PFF Preview: Jaguars @ Eagles, Week 1
The 2014 regular season kicks off this Sunday as Chip Kelly’s Philadelphia Eagles host Gus Bradley’s improved Jacksonville Jaguars squad at Lincoln Financial Field.
2013’s leading rusher, LeSean McCoy was also tops in the NFL with a +27.3 overall grade while also forcing 75 missed tackles: second only to Marshawn Lynch’s 86. McCoy is the centerpiece of Coach Kelly’s high-powered offense that is hoping to pick up right where it left off last season. Standing in their way is a new-look defensive front for the Jags, which added some key pieces in the offseason to complement key 2013 starters.
Newly acquired Red Bryant ranked fifth among 4-3 defensive ends playing at least 200 snaps with an 8.4 Run Stop Percentage last year with Seattle. Middle linebacker Paul Posluszny played more snaps of run defense than anyone at his position (outside of Kiko Alonso) and topped ILBs in run stops, but his -5.0 grade against the run reflected the too-frequent trouble he had with blockers. Both players will play vital roles in their matchup against the Eagles’ running game.
Here are three more notable numbers for each side:
Toby Gerhart – Although he only received 36 carries for the Vikings last season, running back Gerhart averaged 7.9 yards per carry and forced 16 missed tackles in his limited opportunities.
Sen’Derrick Marks – Jacksonville’s defensive tackle had a +10.5 pass-rush grade in 2013 while ranking fifth among defensive tackles with 12 QB hits.
Marcedes Lewis – Placed fifth among tight ends playing at least 500 snaps with 14.1 yards per reception. Lewis also ranked third in yards after catch per reception (8.9).
The Eagles’ Offense – As a unit, posted a +139.1 run-blocking grade in 2013, which was more than double the 49ers’ second-place grade.
Nick Foles – His 99.91 PFF QB Rating and 9.12 yards per attempt ranked him first among all quarterbacks last season.
Trent Cole – Finished second in the NFL among 3-4 outside linebackers with 31 stops in the running game and a 10.3 Run Stop Percentage.
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