MIA-SD Grades: Olivier Vernon posts season-high grade for 4-3 DEs
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Chargers’ 30-14 win over the Dolphins.
– Miami lost C Mike Pouncey and T Branden Albert, likely their two best offensive linemen, to injury in this game, and the results were predictable. Guard Dallas Thomas (-7.1) moved to LT to replace Albert, and he was completely overmatched by Chargers OLB Melvin Ingram (+8.7). Four offensive linemen finished the game with red grades (below -1.0) for the Dolphins. RT Jason Fox (-5.3, six pressures allowed) and RG Billy Turner (-5.0, -4.3 run blocking grade) struggled throughout the game.
– 2015 has been a disappointing season for the Dolphins, but DE Olivier Vernon (+12.7) and DT Ndamukong Suh (+8.4) have performed at a Pro Bowl level. Vernon recorded 11 total pressures and five run stops in this game, and has now earned an overall grade of +3.5 or better in seven of his past eight games. Only Saints DE Cameron Jordan has a better 2015 season grade than Vernon among 4-3 defensive ends. Suh finished with eight pressures and a team-best +4.9 run defense grade, and ranks third among NFL defensive tackles with a +52.6 grade this season.
– QB Ryan Tannehill was pressured on 20 of his 37 dropbacks, even though the Chargers pass blitzed just three times. Tannehill earned a -1.1 grade when pressured, and was sacked three times. Most of his success came on underneath passes; he was 4-0f-11 for 103 yards on passes thrown 10+ yards. Rookie WR DeVante Parker (+1.5) has become a bigger factor in the offense, and earned a positive grade for the third game in a row.
DE Olivier Vernon (+12.7)
DT Ndamukong Suh (+8.4)
DT DeAndre Coleman (+4.1)
DE Derrick Shelby (+3.2)
CB Brent Grimes (+3.1)
San Diego Chargers
– San Diego’s offensive line may have been even less effective than Miami’s was in this game. All five starters earned red grades, and all three of the team’s tight ends finished with red grades for run blocking. LT Chris Hairston (-10.4) was beaten by Olivier Vernon on what seemed like every single snap, and RG D.J. Fluker (-5.1) and C Trevor Robinson (-6.9) could not match up with Miami’s defensive interior.
– QB Philip Rivers (+0.3) was actually at his best under pressure in this game, earning a +1.3 grade on 19 snaps under pressure. Rivers’ stat line looks a bit better than his grade in this game, largely due to the two interceptions he threw on deep passes. He finished 8-of-11 for 122 yards and two touchdowns against the blitz, and was able to keep the offense moving despite the ineffective offensive line play in front of him.
– Melvin Ingram’s +8.7 grade yesterday more than doubled his overall season grade, moving him to 11th among NFL 3-4 OLB’s. Ingram and OLB Jerry Attaochu (+1.9) have been bright spots on a disappointing Chargers’ defense this year, and rookie ILB Denzel Perryman (+1.7) has been impressive since entering the starting lineup in Week 6. Perryman has now earned a green grade (above +1.0) in run defense in each of his past five games. The Chargers have a talented, young group of linebackers to build their defense around.
OLB Melvin Ingram (+8.7)
CB Jason Verrett (+3.2)
HB Danny Woodhead (+2.6)
HB Donald Brown (+2.2)
DE Ricardo Mathews (+2.1)