2013 NFL Mid-Season All-Pro Team

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Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) attempts to quiet down the crownd in the first quarter against the Washington Redskins at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

About half of the 2013 NFL season has been completed, so it’s time to take a look at which players would deserve to make the All-Pro team if the season were completed today. This team will be composed of just a “first-team” of two quarterbacks, two running backs, one fullback, three wide receivers, two tight ends, one starting offensive lineman at each position, all the starting front seven players in either a 3-4 or 4-3 defense (with the exception of ILB vs. Mikes, I just took the best three overall), three cornerbacks, two starting safeties, one kicker, one punter, one kick returner, and one punt returner.

QB Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

The Offensive Player of the Year to this point, Peyton Manning has put up ludicrous statistics behind a steady offensive line and with a host of top-flight pass-catchers around him. Manning has the game’s best slot receiver in Wes Welker, an elite wideout in Demaryius Thomas, an excellent deep threat in Eric Decker, a monstrous TE and red zone target in Julius Thomas, and two good pass-catching backs in Knowshon Moreno and Ronnie Hillman. But it’s also taken some tremendous throws in order to put up a 119.4 QB Rating. Manning has been as accurate and poised as ever, and he continues to concoct tantalizing mis-matches with his pre-snap adjustments.

QB Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

Where would the Chargers be without Philip Rivers? To be honest with you, I think the Chargers would have only have of their current win total if Rivers were replaced by a QB like Alex Smith, because Rivers has been carrying this team. While the depth of pass-catchers that he has makes up for the fact that he doesn’t have a true No. 1 target (Keenan Allen could become one, though), Rivers doesn’t have nearly as good of a supporting cast as quarterbacks like Peyton Manning and Drew Brees do. Rivers has been brutally efficient this season, and he’s second behind Manning in most advanced statistics. His 74.2% completion percentage leads the league, and it’s always incredible to watch how accurate this guy is. With an improved offensive line and head coach, Rivers looks a lot more motivated, and there are no more leadership questions right now.

RB LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles

Deciding on the second running back on this All-Pro team was difficult, but it was a piece of cake choosing the No. 1 back of the first half of the 2013 season. LeSean McCoy has, as expected, been the brightest spot on the Eagles offense, and the superstar RB is having the kind of monster season that most of us projected. He has taken full advantage of Chip Kelly’s run-happy scheme with a league-high 733 rushing yards on a league-high 156 carries. McCoy is averaging an excellent 4.7 yards per carry, and it isn’t easy to average that many yards per pop when rushing it so many times. He’s also had a big say in the passing game with 25 receptions, and only Jamaal Charles is within 100 yards of McCoy‘s rushing total.

RB Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks

I gave consideration to both Charles and Arian Foster, but I decided that I would be crazy to omit Marshawn Lynch from this All-Pro team. If you read quotes from guys like Russell Wilson, you’ll see that the Seahawks know that Lynch is the identity of the offense. His ability to consistently ground out yardage and make things happen has been especially important this season due to injuries on the offensive line and some inconsistent blocking and play by the receivers. Lynch- and Wilson- continues to be a constant for the Seahawks offense, and he’s on pace for his third straight season with over  1,200 rushing yards (he currently has 601). Lynch has accounted for eight total TDs as well. This next stat sealed Lynch’s spot on this team: according to the Pro Football Focus, Marshawn Lynch leads all running backs with 37 missed tackles forced. Lynch has done an excellent job of juking out and running over defenders this season, and there is little doubt that he is one of the league’s most elusive backs.

FB Anthony Sherman, Kansas City Chiefs

I was so close to putting Carolina Panthers fullback Mike Talbot on this list on account of his ability to make an impact in all facets of the game (he also has a lot of touchdowns this year), but I just couldn’t overlook Anthony Sherman. Blocking fullbacks like Sherman deserve all the praise they can get, because they don’t usually get nearly enough. Sherman has worked tirelessly to plow open holes for celebrated star running back Jamaal Charles, and no fullback has made close to the impact that Sherman has in the running game as a result of his blocking.

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  • David Town

    Not even a Earl Thomas mention eh?

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      I always get comments like this one whenever I do these posts, and it always makes me regret not mentioning a player haha. There are so many players who have legitimate cases, and Earl Thomas has definitely been playing at a high level. He’s one of the best coverage safeties in the league (for sure) and has cut down on his missed tackles. In all honesty, he’s a lot more important to the Seahawks defense than fans outside of Seattle think, but I couldn’t put him over McCourty, who has been a godsend for the Patriots defense. Thomas has played great, though, so don’t think that I don’t recognize that. This post was over 5,000 words as it is, so I really didn’t want to drag it out by naming every honorable mention, so to speak.

  • Blake Molina

    I like the Sherman recognition! If you look on PFF, he’s by far and away the best FB in the league.

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      I definitely looked at the PFF ratings in order to help come up with this list, and I was absolutely blown away by his blocking rating. It’s like Panthers TE Ben Hartstock, who has no “stats” but is PFF’s highest-graded TE, thanks to his impeccable blocking.

      • Herman Moore

        And there’s the problem with PFF. I really like what they do, don’t get me wrong, but how does a guy who is in theory playing a skill position get rated #1, in spite of catching zero passes? That is, on it’s face, ridiculous. Hartsock has played on six teams in nine years. He has seldom been a starter. He is, at best, a situational player. Yet PFF says he’s the best TE in the NFL? Find one coach or personnel guy who thinks so… PFF does a great job at what they do, but it has to be kept in perspective. They aren’t the end-all, final word on who can play and who can’t.

        • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

          They aren’t, and that’s why I didn’t put Hartstock on my All-Pro team. It is kind of hard to believe that the best TE is somebody who hasn’t caught a pass, but blocking is a key, undervalued part of the game. Pass-catching TEs can really open things up for the entire offense, but blocking TEs can do the same. Don’t believe me? Listen to some Bill Belichick (yes, Bill Belichick haha) press conferences in which he describes in detail how effective blockers can do this for an offense. Your point about blocking TEs not being as valuable is well taken, though, definitely understand your argument.

  • Herman Moore

    Lions rookie P Sam Martin has a better avg than any of the guys you listed.

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      That’s a great fact and certainly helps his case, but there is much more to punting than simply yards per punt. How many touchbacks did he have? How many times did he get it inside the 20? Was he able to punt it out of bounds frequently? How much hangtime can he get? Average is the biggest chunk of it, but there are other things that need to be considered, too.

      Appreciate the response, love the username haha…can’t go wrong with him.

      • Herman Moore

        Martin gets great hang time, has good directional control, generally prevents returns. Long punt over 70 yards. Most games has a long over 50 yards. Adept at leaving opponents with a long field. Also handles kickoffs, and has 26 touchbacks there. He consistently gives his team good field position. Has a cannon leg and very good control of it for a rookie. Has shanked exactly one punt so far. Also the holder for FGs and PATs. He’s good enough that he has silenced the critics who thought spending a fifth round pick on a punter (from Appalachian State, no less) was crazy. Remember his name–he’s a future Pro Bowler for sure.

        • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

          I will definitely keep Martin’s name in mind going forward, thanks.

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