JAX-NE Grades: Pats blow Jags out, Brady strong again
Here are the top takeaways from Sunday’s Jacksonville-New England game, including the highest-graded players for each team
– Though it was an uneven performance for QB Blake Bortles (-0.7), he has improved his overall grade each week to start the new season. In the first half, he threw inaccurately into coverage but was fortunate not to be picked-off. Unfortunately, a bit later, Bortles was intercepted as well as he overshot the seam route and the Patriots took advantage at mid-field; they would eventually tack on another score to go up 20-3 just before half-time. On the bright side, he did mix in a few nice throws, including a well-placed “go” route that was dropped in the end zone by rookie RB Corey Grant.
– The middle of the Jaguars’ defense got gashed as linebackers Paul Posluszny (-4.1 coverage), Telvin Smith (-1.6 coverage), and slot cornerback Aaron Colvin (-2.3 coverage) surrendered catches on all 24 of their respective targets for 288 yards and a touchdown. On passes between the numbers and beyond the line of scrimmage, Patriots QB Tom Brady went 16-of-18 for 218 yards.
– On the backside, CB Davon House was strong in coverage (+2.2) but weak against the run (-2.8). He fared well against TE Rob Gronkowski with a pass defense on an end zone fade, and even had what would have been a nice interception that was called back due to a penalty. Overall, House allowed only two catches on four targets and just 23 yards receiving.
RT Jermy Parnell (+2.2)
FS James Sample (+1.2)
SS Sergio Brown (+1.0)
DT Abry Jones (+1.0)
WR Allen Hurns (+0.8)
New England Patriots
– QB Tom Brady continued his hot start to the season as he attacked the Jaguars’ underneath coverage all afternoon. In addition to the stats above, Brady finished with an accuracy percentage of 89.7 percent, as his nine incompletions included two drops, two throwaways, and a batted pass. On passes thrown beyond 10 yards, Brady finished five-of-six for 126 yards.
– While the quick passing game helps the offensive line, they deserve their share of credit for allowing Brady to be pressured on only nine of his 44 dropbacks. They also showed well in the run game where five of the seven regulars posted positive run block grades including RT Sebastian Vollmer (+2.3). Despite a seven-man rotation that is moving players all over the line of scrimmage (including three rookies), line coach Dave DeGuglielmo has done a masterful job by forming the league’s top ranked run-blocking unit to date (+9.6).
– LB Jamie Collins was all over the field for New England, picking up a strip-sack and a hurry on his nine pass rushes while grading positively both against the run (+1.3) and in coverage (+0.4). Collins is the team’s highest-graded pass-rusher after Week 3 (+3.7).
OLB Jamie Collins (+4.6)
QB Tom Brady (+4.2)
TE Rob Gronkowski (+4.0)
OT Sebastian Vollmer (+3.2)
OT Marcus Cannon (+2.7)