This article outlines the best offense and defence for the NFL at the season’s halfway point -enjoy!
Players for the Offense Who are Standing Out
Quarterback: Tom Brady, Patriots
Tom Brady remains the finest quarterback in football today, and he is having the most spectacular season of his career this year. The Patriots have turned into a downfield offense, and this means that Brady must hang in the pocket behind a constantly moving O-line.
Each week has seen him make several prodigious pinpoint throws under stress, and the calm, efficient pocket movement that he makes is the best that has ever been seen.
Running Back: Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys
This season has been a tough one for Elliott, but at the end of the day, he is the leader of the pack on the NFL’s second most productive rushing team and a player that those who enjoy online betting always keep an eye on.
Elliott takes advantage of a powerful defensive line, yes, and he plays with a mobile quarterback who can hold backside pursuit defenders by simply faking a bootleg.
But put Elliott on film and bear witness to a guy who simply has a different gear. He is able to very subtly shift direction without compromising any of his downhill momentum, and this is why he is so good at setting up blocks.
Wide Receiver: Antonio Brown, Steelers
There is no one better at getting in and out of his breaks than the most prolific receiver in the NFL, Antonio Brown. He does not only kill defences early on in the down, he become even more menacing late in the down as well.
Tight End: Travis Kelce, Chiefs
Travis Kelce must be the most athletic tight end in the NFL, although he could probably get a mention as a wide receiver, as well.
He has consistently managed to beat quality corners when lined up as an X-iso receiver on the reverse side of trips, a formation which has become a staple for the Chiefs.
His run-blocking should not be overlooked either. He got a lot better last season, both out in space and as an in-line blocker, and this improvement has continued this season.
Offensive Tackle: Andrew Whitworth, Rams
Whitworth’s technique in terms of pass protection is almost perfect, which makes for some pretty spectacular snaps when you take into consideration the fact that he is 6”7 and weighs in at 333 pounds.
One of the reasons that Sean McVay’s system has worked as well as it has is that it never has to devote additional pass protection assistance on Jared Goff’s blind side.
Guard: Andrus Peat, Saints
Peat has switched between the left guard and left tackle positions all year long because of injuries; some of which could have been avoided. He has done well at tackle, well enough for the New Orleans offensive line to function well, and it is always operating at a high level.
At guard, however, he is blossoming into one of the NFL’s best blockers on the move, thanks to his awareness and body control having improved as significantly as they have.
Centre: Travis Frederick, Cowboys
While it may come up every time Frederick’s name gets mentioned, it has to be said: reach-and-seal blocks are vital to the Dallas’ ground game.
The centre must be able to snap the ball and then instantly cross over the face of the defensive tackle and get him pinned inside.
Frederick keeps on doing just this, at a very high level, and he has even shown some road-grading power in recent weeks, most evident in the games against San Francisco and Washington.
Offensive Tackle: Mitchell Schwartz, Chiefs
Schwartz suffered an isolated malfunction or two in terms of pass protection early on in 2017, but he has settled in since then. More notably, he has been truly tremendous as far as the run game is concerned.
He has the strength in his hands and drive technique to move opponents and sustain blocks, and he thrills fans who enjoy live sports betting, as his high-octane performance can be a real game changer.
Top Players in Defense Positions for the NFL
Defensive End: Melvin Ingram, Chargers
Ingram’s ability to explode laterally is second to none, and therefore this player is as dominant as he is in terms of stunts and twists. He has also shown marked improvements in his run defence, from both the front and back sides.
Outside Linebacker: Justin Houston, Chiefs
Houston has only charged the quarterback on half of the snaps for the 2017 season because of how much Kansas City emphasises coverage.
Bob Sutton, the coordinator, likes to rush three and drop eight, but, despite this, Houston has simply taken over games as a pass rusher. There is no better play side run defender currently in the NFL.
Defensive Tackle: Fletcher Cox, Eagles
Cox is the indisputable headliner of the most destructive defensive front in the NFL. He has more than succeeded at nose tackle and defensive end as well, on top of his usual three-technique spot.
No player is as good at generating strength on his second effort, either, and, very frequently, Fletcher Cox doesn’t need a second effort at all!
Inside Linebacker: Ryan Shazier, Steelers
Although Shazier may not always be the most disciplined player on the field, his speed and agility, not to mention the ferocity of his closing, define the young, much-improved defence player from Pittsburgh.
In this scheme Shazier has considerable coverage and blitzing responsibilities, and he performs excellently.
Cornerback: Xavier Rhodes, Vikings
Rhodes travels with number one wideouts for the fourth-ranked pass defence for the NFL, in terms of yards per game. At certain times this includes into the slot, and this is rare for a long-armed jammer who is so skilled at making use of the boundary.
The list of receivers Rhodes has trounced this year is a long one, and includes Mike Evans, Davante Adams, Antonio Brown, and Marvin Jones. He is going to have to keep thriving: the schedule for the second half includes A.J. Green, Julio Jones, and Sammy Watkins.