Splash’s NFL Super Bowl Team of the Week

Team of the Week

With the Super Bowl 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 the final game of the 2021 season.

You can find the NFL Conference Championship Team of the Week here.

Quarterback: Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams

Previously Appeared: Conference Championship

It was by no means a perfect performance from Stafford, but he did enough to lead the Rams to the victory. He did toss a pair of interceptions, but the first was an arm punt while the second came on a deflection. Stafford finished the Super Bowl with 283 passing yards and a trio of touchdowns. He launched four big-time throws in the win.

Running Back: Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

Previously Appeared: Conference Championship

It was never a competition. Despite Sean McVay and the Rams running the ball 19 times with their three running backs, none matched what Mixon brought to the table. On 15 carries, he ran for 72 yards. He posted a 68.1 rushing grade, and he had 59 yards after contact. He broke off three 10-yard runs, and he forced two missed tackles. Mixon also became the fifth non-quarterback to throw a touchdown during the Super Bowl.

Wide Receiver: Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals

Previously Appeared: Week 7, Week 17, Wild Card

The rookie capped off his season with another strong showing. On eight targets, Chase registered five catches for 89 yards. He earned a 77.2 overall grade and a 75.8 receiving grade. He averaged 2.07 yards per route run, and he pulled in his only contested catch. Chase’s biggest contribution of the day was a 46-yard catch. He also contributed to three first downs.

Wide Receiver: Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals

Previously Appeared: Week 12Week 13Week 16, Conference Championship

Higgins led all receivers with 100 yards on Sunday with 75 coming on a second-half touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. Higgins caught four of six passes, but his two non-catches were contested opportunities. He scored touchdowns from both Joe Burrow and Mixon in one of the weirder stat lines of the year. Higgins finished the season with a solid 67.3 receiving grade, and Sunday was his sixth game with 100 yards.

Wide Receiver: Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams

Previously Appeared: Week 2Week 6Week 7Week 14Week 15Divisional Round, Conference Championship

On 10 targets, Kupp hauled in eight passes for 92 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also had a pass attempt, but he sailed the ball over Stafford’s head. However, on one designed rush attempt, Kupp picked up a do-or-die fourth down, extending the Rams’ go-ahead touchdown drive. At the end of that drive, Kupp was celebrating in the back of the end zone. He won Super Bowl MVP for his efforts.

Tight End: Brycen Hopkins, Los Angeles Rams

With Tyler Higbee out and C.J. Uzomah hobbled, the seas opened for Kendall Blanton. Blanton played just 30 offensive snaps, and he did not have a target. In his place, Hopkins stepped up. Coming into the Super Bowl, Hopkins had one career catch and just nine receiving yards. The 2020 fourth-round pick caught four passes for 47 yards and made a critical block on Kupp’s fourth-down conversion on the game-winning drive.

Left Tackle: Andrew Whitworth, Los Angeles Rams

Previously Appeared: Week 10

Whitworth was sensational, posting one of his most well-rounded games of the season. He did not allow pressure, and he earned an 82.9 run-blocking grade to go along with his 80.4 pass-blocking grade. It was only the second game this season that Whitworth posted an 80.0 or better in run-blocking. His 83.3 overall grade was his second-best of the season.

The Joel Bitonio Award for Best Left Guard: David Edwards, Los Angeles Rams

The Rams train continues to roll with Edwards earning the left guard spot. While he was just average as a run blocker, Edwards was the top pass blocker in the game. He did allow two pressures, including a sack, but his 84.0 pass-blocking grade stood above. Quinton Spain of the Bengals had a putrid day, earning a 20.3 pass-blocking grade and an overall grade of 35.9.

Center: Trey Hopkins, Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals’ offensive line does not get shut out today. While both Hopkins and Brian Allen were below-average, Hopkins earned the slight nod. He allowed only one pressure to Allen’s pair. Both played graded in the 50s overall and as a run-blocker, but Hopkins nudged out Allen based on his 50.9 pass-blocking grade. Fortunately, the next Team of the Week (Week 1 of 2022) will have a superior center.

The Zack Martin Award for Best Right Guard: Austin Corbett, Los Angeles Rams

Previously Appeared: Week 3

Corbett had a rough day as a pass protector, earning a 46.4 pass-blocking grade. However, he was sturdy as a run-blocker, paving the way for no one (because the Rams’ backfield was ineffective all game). Corbett did his part, earning an 81.5 run-blocking  grade while raising his overall grade to 72.4. While the run game did not get going, Corbett showed his worth.

Right Tackle: Rob Havenstein, Los Angeles Rams

Previously Appeared: Week 1Divisional Round, Conference Championship

Havenstein did not have much competition this week as Isaiah Prince allowed seven pressures en route to a 2.4 pass-blocking grade. Instead, Havenstein had an average all-around day. He was beatable as a run blocker, posting just a 50.6 run-blocking grade. However, he did not allow any pressure on the day, and he earned a 71.9 pass-blocking grade. It was not always pretty, but Havenstein helped the Rams to the win.

Interior Defensive Line: Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams

Previously Appeared: Week 2Week 3Week 8Week 12Week 13Week 14Week 16Week 17Wild Card, Divisional Round

For the 11th time this season, Donald finds himself in the Team of the Week. He led all defenders with seven pressures. He notched two sacks of Burrow, and he hit Burrow on the Bengals’ final play. Donald was not great in run defense (48.4 grade), but he was an ultra-efficient pass rusher with a 90.1 pass-rush grade. As a whole, Donald earned an 82.6 overall grade, his 14th grade above 80.0 this season.

Interior Defensive Line: A’Shawn Robinson, Los Angeles Rams

With respect to Greg Gaines, Robinson earns the final interior defender spot of the season. He had an 89.5 overall grade, and he was stellar in all facets. As a run defender, Robinson posted an 82.4 grade. He finished all four of his tackle opportunities en route to a 72.2 tackling grade. Robinson even got after the passer to the tune of three pressures and a 71.0 pass-rush grade.

Edge Defender: Leonard Floyd, Los Angeles Rams

Previously Appeared: Week 8

Floyd posted an elite 90.4 overall grade. He had a solid day in run defense (65.9 grade), but the former first-round pick shined as a pass rusher. He posted three pressures including a sack. He earned a strong 87.8 pass-rush grade. Floyd added four tackles, two defensive stops, and zero yards allowed in coverage. In five coverage snaps, Floyd earned a 78.1 grade.

Edge Defender: Von Miller, Los Angeles Rams

Previously Appeared: Divisional Round

Miller shines the brightest in big moments. For the second time in his career, he recorded multiple sacks in a Super Bowl. While he “only” had six pressures in this Super Bowl (compared to eight in Super Bowl 50), Miller recorded a pair of sacks and an additional quarterback hit. He led all players with a 93.5 defensive grade off the back of a 93.2 pass-rush grade.

Linebacker: Ernest Jones, Los Angeles Rams

Jones started with a bang, recording a fourth-down pass deflection to halt Cincinnati’s opening drive. He earned a 71.0 overall grade, starring as a tackler and pass rusher. On 10 pass-rush snaps, Jones had a sack and a pair of hits. He was successful on all five of his tackle opportunities. He did allow three catches on four targets while in coverage, but the catches went for just eight total yards.

Linebacker: Germaine Pratt, Cincinnati Bengals

Previously Appeared: Week 13, Wild Card

Pratt was the top linebacker of the week, earning a 90.2 overall PFF grade. He was stellar in coverage, allowing one eight-yard catch on a pair of targets. In total, he earned an 88.1 grade in coverage. He did miss one tackle out of his seven attempts, but his four defensive stops were the most among linebackers. Pratt may have had a regular-season PFF grade of 47, but he replied with a 72.8 throughout the playoffs.

Linebacker: Logan Wilson, Cincinnati Bengals

Previously Appeared: Divisional Round

In a break of form, there are three linebackers in this week’s Team of the Week. Wilson gets the nod despite allowing a late-game penalty. The penalty itself was a 50-50 call, and Wilson lost the coin flip. Despite the penalty, Wilson earned a 79.2 overall grade, and he played well in coverage with a 77.0 grade. He converted eight of his nine tackle opportunities.

Cornerback: Chidobe Awuzie, Cincinnati Bengals

Awuzie was picked on for nine targets, and he allowed 67 yards in coverage. However, he made a critical play early in the second half, picking off Stafford on a deflection. The Bengals only kicked a field goal after the interception, but Awuzie made his impact felt. As a whole, Awuzie earned a 67.8 grade with a 64.9 grade while in coverage.

Cornerback: Darious Williams, Los Angeles Rams

Previously Appeared: Week 17

Williams led the way in cornerback grades, posting a 75.7 mark. He allowed three catches for just 23 yards on four targets. He also nabbed a pass deflection, and he finished with an 88.5 passer rating allowed. Williams had a perfect day as a tackler, cleaning up all seven of his chances. In all three grading facets he qualified for, Williams earned a 70.8 grade or better.

Safety: Jessie Bates, Cincinnati Bengals

Previously Appeared: Wild Card, Divisional Round

Bates was the top-graded member of either secondary, earning a 78.2 grade. Bates flashed his immense range with a first-half interception of Stafford, one of the more impressive players of the playoffs. He earned a 72.7 coverage grade. As a run defender and tackler, Bates had solid days. He finished off six of his seven tackle chances, and he recorded a defensive stop.

Safety: Eric Weddle, Los Angeles Rams

Previously Appeared: Conference Championship

Weddle was second to Bates in PFF grade among defensive backs with a 77.2. In what is almost certainly Weddle’s final game, he fought through an upper-body injury to finish with five tackles. He earned two defensive stops, and he did not allow a catch on 43 coverage snaps. It was quite a sendoff for the borderline Hall of Fame safety. He earned back-to-back Team of the Week honors in addition to a Super Bowl.

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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