It is time again for the PFF NFL Team of the Week – highlighting the best individual performances from the weekend’s worth of action.
The team format will match the improved All-Pro system when it comes to offensive and defensive formation, with a flex player for both sides of the ball that can be either a receiver, slot weapon, tight end or running back on offense, and anybody in the defensive secondary on defense. This gives us the flexibility to reward the player that best deserves it across multiple positions, rather than shoehorning in somebody just to fit a slot receiver or cornerback role.
We lend some weight to playing time, and a variety of factors are considered, but these will largely be the best-graded players at their respective positions throughout the league. This year, our Team of the Week will be coming out before Monday Night Football has been played, featuring the best performances from the Thursday Night and Sunday games. In the occurrence that a performer on Monday night is worthy of a spot on the team, this list will be updated and those with standout performances from the weekend will still be appreciated.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills – 90.8 overall grade
As a passer, Allen was up and down in Week 13. He made some special throws, he made some poor throws. He had two touchdowns on throws 20-plus yards downfield, but went just 3-for-12 on those, and had two interceptions too. He really impressed as a runner though, picking up seven first downs, forcing two missed tackles, and seeing six of his rushing attempts go for 10+ yards.
Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos – 80.7 overall grade
An undrafted rookie out of Colorado, Phillip Lindsay continues to represent a steal for the Broncos, producing his sixth game of the season with a PFF grade of 75.0 or higher. From his 19 rushes on Sunday, he produced two touchdowns, five first downs, and five runs of 10-plus yards.
Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers – 88.4 overall grade
Allen had one of the highlight plays of the week, coming down with a tipped pass in the end zone for a key score in the Chargers come-from-behind win over the Steelers. Over the course of the game, 10 of his 14 receptions resulted in a first down or touchdown, making up for his two drops.
Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos – 86.0 overall grade
When the Broncos traded away Demaryius Thomas, many people expected a breakout from Courtland Sutton. It took a few weeks for it to happen, but it finally did this week. Three of his four receptions went for a first down or touchdown, with Sutton averaging 21.3 yards per catch.
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs – 88.5 overall grade
It was really close between Kelce and Detroit’s Levine Toilolo, with the Lions tight end producing an impressive blocking performance, but in the end the nod goes to Kelce after another dominant performance as a receiver. Eight of his 12 receptions went for a first down or touchdown, and he finished the game with a perfect passer rating of 158.3 on throws where he was the targeted receiver.
Allen Robinson II, Chicago Bears – 83.6 overall grade
Robinson had another impressive performance, making some highlight reel grabs in the process. All five of his receptions resulted in a first down, with Robinson forcing two missed tackles and averaging 15.8 yards per catch.
Russell Okung, Los Angeles Chargers – 82.9 overall
The veteran left tackle allowed just one total pressure from 41 pass-blocking snaps in the win over the Steelers. For the season, he has allowed just 17 total pressures, with Sunday representing his best performance of the year so far.
Mike Iupati, Arizona Cardinals – 78.5 overall grade
Iupati didn’t allow a single sack, hit or hurry from 20 pass-blocking snaps, giving him a perfect 100.0 pass-blocking efficiency rating. He also delivered some key blocks in the running game, with the only big knock on his day being that he only saw 37 snaps on the field.
Rodney Hudson, Oakland Raiders – 75.7 overall grade
Hudson, as he has done many times before, didn’t allow a single sack, hit or hurry from 45 pass-blocking snaps in the Raiders loss to the Chiefs. So far this season, the NFL’s top pass blocking center has allowed just three total pressures from 499 pass-blocking snaps.
Brandon Brooks, Philadelphia Eagles – 86.2 overall grade
Brooks didn’t allow a single sack, hit or hurry from 42 pass-blocking snaps in the Eagles’ win over the Redskins on Monday Night Football. Brooks has allowed nine total pressures all season, but none in the past five games.
Pre-MNF selection: Shaq Mason, New England Patriots – 74.7 overall grade
Mitchell Schwartz, Kansas City Chiefs – 80.4 overall grade
Schwartz allowed just two total pressures in the win over the Raiders, coming from 45 pass-blocking snaps. Through 12 games, Schwartz has allowed an average of just one pressure per game, and just one sack so far this season.
Demarcus Lawrence, Dallas Cowboys – 92.9 overall grade
Lawrence was at his dominant best in the win over the Saints on Thursday Night Football, racking up a sack, a hit, three hurries and a forced fumble from 27 pass-rushing snaps. Over the past three games, he has produced 13 total pressures, including four sacks and four hits.
Interior Defensive Lineman
Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams – 92.8 overall grade
Donald is on course to be the defensive player of the year once again, and is threatening the single season sack record, despite playing on the defensive interior. In the win over the Lions, he was utterly dominant once again, racking up two sacks, two hits and three hurries from 40 pass-rushing snaps.
Interior Defensive Lineman
David Onyemata, New Orleans Saints – 92.4 overall grade
This was the best performance of the season for David Onyemata, who is making the most of his opportunities for the Saints. From just 21 pass-rushing snaps he managed to sack Dak Prescott three times, and he also produced two defensive stops.
Olivier Vernon, New York Giants – 91.6 overall grade
Vernon delivered by far his best performance, setting or tying season highs in total pressures, sacks, defensive stops and forced fumbles. After his two lowest-graded performances of the season where he combined for just five total pressures, Vernon had six in this game alone.
Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks – 96.6 overall grade
Wagner delivered one of the best games you’ll see on the defensive side of the ball all season on Sunday, producing 90.0-plus PFF grades in run defense, coverage and the pass-rush. From his pass-rushing snaps, he racked up a sack and two hits, while in coverage he had a pass breakup and an interception that he took back 98-yards for the Seahawks touchdown.
Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers – 93.1 overall grade
Lost in the talk of Cam Newton’s four interceptions and the Panthers offensive struggles was Luke Kuechly delivering his top performance of the season so far. Kuechly registered three tackles that resulted in a defensive stop, didn’t allow a reception in coverage, and forced two incompletions.
Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Cleveland Browns – 92.0 overall grade
Targeted four times in coverage, Boddy-Calhoun did allow four receptions, but they went for just 20 yards. Both of his tackles on the day resulted in a defensive stop, and he added a forced fumble in what was by far his highest graded performance of the season so far.
Malcolm Butler, Tennessee Titans – 91.4 overall grade
From the five passes thrown into his coverage, Butler allowed an NFL passer rating of just 8.3. That’s because he allowed just two of those passes to be caught, with one going for 10 yards, and the other for minus four. To go along with that, he also came away with a crucial interception in the win for the Titans.
Micah Hyde, Buffalo Bills – 92.3 overall grade
Hyde made a big impact for the Bills despite their loss to the Dolphins, coming away with an interception and two defensive stops. So far in 2018, Hyde is on track for the second highest graded season of his career, with this week proving to be his best performance of the season so far.
Justin Reid, Houston Texans – 90.7 overall grade
Reid allowed a huge reception to Antonio Callaway in the win over the Browns but made up for it by chasing him down to force a fumble inside the five-yard line. He also tallied two pass breakups, with this performance marking the second time in his rookie season that he has produced a PFF defensive grade of 90.0 or above.
Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants – 90.6 overall grade
Jenkins was targeted six times in coverage in the Giants overtime win over the Bears, but allowed just one reception for 12 yards. More impressively, he finished the game with three pass breakups, forcing more incompletions than completions allowed.
Aldrick Rosas, New York Giants – 86.3 overall grade
Three-for-three on field goals? Check. Perfect from 50+? Check. Game winner in overtime? Check.
Jordan Berry, Pittsburgh Steelers – 76.0 overall grade
Berry punted four times in the Steelers loss to the Chargers, with two of those punts landing inside the Los Angeles 20-yard line. His net yard averaged was ruined by King’s long return, but overall, it was a good night for Berry.
Desmond King II, Los Angeles Chargers – 85.6 overall grade
King came away with one of the biggest plays of the game for the Chargers in their comeback win over the Steelers, taking a punt to the house for a critical touchdown.
Kevin Pierre-Louis, New York Jets – 90.6 overall grade
Pierre-Louis played 25 snaps on special teams this week, seeing time on the kick return, kick coverage, punt return and punt coverage units. He had a pair of impressive blocks on kick returns and added a blocked punt to cap off his day.