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:
– 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.
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)
– 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.
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)