PFF Preview: Patriots @ Dolphins,Week 1
In a Week 1 AFC East divisional matchup, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins and their new-look offense led by quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Tannehill entered the league in 2012 as a raw prospect, but made major strides in his second season as Miami’s signal-caller and his PFF passing grade jumped from +11.7 in his rookie year to +19.8 last season. Tannehill’s comfort level increased in his sophomore year, as he was willing to take more shots down the field. His 58.7 Yards in the Air percentage (seventh in the NFL), which outlines the percentage of passing yards that comes before the ball is caught, illustrates this. Tannehill must be on-point if his team hopes to get the better of New England’s stingy secondary.
The Patriots acquired stud cornerback Darrelle Revis from the Buccaneers this offseason to improve their already solid unit. Revis led all cornerbacks with a +18.6 overall grade last season and was second only to Richard Sherman with 16.4 Coverage Snaps per Reception. New England’s unit also features PFF’s 2013 highest-rated safety in Devin McCourty (+18.8 overall grade).
Here are three more notable numbers for each side:
New England Patriots
Rob Ninkovich – led all 4-3 defensive ends with a +18.1 run defense grade, while ranking third with 48 Run Stops and fourth with 46 QB Hurries last season.
Rob Gronkowski – returns even though he only played 390 snaps in 2013, Gronk somehow still earned the fifth highest overall tight end grade (+13.3), while leading all tight ends with 2.75 Yards per Route Run.
Nate Solder – was PFF’s ninth-ranked offensive tackle last year with a +20.9 overall grade, which includes a +12.8 grade in his final six games (including playoffs).
Brent Grimes – was PFF’s third-ranked cornerback with a +15.3 coverage grade in 2013 and was tied for third in the league with 14 Passes Defended.
Charles Clay – Forced 16 missed tackles last season (second highest number for tight ends) and ranked sixth with 1.62 Yards per Route Run among tight ends with at least 70 targets.
Cameron Wake – his 14.0 Pass Rushing Productivity grade was second highest among 4-3 defensive ends behind St. Louis’ Robert Quinn.
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