HOU-ATL Grades: J.J. Watt dominant in loss

The top takeaways from Sunday’s Houston-Atlanta game, including the highest-graded players from each team.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Brad Penner)

(AP Photo/Brad Penner)

HOU-ATL Grades: J.J. Watt dominant in loss


Here are the top takeaways from Sunday’s Houston-Atlanta game, including the highest-graded players from each team:

Houston Texans

– After receiving some special attention the past two weeks, J.J. Watt (+9.9) got some more favorable matchups and responded with a big outing. He ended the day with a sack, two hurries, and two batted passes, along with three more defensive stops. He was too quick for Ryan Schraeder (-3.7), and it showed time and time again.

– At the quarterback spot, the Texans appear to be in trouble, whatever they do. Ryan Mallett (-1.0) couldn’t get the offense moving, but he was put behind the eight ball with the Falcons’ strong start and a number of silly errors that the team made. The disappointing thing about Mallett is his struggles on the shorter throws, where he went just 5-of-13 on balls thrown less than 10 yards in the air. That’s going to put you in bad situations.

– Not a great return for Arian Foster (-1.8), who looked incredibly rusty. It wasn’t all on him as, Derek Newton bizarrely decided to strip him, but he looked sluggish in dropping one pass and averaging just 1.6 yards per attempt. The team will be hoping this was just about getting in game shape.

Top Performers

DE J.J. Watt (+9.9)
RG Brandon Brooks (+3.3)
WR DeAndre Hopkins (+2.3)
C Ben Jones (+1.6)
OLB Jadeveon Clowney (+1.3)

Atlanta Falcons

– For Matt Ryan (+2.0), he really just had to show up, avoid mistakes, and let the Texans implode. Mission accomplished, in that regard. He was solid enough, with just one ill-advised throw (and even that resulted in a completion). With the threat of J.J. Watt, Ryan focused more on the short passing attack, with not one attempt over 20 yards in the air.

– A really nice bounce-back effort from Paul Worrilow (+3.4). Playing hurt last week, he had a target on his back against the Cowboys, but responded with a spirited effort that included forcing an interception (of which Jonathan Babineaux, 0.0, was the grateful recipient) and adding three defensive stops.

– Teams have generally avoided going after Desmond Trufant (+3.3), but there was no fear from Ryan Mallett here. He targeted him eight times, but in hindsight, may have been better served not doing so. Trufant allowed just three receptions, and broke up two passes himself.

Top Performers

LB Paul Worrilow (+3.4)
CB Desmond Trufant (+3.3)
S William Moore (+3.1)
CB Robert Alford (+2.9)
C Mike Person (+2.1)

  • Chris

    Not one mention of Freeman and his three rushing TDs? Ok….

    • Doug Cuomo

      His name isn’t JJ Watt, who was dominant, but his team was still somehow down 42-0.

  • Chris

    Not one mention of Freeman and his three rushing TDs? Ok….

  • Zack23

    Mallet, unwatchable.

    • Mark Crowe

      I agree. I feel bad for the kid, but I think the game is too big for him. Also, no accuracy AT ALL. No touch. He’s just a big arm. (Why did the coaches have him throwing it so much? Nightmare.)

      Brian Hoyer isn’t a top-tier QB at this stage of his career, but I think he’s an upgrade. I also think he can grow in this offense.

      • Zack23

        Oh yeah, zero touch. 100mph throws on screen passes. I guess all that time with Brady and Belichek weren’t as useful as homer reporters tried to make it seem

  • Joel

    Sometimes you guys here at PFF kill me the offense put up a -5.6 score in this game the same offense that Houston could not stop and that defense only got a -1.6. Atlanta scored at will on that defense

    • Joel

      Also to give Devonta Freeman a -1.4 rushing grade and only .5 overall is really baffling.

      • James Smith

        PFF grades are given by bias writers. Now their giving up on it. I can’t even re subscribe to the grades.

      • was385

        In all fairness, almost all of Freeman’s damage came on long plays where he was essentially untouched due to Atlanta’s o-line opening up huge holes (or when he was wide open as a receiver) and the o-line got rewarded by PFF. Was there ever a play that actually made you say, wow look at what Devonta did? When he was asked to make something happen and moses didn’t part the sea for him, he got pretty well bottled up.

        • Pweezy

          Go back and watch the game again. You’ll see Freeman consistently breaking tackles, juking defenders and running patiently waiting for the holes to open up

          • was385

            I was watching very closely. 107 of his 149 total yards came on four plays where he was basically untouched (the two long TDs, a short pass to the right that he took for a long gain, and the wide open pass to the left). He averaged less than 3 yards on his other touches. I really don’t count running through one guy getting a hand on him as that impressive (which is what happened on pretty much all of those long plays). Now what I will agree with is that PFF doesn’t account for vision well, but those long plays were straight ahead and he didn’t have to wait for anything to develop. I think you need to watch it again.

    • Refman

      Well their grade probably dropped off a lot because of all the second stringers in the game in the late 3rd and entire 4th quarters. Once Renfree came in, it was just 3 & out and punt.

    • Mark

      It’s the same with Houston, they got graded by playing their first stringers against our 2nd and 3rd stringers for over 1.5 quarters.

  • Joel

    Btw that throw to Devonta Freeman was over 20 yds in regards to Matt Ryan

  • Joel

    Also Jake Matthews has given up only 4 hurries no hits and no sacks in 4 games and only a .1 for pass blocking

    • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

      he’s looking like the player they thought they were getting that high in the draft

  • Doug Cuomo

    JJ Watt was so dominant on defense his team was only down 42-0. 5 of those touchdowns were given up by the defense. The JJ Watt blindfolded love fest is getting hard to stomach.