Numbers do not lie – but also not the trained eye. Experienced football observer Chris Wesseling and next-gen statistics professional Nick Shook will be making their 2018 NFL season all-pro teams available.
Chris Wesseling: Khalil Mack, Chicago Bears; J.J. Watt, Houston Texans. Mack transformed a Chicago defense that was the first since Ravens 2006, with at least 45 sacks and 25 interceptions in one season. He would not have led the league in sack, punch or rush, but his interruptions forced a higher percentage of the change in sales. In terms of speed and explosiveness, Watt may have lost half a step in recent years due to major back and leg surgery. He still wins his matchup almost every game and provides an uninterrupted engine that makes him a relentless pass rusher as well as a power in the running game. Who expected Watt to fall behind Aaron Donald after nearly two calendar-year sacks of drought in the defensive pecking order?
Nick Shook: Khalil Mack, Chicago Bears; By Miller, Denver Broncos. There is a truly solid group of edge-attackers to choose from, including Kansas City's Dee Ford, Cleveland's Myles Garrett, J.J. from Houston. Watt and Buffalo Jerry Hughes. What distinguishes Miller and Mack from the rest of the pack is their ability to wreak havoc with comparatively fewer opportunities. Of the above group, only Mack, Miller and Hughes recorded fewer than 500 passes. Miller, Mack and Watt were the only three who broke a 6 percent share. Mack and Miller each had double-digit sacks (12.5 for Mack and 14.5 for Miller) and were the only ones in the group to break a 3 percent sac percentage, while with 67 or more bugs and a QB pressure of at least 13 percent , 9 percent ended percentage. Miller and Mack finished fourth and sixth in the NFL in overall QB pressure (61 for Miller, 59 for Mack) – although they had far fewer pass hurry opportunities than the players placed above them. Mack was one of the leading forces in transforming Chicago's defense into one of the best in the league, while Miller continued to produce at All Pro despite the weak Denver year.
Wesseling: Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams; Chris Jones, Kansas City Chiefs. I've already written about Donald as the obvious Defensive Player of the Year and a legitimate MVP candidate. He has just put the finishing touches on what is perhaps the best season for a center-back. While Philadelphia's Fletcher Cox and Akiem Hicks from Chicago are strong arguments in favor of the spot over Donald, it's hard to ignore Jones's raging stretch in the second half of the season. In 11 consecutive games Jones set with a bag on an NFL record. In collaboration with Dee Ford, a chaos was created that resulted in a tandem death that saved the anemic defense of Kansas City from collapse.
Shook: Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams; Chris Jones, Kansas City Chiefs. Donald is the runaway picker. He counts 16 things, 73 QB pressures and 20.5 sacks and is also the only NFL interliner to break a two-digit percentage break (10.4 percent). Donald was the number one defensive fighter with 52 points with a total of 52 points (the nearest DT was New Yorker Dalvin Tomlinson with 43). Jones had a mature break-out season in Kansas City, picked up 15.5 sacks and jumped off the screen while filming, following Donald in QB pressure at 27. Donald's get-off, who is known in the All-22 community, scored the fastest time sack among Rushers with 10-plus sacks by a wide margin at 3.60 seconds. Only Tomlinson and Kawann Short were better than Donald in things. Donald finished third at 16, underscoring his all-round all-world ability.
Wesseling: Luke Kuchly, Carolina Panthers; Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks; Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts. Kuechly made games behind the scrimmage line at unprecedented speed and recorded most of the stuff ever made by a linebacker ever by Pro Football Journal. He could J.J. achieved. Watt's record of 2012 for most players had allowed the Panthers to play more than a handful of snapshots in the season finale. Wagner is an anomaly. The same bully who blows the runners into the hole without missing tackles also has the delicate steps to hang with scatbacks and tight ends as one of the stickiest coverback linebackers. The Indianapolis defense was widely mocked when the NFL's least talented unit entered the 2018 season. They finished the campaign in the last 10 weeks as No. 1 defense defense with Leonard as a beating heart. The favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors is the first player at least 160 tackles, seven sacks and two interceptions.
Shook: Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers; Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks; Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts. Kuechly was again against all opponents in the field and recorded the 22 most Hustle stops at a linebacker (the closest being Los Angeles – Cory Littleton and New Orleans – Demario Davis with 16 each). Kuechly ended the average distance between linebackers with at least 400 snapshots in fourth place, an average of 17.8 meters per takedown. Kuechly's tackles (130) were also in the top 7 of all linebackers, and his 25 runs were the most under linebacker, as well as his 33 interruptions. Only Leonard had 66 more stops overall, two more than Kuechly's 64. Leonard led the NFL in Total Tackles (163) as the rookie forcefully entered the league. Wagner was once again among the best pass players in the league. With 70.3 passengers, he could be counted as the next defender. Only Tennessee's Jayon Brown (62.4) was followed by linebackers who were counted more than 30 times. Wagner also covered passers-by and qualified as a close target in 22 percent of the time, the third best mark among linebackers with over 30 goals. Cleveland's Joe Schobert also had a good argument to land in the passport cover here and came in third when he was the next defender (73.4).
Wesseling: Stephon Gilmore, New England Patriots; Kareem Jackson, Houston Texans. I had Gilmore this year as the stingiest cover corner, leading the league in terms of mismatching and finishing second in its coverage. In particular, he suppressed Robby Anderson, which brought the deep threats of the jets in their two matchups. Although Patrick Peterson was generally priced this year in Steve Wilk's new design, Jackson earned recognition for a phenomenal season that began with confidence and ended with the cornerback. The safest corner I've seen year-round ravaged Jackson with big games and tough hits reminiscent of the former Vikings Pro bowler Antoine Winfield.
Shook: Kyle Fuller, Chicago Bears; Brandon Carr, Baltimore Ravens. Fuller was the closest defender of 109 goals and served as the Walking Blanket, allowing for a pass rating of 65.5, the fourth lowest score in the NFL among all cornerbacks with at least 50 goals. His total of seven interceptions exemplified his ability to create opportunities for his team via take-aways, and his difference of -2.9 percent between expected completion and actual capture showed he was playing a disturbing role in the cover. Fuller also forced 30.3 percent of the targets to skimp on windows, pushing only 23.9 percent of targets, which means he's closing space better than most. Carr allowed the lowest passer rating of all cornerbacks when he served as the next defender (62.3) for the targeted receivers, and his 0: 2 TD to INT ratio was acceptable. The difference between the expected completion percentage and the percentage catch percentage was -7.3 percent his tendency tended to be annoyance for the passers-by.
Wesseling: Jamal Adams, New York Jets; Derwin James, Los Angeles Chargers. The Jets have their defensive leader for the next decade in Adams, who controls the safety of the game like no other. Pro Football Focus has a "stuff" metric that captures the number of solo tackles that are offensive failures. Adams 44 things became the league's leading players, league defenders, and defensive finishes. Much has been said about the brilliant Bolts fixture, seven defenders against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens' ground attack last week. It worked because James Tyrann overtook Mathieu as the game's most versatile defender. He has disrupted the attack as a speed camera on the edge, stuffed the barrel as a linebacker into the box and deflected the passes as the last line of defense. As Bill Belichick has noted this week, James is simply "good at everything, "
Shook: Eddie Jackson, Chicago Bears; Jamal Adams, New York Jets. The throwing in Jackson's direction was almost always a negative result for opposing passers-by. Jackson's difference between the catch quotas and the expected completion rate was a minus of -21.6 percent. As the next defender of a targeted receiver, he allowed a pass rate of 28.9, the lowest in the league among players who were counted more than 20 times. Pair these statistics together and it is clear that his presence has essentially designated his area as a no-fly zone. Adams was an all-around problem for opposing crimes. He was among the fuses in the stops with 44 and the bags with 3.5 the first place. Adam's nine Hustle stops were second in the NFL under the security forces, with only tyrant Mathieu following. Adams Minus -15.6 percent difference in catch percentage and expected completion level ranked third in the NFL under targeted collateral. His allowed passer rating (76.1) was sixth best in the league of this group. In his sophomore year, Adams is clearly an aspiring star at the end of the Jets defense.
Wesseling: Eddie Jackson, Chicago Bears. The league's leading Ballhawking midfielder, Jackson, sustained six passes, forced two fumblings and returned three envelopes for touchdowns, including a Pick-Six who swung the tight Thanksgiving troop with the Lions in favor of his team. Bears believers can not wonder if their fortunes would have been different if their best defender were healthy enough to fight Nick Foles in Chicago.
Shook: Adrian Phillips, Los Angeles Chargers. Phillips is located in most of the prominent safety metrics near Jackson and Adams, and took fourth place in the pedestrian rating, as the defender closest to a targeted receiver among security targets targeted at least 30 times (64.3). serves. He did so while only achieving 7.9 percent of the targets, and recorded the second-best difference in catch quotas and the expected percentage of completion (minus 16.5 percent). Phillips's 247 yards, which were allowed at 38 goals, was 13th in this group, while his tackling percentage of 12.1 was ranked fifth among the securities with over 400 snapshots. His eight Hustle stops were undecided for fourth place in this group.
Wesseling: Tress Way, Washington Redskins. Seahawks freshman Michael Dickson was my choice until he blocked two punches and ran another 45 yards in the regular season finale. Johnny Hekker may be the best that has ever done it, but he played only 43 times this year. For comparison, Way landed 41 kicks in the 20-yard line – without a single touchback. This is an impressive sharp shooting.
Shook: Tress Way, Washington Redskins. The numbers are distorted in favor of two players who really do not really like it: Thomas Morstead from New Orleans and Johnny Hekker from Los Angeles. Among those who have actually made a decent amount, Way is leading the well-functioning department in this department, averaging 41.5 net yards per point and ranked ninth. Way also ended up with the most punts in the 20 with 41, with zero touchbacks, as Wesseling stated. Way also got stuck without a punt and dropped his kicks for his teammates with 19 more than anyone else.