This weekend, Pac-12 football fans got it all. Oregon and Washington State certainly lit up the field offensively. The Ducks are currently ranked 6th in Unafraidshow’s College Football Rankings. Likewise, many Pac-12 NFL players gave us memorable performances in week 8. Here they are!
Best Quarterback Performance
Gardner Minshew II – Washington State – Jacksonville Jaguars
Minshew magic is back! Let’s go!
Unlike the rest of football fans, Pac-12 NFL fans knew that Minshew was for real. We knew a long time ago. It’s just great to see everyone else accept it.
Against a competent New York Jets defense, Minshew didn’t flinch. He compiled 279 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. He also let the Jets sack him twice. But, for those who watched the game, his pocket-presence is next level. Minshew’s movement in the pocket and ability to extend plays is incredible.
Last, and definitely important, Minshew threw zero interceptions. Again. Overall, he has just 2 interceptions and 13 touchdowns this season. The sixth-round rookie is playing far above any expectation.
Gardner Minshew for Rookie of the Year!
Best Running Back Performance
Christian McCaffrey – Stanford – Carolina Panthers
Against the league’s second-best defense (New England Patriots are clear first), the Carolina Panthers flopped. They only scored 13 points, while the 49ers rolled through 51 points. However, that didn’t stop all-star, Pac-12 NFL running back Christian McCaffrey from creating highlights.
This season, McCaffrey’s durability and production is incredible. His 2019 stats include:
To say that this season has been rough for the Pittsburgh Steelers is to say the least. After a promising 2017 season and a breakout 2018 season, everyone was ready for Juju Smith-Schuster to keep the hype train going. With the departure of Antonio Brown (to mental illness?), Smith-Schuster was primed for an elite 2019 campaign.
But, all hope went down with Ben Roethlisberger. However, Smith-Schuster still has the ability to pop on the field. In week 8, he cleared the 100-yard mark for the first time this season. Granted, this week he played the Miami Dolphins (#tankfortua), but he’s a good wide receiver.
His plus-16.5 (No. 20) Production Premium and plus-39.2-percent Target Premium (No. 10) show that he still has talent, but he’s just trapped on an anemic offense.
Best Tight End Performance
Austin Hooper – Stanford – Atlanta Falcons
Even with Matt Schaub under center, Austin Hooper was a baller. He reeled in 6 of 7 targets for 65 yards and a touchdown. He was one reason why the Pac-12 NFL fans didn’t switch channels. Hooper’s late score helped the Falcons attempt a last-minute comeback (or at least cover the a plus-7.5 spread).
Honestly, look at those stats. Among tight ends, Hooper is:
Huge Performances from Pac-12 NFL Players in Week 7
While the Oregon-Washington game was the most exciting game of the weekend, our Pac-12 alumni showed up in Week 7 of the NFL. The best Pac-12 NFL players were clearly Aaron Rodgers and Marvin Jones. They unleashed their abilities in full strength. No one could stop them and we couldn’t get enough. Who else joined them this week?
Best Quarterback Performances
Aaron Rodgers – Cal – Green Bay Packers
Against the Oakland Raiders, Aaron Rodgers went full God-mode. He dismantled them in every way possible for a quarterback. Rodgers finished with this stat line:
25 of 31 (80.65-percent completion percentage)
429 Passing Yards
5 Passing Touchdowns
1 Rushing Touchdown
With a game like that, it’s no wonder that Rodgers notched his first perfect-Passer Rating of the season. It was a vintage performance from the Cal product and it’s why he is one of the best Pac-12 NFL players of all time.
Matt Moore – Oregon State – Kansas City Chiefs
Wow. Talk about composure and stepping up. Somehow, even though Matt Moore hasn’t played since 2017, he sealed the win for the Kansas City Chiefs. With the loss of Patrick Mahomes to a dislocated knee, fans were panicking. But, calm and collected, Moore displayed exactly what teams need from a backup quarterback. He threw for a modest 117 yards, no interceptions and dropped a dime to Tyreek Hill for a touchdown.
Without Moore on the team, they’d be tempted to trade for a potential quarterback bridge until Mahomes gets healthy. But, like New Orleans and Teddy Bridgewater, the Chiefs have it covered.
Best Wide Receiver Performances
Marvin Jones – Cal – Detroit Lions
Even though he was up against the Minnesota Vikings defense, Marvin Jones erupted for four touchdowns. Four! It’s rare for an NFL receiver to get three touchdowns in a game, let alone four.
He was unstoppable. Uncoverable. On 13 targets, he caught 10 for 93 yards and 4 scores. To the delight of fans’ eyes, Jones had himself a game.
Best Tight End Performance
Rhett Ellison – USC – New York Giants
Now, this isn’t one of those Pac-12 NFL tight end games for the record books. But, Rhett Ellison had one of his better performances. He caught both targets for 33 yards and a touchdown. In a tight loss to the Arizona Cardinals, those were needed receptions.
Especially considering how inconsistent and poor Daniel Jones was playing. Hopefully, Ellison can find the end zone again this season. But, at least he joined the ranks of other Pac-12 NFL greats this week.
Disagree with our Pac-12 NFL List?
If you disagree with this list or want to add anyone else in, comment or Tweet at us.
On March 24th, 2019, following another Super Bowl-winning season, Rob Gronkowski finally decided to call it quits. Through nine NFL seasons, Gronkowski has been the most dominant tight end in the league. Whether blocking or running routes, Gronk has been the best. Now that he is officially retired, it is time to review his status as the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) tight end and Hall of Fame player with these ten stats.
The Gronk Stats
Gronk-Stat No. 1: 133.52
Since 2000, Rob Gronkowski has the highest recorded Total NEP (Net Expected Points recorded by numberFire) for a tight end season. His 2011 season was unworldly. In fact, Gronkowski has four of the thirteen highest totals at the position since 2000. As a receiving weapon, Gronk was a major contributor for his team. His ceiling and dominance as a player was unmatched.
Stat No. 2: 535.89
When we compare Rob Gronkowski to other pinnacle NFL tight ends like Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham, Gronkowski’s efficiency stands out even more. Compile each of their top-five seasons in Total NEP and you get a chart that looks like this:
NEP per Game
2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017
2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2014
2000, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2012
2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016
What is incredible is that Gronk compiled more NEP than all of the others in only 71 games. He averaged an entire point more per game than the next man up, Antonio Gates. Gates, Gonzalez and many other tight ends may have given us longevity. But Rob Gronkowski provided more for his team on a per-game basis than any other tight end. When he was on the field, he changed the game.
When it comes to scoring touchdowns, not even the Patriots could match Gronk’s prowess. When Rob Gronkowski was out of the lineup, the Patriots scored 0.6 less touchdowns per game. As Mike Clay’s numbers show, Gronkowski’s impact extended to more completions, passing yards, passing touchdowns, overall touchdowns, completion percentage and yards per attempt. All that with less pass attempts per game. Gronk made the entire Patriots offense more efficient whenever he was in the game. Of note, the 7.0 YPA would have ranked 22nd in the NFL over that time span, while 7.9 YPA would have ranked 1st. Gronkowski’s impact on an already prolific offense is unbelievable.
Stat No. 5: 5
In the NFL’s history, a tight end has recorded a ten-plus touchdown season only 38 times. Tony Gonzalez owns two of those seasons. Antonio Gates has three. Jimmy Graham notched an impressive four. However, Gronk sits atop at his position with five. Rob Gronkowski was a touchdown machine. His spikes were a regular occurrence when he was active. In fact, Gronkowski turned 10.4-percent of his targets from Tom Brady into touchdowns. Unreal.
Stat No. 6: 9.9
Rob Gronkowski retires as the all-time leader among TEs in…
• Yards per game (68.3) • TDs per game (0.69) • Yards per target (9.9 – since 1992)
Gronk also ranks 8th-best in receptions per game (4.5) and 4th-best in YPR (15.1).
As Graham Barfield noted on Twitter, Rob Gronkowski’s efficiency was better than any other tight end in yards, touchdowns and yards per target (since 1992). While Gronk was adept at catching first downs, making diving catches or securing the football in the endzone, he was also a YAC (yards after the catch) monster. Gronkowski compiled YAC with stiff arms, broken tackles, spins or just outrunning the defense. As seen in this 79-yard catch and run, The colossal tight end made NFL secondaries look like featherweights.
Stat No. 7: 90.2
Through his nine-season career, Rob Gronkowski graced the NFL with 16 playoff games. Accumulating his PFF grades for each of those games results in a PFF grade of 90.2. Per Sam Monson at PFF, this grade would have ranked number-one overall in 2018 for tight ends. It would rank top-ten among all tight end seasons PFF has graded. Gronk already was listed on PFF’s Top 101 six separate times for his regular season performances, but in the playoffs he exceeded the highest expectations. Everyone talks about Playoff Edelman, but Playoff Gronkowski was on another level.
Stat No. 8: 330.9
In 2011, Rob Gronkowski put together the greatest single-season for a tight end. 90 receptions, 1,327 receiving yards, and 18 total touchdowns. His 330.9 PPR Points are the most ever scored by a tight end. Gronkowski’s career 15.52 PPR (Points Per Game) would also rank first all-time for tight ends.
As PFF’s Twitter account mentioned, Rob Gronkowski ranks higher than tight end Jason Witten, Tony Gonzalez, and Antonio Gates. Yet again, Gronkowski puts distance between himself and other tight end legends.
Stat No. 10: 129.6
When Tom Brady targeted Rob Gronkowski, he had a passer rating of 129.6. Through nine seasons, holding a passer rating that high is remarkable. Brady and Gronkowski turned 753 attempts into:
Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady were the best quarterback to receiver duo in the 21st-century.
Rob Gronkowski is a First-Ballot Hall of Famer and the GOAT Tight End
The sheer dominance that Rob Gronkowski possessed when he played football is unlike any other. With that being said, there are still doubters that Gronkowski is the greatest tight end. One argument against him is that he was plagued with injuries. However, his injuries should be an argument for his greatness. Gronkowski overcame a forearm fracture, multiple herniated discs, a torn ACL and MCL, in addition to other back, ankle, thigh, knee, hamstring, hip and lung injuries. If he didn’t have those injuries, Gronkowski would have made his 2011 season a regular occurrence. Nevertheless, he still managed to create an NFL resume that is the best of all time for tight ends.
Another criticism of Gronkowski is his shorter NFL career. Gronkowski only played nine seasons, whereas Tony Gonzalez had 17 seasons and Shannon Sharpe played for 14 years. Antonio Gates just played in his 16th season and Jason Witten will have his 16th in 2019. Admitted, Gronkowski’s career doesn’t have the longevity of others. But Barry Sanders also retired early, after just ten seasons played. That didn’t stop him from being a first ballot Hall of Famer. Neither should Gronkowski’s nine season.
Bottom line, Rob Gronkowski is without a doubt the GOAT tight end and should be an easy first-ballot Hall of Fame vote.