Splash’s NFL Week 7 Team of the Week

Splash’s NFL Week 7 Team of the Week

by October 27, 2021 3 comments

With Week 7 of the NFL 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. 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 7.

You can find my Week 6 Team of the Week here.

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

Quarterback: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

Burrow and the Bengals roasted the Baltimore Ravens’ secondary for 416 passing yards. The LSU product tacked on three touchdowns, as well. While he did throw a rather ugly red-zone interception, he had the best day of any quarterback this week. Burrow lofted one big-time throw and benefitted from having two offensive teammates make the Team of the Week. Burrow has played his way into MVP consideration. Kyler Murray, Matt Ryan, Ryan Tannehill, and Derek Carr graded out well, but they did not have the statistical profile that Burrow had on Sunday.

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

Running Back: D’Ernest Johnson, Cleveland Browns

Johnson terrorized the Broncos defense. He racked up a league-leading 146 yards and a touchdown. He also earned the highest overall PFF grade of the week among running backs (90.6). He forced five missed tackles and ran for 75 yards after contact. Damien Harris. and J.J. Taylor both found the end zone twice, but Johnson’s scrimmage total of 168 yards gets the nod here.

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

Wide Receiver: Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams*

Previously Appeared: Week 2, Week 6

Kupp is back once again. He went for 10 catches, 156 yards, and a pair of back-breaking touchdowns. He led the week in catches and finished second in both yards and touchdowns. Kupp did have a drop, but he was targeted 13 times. With the ball in his hands, he forced four missed tackles, the most the week by a wide receiver. A.J. Brown and Chris Godwin tied for second in catches, but neither matched Kupp’s yardage and touchdown production.

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

Wide Receiver: Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Evans only had six catches for 76 yards, but three of his six catches ended in the end zone. On six contested-catch opportunities, Evans brought in a league-leading five contested catches. While he did have a drop, the rest of Evans’ profile puts him here. Kupp and Evans were the only receivers to catch multiple touchdowns, so there are no players that could have vultured a spot without a gaudy yardage tally. Michael Pittman and Terry McLaurin both had 100 yards and a touchdown, though.

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

Wide Receiver: Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals*

Eight catches. 201 yards. One touchdown. Chase announced his arrival to the elite class of wide receivers, blasting Marlon Humphrey and the Baltimore secondary for one of the best games of the season. The highlight of the day was an 82-yard touchdown that he forced several missed tackles on, eventually breaking free. Chase brought in three of four contested catches and forced three missed tackles. Among those who have yet to be mentioned, Kalif Raymond and Deebo Samuel also cracked 100 yards.

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

Tight End: C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals

Previously Appeared: Week 4

This was perhaps the most difficult decision of the week. Uzomah had a monster game, turning three catches into 91 yards and a pair of touchdowns. On the other hand, Kyle Pitts turned seven catches into 163 yards (and several highlight-reel worthy grabs). At the end of the day, this article will prioritize touchdown production (see: Evans, Mike), so Uzomah earns the spot. Pitts would have made just about any other team, however. Welcome to the NFL, rookie!

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

Left Tackle: Kolton Miller, Las Vegas Raiders

Miller had an exceptional day against the Eagles. He was the top-graded tackle (86.8) and was stellar as both a run-blocker and a pass-blocker. On 37 pass-blocking snaps, Miller did not concede pressure, earning an 85.8 grade. He was a force as a run blocker, racking up an 83.6 grade. Kendall Lamb, Penei Sewell, and Isaiah Wynn also graded in the 80s, but they did not bring as well-rounded profile as Miller did.

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

Left Guard: Joel Bitonio, Cleveland Browns*

Previously Appeared: Week 1

Bitonio finished in third place among left guards in PFF grade this week, but he steals a spot because of his well-rounded game. Ali Marpet led the way this week with an 83.4 grade, but he had his struggles in pass protection. Jamarco Jones edged out Bitonio by 0.1 grading points, but he was one-dimensional He had an 81.6 run-blocking grade and a 52.9 pass-blocking grade. Bitonio notched a 79.2 run-blocking grade and an 82.1 pass-blocking grade.

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

Center: Jason Kelce, Philadelphia Eagles

Kelce finally earns a spot with a well-rounded game. He posted an overall grade of 81.3 grade, bolstered by an 88.5 run-blocking grade. Kelce was also a capable pass protector, conceding just one pressure en route to a 72.8 pass-blocking grade. Andre James and Lloyd Cushenberry had solid days, but Kelce gets the nod here. Ryan Jensen finished second in PFF grade, but he struggled in pass protection to the tune of a 32.6 grade.

If the season ended today, J.C. Tretter would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.

Right Guard: Alex Cappa, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Wyatt Teller was the highest-graded player at any offensive line position, but he only had a 55.8 pass-blocking grade, bringing down his overall impact. Cappa steals the spot here. He was the No.2 right guard. However, his real impact comes from his consistency in both facets. Across 39 pass-blocking reps, Cappa did not surrender pressure, earning an 83.9 grade. In run-blocking, Cappa played well to earn a 79.3 grade.

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

Right Tackle: Kelvin Beachum, Arizona Cardinals

As is the standard here, Beachum’s well-rounded profile gives him the nod. Michael Onwenu had a legendary run-blocking day, but his pass protection needed extra polish. Similarly, David Quesssenberry nearly posted a 90.0 run-blocking grade, but he had a below-average pass-blocking grade. Beachum was a devastating run-blocker, but he also held up well enough as a pass protector. Patrick Mekari, Mike McGlinchey, and Ryan Ramczyk had solid well-rounded games.

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

Interior Defensive Line: Larry Ogunjobi, Cincinnati Bengals

In a week that no interior player pulled away from the pack, Ogunjobi earns the first spot with a solid grade, 1.5 sacks, and five pressures. Ogunjobi also tied for the lead with six total stops. In total, Ogunjobi earned a 78.0 grade, bolstered by a 76.4 run defense grade and 73.5 tackling grade. He did not grade out the best as a pass-rusher (65.7), but he had the raw pressure tally to earn a spot here. Kingsley Keke, Jonathan Allen, and Leonard Williams also contributed to two sacks (by PFF’s count), but they did not have productive days as run defenders.

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

Interior Defensive Line: Kenny Clark, Green Bay Packers

Clark brutalized the Washington interior offensive line. Clark led the week with seven pressures by an interior presence. He had a 75.7 overall grade and a 77.0 pass-rush grade. He hurried Taylor Heinicke six times and hit him once. While he did not record a sack, his constant pressure was a key reason why the Packers had an easy win. Grady Jarrett and the aforementioned Williams notched six pressures.

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

Edge Defender: Rashan Gary, Green Bay Packers

Gary was the only player of the week to notch 10 pressures, joining Clark in the terror inflicted on Heinicke. Gary tuned up all of his upside into an 90.1 pass-rush grade. Was he well-rounded? No, but he fundamentally ruined the Washington gameplan. Gary poked away a fumble and record two sacks (by PFF). Azeez Ojulari, Yannick Ngakoue, and the second Team of the Week selection came in second with eight pressures.

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

Edge Defender: Sam Hubbard, Cincinnati Bengals

Hubbard is the mystery man from the Gary blurb. Of his eight pressures, five became hurries and three became sacks (officially 2.5). Hubbard also batted one of Lamar Jackson‘s passes. Trey Hendrickson, Hubbard’s teammate, is an honorable mention for his seven pressures and superior pass-rushing grade. As a whole, the Cincinnati front had a terrific day in Baltimore, and it was difficult to not give them all four spots.

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

Linebacker: De’Vondre Campbell, Green Bay Packers*

Campbell had one of the best linebacker performances of the season. In 72 snaps (fifth-most), Campbell earned a ridiculous 88.1 grade. He was simply unbeatable as a run defender, posting a 93.8 grade. Campbell had a quartet of stops, but perhaps the most important aspect of his game was his pair of forced fumbles. One of his forced fumbles was on the goal line, keeping Washington at bay. Darius Leonard, Akeem Davis-Gaither, and Alec Ogletree also forced fumbles in Week 7.

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

Linebacker: Demario Davis, New Orleans Saints

Josh Bynes had earned this spot until Davis asserted his dominance in an elite Monday Night Football performance. Davis recorded five stops en route to an 83.3 grade. He posted a trio of pressures on just six pass-rushing snaps. He dragged Geno Smith down twice, posting an 85.2 pass-rushing grade. He had an average day as a run defender, but he did not miss a tackle. Azeez Al-Shaair and Bobby Okereke had strong performances on Sunday night, but Davis gets the spot.

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

Cornerback: Rasul Douglas, Green Bay Packers

Yes, it’s another Packer. Douglas posted a stellar 88.3 grade, bolstered by a spectacular 88.2 run defense grade and an 84.9 grade in coverage. Douglas notched two stops and forced a fumble. In coverage, Washington targeted Douglas twice. Douglas recorded a pass break-up on one rep, and the other pass went for a four-yard completion. All told, Douglas allowed a 56.3 passer rating. Pierre Desir and Jalen Ramsey posted higher grades, but Desir only played 22 snaps, and Ramsey technically allowed a 63-yard touchdown.

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

Cornerback: Joejuan Williams, New England Patriots

Williams had a breakout performance, earning an 89.3 coverage grade. He was one of four corners to have a trio of pass break-ups, but Emmanuel Moseley committed a critical defensive pass interference, and both Brandon Facyson and Anthony Averett were heavily targeted. Williams turned five targets into one catch and three pass break-ups. At the end of the day, Williams posted an excellent 87.6 overall grade.

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

Safety: Kevin Byard, Tennessee Titans*

Previously Appeared: Week 5

Byard has now forced a turnover in three consecutive weeks. In Week 7, Byard forced a fumble, putting the cherry on top of one of the best defensive performances of the season. He earned his second 90.0 of the season, finishing with a 91.0. He had his season-highs in tackling (83.6) and coverage (87.9). Byard also now has a 90 grade on the season. Beyond Byard, P.J. Williams and Terrell Burgess graded out well, but they combined to play just 25 snaps. Byard played 54.

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

Safety: Matthais Farley, Tennessee Titans

Byard’s teammate Farley makes the team with a similar performance. Farley also tacked on a forced fumble in a well-rounded performance. He only had a 76.1 overall grade, but that buries the lede a bit. Farley, Byard, and the rest of the Tennessee defense forced the Chiefs into a box. Kansas City scored just three points, the fewest they have had in any Patrick Mahomes or not. At a certain point, grade does not matter here, although Farley did finish as a top-10 safety regardless of snaps. Dane Cruikshank is an honorable mention, the third safety in Tennessee’s group.

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

Defensive Back: Xavier Rhodes, Indianapolis Colts

While he ended up stepping out of bounds and not returning the play for a touchdown, Rhodes had a terrific late-game interception of Jimmy Garoppolo. Rhodes finished with an 82.8 overall grade and an 84.0 coverage grade. Since returning in Week 3 and getting into a groove in Week 4, Rhodes has been playing better. Week 7 was his best game of the season, and he recorded his first interception. Rhodes’ opponent Josh Norman forced two fumbles, usually enough to make the Team of the Week, but he also allowed a touchdown.

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


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