Wednesday, September 12, 2018

PFF's Week 1 NFL Team of the Week

By Gordon McGuinness
September 10, 2018

After each week of the NFL regular season, and once our exhaustive All-22 review processes are in the books, PFF will be bringing you the insights from our play-by-play grading of every NFL game with our Team of the Week.

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.

[Editor’s note: The Team of the Week was originally published on the morning of September 10, but has been amended to reflect some of the dominant performances from the Monday Night Football contests.]


Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 96.1
This was Fitzpatrick at his Fitzmagic best. Delivering dime after dime and picking the Saints apart with back-shoulder throws, he delivered one of the best quarterbacking performances you’ll see all season. On throws 20-plus yards downfield, he went 4-for-5 for 179 yards and three touchdowns.

Running Back
Jordan Howard, CHICAGO BEARS – 80.7
Jordan may not have led the NFL in yards or touchdowns this week, but he was consistently impressive in the loss to the Packers. From 15 carries, he forced three missed tackles and averaged 3.9 yards after contact per attempt.

Wide Receiver
DeSean Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 94.8
Just like Fitzpatrick, Jackson could do no wrong on Sunday, dominating against New Orleans. Despite being limited to just 13 snaps as a receiver due to a couple of injuries, Jackson averaged 11.23 yards per route run, the most of any wide receiver this week.

Wide Receiver
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs – 93.2
Similarly to Jackson, Hill just couldn’t be stopped, averaging 8.45 yards per route run in the win over the Chargers. He showcased how dangerous his speed is downfield, with two receptions on throws of 20-plus yards, and on shorter routes too, scoring on a jet sweep.

Tight End
Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks – 92.1
A performance that came out of nowhere, Dissly was dynamic as a pass-catcher, averaging 5.25 yards per route run from 20 snaps as a receiver. Too much for the Broncos to handle, he averaged 22.3 yards after the catch per reception and forced a missed tackle.

Flex Offense
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 91.9
The third member of the Buccaneers offense in our Team of the Week, Evans finally got the better of Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore at the third time of asking. When being covered by the Saints star cornerback, Evans picked up four catches for 115 yards and a touchdown.

Left Tackle
Andrew Whitworth, Los Angeles Rams – 84.5
(Previous LT prior to MNF: David Bakhtiari, Green Bay Packers – 84.1)
The Rams offensive line as a unit was fantastic, and that starts with Whitworth. He allowed just one hurry, and no hits or sacks, for 36 pass-blocking snaps in the win over the Raiders.

Left Guard
Rodger Saffold, Los Angeles Rams – 86.4
(Previous LG prior to MNF: Ali Marpet, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 82.4)
Saffold produced a perfect 100.0 pass-blocking efficiency, with no pressures allowed all game. He also impressed as a run-blocker, producing the highest run-blocking grade among offensive guards this week.

Matt Paradis, Denver Broncos – 83.9
Paradis did allow a sack, but it was the only pressure he allowed from 42 pass-blocking snaps in the win over Seattle. He was also really impressive in the running game, producing the highest run-blocking grade at the position this week.

Right Guard
Austin Blythe, Los Angeles Rams – 87.0

(Previous RG prior to MNF: Kyle Long, Chicago Bears – 81.4)
Saffold’s teammate was our second-highest graded run-blocking guard this week, trailing only his teammate. Similarly, he too produced a perfect 100.0 pass-blocking efficiency rating, with no pressures allowed all game.

Right Tackle
Rob Havenstein, Los Angeles Rams – 83.5
(Previous RT prior to MNF: Lane Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles – 76.7)
Like Whitworth, Havenstein didn’t allow any sacks or hits, and just one hurry, from 36 pass-blocking snaps. That’s an impressive duo, with quarterback Jared Goff having to deal with just two pressures against his tackles over the course of the game.

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