by the AP sports writer covering each NFL team quarterbacks need not apply and what makes him so necessary (broken down by conference and division): AFC EAST Rob Gronkowski Infant Jacob Bailey Jersey , New England: Gronk has been a force this season after missing the second half of 2016 following back surgery. He adopted Tom Bradys strict diet habits and slimmed down. Gronkowski now has 55 catches for 849 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo: With the Bills offense based on the run, McCoy edges defensive tackle Kyle Williams as Buffalos most consistent threat. McCoy has 1,155 yards from scrimmage 32 percent of the Bills total offense. He also touches the ball on nearly half the plays. Demario Davis, New York Jets: The veteran linebacker is among the NFLs top tacklers. Davis is the quarterback of Todd Bowles defense as New Yorks middle linebacker and is having perhaps his best season after being reacquired by New York this offseason after a year in Cleveland. Ndamukong Suh, Miami: The defensive tackle draws two blockers on almost every play and still makes an impact. SOUTH Delanie Walker, Tennessee: Third in the NFL in catches among tight ends, the veteran is Marcus Mariotas favorite target despite being double- and triple-teamed by defenses. Walker pulled in a 37-yard catch in Indianapolis with offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie counting eight defenders around the tight end on film. Calais Campbell, Jacksonville: Possibly the best free-agent acquisition of 2017, the defensive end leads the AFC in sacks and is a big reason the Jaguars are in the playoff mix. Jadeveon Clowney, Houston: Well, J.J. Watt has hardly played in almost two seasons, and the top overall pick in the 2014 draft is having perhaps the best season of his career after being slowed by injuries early in Houston. Clowney has fought through near-constant double teams with Watt and Whitney Mercilus out for the season, yet he leads the team with career highs in sacks (nine) and tackles for losses (18) to keep the defense afloat. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis: The receivers value can be measured in pure numbers. In three wins this season, he has 19 catches for 505 yards and three TDs. In nine losses, Hilton has 22 receptions for 286 yards and one TD. Coincidence? Doubt it. NORTH Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh: The perennial All-Pro has the most catches over any five-year span in NFL history. He is Ben Roethlisbergers security blanket, and the trust between the two is so great it isnt unusual for Roethlisberger to throw it into double or triple coverage to him. Brandon Williams, Baltimore: The nose tackle clogs the middle and ties up a couple linemen, freeing linebacker C.J. Mosley to lead the team in tackles. The Ravens went 1-3 when he missed four games with an injured foot, and his value is why they gave him a five-year Jacob Bailey Jersey Draft , $52.5 million contract in March rather than let him become a free agent. A.J. Green, Cincinnati: Last season showed how much the wide receiver means to the Bengals. After five straight playoff appearances, with Green going to the Pro Bowl with more than 1,000 yards receiving each year, a hamstring injury cost Green at least six games. The Bengals won only six games without his production. Joe Thomas, Cleveland: The 10-time Pro Bowler at left tackle played 10,363 consecutive snaps before tearing a triceps muscle and undergoing season-ending surgery. WEST Tyreek Hill, Kansas City: The wide receiver is the Chiefs only big-play threat, and his versatility allowing him to line up at running back and as a threat on punt returns makes him even more crucial than tight end Travis Kelce. Casey Hayward, L.A. Chargers: The cornerback has emerged as one of NFLs best defensive players in absence of fellow starting cornerback Jason Verrett. Hayward was just the AFCs defensive player of the month. He has four interceptions and constantly draws the toughest assignments. Khalil Mack, Oakland: The Raiders have one of the NFLs worst defenses. Now just think of how bad it would be without last years Defensive Player of the Year as a force against the run and an elite pass rusher despite being the focus of every opposing offense. Chris Harris Jr., Denver: He is the heart of a Broncos defense that is not what it was two seasons ago in winning Super Bowl 50. NFC EAST Fletcher Cox, Philadelphia: The defensive tackle missed the fourth quarter of a game and the next game this season. In those five quarters, the Eagles allowed 48 points for an average of 9.6 points per 15 minutes. In all other games with him, theyve allowed 3.7 points per quarter. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas: Enough said, though the Cowboys 1-3 record as he sits out his suspension has made Dallas playoff road very difficult, if not impossible. Elliott is due to return Christmas Eve against Seattle, and even he may not be able to save the Cowboys postseason hopes. Trent Williams, Washington: The tough left tackle has missed three of the past six games with a severe knee injury, and Washington has struggled to give Kirk Cousins adequate time to throw or establish much of a running game without Williams. Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants: The wide receiver had the best three-season start in team history with 288 catches Jacob Bailey NFL Jersey , 4,122 yards and 35 TDs most in the NFL since the start of the 2014 season. Ankle injuries limited him to four games this season and one big play on a 48-yard TD, and the Giants have only seven big pass plays, two for TDs, this season. SOUTH Cam Jordan, New Orleans: The defensive end is an absolute physical specimen, strong enough to play the run effectively and fast enough in his seventh season at age 28 to be a menace with 10 sacks, 17 quarterback hits and six passes defended. The first-round pick in 2011 is the Saints defensive leader on and off the field. Luke Kuechly, Carolina: The 2013 NFL Defensive Player of the Year is arguably the best middle linebacker in the game and a vital part of what the Panthers do on defense. When Kuechly isnt playing and hes missed time with three concussions over the past three seasons the Panthers arent the same team. He has great size, rarely misses a tackle, and outstanding speed to get from one side of the field to the other. He reads plays extremely well. Alex Mack, Atlanta: When the Falcons made the three-time Pro Bowl center the NFLs highest-paid center with an average salary of $9.5 million, Mack was the final piece to solidifying their offensive line. With Mack, the Falcons led the league in scoring and reached the Super Bowl. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay: The Bucs are driven by the offense, and nobody has meant more than the big, strong receiver who commands double-teams and is the biggest red-zone threat, as well as most reliable and productive option on third down. Jameis Winstons favorite target earned his first Pro Bowl slot last season. NORTH Harrison Smith, Minnesota: The sixth-year safety is the backbone of coach Mike Zimmers aggressive defense and one of the NFLs most dominant units. Smith stands out with his versatility, able to roam in deep coverage, deliver hard hits over the middle, or blitz. Matt Prater Jacob Bailey NFL Draft , Detroit: Yes, the kicker. The Lions have been an average team the past couple years, but Praters clutch kicking lifted them to a playoff berth last season and has them in the mix again this year. He had four game-winning kicks last season, a 58-yarder to force overtime in 2016 against Minnesota, and his 52-yarder beat Chicago this season in difficult conditions. David Bakhtiari, Green Bay: The left tackle went to the Pro Bowl last year, and Bakhtiari is the man who protects Aaron Rodgers back, which is even more important if the quarterback returns this month. Jordan Howard, Chicago: The running back has ranked among the NFLs most productive since being drafted in the fifth round last year, and hell be the Bears biggest ally in developing quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. WEST Aaron Donald, L.A. Rams: The defensive end is putting together another All-Pro caliber season despite sitting out training camp and preseason in a contract dispute. Donald constantly clears space for teammates by drawing double-teams, but still gets loose for his own pressures, sacks and tackles for loss as the Rams most disruptive player on team. Earl Thomas, Seattle: A lot of what the Seahawks do defensively rests on Thomas at safety patrolling all the space he covers. His uncommon sideline-to-sideline speed has allowed Seattles cornerbacks to be aggressive, knowing that Thomas usually covers any mistakes. His value became most notable last year when he missed the final month of the regular season and the playoffs due to a broken leg. Seattle was not the same team defensively and suffered. David Johnson, Arizona: The running back broke his wrist in the opener and look what happened to the Cardinals. Their offense was built around the back who led the NFL in touchdowns (20) and yards from scrimmage (2,118) to start the season. DeForest Buckner, San Francisco: The defensive lineman almost never comes off the field, stout in the middle against the run and pressuring the quarterback even if his sack numbers arent there. For a rebuilding team, Buckner provides a valuable building block. Immaculate indeed.Pittsburgh running back Franco Harris scoop of a deflected pass and subsequent run for the winning touchdown in a 1972 playoff victory against Oakland forever known as the Immaculate Reception has been voted the greatest play in NFL history.A nationwide panel of 68 media members chose the Immaculate Reception as the top play with 3,270 points and 39 first-place votes. Second in the balloting was Dwight Clarks TD catch from Joe Montana that lifted San Francisco past Dallas to win the 1981 NFC championship.Harris spectacular play not only lifted the Steelers to their first-ever playoff victory, it was the catalyst for the Steel Curtain dynasty that would win four Super Bowls from the 1974 through the 1979 seasons.That play really represents our teams of the 70s Jacob Bailey Buffalo Bills Jersey , Harris said.With 22 seconds remaining in the first-round matchup, and the ball at the Steelers 40-yard line, quarterback Terry Bradshaw scrambled under heavy pressure on fourth down. He heaved the ball downfield toward running back Frenchy Fuqua, and Raiders safety Jack The Assassin Tatum arrived at the same time. The ball ricocheted wildly toward Harris near the left sideline. Before it hit the turf, he bent deeply and grabbed it before heading to the end zone.Game officials werent sure who deflected the pass; had it gone off Fuqua, rules of the day would make it an incompletion. Referee Fred Swearingen, after consulting with NFL supervisor of officials Art McNally, ruled a touchdown. Pittsburgh kicked the extra point for a 13-7 lead with 5 seconds remaining and won a playoff game for the first time in franchise history.There are moments in life where you know what youre doing, Harris said. Me and Frenchy, we had no idea what we were doing.Neither did Steelers owner Art Rooney. Known as Chief, Rooney had abandoned his seat and took the elevator to the locker room to be with his team after another postseason defeat. Chief didnt see the greatest play in franchise (and league) history pulled off.His son, Dan, who would take over administration of the team and created the Rooney Rule for diversity in NFL job interviews stayed upstairs and witnessed the drama as Swearingen and McNally spoke on the phone. After Swearingen raised both arms to signal touchdown, and the Raiders could do nothing with the ensuing kickoff, Rooney at last felt relief.After that, I loafed around the press box. After a while, I went out and down to the dressing room. Everybody was on Cloud 9, cheering each other, all excited, he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2012. It may have been the most exciting game I had seen up until that time.Clearly, the voting panel found the Immaculate Reception as a runaway for best play as part of the NFLs celebration of its 100th season. Montana to Clark, known as The Catch Color Rush Jacob Bailey Jersey , received 3,099 points but only four first-place selections. The runner-up in first-place votes was David Tyrees Helmet Catch for the Giants as they rallied to beat the Patriots in the 2008 Super Bowl.Harris catch eventually led to a rules change, too, with offensive players consecutively touching a pass being permitted. That eased officiating decisions on deflected balls, of course.But it didnt ease the angst felt by Tatum or his coach, John Madden like Harris and Bradshaw, a Pro Football Hall of Famer.Here was my point, Madden told the CBS affiliate in San Francisco in 2012. They didnt call it a touchdown. And they were standing in the end zone, the officials, and discussing the play. They talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, and still havent said its a touchdown. This goes on 15 minutes.If you knew it was a touchdown, you should have called it. If you didnt call it, you didnt know it was a touchdown. If you didnt know it was a touchdown, how did you decide that it was? Thats all.