Rob Ninkovich has the highest rated run defense for a DE in the last 5 years.....man he sucks. Honorable mention, DMC with most passes defensed by a safety in 2013. Pretty average JAGS... Maybe this Belichick guy knows what he's doing?
Check out the others....great team this year!
32 Observations: Conference Championships
There are just four teams left in the playoff race, and this week’s 32 Observations will continue to focus on only these teams as they deserve their time in the sun.
To bring back a theme from earlier in the season, I created an All-Star roster by picking eight players from each team to make this All-Star team. These are not the best eight players on each team, but the ones that could best come together to beat anyone.
In typical 32 Observation fashion, there is also an interesting statistic to go with each.
New England Patriots
• Despite missing over half the season, Shane Vereen had the fourth most receiving yards when lining up in the slot or out wide for all running backs. He caught 14 of 22 passes thrown his way for 150 yards and two touchdowns.
• From Week 12 to Week 17, no player in the NFL had more catches than wide receiver Julian Edelman who had 53. He did this on 70 targets, and had 556 yards for four touchdowns.
• After having one of his worst performances of his career in the Super Bowl against the Giants, left guard Logan Mankinshas a PFF overall grade of +13.0 in his last three playoff games combined. By comparison, only 12 guards reached a grade above +13.0 over the course of the entire 2013 regular season.
• Left Edge Rusher Rob Ninkovich ended the 2013 season with a PFF Run Defense grade of +25.1, which is the highest for defensive end in the last five years.
• Safety Devin McCourty led all safeties in passes defended on the year at seven.
• There were eight kickers this year that were perfect on field goals within 40 yards. Of those eight, no kickers had more field goals within 40 yards than Stephen Gostkowski at 22.
• Running back LeGarrette Blount averaged 29.1 yards per kick return which was sixth best in the league for those with more than ten kick returns, and is the best among the kick returns in the playoffs.
• Linebacker Jamie Collins was one of just five players to receive a +3.0 grade or better for his special teams play on both kickoffs and punt plays.