among defensive players in that span.


Dallas Cowboys: Edge rusher DeMarcus Lawrence has racked up a staggering 148 sack yards this season, which is 34 more yards more than the next closest player.

New York Giants: Quarterback Eli Manning finished the 2017 campaign with a passer rating of 108.4 on his red-zone attempts, which is the highest mark of his career within the PFF era (2006-present). It’s also good for fifth among quarterbacks with at least 25 red-zone attempts this year.

Philadelphia Eagles: Prior to his injury, quarterback Carson Wentz posted an adjusted completion percentage of 75.9 percent on his attempts inside his opponents' 20-yard line. This ranks second among quarterbacks with at least 25 red-zone attempts this year, and it’s the highest mark recorded by an Eagles quarterback since Kevin Kolb in 2010. Wentz’s 116.3 red-zone passer rating leads the league’s signal-callers, and it’s the highest rating by an Eagles quarterback since Nick Foles’ 118.0 rating in 2013.

Washington Redskins: Edge defender Ryan Kerrigan finished the 2017 season with 64 quarterback pressures (14th-most among all edge defenders) and 34 stops (tied for the 13th-most). Kerrigan is one of just three edge defenders who have tallied at least 55 quarterback pressures and 25-plus stops in each of the last four seasons, with Von Miller and Everson Griffen being the others.


Chicago Bears: Interior defensive lineman Akiem Hicks produced 49 quarterback pressures and 44 stops this year for a total of 84 impact plays, which is tied for the fourth-most among all interior linemen this year.

Detroit Lions: Through 17 weeks, no defensive player in the NFL produced more red-zone stops than linebacker Tahir Whitehead's 12, which was two more stops than the next closest player.

Green Bay Packers: Left tackle David Bakhtiari allowed just 12 pressures on his 455 pass-blocking snaps this year, which resulted in a pass-blocking efficiency of 98.0. This was the best mark among offensive tackles this year, and he’s now one of just six offensive tackles in the PFF era that have ended a season with a pass-blocking efficiency above 98.0 having played more than 400 pass-blocking snaps.

Minnesota Vikings: This season, wide receiver Stefon Diggs saw a total of 14 red-zone targets for 12 receptions, 108 yards and seven touchdowns. His red-zone WR rating of 138.4 was the best mark among receivers this year and the fifth-highest rating recorded by a wideout in the PFF era (2006-present.)


Atlanta Falcons: Over the course of the 2017 campaign, linebacker Deion Jones logged nine combined pass breakups and interceptions (three interceptions, six pass breakups). This is the most among the league’s linebackers this year, and he’s now led all linebackers in this statistic for the second consecutive season.

Carolina Panthers: Throughout the 2017 season, cornerback James Bradberry was targeted in coverage 12 times inside the red zone. On those targets, he allowed a catch rate of just 25.0 percent and a passer rating of just 39.6, which were good for third and fourth among all defensive players with at least 10 red-zone targets, respectively.

New Orleans Saints: Right tackle Ryan Ramczyk, who played 100 percent of his team’s offensive snaps this year, allowed just three sacks, five hits and 16 hurries on his 559 pass-blocking snaps this year,  giving him a pass blocking efficiency of 96.6. This was the seventh-best mark among tackles with at least 340 pass-blocking snaps this year and the highest rating recorded by a rookie since Matt Kalil (96.8) in 2012.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Rookie tight end O.J. Howard generated a passer rating of 151.9 on his 36 targets this year, which is good for first among all players at the position.


Arizona Cardinals: Through 17 weeks, no receiver in the NFL has seen more catchable passes on third down without dropping a ball than Larry Fitzgerald. Over the course of the season, he hauled in all 33 catchable targets from Carson PalmerDrew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert, six more than the next closest receiver.

Los Angeles Rams: Since PFF started grading games in 2006, only eight players have ended a season with a PFF overall grade of 98.0 or higher. Interior defender Aaron Donald is the only player that has graded above 98.0 in three seasons, and he’s also the only player that has done it consecutively (2015-2017). Over that time, Donald has racked up a whopping 252 quarterback pressures and 124 stops, which rank first and second among interior defensive linemen in that span, respectively. In all, it led to his PFF 2017 All-Pro selection, which was seemingly a given.

San Francisco 49ers: Inside linebacker Reuben Foster produced 25 run stops on 223 run-defense snaps this year, which resulted in a run-stop percentage of 11.2 percent, the best mark among rookie inside linebackers for the past two seasons.

Seattle Seahawks: Over the course of his seven regular seasons, wide receiver Doug Baldwin has seen a total of 49 catchable targets in the red zone and has dropped just one. His only red-zone drop came in Week 1 of the 2012 season, and since that, he’s gone 42 straight red-zone catches without dropping a pass. This is the longest active streak among players at the position.

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