News & Analysis

The NFL's top 5-play stretches over the past five years

Dec 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) before playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

After watching New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski single-handedly fuel the Patriots down the field for the game-winning score in Week 15 against the Steelers, we got to thinking: Was that the single best offensive drive we’ve ever graded for an individual player? To receive positive grades on five-straight plays is almost unheard of, but as you’ll see, not unprecedented.

After some digging through the vast PFF database, we’ve unearthed the most impressive five-play offensive stretches over the past five seasons.

*Editor's note: The time listed on the plays below indicates the time in which the five-play stretch began.

2017 Week 15: Rob Gronkowski vs Pittsburgh – Q4, 2:01

 

Gronk’s three catches, a run block and a 2-point conversion were, in fact, the highest-graded stretch we’ve seen from any pass-catcher over the past five seasons. What reviewing the All-22 reveals is just how much separation the Patriots tight end had on every single play.

Seemingly, every single starting quarterback in the NFL could have led that drive if they were only looking at Gronk. With a better throw on the third pass from Brady, Gronk would have had a walk-in touchdown a play prior to the Pats' actual score. Nothing short of dominant from the league’s best tight end.

2016 Wild Card Round: Le'Veon Bell vs Miami – Q1, 0:51

 

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell put on a show this entire game, running for 167 yards on 29 carries with 110 of those coming after contact. But this drive, in particular, was all Le’Veon – literally. Starting at their own 18, Bell took the rock on 10 straight plays, ultimately scoring a touchdown.

It was the five-carry stretch that took the Steelers from their own 40 to the Dolphins one-yard line that took the cake here, though. His shortest carry of the bunch was still a five-yard first down conversion, while his 26-yarder to cap it off was inches away from a score.

2013 Week 8: Matthew Stafford vs Dallas – Q4, 0:56

 

Even though this wasn’t the highest-graded five-play stretch of quarterback play we’ve ever seen, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford gets an honorable mention because one of his five qualifying plays on this drive was a spike.

This was the highest-graded game-winning drive in our database on the backs of two of the most clutch dimes you’ll ever see. Stafford split the deep safety and underneath corner not once, but twice on back-to-back plays to take the Lions from their own 37 to the Cowboys one-yard line.

2015 Week 15: Jameis Winston vs LA Rams – Q4, 14:49

 

This was the football equivalent of a pitcher striking out the side on nine pitches, with all swinging strikes. You can’t get any better.

This drive started at their own two-yard line, and thanks to a fumble, Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston accumulated 100 passing yards on his four completions. The two-point conversion was a cherry on the top of our highest-graded drive.

Know tomorrow, today. Western Southern Financial Group.
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