After each week of the NFL season, and once our exhaustive All-22 review process is in the books, PFF will be bringing you the insights from our play-by-play grading of every NFL game with our team of the week.
This year we will match the new and improved All-Pro system when it comes to offensive and defensive formation, with a flex player for both sides of the ball that can be either a receiver, slot weapon, tight end or running back on offense, and anybody in the defensive secondary on defense. This gives us the flexibility to reward the player that best deserves it across multiple positions, rather than shoehorning in somebody just to fit a slot receiver or cornerback role.
Quarterback – Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings
PFF Grade: 90.1
Elite Stat: Bradford’s passer rating under pressure was 158.3, otherwise known as perfect.
Bradford had one of those games that reminds people why he was a No. 1 overall draft pick, and one of the most exciting prospects for years when he was drafted. He is capable of incredible accuracy and poise under pressure, and delivered some of the passes of the season on Monday night against the Saints. With the Vikings offensive line looking much more capable than last year, we could see the best of Bradford in 2017.
Running back – Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs
PFF Grade: 85.9
Elite Stat: Hunt averaged 4.0 yards per carry after contact, the best in the NFL.
Fumbling on the first carry of the game, Hunt’s rookie season got off to the worst possible start, but from there he bounced back with remarkable effectiveness, racking up yardage on the ground and hauling in a deep shot from Alex Smith down the field in the passing game. Hunt broke seven tackles on just 17 carries.
Wide receiver – Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings
PFF Grade: 89.0
Elite Stat: Sam Bradford’s passer rating when throwing to Stefon Diggs was 154.7, second-best in the league in Week 1.
With Randy Moss in the house being inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor, it was fitting that Diggs took his game to another level against a weak New Orleans secondary. Diggs found himself wide open on occasion, but also won contested catches and held on through a huge hit from S Kenny Vaccaro at one point to put his full skillset on display.
Wide receiver – Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
PFF Grade: 88.3
Elite Stat: Antonio Brown caught 100 percent of the 11 passes thrown his way, including one heavily deflected on its way past a linebacker.
Antonio Brown was just too much for the Cleveland secondary, even catching passes that were deflected on their way through to him. Brown gained 95 of his 182 yards after the catch, making four defenders miss after the catch.
Tight end – Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
PFF Grade: 88.1
Walker caught seven of nine targets, but also sprung Marcus Mariota into the end zone for a rushing touchdown with an excellent cut block on Raiders safety Reggie Nelson, which he seemed to enjoy more than any of the passes he caught.
Flex O – Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
PFF Grade: 88.7
Thielen spent the majority of his time inside in the slot against the Saints, catching multiple deep crossing targets and bringing in nine of the ten passes thrown his way, trailing only Antonio Brown in receiving yards after week one.
Left Tackle – Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns
PFF Grade: 86.9
His latest quarterback continued the trend of not making Joe Thomas’ life any easier, but the veteran left tackle once again showed a masterful example of how to play the position. Thomas allowed just one hurry and run blocked well for a Browns offense that looks like it could have some success this season.
Left Guard – Richie Incognito, Buffalo Bills
PFF Grade: 89.3
Incognito continues his impressive play heading into the 2017 season, with a perfect day in pass protection, a dominant run blocking performance, and only two penalties (both holding on run plays) marring an otherwise flawless outing.
Center – Alex Mack, Atlanta Falcons
PFF Grade: 86.5
Mack had an impressive day against a formidable Chicago interior, allowing just a single pressure, but also run blocking well in the middle of the Falcons rushing attack. The struggles that Atlanta had running the ball weren’t down to any struggles from Mack.
Right Guard – Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys
PFF Grade: 87.2
Elite Stat: Martin didn’t allow a single pressure on 42 pass blocking snapsagainst the New York Giants.
The Dallas offensive line had its hands full with a strong New York Giants defensive front, but the one member that didn’t struggle with the task was RG Martin, who had a perfect day in pass protection and earned positive grades in the run game into the bargain.
Right Tackle – Ryan Schraeder, Atlanta Falcons
PFF Grade: 85.9
Elite Stat: Schraeder didn’t allow a single pressure across his 33 pass blocking snaps.
Schraeder’s run blocking wasn’t stellar in this game, but his pass blocking was, and he kept Matt Ryan entirely clean throughout the game, with his assignment failing to generate so much as a single hurry.
Source: Pro Football Focus