Splash’s NFL Week 4 Team of the Week

Splash’s NFL Week 4 Team of the Week

by October 5, 2021 1 comment

With Week in the NFL 4 in the books, it is time to look at the best performers at each position from last 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 the individual 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 4.

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

Quarterback: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

For the third time this season, Mahomes had a passer rating of 131. He was firing on all cylinders, throwing five touchdowns while completing 80% of his passes. He compiled 304 total yards in Kansas City’s multi-score victory. Mahomes ended with an 81.2 passing grade and an 82.7 overall grade. He fired two big-time throws to just one turnover-worthy play. Mahomes is well on his way to another Pro Bowl nod. Jameis Winston, Matt Ryan, Joe Burrow, Daniel Jones, and Lamar Jackson were the stiffest competition for Mahomes, but five touchdowns is five touchdowns.

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

Running Back: Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons

Patterson found the end zone three times, all three times via the air. He was moderately effective on the ground, averaging 5.7 yards per carry, but Patterson earns this spot with his tremendous performance as a pass-catcher. He caught five passes for 82 yards and the trio of touchdowns. Patterson was Pro Football Focus’ (PFF) No. 1 running back, earning a 91.5 overall grade. He had a 79.0 rushing grade and a 90.5 receiving grade. Saquon Barkley, Derrick Henry, and Ezekiel Elliott are honorable mentions.

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

Wide Receiver: Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs*

Previously Appeared: Week 1

11 catches. 186 yards. Three touchdowns. Hill exploited the Eagles to the tune of one of the most dominant games at any position in 2021. He earned a 93.1 grade, bolstered by a 92.6 receiving grade. This is Hill’s second mammoth outburst, and he was even better this time. Hill broke free for nine first downs, forcing three missed tackles. He tacked on 47 yards after the catch.

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

Wide Receiver: Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team*

McLaurin carried Washington’s offense against the Falcons. Taylor Heinicke tried to throw the game away several times, but McLaurin kept Washington in it. He tallied 123 yards on six catches. Two of his six catches went for touchdowns. He ended with a 79.1 receiving grade, an overall grade of 79.8. He forced one missed tackle, and five of his six receptions went for a first down. Darnell Mooney out graded McLaurin, but he failed to find the end zone in his five-catch, 125-yard performance. Laviska Shenault also graded over 90.0, but production speaks louder than grades for this article series.

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

Wide Receiver: Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers

Previously Appeared: Week 1

Samuel turned a braindead Seahawks defense into mush. Samuel posted 156 yards and a pair of touchdowns on eight catches. 76 of his yards came on a busted coverage, as Samuel burned down the sideline for one of the easiest 76-yard touchdowns a receiver will ever have. Samuel posted an 83.4 receiving score to earn an 82.7 overall grade. He forced three missed tackles and hauled in six first downs. Kalif Raymond, Randall Cobb, and D.J. Moore also found the end zone twice. It was unlucky on their part because all three Team of the Week receivers hauled in multiple touchdowns.

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

Tight End: C.J. Uzomah

Uzomah set a high bar on Thursday Night Football. He caught five of six targets, posting 95 yards and two touchdowns. Uzomah romped to an 89.2 receiving grade and 88.2 overall grade. He led all tight ends in yards after the catch (65) and receiving yards in general. He forced one missed tackle and moved the chains for four first downs. This was a cut-and-dry selection, but Maxx Williams, Dalton Schultz, and Jared Cook posted strong performances.

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

Left Tackle: Jonah Williams, Cincinnati Bengals

The competition at left tackle was tough once again, but Williams gets the nod here. Across 58 total snaps, Williams earned an 81.9 grade. He allowed zero pressures in 35 pass-blocking snaps en route to a 80.7 grade. As a run blocker, Williams was sturdy, posting a 79.2 grade. Williams had the best all-around day, even if he didn’t play like a superstar run or pass blocker.

Rashawn Slater was the closest to being Williams’ equal in an all-around sense. Tyron Smith earned the top PFF grade, but he was mediocre as a pass blocker. Charles Leno and Andrew Thomas excelled in pass protection, but they were not quite as dominant as run blockers.

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

Left Guard: Rodger Saffold, Tennessee Titans

Saffold was the only member of the Tennessee offensive line that held up well. He allowed zero pressures on 32 pass-blocking snaps. Too add some context, his right guard companion allowed nine pressures. Saffold was the week’s top pass protector among all interior players. He was even better as a run blocker, and he paved the way for another strong day for Derrick Henry. All told, Saffold posted a 92.6 grade to pace all left guards. Joel Bitonio, Joe Thuney, and Ali Marpet all graded well, but this was Saffold’s spot to lose.

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

Center: Chase Roullier, Washington Football Team

Rouiller was PFF’s fourth highest-graded center, but he had the best all-around profile. He allowed zero pressures on 42 pass-blocking snaps, earning the best pass-blocking grade among centers. He had a solid enough day as a run blocker, earning the sixth-best grade of the week, a 75.3. In total, Rouiller earned a 78.8 overall grade and a spot in the Team of the Week. Jason Kelce and Creed Humphrey had comically high run-blocking grades, but both slipped up and allowed a pressure. Corey Linsley earned the third-best grade, but he also surrendered a pressure.

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

Right Guard: Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys*

Previously Appeared: Week 2

Martin has now graded above 95.0 twice in 2021, noting both of his appearances in the Teams of the Week. He was sensational as a run blocker once again, posting a 93.7 grade. He was also excellent as a pass blocker in Week 4. His 80.6 grade reflects zero surrendered pressures. Martin was the highest graded offensive lineman by 2.5 points, and his run-blocking was only bettered by the aforementioned Kelce. Trey Smith would have gotten the spot if Martin was excluded from consideration.

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

Right Tackle: Jawaan Taylor, Jacksonville Jaguars

Similar to left tackle, this was one of the toughest decisions of the week. Five tackles were close, but Taylor’s well-rounded performance earns him the nod. Taylor did allow one hurry on 29 pass-blocking snaps, but he was otherwise strong. He earned a 77.5 pass-blocking grade. As a run blocker, Taylor fared well, posting a 71.6 grade. Ryan Ramczyk, Mike McGlinchey, Morgan Moses, and Rob Havenstein were strong competition for Taylor. No one separated from the competition in a meaningful way.

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

Interior Defensive Line: Calais Campbell, Baltimore Ravens

Campbell returned to his hometown of Denver and wreaked havoc against a banged up Broncos interior. Campbell led all interior linemen with seven pressures. He did not record a sack, but he forced both Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock into bad situations. As a whole, Campbell earned a 90.0 grade, terrorizing Netane Muti (3.0 pass-blocking grade) en route to a 84.4 pass-rushing grade. Jonathan Allen was PFF’s top-graded interior defensive lineman, and Chris Wormley earned the top run-defense grade.

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

Interior Defensive Line: Quinnen Williams, New York Jets

Williams was one of five interior defensive linemen to record exactly five pressures, but he finished two of them off with sacks. Williams did not grade out particularly well, but as mentioned previously, production is the name of the game here. He had a 70.8 pass-rush grade and a 71.5 tackling grade. He was moved around in the run game (54.6), but getting to the quarterback matters. Osa Odighizuwa, Sheldon Rankins, Malik Jackson, and J.J. Watt all recorded five pressures.

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

Edge Defender: Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns*

Previously Appeared: Week 3

Garrett is turning the Defensive Player of the Year Award race into a formality. He tacked on nine pressures, officially finishing the game with 0.5 sacks. He leads the NFL with six sacks, but the pressure production gets his spot here. Garrett had his best-graded game of the season (90.2), strengthened by a well-rounded performance. He earned a 77.3 grade as a run defender, 74.3 grade as a tackler, and a 79.9 grade as a pass-rusher. Shaquil Barrett and Jerry Hughes had strong all-around games, both grading out well.

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

Edge Defender: John Franklin-Myers

Garrett was not the outright leader in pressures, as Franklin-Myers had just as many. Franklin-Myers turned 38 pass-rush snaps into nine pressures, getting home for his third sack of the season. He turned David Quessenberry into an absolute turnstile for 70 minutes, as Quessenberry earned just a 37.5 pass-blocking grade on the afternoon. Chris Jones, Joey Bosa, Danielle Hunter, and Jadeveon Clowney racked up seven pressures. Bryce Huff was credited with 1.5 sacks on his six pressures.

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

Linebacker: Tremaine Edmunds, Buffalo Bills

Of Buffalo’s top four linebackers, they ranked first, second, fourth, and sixth in PFF grade this week respectively. Edmunds was at the top, posting an otherworldly 94.1 overall grade. He dominated in coverage, posting a 92.8 coverage grade. He cleaned up with a 74.7 run defense grade and an 81.2 tackling grade. Edmunds nabbed an interception and allowed a passer rating of 16.7. Tyler Matakevich posted a 90.8 grade. A.J. Klein earned an 89.9 grade. Matt Milano rounds out the quartet with an 85.4 grade.

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

Linebacker: Bobby Okereke, Indianapolis Colts

Okereke broke up Buffalo’s monopoly on top-graded linebackers. Okereke notched a pass break-up and a pressure on the day. He posted a 90.3 grade with an 86.1 coverage grade. He tackled well (81.6) and played the run admirably (74.1). Among linebackers to play 50 snaps, he was the only one to grade over 85.0. It was an exceptional performance for Darius Leonard‘s right-hand man. Malik Harrison (89.5), De’Vondre Campbell (84.8), and Pete Werner (84.4) also graded well in Week 4.

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

Cornerback: Greedy Williams, Cleveland Browns

Among cornerbacks to play five snaps, Williams earned the top grade. Regardless of snap count, his 87.0 coverage grade was tops for the week. While he did surrender four catches on five targets, the incompletion was an interception. Williams kept the lid on the Minnesota passing attack. He tackled well (78.9) and played the run better than his draft profile would suggest (69.7). Cameron Lewis, Terrance Mitchell, and Ross Cockrell posted coverage grades above 81.0.

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

Cornerback: Trevon Diggs, Dallas Cowboys*

Previously Appeared: Week 3

Diggs may have earned a 41.8 coverage grade this week, but who cares? He was the only defensive back to notch two interceptions, extending his NFL lead in overall interceptions. He has five on the season, a large reason why he deserves to be an All-Pro. In coverage, Diggs allowed a 46.9 passer rating. At least he graded well as a run defender (69.6) and tackler (77.1). Anthony Brown and Kendall Fuller both had three pass break-ups.

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

Safety: Marcus Williams, New Orleans Saints*

Previously Appeared: Week 1

Williams was one of two safeties to force a fumble and intercept a pass. It was a Hail Mary, but it goes on Williams’ record. Williams had a fairly average day grade-wise, but two turnovers is generally enough to make the team. He had a 62.7 overall grade, 70.2 run-defense grade, and a 58.8 coverage grade. He missed two tackles, but he is generally a reliable tackler. Justin Simmons and Bobby McCain had a pair of pass break-ups, but both players earned overall grades of 36.

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

Safety: Antoine Winfield Jr., Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Winfield was the other safety to force a fumble and intercept a pass. Among safeties to play meaningful snaps, Winfield earned the second-best grade (to the defensive back selection). Winfield excelled in coverage, earning an 84.1 grade against the Patriots. He was mediocre otherwise, but coverage is such a crucial piece of a safety’s game. That alone earned him a 89.8 overall grade. Quandre Diggs (89.7), Jaquan Johnson (87.5), and Ryan Neal (84.4) also graded well.

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

Defensive Back: Erik Harris, Atlanta Falcons

Harris posted an 89.9 overall grade. He notched a pair of pass break-ups, en route to an 89.1 coverage grade. He was also a strong tackler (83.1). Despite his stellar performance, Harris left some meat on the bone, failing to secure an interception on his pass break-ups. He was still excellent, and he is deserving of the spot, but there was room to be even better. Overall, it was a rough day for volume-snap defensive backs. Of those to play 30 snaps, only eight earned an 80.0 grade. The aforementioned Diggs will double-dip as an honorable mention.

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


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