PFF Preview: Jaguars @ Chargers, Week 4
With a new quarterback at the helm, Gus Bradley’s ailing 0-3 Jacksonville Jaguars face a challenging West Coast trip to face Mike McCoy’s 2-1 San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. With injuries to the Chargers’ top two rushers, and producing just 79.3 rushing yards per game (at 2.4 yards per carry) this season, the Jaguars can feel some optimism about their ability to stop San Diego on the ground.
While the Jaguars have conceded a league-worst 480 rushing yards, that figure is inflated because they have been playing against teams with large leads who ran down the clock. Moreover, defensive ends Tyson Alualu and Red Bryant currently rank second and fifth among qualifying 4-3 ends with Run Stop Percentages of 10.2 and 8.8, respectively. If the Jaguars can stop the run they can at least force the Chargers to become relatively one dimensional. The introduction of Blake Bortles added some dynamism to the Jaguars’ offense, but he also showed his inexperience, throwing two interceptions, risking more and grading negatively (-1.9) when blitzed.
Unfortunate traits in a quarterback who is facing an in-form pass rusher and cornerback tandem; Dwight Freeney (+6.8) and Brandon Flowers (+5.4). Freeney was fourth among qualifying 3-4 outside linebackers in Week 3 with a 14.4 Pass Rushing Productivity grade, notching his second sack of the season as well as another five total pressures. Flowers broke up a pass and allowed four receptions for just 29 yards on eight targets in Week 3, giving up just 0.6 Yards per Cover Snap. If Bortles continues to take risks with the ball, Flowers will be well placed to add to his 17 career interceptions.
Here are three more notable numbers for each side:
Geno Hayes – Owns six stops on six tackles against the run, Hayes’ 31.6 Run Stop Percentage led all 4-3 outside linebackers in Week 3.
Josh Evans – With two broken up passes to his credit, Josh Evans has recorded a team leading +2.8 coverage grade.
San Diego Chargers
Corey Liuget – Has two sacks, six QB hits and 12 total pressures through the opening three weeks, giving him a 11.0 Pass Rushing Productivity grade, third-best among 3-4 defensive ends with more than 30 pass rush snaps.
Ladarius Green – Green was targeted five times in Week 3, despite running just seven pass routes; he caught four passes for 64 yards for an impressive 9.14 Yards Per Route Run.
King Dunlap – While the Chargers have had difficulty rushing the ball, King Dunlap bears no blame; his +3.7 run block grade leads all left tackles.
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