Splash’s NFL Week 3 Team of the Week

Splash’s NFL Week 3 Team of the Week

by September 28, 2021 2 comments

With Week 3 in the books, it is time to look at the best performers at each position. This will only concern this week. It should be a mix of usual suspects and random one-game wonders. If a player is not on the list, it does not mean that that player did not have a great game. Not all positions are created equal. There are two returning players from both Week 1 and Week 2, prior performance has no bearing on this list. With that said, let’s look at the best 11 offensive players and best 11 defensive players from Week 3.

An asterisk (*) indicates a player that would earn a spot on the All-Pro team through three weeks.

Quarterback: Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

While Josh Allen was not the highest-graded quarterback in Week 3 (that honor went to Joe Burrow), Allen did account for five touchdowns. Allen had, by far, his best game of the season against Washington. Despite facing consistent pressure from a certain Football Teamer who will come up later on the team, Allen was firing darts. After two subpar performances, it appears that MVP-caliber Allen is back.

Burrow, Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert, and Matthew Stafford were all in contention for this spot.

If the season ended today, Tom Brady would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

Running Back: Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns

Kareem Hunt stuffed the stat sheet with 155 total yards and a rushing touchdown. To his credit, his well-rounded performance earned a sterling 90.6 PFF grade. As a rusher, he earned an 89.3 grade. As a receiver, he earned a 90.2 grade. In total, Hunt had a dominant day, forcing seven total missed tackles. He was electric after contact as a runner, picking up over 60 yards. As a receiver, he had 78 yards after the catch.

Hunt ran away with this spot (no pun intended), but D’Andre Swift was the No.2 running back.

If the season ended today, Derrick Henry would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

Wide Receiver: Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

Justin Jefferson was the No.2-graded receiver during Week 3. He hauled in nine passes for 118 yards and a touchdown in Minnesota’s win over the Seahawks. Jefferson had a fairly quiet start to the season, but he came alive this week. Jefferson accounted for eight first downs, and he secured his lone contested catch. He had one drop, but on 11 targets, it can be excused. Jefferson is back on track for a second dominant season.

If the season ended today, Cooper Kupp would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

Wide Receiver: Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers

While four receivers caught multiple touchdowns, Mike Williams was the only one in the group to crack 100 yards. Williams was the No.5-graded receiver by overall grade, posting the sixth-best receiving grade. Williams had six first downs. He caught one of his two contested-catch targets. He was one of nine receivers to force multiple missed tackles, so it was quite the well-rounded performance from the former first-round pick.

Ja’Marr Chase, Emmanuel Sanders, and Cooper Kupp each found the end zone twice.

If the season ended today, Tyler Lockett would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

Wide Receiver: Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers*

Despite being knocked out momentarily, Davante Adams had a sensational day. Aaron Rodgers targeted Adams 18 times, completing 12 of them. Adams racked up 132 yards and a touchdown. He was the No.1 receiver by overall PFF grade and receiving a grade, cracking 91.0. He did have a drop, but as mentioned with Jefferson, the target barrage makes up for one mistake. Adams converted nine first downs.

Beyond the three receivers mentioned with Williams’ blurb, D.J. Moore, DeSean Jackson, A.J. Green, and Brandin Cooks were in contention.

If the season ended today, Davante Adams would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

Tight End: Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens

Mark Andrews narrowly edged Travis Kelce out for the most receiving yards by a tight end with his robust 109 yards. Targeted seven times, Andrews caught five passes. He had the longest completion by a tight end, motoring for a 41-yard play. He racked up four first downs, and he hauled in his only contested-catch opportunity. Andrews lived up to his reputation of dominating in the 1 p.m. window.

Kelce, George Kittle, and Tyler Conklin were in contention for this spot.

If the season ended today, Travis Kelce would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

Left Tackle: Andrew Thomas, New York Giants

It was a tight race between Andrew Thomas and Trent Williams, but Thomas gets the nod because of his strong grade as both a run-blocker and pass-blocker. Thomas allowed just one pressure on 46 pass-blocking snaps. He had an 84.2 pass-blocking grade. As a run-blocker, Thomas paved the way to a rock-solid 77.1 grade.

Isaiah Wynn and Charles Leno had strong performances, but Williams was the true competition.

If the season ended today, Trent Williams would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

Left Guard: Ben Powers, Baltimore Ravens

Michael Onwenu edged Ben Powers out in PFF grading (87.4 to 87.1), but Powers gets the nod here because he surrendered zero pressures. Onwenu, the top honorable mention, allowed one pressure which turned into a sack. Powers was the top-graded run blocker among left guards (minimum of 5 snaps played). It was a sensational game for the young guard, even if he only played 32 snaps.

Quenton Nelson and Ben Cleveland were small sample size studs, grading with 87.1 and 77.4 on 13 and 26 snaps respectively. Cleveland and Powers nearly split the position as a “Baltimore Ravens left guard” name spot.

If the season ended today, Joel Bitonio would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

Center: Bradley Bozeman, Baltimore Ravens*

Previously Appeared: Week 2

Bradley Bozeman is the first player to repeat his position, earning an even better 82.7 grade this week. Among centers to play 10 snaps, Bozeman was the only one to grade out as a top-five run-blocker and pass-blocker. His 86.4 run-blocking grade was second to Corey Linsley, and his pass-blocking grade was fifth to three subpar run-blockers. Two team of the week nominations in three weeks is not too shabby for a player who had yet to play center in the NFL.

Linsley, Ben Jones, Billy Price, Creed Humphrey, and Frank Ragnow all graded above 75.0.

If the season ended today, Bradley Bozeman would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

Right Guard: Austin Corbett, Los Angeles Rams

Austin Corbett was the best pass-blocking guard of Week 3, and he was the second-highest graded run-blocker among right guards. His 83.8 overall grade topped right guards. He was nearly flawless against one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL. On 41 pass-blocking reps, Corbett earned an 88.7 grade. On 24 run-blocking snaps, he earned a 77.1 grade.

Chris Lindstrom and Oli Udoh had well-rounded games, but Corbett gets the nod here.

If the season ended today, Zack Martin would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

Right Tackle: Jack Conklin, Cleveland Browns*

Despite being on the field for 81 snaps, Jack Conklin was sensational. He topped all meaningful tackles with an 89.1 grade. He was the No.1 right tackle in both pass-blocking (82.9) and run-blocking (88.9), one of the most difficult tasks for a lineman. Conklin narrowly missed making the Week 1 team of the week based solely on his run-blocking, but he earns the spot with an excellent all-around performance in Week 3.

Mike McGlinchey, Tristan Wirfs, and Week 1’s Rob Havenstein deserved consideration.

If the season ended today, Jack Conklin would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

Interior Defensive Line: Daron Payne, Washington Football Team

Daron Payne did not grade out particularly well from an overall perspective. He earned just a 70.2 grade, but it is all the more impressive considering he played 63 snaps, the second-most among interior defenders. Payne was the highest-graded pass-rusher among interior players with a 90.2. He had 11 pressures, leading all of Week 3’s players. His run-defense grade (39.2) drags down his overall grade, but this is a list focused on production.

J.J. Watt (seven pressures) and Kenny Clark (six pressures) were the next-most productive pass-rushers from a pressure standpoint.

If the season ended today, Cameron Heyward would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

Interior Defensive Line: Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams*

Previously Appeared: Week 2

How long will Aaron Donald‘s streak of team of the week appearances last? This marks two in a row as he earned a 90.1 grade, the second-best of Week 3. He only had five pressures, but he forced a fumble on a strip-sack of Tom Brady. On the Donald scale, it was not an elite game, but Donald has such high standards that he earns a spot here. Somehow, Donald’s 88.0 pass-rush grade was his worst of the season.

Zach Sieler was the only interior player to grade higher than Donald. Dre’Mont Jones was 0.1 behind Donald. Grady Jarrett had an 89.8 grade.

If the season ended today, Aaron Donald would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

Edge Defender: Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns*

Myles Garrett was fourth in pressures, but he got home for 4.5 sacks against a terrible Chicago defensive line. As mentioned with Payne, production is name of the game when it comes to the team of the week. Garrett was a below-average run defender, but his 91.2 pass-rush grade was second among all pass-rushers. He earned his first 90.0 grade of the season, notching eight pressures for the second time.

Azeez Ojulari, Julian Okwara, Charles Omenihu, and Frankie Luvu also earned 90.0 grades, but they all played fewer snaps than Garrett.

If the season ended today, Myles Garrett would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

Edge Defender: Joey Bosa, Los Angeles Chargers

Joey Bosa was one of two edge defenders to record 10 pressures. Harold Landry racked up 10 pressures for the Titans, usually good enough to earn the edge spot, but Bosa posted a higher pass-rush grade, and he did not benefit from unblocked pressures like Landry. Landry ends up earning the EDGE3 spot this week as Bosa makes his first team. Bosa had a solid 79.2 overall grade, including a 90.2 pass-rush grade.

Cameron Jordan finished third in pressures with nine. Garrett had eight, and Danielle Hunter had seven.

If the season ended today, Maxx Crosby would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

Linebacker: Shaq Thompson, Carolina Panthers*

Previously Appeared: Week 1

Shaq Thompson is well on his way to an All-Pro spot, and Week 3 was Thompson’s most well-rounded game. He earned a season-high 87.7 grade. Thompson graded out better than 70.0 as a run defender, a tackler, a pass-rusher, and a cover player. He was the fourth-highest graded linebacker, but he played 55 snaps while the top three combined to play just 58 snaps. Thompson even added a pair of pressures.

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah earned PFF’s defensive player of the week distinction with his 93.9 grade, but he only played 23 snaps. He was spectacular, but volume snaps should account for something.

If the season ended today, Shaq Thompson would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

Linebacker: Elandon Roberts, Miami Dolphins

With all due credit to Logan Wilson (two interceptions) and Darius Leonard (one interception), Elandon Roberts takes the spot here. He had a first-quarter pick-six, and pick-sixes are the most fool-proof way to earn a spot. Sure, Roberts ended with a 54.8 grade, but production is king here. Roberts added a forced fumble, and he allowed just a 52.1 rating when in coverage.

Wilson and Leonard are honorable mentions here.

If the season ended today, Matt Milano would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

Cornerback: Byron Murphy, Arizona Cardinals

Previously Appeared: Week 1

Not only was Byron Murphy the only cornerback to intercept two passes, but he also took one back to the end zone for a pick-six. Murphy graded out well enough to earn a spot even if he did not have a pick-six. His 87.5 grade and 90.5 coverage grade were in the top six at the position. The difference between Murphy and those above him is his 68 snaps played. He played at an elite level for a large chunk of snaps.

Isaiah Oliver (57 snaps), Josh Norman (30 snaps), and Rock Ya-Sin (33 snaps) had slightly higher grades, but Murphy gets the nod because of his pick-six.

If the season ended today, Marshon Lattimore would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

Cornerback: Trevon Diggs, Dallas Cowboys

While Trevon Diggs‘ PFF grades are unavailable, his pick-six earns him a spot. He baited Jalen Hurts into one of his worst games as a professional. Diggs racked up three passes defended including his 59-yard pick-six. The Cowboys’ defense played well as a whole, but Diggs was a step above. It was quite the breakout performance for the second-year cornerback.

Tevaughn Campbell was the incumbent for this spot before Diggs’ heroics. Campbell had two forced fumbles and a pair of pass break-ups.

If the season ended today, Jalen Ramsey would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

Safety: Justin Simmons, Denver Broncos

Justin Simmons was the No.1 defensive back regardless of snap count. He played 50 snaps en route to a 91.3 grade. He had an excellent 88.1 coverage grade, bolstered by a late interception of Zach Wilson. After two poorly-graded games, Simmons was firing on all cylinders in Denver’s home opener. Simmons was the only safety to earn a coverage grade above 85.0. He allowed a 25.0 passer rating when targeted.

If the season ended today, Derwin James would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

Safety: Chuck Clark, Baltimore Ravens*

Chuck Clark was the fourth-highest graded safety, but the second and third-highest graded safeties played just 21 total snaps. Clark tripled that and posted an 87.8 grade. While Simmons was a coverage menace, Clark had a terrific all-around game. He earned a 72.0 grade as a run defender, an 84.8 grade as a tackler, a 91.2 grade as a pass-rusher, and a 74.5 grade in coverage. He had two pressures, a PFF sack, and four defensive stops.

Clark’s opponent, Tracy Walker, posted an 82.4 grade, earning him an honorable distinction. Micah Hyde, Jordan Whitehead, and Jessie Bates also deserve consideration.

If the season ended today, Chuck Clark would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

Defensive Back: Malcolm Jenkins, New Orleans Saints

Among safeties with 20 snaps, Malcolm Jenkins ranked third in PFF grade to Simmons and Clark. He earned 80.0+ grades as a tackler and as a cover player. Jenkins secured his spot with a fluky pick-six of Mac Jones, but it goes on the stat sheet as a pick-six. Jenkins had an additional pass break-up, and he conceded a passer rating of just 22.1. It was Jenkins’ first elite game of 2021.

Jenkins narrowly beat out his teammate Lattimore for this slot.

If the season ended today, Xavien Howard would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

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I’m Ryan Potts. Some people affectionately call me Splash. I am renowned for being a misplaced Ravens, Cavs, Wings & Braves fan. Twitter: MrSplashMan19

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