Week 13 saw some surprise players show up on in a big way on Sunday and more than a few of the usual suspects found a way to keep their strong seasons going. With 5 new names added to the list, the 2013 rookie class has begun to establish its place among NFL franchises. It was not a good week for rookie defensive backs however, as some of the higher profile names had long days against the likes of Josh Gordon(Gratz, Cyprien), Alshon Jeffrey(Rhodes), and Eric Decker(Cooper). 8 first round picks made the week 13 team followed by 5 second round picks, 3 3rd round picks, 2 4th round picks, 1 5th, 1 7th, and even an undrafted free agent.
E.J. Manuel - Quarterback, Buffalo Bills
The Bills lost a close one to the Falcons in the final minutes, but Manuel was strong with over 210 yards passing and a touchdown on the ground and through the air.
Montee Ball – Running Back, Denver Broncos
Ball had a career day against a talented Chiefs defense, rushing for 117 yards on only 13 carries.
Le’Veon Bell – Running Back, Pittsburgh Steelers
Bell had a big day in the Steelers loss to the Ravens, accounting for 73 rushing yards and a touchdown while adding 7 catches for an additional 63 yards.
Keenan Allen – Wide Receiver, San Diego Chargers
Philip Rivers new go to guy had another great week for the Chargers. Allen had 8 catches for 106 yards in the Chargers 17-10 loss to Cincinnati.
Ace Sanders – Wide Receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars have found a rhythm to their offense lately, and Sanders has been a big part of that. He made some big plays while hauling in 8 passes for 67 yards in a victory over the Cleveland Browns.
Zach Ertz – Tight End, Philadelphia Eagles
Ertz had his best game of the season in a win over the Cardinals, bringing in 5 catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns.
Jordan Mills and Kyle Long – Right Tackle and Guard, Chicago Bears
The young right side of the Bears offensive line helped the Chicago offense put up nearly 500 yards in a loss against the Vikings. Both players factor heavily into the future of the Bears offense.
Travis Frederick – Center, Dallas Cowboys
Frederick has continually proven that he was a worthy, albeit surprising first round pick for the Cowboys. Helping the Cowboys offense average nearly 5 yards per rush in a win against the Raiders.
Larry Warford – Right Guard, Detroit Lions
The best run blocker of the 2013 class, Warford continued his fantastic play during the Lions 40-10 win over Green Bay. Helping Reggie Bush average nearly 6 yards per rush.
Ezekial Ansah – Defensive End, Detroit Lions
“Ziggy” has come on strong as late, adding 2 more sacks to his impressive season total of 7. This was the second consecutive week that Ansah recorded double digit sacks.
Wes Horton – Defensive End, Carolina Panthers
Horton made a big impact in his first extended look of the season, notching 2 sacks to go along with 7 tackles in Carolina’s dominantion of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Star Lotulelei – Defensive Tackle, Carolina Panthers
Lotulelei is not always a stat sheet stuffer, but his presence along the interior of the Panthers line is invaluable. He may not win defensive rookie of the year but he may be the most valuable rookie in the NFL.
Sharif Floyd – Defensive Tackle, Minnesota Vikings
Floyd only had two tackles but recorded a sack and forced fumble in the Vikings win over the Bears.
Alec Ogletree – Linebacker, St. Louis Rams
Ogletree was a defensive playmaker for the Rams against the 49ers. The former Georgia Bulldog tallied 10 tackles and forced a fumble in the Rams 23-13 loss.
Kiko Alonso – Linebacker, Buffalo Bills
Alonso continues his productive rookie season, notching 13 tackles in the Bills loss to Atlanta. Alonso now has 125 tackles, 2 sacks, and 4 interceptions on the year.
Khaseem Greene – Linebacker, Chicago Bears
Filling in for the injured Lance Briggs, Greene racked up 5 tackles and an interception in the Bears 23-20 loss against the Vikings.
Marcus Cooper – Cornerback, Kansas City Chiefs
Cooper was picked on early, but hung in a fought for 8 tackles and an interception against Peyton Manning and the explosive Denver offense.
Kenny Vaccaro – Safety, New Orleans Saints
In a brutal day for the Saints, Vaccaro was productive and active, notching 10 tackles and forcing a fumble in the 34-7 beating at the hands of the Seahawks.
Jonathan Cyprien – Safety, Jacksonville Jaguars
Despite being a part of the secondary which gave up 370 yards to Brandon Weeden, Cyprien was stout in run support and added 10 tackles and an interception leading to the Jaguars 32-28 victory over the Browns in Cleveland.
Logan Ryan – Cornerback, New England Patriots
Ryan was quite the nuisance for Case Keenum and the Texans, deflecting two passes and intercepting another in the Patriots 34-31 victory.
And for your weekly reading material, head over the the Best Tickets Blog for an NFL/NBA comparison article. The piece details physical, as well as monetary differences between the two leagues and is an interesting, quick read.
Topics: AFC, All Rookie Team, Buffa, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Ezekial "Ziggy" Ansah, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, NFC, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, St. Louis Rams, Zach Ertz