PFF Reaction Blog: Week 11

| November 19, 2012

It’s Week 11 in the NFL and that means the PFF Live Reaction Blog is back.

All through the day we’ll be dropping PFF Premium style nuggets designed to give you information you simply can’t get anywhere else. Naturally you won’t get all the info you’d get on PFF Premium but you’ll still get:

- The highest graded players from every game

- Unique PFF Signature Stats that offer more context than any of the box score numbers out there

- Snap numbers including wide receivers route run

- Analysis on all the breaking news

So bookmark the page and check back every half hour to be in the know.

 

18:45 IND @ NE Analysis!

- For Indianapolis the three highest graded players were Samson Satele (+3.0), Anthony Castonzo (+2.9) and Reggie Wayne (+1.8).

- No player on the defense graded in the green.

- Reggie Wayne was thrown at 13 times, with three of the picks Luck had coming on balls aimed in his direction.

- For the Patriots the three highest graded performers were Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady (+4.5), and Vince Wilfork (+3.8).

- Tom Brady was pressured on just 6-of-35 dropbacks.

- In the competition for wide receiver routes, Wes Welker led the way with 35, followed by Brandon Lloyd (31) and Julian Edelman (23).

18:30 Brandon Meriweather Tears ACL!

Real bad luck for Brandon Meriweather. His time with the Redskins hasn’t gone well and you cant’ really blame him. He finally got on the field against Dallas, earned a +1.7 grade and then picked up an injury that nobody likes to see. Of course Meriweather had his struggles both in New England and with Chicago, but he’s always flashed talent and if you go back to 2009 was our fifth ranked safety on the year.

18:20 Charlie Batch to Start!

That’s the word coming out right now, as we get a look at some quarterbacks we presumed done. Batch got on the field for 75 snaps last year, including all of them against St Louis in Week 16. There he completed 15-of-22 with four of his completions going over 10 yards in the air in a very efficient performance. Still the Rams were a team reeling on Christmas Eve last year and he’s likely in for a sterner test this year.

18:00 Henne To Start!

That’s the first word out of the Mike Mularkey press conference. What’s more interesting is that it seems like this could be an audition for a larger role for Henne going forward with the Jaguars desperate to pick up some wins, and getting tired of the inconsistent at times, and just plain bad at other times, performances of Blaine Gabbert. Still this could quite easily go the other way and reinforce the idea that Jacksonville are better off trying to figure out what they have with Gabbert with a view to making some bold roster moves at the end of the year. After all there’s a reason why Miami were happy for Henne to leave, and while he threw for a lot of yards against Houston, let’s not forget he only completed 48.5% of his passes.

17:45 Return of the Plax!

According to Adam Schefter Plaxico Burress is on his way to Pittsburgh to re-sign for the team that drafted him. Yep, desperate times do indeed call for desperate measures. The former Super Bowl winning Burress did a decent enough job in New York for the Jets, but at his age and with his history teams were always going to be slow making enough more than glances in his direction. Eight touchdowns aren’t to be sniffed at, and as long as you don’t ask too much out of him he could contribute.

17:30 Backus Likely Out!

For the visit of the Texans on Thanksgiving. Backus hasn’t had the best year of his career, but has given up just one sack, seven hits and 16 hurries on the year, though is run blocking is really starting to fall off a cliff. Riley Reiff will fill in and gave up three hurries and two penalties against the Packers. He projects to offer an improvement in the run game, but it will be hard for him to match the production of Backus in pass pro.

17:15 Titus Young Suspended!

There’s a lot of fantasy football players out there who had already given up on Titus Young, and the Lions appear to be losing patience with the at times talented, but often under achieving Young. He’s our fourth lowest ranked receiver on the year and currently has just 0.94 yards per route run. That’s the sixth lowest of any wide receiver who has run at least 200 routes.

17:00 Reed Suspended!

Of course a bigger suspension is that of Ed Reed who will miss one game for excessive violent hits. Reed hasn’t been at his best this year but the Ravens can’t be happy losing one of their defensive leaders, even if it does come against the Chargers. Reed, who had three picks and seven pass break ups heading into the Pittsburgh game, is still currently (with four games still to go up) out sixth highest rated safety in coverage.

16:30 Hawley Suspension!

Bad news for those who love the concept of the additional lineman. One of the most prominent ones in the league, Joe Hawley, has been banned four games as part of the league’s policy against substance abuse. This year Hawley has lined up at fullback on 14 snaps, tight end on seven and managed one snap at center. He’s moved down the lineman depth chart, with Mike Johnson seeing more action recently.

16:00 TB @ CAR Analysis!

- Two weeks in a row? Daniel Te’o-Nesheim (+4.3) had the highest grade of any Buccaneer. He edged out Nate Byham (+3.0) and Vincent Jackson (+2.9).

- Not the best we’ve seen out of Josh Freeman. He had some issues outside the numbers, completed just 8-of-19 for 84 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

- Not enough is made of how impressive it is that Da’Quan Bowers is on the field at all. He managed 34 snaps and turned his 22 pass rushes into a sack, hit and three hurries.

- Speaking of guys who are medical miracles, Thomas Davis (+5.4) was the highest graded Panther. Greg Hardy (+4.1) finished second with Dwan Edwards (+3.0) third.

- Tough day for Luke Kuechly in coverage. He gave up 6-of-7 balls into it for 67 yards and a touchdown.

- In our weekly look at how many three receiver sets the Panthers are running, they were at 64.8% this week. Anyone else remember the good old days when they’d score a lot of points with their two tight end set the focus of their offense?

15:30 ARZ @ ATL Analysis!

- The three highest graded Cardinals were Daryn Colledge (+3.7), Lyle Sendlein (+2.9) and David Carter (+2.8).

- Just 30 of the Cardinals passing yards came in the air with John Skelton managing the rare feat of walking away with -10 yards in the air.

- Rookie left tackle Nate Potter gave up two sacks and a hit. Not great but when you consider the lowest amount of pressure D’Anthony Batiste gave up in a game was five combined sacks, hits and hurries, a definite improvement.

- Nobody graded out better for Atlanta than Tyson Clabo (+5.4). He beat off the challenge from John Abraham (+4.2) and Stephen Nicholas (+3.4).

- Matt Ryan wasn’t helped by three drops but his play under pressure (-5.0) has to be a concern. He only completed 2-of-11 attempts for 16 yards and two picks.

- With Ray Edwards gone Jonathan Massaquoi got on the field for four snaps, and Cliff Matthews five. Neither recorded a pressure or tackle.

15:00 Willis McGahee Tears MCL!

A big blow to the Broncos as they’ve lost starting tailback McGahee for at least the remainder of the regular season. In truth his problems holding onto the ball had seen him drop way down our rankings but Ronnie Hillman is something of an unknown at this stage, and you really don’t want to tamper too much with a winning formula. Steve Slaton has immediately flown in for a visit. An interesting player, Slaton starred as a rookie before some fumbling problems of his own saw him bounce around the league.

14:30 NYJ @ SL Analysis!

- In a convincing win nobody graded higher than Muhammad Wilkerson (+6.4). He edged out Austin Howard (+4.2) and Nick Mangold (+4.0).

- A good day for Mark Sanchez? Yes. A challenging day? No. He was pressured on just four of 24 dropbacks and didn’t complete a single pass when he was. You can’t expect protection like this in every game.

- Clyde Gates led the team running 21 pass routes. That was followed by Chaz Schillens with 14, while Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill both ran 11.

- Not many Rams stood out for the right reasons, but Quintin Mikell (+2.1) had a decent day. The same can be said for Rocky McIntosh (+1.9) and Robert Turner (+1.8).

- A truly horrific day from Sam Bradford. He attempted 12 balls over 10 yards in the air and only completed two of them.

- Steven Jackson stayed into pass block on six occasions and gave up three hurries.

14:00 Which game will be next …

We do enjoy a good tease – data is coming in thick and fast at PFF Towers and in a few minutes we’ll be updating our records with the Jets at Rams. Stay tuned.

13:30 Giants Feeling Fresher!

Sometimes bye weeks just happen at the right time don’t they? The Giants would leave you to believe that with Eli Manning saying he feels better, and Kenny Phillips closer to return. Manning walked away with a +21.7 grade in his first five games of the season and a -1.7 in the next four, so fans of the G-Men will be hoping that they’re seeing their Super Bowl MVP back to his best asap. Meanwhile the underrated Phillips’ hasn’t appeared to have been missed that much, with Stevie Brown making some plays. But whenever you lose a steadying force like the man who was our sixth ranked safety last year it has an impact. Be sure of that.

13:00 Young Defensive Backs Shine!

Sometimes you need only look at some numbers to know how a couple of guys played. So look at these and make up your mind.

- Casey Hayward. Thrown at 7 times. One reception allowed for 6 yards. An interception and three pass defenses.

- Davon House. Thrown at 5 times. One reception allowed for 8 yards. One pass deflection.

- Jerron McMillan. Thrown at 5 times. One reception allowed for 24 yards. One pass deflection.

Yep, that Green Bay secondary could be something to watch in the coming years.

12:30 Signature Stat Teaser!

With more games in we can bring you a few more of our unique signature stats that you can find out all about here.

- So far no offensive line has given up as much pressure as Washington. They were only in pass protection on 23 plays yet gave up a sack, two hits and 10 hurries.

- Casey Hayward gave up 0.19 yard per snap in coverage. Davon House was at 0.19.

- Garrett Graham picked up 3.23 yards per route run.

12:00 CLV @ DAL Analysis!

- The Browns three highest graded players were John Hughes (+2.7), Alex Mack (+2.2) and Mitchell Schwartz and Craig Roberson (+2.1).

- Cleveland didn’t give up a single penalty on offense. They had 10 called on them on defense.

- Josh Gordon led the team with 36 routes run, followed by Greg Little with 33. After those two Mohamed Massaquoi only ran eight routes, Travis Benjamin seven, while Joshua Cribbs (2) and Josh Cooper (4) combined for six.

- The Cowboys three highest graded performers were Jason Hatcher (+4.0), Danny McCray (+2.0) and Gerald Sensabaugh and Jason Witten (+1.5).

- Tony Romo didn’t throw one ball behind the line of scrimmage, nor did he throw a single pass longer than 10 yards in the air between the numbers.

- After some good work in recent weeks, Anthony Spencer only picked up one pressure (a sack) on his 20 pass rushes.

11:30 Walden picks up two sacks and a negative grade for pass rushing?

Herein lies the beauty of our grading. As one reader pointed out, how could Erik Walden of the Packers get a -3.5 grade for pass rushing after he picked up two sacks. Well the box scores tell you he picked up two sacks but they don’t tell you how he picked up those sacks, how often he rushed the passer and plenty more. Our grades do. Both of his sacks were of the clean up variety, with a quarterback flushed to him rather than him beating a man. Then factor in on the other 43 pass rushes he generated not one single pressure. So you get an idea what our grading can do, that box scores can’t.

11:00 Kerrigan Streak Ends

Sometimes guys, like Rich Tandler of the Real Redskins blog, point out some nice facts from our own data. Like the one he mentions about Ryan Kerrigan finally missing some playing time. He came off the field after the two minute warning and was replaced by Chris Wilson. Still, with 1751 consecutive snaps since entering the league (including pre snap penalties), he’s had an exceptional run. We wouldn’t bet against him leading all pass rushers in snaps again this year.

10:30 Quinn versus Cassel? Who wins?

The obvious answer is nobody. Not the Chiefs, not their fans, and not those who appreciate fine quaretrback play. But one of them will win the right to be crowned Chiefs Starting Quarterback. A victory that comes complete with the right to turnover the ball at will and get heckled by your own fans who just can’t stand the standard anymore.

Ignoring the question of how bad Ricki Stanzi must be in practice to be ignored in favor of both men, let’s break down how they played against the Bengals. Cassel (-0.8) had the first half, which proved more than enough time to put Quinn (+0.1) in a spot he’d never recover from. That owed a lot to ‘Mistake Matt’ averaging just 5.8 yards per attempt, with his usual accuracy woes surfacing when under pressure (2-of-6). ‘Bad times Brady’ on the other hand managed to complete a very respectable 9-0f-12 aimed passes. Unfortunately he showed some questionable awareness in the pocket and didn’t complete a single pass when pressured. So let me ask the question again? Howe bad is Stanzi in practice?

10:00 Where for art thou Trent Cole?

If you go back and look at the history of our grades for 4-3 defensive ends, there’s one constant: Trent Cole. In 2008 he finished sixth overall, a year later he was third. Then in both 2010 and 2011 he would finish, leading us to label him the most complete defensive end in the NFL. Only this year the performances aren’t there to match it. He sits in 21st in our 4-3 defensive end rankings, while his pass rushing productivity rating has dropped to 9.2, from a 14.9 last year. His work in run defense isn’t what it was and we’re left wondering if his problems are because of the Eagles struggles, or if he’s a big part of them.

09:30 CIN @ KC Analysis!

- In a comfortable win for the Bengals, nobody stood out more than Geno Atkins (+8.9). The best grades after that belonged to Andre Smith (+3.4) and A.J. Green (+2.0).

- The Bengals offensive line gave up just five pressures on 34 dropbacks.

- This week Mohamed Sanu matched the 33 routes run of A.J. Green for a joint lead of the receivers. Brandon Tate managed 21 with Andrew Hawkins out, while Armon Binns (5) and Ryan Whalen (7) both got some playing time.

- In a lackluster Chiefs effort some managed to impress. Jamaal Charles (+2.8) led the way, followed by Abram Elam (+2.2) and Jeff Allen and Eric Winston (+1.9).

- Tyson Jackson managed his first quarterback pressure since Week 17 of the 2011 season when he sacked Andy Dalton with 8:51 to go in the 2nd. As you’d expect Jackson didn’t beat a man to make it, rather cleaning up after Andy Dalton attempted to scramble out of the pocket.

- Dexter McCluster led the team with 30 routes, five more than Steve Breaston who himself had three more than Terrance Copper. Devon Wylie (12) and Dwayne Bowe (10) both saw some action, though neither caught either of the two targets thrown their way.

 

09:00 Eagles Line Update!

They’ve come in for a lot of criticism this year and had to deal with a lot of injuries, so how did the latest version of the Eagles line equip themselves? The left side fared pretty well, with King Dunlap giving up just a sack and a hurry, while Evan Mathis was perfect in pass protection. Dallas Reynolds struggled though against Barry Cofield, giving up two hits and a hurry and looking overmatched in the run game. Dennis Kelly and Jake Scott gave up five penalties between them, but Kelly held his own in pass protection, and Scott looked like an upgrade on what they’d had previously. Small steps.

08:30 SD @ DEN Snap Teaser!

We’ve got some info in and it doesn’t make pretty reading if you’re Robert Meachem. The expensive free agent signing was on the field enough to run just 8 pass routes. Meanwhile Danario Alexander was up at 43. The Chargers didn’t help him by featuring three receivers on just 18.1% of pass plays. That’s incredibly low when you’re playing from behind.

08:00 ReFocused Update!

We’ve got a couple of them for you already. Up first is GB @ DET and then we’ve followed that with JAX @ HST. Of course you can find a link to every ReFocused article here as and when they go up.

07:30 Signature Stat Standouts!

You can find out all about our signature stat area by clicking on the link. Here are a few of the early standout numbers from Week 11.

- RG3 had 4.05 seconds to throw on average per dropback. He completed all seven attempts where he had 2.6 seconds or more.

- Brice McCain gave up 4.43 yards per snap in coverage.

- Kyle Moore picked up five pressures on 25 pass rushes for a 16.0 pass rushing productivity score. That was bested by the 29.5 mark of Jason Babin who turned 11 pass rushes into a sack, hit and two hurries.

07:00 JAX @ HST Analysis!

- In a close defeat the three highest graded Jaguars performances were had by Justin Blackmon (+4.3), C.J. Mosley (+3.3) and Chad Henne (+1.8).

- Numbers can sometimes be deceiving. Derek Cox gave up 11-of-16 balls into his coverage for 135 yet still earned a positive (+2.1) coverage grade. His interception and pass deflection had something to do with that.

- In the battles for pass routes Cecil Shorts (38) led the Jags with Justin Blackmon (36) second. Laurent Robinson saw only 19, just four more than Michael Spurlock. Blackmon managed 6.56 yards per route run. In the first 10 weeks of the year he had 0.74.

- The three highest graded Texans were J.J. Watt (+6.7), Duane Brown (+5.8) and Andre Johnson (+5.3).

- The Texans only ran three or more wide receivers on the field for 26.6% of pass plays. Interestingly they had more plays with 4 receivers on the field (14) than three (11).

- Despite being in pass protection on 59 snaps, Duane Brown didn’t give up a single pressure or penalty all game long.

06:30 Rob Gronkowski Breaks Arm!

This one is bound to generate some discussion, so what do you think? Were the Patriots right to have Gronkowski still in the game when he broke his arm? Our top ranked tight has continued to be a difference maker for New England and now the question is how will their offense cope without him?

06:00 Game Reviews!

Just a reminder to check out our Game Reviews that we like to call our ReFocused articles. A look at three performances from each team that stood out for good or bad with some unique stats alongside them. Bookmark it and keep revisiting to see when your team goes up.

05:30 PHI @ WAS Analysis!

- That wasn’t exactly pretty for Philadelphia was it? But they did have some decent performances, especially on the defensive side of things. Jason Babin (+5.3) had the highest grade, followed by Fletcher Cox (+4.2) and Mike Patterson (+3.3).

- Unfortunately Nick Foles (-7.2) was abysmal. His receivers dropped five passes but he struggled regardless of whether the Redskins blitzes or got pressure on him. On the 33 players he didn’t have to deal with pressure he completed 16-of-33 for 4.3 yards per attempt, and only completed 3-of-15 on passes attempted over 10 yards in the air.

- In another one of those bewildering stats. Brandon Graham only rushed the passer 8 times yesterday, generating two hurries in the process. Criminally under utilized in that regard.

- The Redskins did enough to win even without many stand out performances. The most notable one was Barry Cofield (+5.5), while DeJon Gomes (+2.0) and Brandon Meriweather (+1.7) both had good days.

- An easy day for RG3. He completes 14-of-15 and an impressive 6-of-6 on balls further than 10 yards in the air.

- In the battle for pass routes between the Redskin wide receivers, Josh Morgan led the way with 15. He was followed by Santana Moss (15), Leonard Hankerson (10), Pierre Garcon (7), Brandon Banks (3) and Aldrick Robinson (1).

05:00 Tweet Us!

What do you think were the big talking points from yesterdays’ games? Which players stood out for good or bad? We always want to hear from, and discuss with, you! So don’t be afraid to get in touch with @PFF twitter account all day long.

04:30 GB @ DET Analysis!

- The first game from yesterday is in and it featured some fine Packer performances. The highest graded if which were for Casey Hayward (+4.6), Davon House (+4.2) and A.J. Hawk (+3.0).

- How about this ridiculous stat line for Hayward. Thrown at seven times, allowing one reception while breaking up three pass and intercepting another.

- James Starks is very much the go to guy at the running back spot now. He played 44 snaps to the 7 of Alex Green.

- If you watched the game you’ll know that Nick Fairley (+7.3) was the best player on the field. The next best two Lions were Willie Young (+3.5) and Jacob Lacey (+2.6).

- An absolutely horrid day for Matthew Stafford (-5.2). His team only had two drops and there were no throwaways, spikes or batted passes in there. His adjusted accuracy of 48.7% is reflective of how poor he was.

- Green Bay treated Tony Scheffler as an additional wide receiver and didn’t spend one play in a 3-4 or 4-3 alignment.

04:00 MIA @ BUF Analysis!

- It only seems right we start off with a look back at Thursday Night Football. The Dolphins three highest graded players were Reshad Jones (+2.7), Mike Pouncey (+2.5) and Cameron Wake (+2.4).

- The Dolphins ran a three wide receiver set on 58.1% of plays. That meant Davone Bess and Brian Hartline leading the team with 31 snaps in route. After them it was Rishard Matthews (15) and then Marlon Moore (8).

- An eventful day for Reshad Moore. He missed three tackles, allowed four receptions for 37 yards, broke up a pass and ended the day with eight defensive stops.

- In a crucial win nobody rated higher for the Bills than Jairus Byrd (+5.3). Eric Wood (+3.7) and C.J. Spiller (+3.0) were just behind.

- On the subject of Spiller he was at it again. He turned his 25 touches into a 94.5 elusive rating as he broke eight tackles and averaged 2.95 yards after contact per carry.

- While Mario Williams had a good game, he didn’t create as much pressure as Kyle Moore. The former Buccaneer has come on massively recently and added another sack, hit and three hurries to his totals for the year.

03:30: And we’re underway!

That’s right the PFF team is hard at work already and we’re going to bringing you breaking reaction and analysis all day long. What do we make of the injury to Rob Gronkowski? Who picked up the highest grades? Stay tuned to find out.

 

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