Splash’s NFL Week 13 Team of the Week

Splash’s NFL Week 13 Team of the Week

by December 8, 2021 1 comment

With Week 13 of the NFL season 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 13.

You can find my NFL Week 12 Team of the Week here.

An asterisk (*) indicates a player that would earn a spot on the All-Pro team through 13 weeks.

Quarterback: Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Previously Appeared: Week 2

While Brady did toss a pick-six, he sliced and diced the Atlanta Falcons in a vintage performance. He strengthened his MVP candidacy, and he is on pace for a stellar 5,350 yards and 48 passing touchdowns. He had four touchdowns for the first time since Week 8, posting his best passer rating since Week 5. For 50 of 51 throws, Brady was excellent.

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

Running Back: Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts*

Previously Appeared: Week 11

After weeks of being a contender, Taylor has now earned the nod in two of three weeks. Week 13 was Taylor’s fourth game with multiple rushing touchdowns. He romped for 143 yards on 32 carries. Taylor did lose his second fumble of the season, but it hardly mattered in a 31-0 win over the Houston Texans. Not only is Taylor the overwhelming favorite for the All-Pro spot, but he also has a compelling Offensive Player of the Year candidacy.

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

Wide Receiver: Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers

Despite dropping a touchdown early in the game, Johnson answered the call to post an Antonio Brown-like performance as the Steelers upset the Baltimore Ravens. Johnson hauled in eight of 12 targets en route to 105 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He was the third highest-graded receiver (with a minimum of two targets) in a performance for the ages. Johnson forced three missed tackles, and Ben Roethlisberger had a 133.7 passer rating when targeting Johnson.

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

Wide Receiver: Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals

Previously Appeared: Week 12

Higgins made it back-to-back stellar performances, going for 138 yards and a touchdown on nine catches. Higgins earned a strong 82.9 receiving grade in the losing effort. He was one of four receivers to catch three contested targets, and he also tacked on three forced missed tackles. It ended up being in vain, but Higgins is continuing a strong sophomore campaign with the Bengals.

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

Wide Receiver: Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings*

Previously Appeared: Week 3, Week 10, Week 11

Woah. Kirk Cousins targeted Jefferson 14 times. On those targets, Jefferson turned 11 catches into a week-high 182 yards and a touchdown. He was the highest-graded receiver (with multiple targets), earning an 89.9 grade. Jefferson led the way by contributing to nine first downs. Jefferson averaged 4.14 yards per route run, his second-highest of the season. With this performance, Jefferson has hijacked the final receiver All-Pro spot from Deebo Samuel.

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

Tight End: George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

Previously Appeared: Week 9

If Jefferson earned a “whoa,” Kittle deserves two of them. On 12 targets, Kittle racked up nine catches, 181 yards, and a pair of touchdowns. Both Dallas Goedert and Rob Gronkowski caught a pair of touchdowns as well, but they combined for just 163 yards. Kittle’s ridiculous game was capped with a special 94.8 receiving grade. Kittle averaged 6.46 yards per route run, the best by any wide receiver or tight end in Week 13.

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

Left Tackle: D.J. Humphries, Arizona Cardinals

With respect to Dion Dawkins who had a dominant Monday Night Football, Humphries gets the nod here. Dawkins and Humphries were the only two tackles to post an 80 grade as both a pass-blocker and run-blocker. For Humphries, he had an exceptional day as a pass-blocker. He posted a stellar 89.5 pass-blocking grade. As a run-blocker, Humphries had one of his best games of the season with an 83.2 grade.

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

The Joel Bitonio Award for Best Left Guard: Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis Colts

With Bitonio on a bye, he loses his three-week run of earning Team of the Week spots. In his place is a former All-Pro: Nelson. It was a weak group of left guards in Week 13, but Nelson rose to the top. He had a strong pass-blocking performance en route to an 80.6 pass-blocking grade. He did not allow a pressure. As a run-blocker, Nelson earned a solid 71.6 grade.

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

Center: Creed Humphrey, Kansas City Chiefs*

Humphrey is one of the most consistent players in the NFL. This is his first appearance in the Team of the Week, but he was a common honorable mention (or a casualty of playing in Monday Night Football). However, the buck stopped in Week 13 as Humphrey posted another strong game. He had a 79.4 overall grade, 86.5 run-blocking grade, and 78.0 pass-blocking grade.

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

The Zack Martin Award for Best Right Guard: Trai Turner, Pittsburgh Steelers

Previously Appeared: Week 8

No guard had an 80 grade as both a run-blocker and pass-blocker, but Turner’s 79.9 run-blocking grade finished third on the week. As a pass-blocker, Turner stonewalled the Ravens on 32 reps, not allowing a pressure. Turner has had an up-and-down season in Pittsburgh, but this performance is promising. Chris Lindstrom had a dominant run-blocking performance, but his pass protection was disappointingly average.

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

Right Tackle: Tristan Wirfs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers*

Previously Appeared: Week 10Week 12

It was a strange week at right tackle. Trent Brown was the highest-graded tackle, but he had just three pass-blocking snaps. Rob Havenstein and Tom Compton had spectacular days as run-blockers, but both of them allowed pressure. Wirfs, on the other hand, had a perfect pass-blocking performance, allowing zero pressures on 51 reps. He was not necessarily excellent (68.0 grade) as a run-blocker, but he did enough this week.

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

Interior Defensive Line: Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams*

Previously Appeared: Week 2Week 3Week 8, Week 12

Apparently, Donald read this article series a few weeks ago and took exception to not being selected for an All-Pro spot. In the last five games, Donald has earned an 88.6 or better grade four times. It came to an explosive conclusion in Week 13 as Donald posted a 95.8 grade. That isn’t a typo. Donald had his best run-defense grade (95.1) and pass-rushing grade (91.4) of the season.

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

Interior Defensive Line: Chris Wormley, Pittsburgh Steelers

Wormley got to Lamar Jackson three times, officially recording 2.5 sacks. He had six pressures in a revenge game. He posted four snaps in Pittsburgh’s victory. While he will be overshadowed by a certain Watt brother (sorry, Derek), Wormley had a spectacular game in his own right. Beyond Wormley, former Steeler Javon Hargrave deserves an honorable mention for leading the week with eight pressures from the interior.

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

Edge Defender: T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers

Previously Appeared: Week 1, Week 6, Week 9

Speaking of Watt, he had an incendiary game on Sunday. Watt had 11 pressures, four more than any other edge defender. He had 3.5 sacks and a fourth-quarter forced fumble. Watt did not have his best run-defense performance, but he more than made up for it by pressuring Jackson on the game’s final play. It was a Defensive Player of the Year-caliber performance from No.90.

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

Edge Defender: Uchenna Nwosu, Los Angeles Chargers

Nwosu was one of two edge defenders to have seven pressures (Charles Harris), but gets the slight nod with a better run-defense grade. He forced a fumble and made two defensive stops, finishing with an 83.9 overall grade; even better than Watt. Nwosu has had multiple pressures in four straight games, but his seven-pressure effort nearly doubled his previous best of the season.

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

Linebacker: Germaine Pratt, Cincinnati Bengals

Staying in the same game, Pratt had his best game of the season. He was PFF’s top-graded linebacker of the week, walking away with a 90.6 grade. He was exceptional as a run defender, earning a grade 6.0 points higher than second place. Pratt forced a key fumble to help the Bengals in their comeback effort, though they came up short in the fourth quarter.

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

Linebacker: Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys*

Previously Appeared: Week 2 (as an EDGE), Week 11, Week 12

Parsons is playing at an All-Pro level regardless of positional designation. He led all linebackers with five pressures in Week 13, but he had a solid day as both a run defender and coverage linebacker. Parsons made two defensive stops, and he allowed a 39.6 passer rating when in coverage. He is running away with Defensive Rookie of the Year. Parsons has five straight games with an 82.5 or better pass-rush grade.

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

Cornerback: Kenny Moore, Indianapolis Colts

Previously Appeared: Week 10

Moore flirted with Donald’s ridiculous grade, earning a 95.3 grade to lead all cornerbacks. He had a 95.1 coverage grade, one of two corners to crack 90.0. Moore had one of the most well-rounded games that any cornerback has had this season. He had one pressure, a forced fumble, an interception, and a pass break-up. When targeted by either of the Houston Texans’ disasters known as Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills, Moore allowed a 2.8 passer rating.

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

Cornerback: Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans Saints

Previously Appeared: Week 5

Lattimore broke up a pair of passes in the Saints’ loss on Thursday Night Football. He allowed a 33.3 passer rating when targeted (10 targets). He earned a 79.4 grade, but he had a strong all-around performance. Lattimore posted a 68.8 grade in run defense, an 80.6 tackling grade, and a 79.2 coverage grade. While he has slumped in recent weeks, this week was closer to his early-season All-Pro play.

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

Safety: Jalen Thompson, Arizona Cardinals

This is a stand-in for the entire Cardinals’ defense. They intercepted four of Andy Dalton’s passes. Thompson hauled in one of them, and he earned the second-highest grade among safeties in Week 13. He was responsible for four stops, and he allowed a 0.0 passer rating while in coverage. Thompson earned grades above 74.0 in run defense, tackling, and coverage.

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

Safety: Daniel Sorensen, Kansas City Chiefs

Sorensen’s disaster of a season took a turn for the better as he victimized Teddy Bridgewater for a pick-six on Sunday Night Football. Sorenson had his best coverage grade of the season (79.8) in the Chiefs’ victory. While he is still poor against the run, making one play is sometimes enough to make the Team of the Week. This week, Sorensen’s 70.8 overall grade and pick-six make the team.

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

Defensive Back: Xavien Howard, Miami Dolphins

Previously Appeared: Week 1, Week 10

Howard makes his third Team of the Week with his usual ball-hawking abilities. He notched an interception, and he allowed a 0.0 passer rating. While he had a poor run-defense grade (42.7), Howard was dynamic in coverage (87.9 grade). He may not be at his 2020 All-Pro form, but he is rounding into a strong season with the red-hot Dolphins.

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

Be sure to check out our NFL Team of the Week every week for the remainder of the season.

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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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