PFF Reaction Blog: Week 13
A new week and a new edition of the PFF Live Reaction Blog, focusing on all the games from Week 13!
Our analysts have been working around the clock to get the week’s games to you and here’s where you’ll get your first glimpse of the results.
All through the day we’ll be dropping PFF Premium-style nuggets designed to give you information you simply can’t get anywhere else. Naturally you won’t get all of the info you’d get from a Premium subscription, but you’ll still see:
• The highest-graded players from every game – will any make it to the PFF Page of Fame?
• Unique Signature Stats that offer more context than any box score number ever could.
• Snap numbers including routes run, pressured passes, slot coverage, and more.
• Analysis with a PFF twist on all the breaking news.
So bookmark the page and check back every 45 minutes to be in the know.
16.15 – Rams at 49ers Game Notes
Unlike a number of previous games between these combatants this ended up more as a damp squib than anything memorable. Not that the 49ers will care, they got Michael Crabtree back (if currently a slightly less dominating version than the last we saw) and made it through a game with a completely re-tooled left side of the offensive line.
– The three highest graded players were T.J. McDonald (+2.7), Anquan Boldin (+2.3) and Tramaine Brock (+2.3).
– The three lowest graded players were Kendall Langford (-3.4), Alec Ogletree (-3.0) and Vance McDonald (-2.6).
– The old 49er “West Coast Offense” was about YAC and one way of taking the onus off your somewhat up-and-down QB is to make the receivers do the work. With 48.7% of his passing yardage in the air Colin Kaepernick was only 26th in the NFL in that regard this week.
– Given what happened to Jermon Bushrod last week the 49ers can consider Alex Boone’s performance against Robert Quinn (one hurry allowed) as a large tick in the win column.
– Nineteen San Francisco players had at least ten snaps on defense but not a single one of them missed a tackle.
15.45 – Bengals at Chargers Game Notes
When Cincinnati’s offense is a sea of green in our grading with just one red player standing out, you should do just fine right? Well unless, of course, that negatively graded player happens to be your QB. This was a game the Bengals could have won going away; holding one of the NFL’s better “O’s” to 10 points and a +19.2 on offense suggests an easy victory. It didn’t work out quite like that.
– The three highest graded players were Andrew Whitworth (+4.5), Andre Smith (+4.5) and Jeromey Clary (+3.5).
– The three lowest graded players were Donald Butler (-5.3), D.J. Fluker (-4.0) and Andy Dalton (-3.1).
– Once again Andy Dalton averaged the lowest time to throw in the NFL – 2.07 seconds. If some quarterbacks hang on too long maybe Dalton may be better served by taking a little longer to release the ball?
– D.J. Fluker’s move to left tackle is not going well; as a right tackle, after a shaky first game, he graded +8.1 overall. On the left that number is -11.4. While it’s hoped this is a temporary move if the Chargers have a view of it becoming permanent they may do well to remember what happened to Michael Oher.
– Keenan Allen continues to build his case for offensive rookie of the year. His catch rate of 74.4% is currently tops in the NFL for anyone with over 30 receptions.
15.15 – Broncos at Chiefs Game Notes
To say the Chiefs will be happy with this game is overstating things but the play of their quarterback has got to be a real beacon in their gloom of losing three straight. The four dropped passes doesn’t change our grading of him but it could obviously have changed the result and while their defensive secondary deteriorates at an alarming rate that’s an easier fix than an ineffectual QB.
– The three highest graded players were Peyton Manning (+4.6), Eric Decker (+4.2) and Dontari Poe (+3.4).
– The three lowest graded players were Duke Ihenacho (-5.8), Zane Beadles (-5.5) and Shaun Phillips (-4.3).
– The Chiefs defense is still ranked number one overall but for how much longer? If you break down their grades for the season into four game chunks it goes first Quarter: +62.6, second quarter: +54.8, Third quarter: +1.1
– The key to getting good play from Peyton Manning is keeping him clean. Under pressure he rated a paltry 45.8, when his pocket was solid an excellent 121.5.
– The Chiefs left a staggering 86 yards in dropped passes on the ground. That’s the base number before applying any YAC that may have occurred thereafter.
14:45 – Signature Stats: Drop Rate – Bottom Five
13.30 – Giants at Redskins Game Notes
A very peculiar game with a spectacularly bad refereeing sanfu, more dropped passes on the final drive than the rest of the game combined and probably Washington’s best defensive effort of the year ending in defeat. Oh, and why four sacks can be more good than great – another shot in the head for box score aficionado’s.
– The three highest graded players were Barry Cofield (+6.6), Brian Orakpo (+6.5) and Trent Williams (+6.4).
– The three lowest graded players were Pierre Garcon (-4.2), James Brewer (-3.9) and Mathias Kiwanuka (-3.7).
– Four sacks so a shoe-in for Justin Tuck as DPOW right? Not so fast tiger. On one he legitimately beats Chris Chester, on the second he’s pushed past the pocket and after 5 seconds RGIII drifts into him. On the third late edge pressure from Mathias Kiwanuka pushes the QB into him and on the last he was completely unblocked. Good? Sure. Great? Not so much. Oh, and by the way for those thinking he also threw in five tackles to boot, don’t forget the NFL double counts sacks as tackles.
– If you are looking for a player of defense who really played well how about one of the safeties? Since week seven Antrel Rolle has played as well as anyone at his position and here gave an object lesson in defending the option. In that period he’s made five interceptions, defensed a pass and missed only one of 33 tackles.
– All year long Washington have been the poster child for bad defense; haphazard coverage and more missed tackles than any other team, despite some quality individuals, highlighted significant underlying issues. Therefore it’s a shame that probably their best showing of the year ended in a loss. They didn’t allow a single ball over 20 yards to be completed, only missed three tackles in holding the Giants to 80 yards rushing while getting reasonable pressure.
12.45 – Falcons at Bills Game Notes
So Atlanta finally got back to winning ways but it certainly felt more like a Bills loss than a Falcons victory. ill-timed fumbles and another rookie effort from E.J. Manuel left the Toronto crowd thinking what could have been as yet another game in Canada slipped through their fingers.
– The three highest graded players were Alan Branch (+5.9), Kraig Urbik (+3.8) and Mario Williams (+3.2).
– The three lowest graded players were E.J. Manuel (-4.4), Nickell Robey (-3.1) and Peter Konz (-2.7).
– The Falcons inept pass rush generated pressure on a mere 11% of drop-backs but E.J. Manual still struggled mightily completing only 57% of his passes with a clean pocket despite his receivers not dropping a single pass.
– Matt Ryan could only dream of such luxury as once again his offensive line leaked at all positions. In comparison 43% of his pass drops were under duress but he achieved almost the same percentage completion rate under pressure (56%) as Manuel managed without.
– A return to form for C.J.Spiller? He broke or avoided as many tackles in this game (six) as he had in his last eight games combined.
12.00 – Jaguars at Browns Game Notes
Winners in three of their last four games, it seems people need to stop being shocked when Jacksonville win. I guess the next step is prevailing when you are expected too and what better place to start than Thursday night against the 2-9 Texans?
– The three highest graded players were Josh Gordon (+5.4), Jason Babin (+4.4) and Uche Nwaneri (+3.7).
– The three lowest graded players were Brandon Weeden (-4.6), Jordan Cameron (-3.3) and Will Rackley (-2.8).
– Impossible as it may seem after his recent exploits, Josh Gordon still doesn’t lead the league in Yards per Route Run. His second place number of 2.80 is still a huge 0.3 more than third place Andre Johnson but maybe it’s a measure of the rarified air he now occupies that he is only 0.05 behind Calvin Johnson.
– One of the undiscussed highlights of the Jaguars year has been the play of rookie corner, Dwayne Gratz. After getting back into the starting line-up in week ten (following his ankle injury in week one) his return has coincided with the recent winning spell. So far this year quarterbacks throwing at him have a rating of 73.2.
– The Browns defense is keyed by excellent run defense, so-so pass coverage and poor pass rush. So it turned out again in this game with only Desmond Bryant getting more than a single disruption (two hits, two hurries).
11.15 – Cardinals at Eagles Game Notes
For the best part of the afternoon it looked like the Eagles had this in hand but when Nick Foles lobbed a ridiculously optimistic pass to Patrick Peterson it seemed the tables had turned. As it transpired Tyrann Mathieu had held on the play and Philadelphia just about held on, in part thanks to some uninspired play from Carson Palmer who normally reserves these sort of performances for better defenses. Is that what the Eagles are becoming?
– The three highest graded players were Trent Cole (+7.0), Vinny Curry (+3.9) and Patrick Peterson (+3.8)
– The three lowest graded players were Bradley Sowell (-4.6), Daryn Colledge (-3.7) and Carson Palmer (-3.4)
– He smelled it didn’t he? The blood in the water that is. A hunter by both inclination and profession Trent Cole hasn’t graded like this since early 2011 as he’s struggled a little with both injuries and a new role recently. Arizona left tackle Bradley Sowell was the remedy as eight QB disruptions (including two sacks) in just 29 attempts to get to the quarterback testify.
– Carson Palmer’s black hole(s) is over 20 yards deep outside the numbers. For the year so far he has thrown there 38 times, completing only eight for 259 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions – a QB rating of 42.2. In this game it was far worse 0 of 5 and an INT for a passer rating of 0.0.
– The Arizona defense once more played very well with five players rating green and only one “in the red”; Darnell Dockett. So much for John Abraham being over-the-hill. He’s now picked up 52 QB disruption on 347 pass rushes this year good for 5th in our pass rushing productivity ratings.
10.30 – Dolphins at Jets Game Notes
For some time it seemed that this may be one of the most one-sided games in recent memory where the score in no way reflected the flow of play. With 44 seconds left in the first half the Dolphins had generated 247 yards of offense to the Jets 28 with the score still tied. The barriers eventually broke but Miami fans must be worried against a team showing more of a spark this type of performance will come back to haunt them.
– The three highest graded players were Sheldon Richardson (+4.1), Brian Hartline (+3.1) and Mike Wallace (+3.1)
– The three lowest graded players were Matt Simms (-4.7), Brian Winters (-3.8) and John Jerry (-3.8)
– While Sheldon Richardson is already playing at a Pro Bowl type level the path for fellow rookie first rounder Dee Milliner has been far rockier. Currently, of 110 ranked corners in coverage, Milliner is 108th after giving up 578 yards, six touchdowns and a QB rating of 113.5. He’s also missed seven tackles with three coming in this game.
– Ryan Tannehill has already lost an NFL third worst 352 yards on his 28 dropped passes but at least the situation didn’t get any worse here. For only the second time this year Dolphins receivers didn’t spill a single ball (the last was against Cincinnati in week nine).
– Only three Miami defensive starters are grading negatively. Philip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe are grading -9.5 and -8.1 respectively (Kevin Burnett is at +3.8 for Oakland while Karlos Dansby has a +2.8 in Arizona). The other player is freshly resigned Reshad Jones at -10.5
09.45 – Bears at Vikings Game Notes
A thoroughly enjoyable encounter almost ended the same way a certain college game did a day earlier. However, that was too much to ask and it was left to Adrian Peterson to further bolster his grade with some superior running to round out the game.
– The three highest graded players were Jerome Felton (+6.8), Adrian Peterson (+5.9) and Alshon Jeffery (+5.1)
– The three lowest graded players were James Anderson (-5.1), Craig Steltz (-4.6) and Jared Allen (-3.2)
– It’s somewhat ironic after the Chicago offensive-line held up pretty well this week, allowing pressure on only 30% of passing plays against a decent d-line, that a quarter of the pressure turned into sacks. Previously a league 7th worst 40% pressure allowed had resulted in a league best 10% ending as sacks.
– When Alshon Jeffery last passed 200 yards (against New Orleans in week five) only 25 yards came after the catch. This time it was almost 50% with 121 yards of YAC.
– The cardinal rule when playing Adrian Peterson is to not let him run over left or right end. The Bears allowed him to do that on 16 of his 35 runs which cost them 132 yards at 8.3 yards a carry.
09.00 – Buccaneers at Panthers Game Notes
So the three game winning streak in Tampa Bay comes to a grinding halt but it’s more the manner of the loss than the actual defeat that must sting. Not one of the “super-stars” littering the Buccaneers roster played even remotely well and while that’s clearly somewhat predicated on the play of Carolina, a lot was self-inflicted too. Will the real Buccaneers please make themselves known?
– The three highest graded players were Greg Olsen (+3.1), Star Lotulelei (+3.0) and Captain Munnerlyn (+2.7)
– The three lowest graded players were Mike Glennon (-3.2), Lavonte David (-3.2) and Ryan Kalil (-3.0)
– The Panthers got to Mike Glennon on 55% of his drop-backs and it really counted; on plays when kept clean his QB rating was 118.4 and we graded him a +1.0, when pressured that fell off a cliff down to 13.9 and a PFF rating of -3.7.
– What’s going on in Panther land? For a second time this year they start Geoff Hangartner at right guard (they did it against the Patriots too) moving Nate Chandler outside to tackle before reverting to Byron Bell for the majority of the game. What makes this peculiar is that while Bell has played poorly in the past, this season (a bad day against Buffalo aside) he’s been OK as he was here once he got in the game.
– Cam Newton’s deep ball accuracy (over 20 yards in the air) has been a bit spotty all year. He’s currently the 34th ranked of 38 quarterbacks in this category with a completion percentage of 28.6% but he did redeem himself a bit by completing two of his four deep passes here for touchdowns. He flirted with the first by almost leading a wide-open (and I do mean wide-open) Brandon LaFell out of bounds but did hit Ted Ginn in stride for the second.
08.15 – Titans at Colts Game Notes
So much for “Fitzmagic”. Maybe “Fitzturnover” or “Fitzforcedthrow” would have been a better moniker in this game. While that’s almost certainly too harsh, Ryan Fitzpatrick’s O-line limited pressure to 32% of his drop-backs and he failed to take advantage of an excellent display from his defense. The report card says “must do better”.
– The three highest graded players were Jurrell Casey (+6.1), Karl Klug (+6.0) and David Stewart (+4.1)
– The three lowest graded players were Ryan Fitzpatrick (-3.3), Darrius Heyward-Bey (-3.3) and Samson Satele (-3.3)
– That +6.1 is the highest we’ve ever graded Jurrell Casey which is saying something as he usually rates very highly with us (Now +31.9 overall on the year). Two sacks, two hits and two hurries highlighted a dominant display that makes you ask: just how good do you have to play before the NFL world takes note?
– I saw a question during the week asking if we had the Colts line ranked too low considering they didn’t give up too many sacks. The point here is sacks are really more of a function of the quarterback than the line and before this game Andrew Luck was 7th in the NFL in not letting pressure become sacks. The dam can often break though and I think the Colts 30th position in our offensive line pass blocking efficiency rankings is very accurate.
– Does any team rely more on one player to generate pressure more than Indianapolis leans on Robert Mathis? The full answer to that question is a topic for another day but for the time being how about 25% as the number for Mathis. A full quarter of the quarterback disruptions come from one man.
07.30 – Patriots at Texans Game Notes
For my money this type of game is explains why the Patriots are so good. “Almost losing to the worst team in football?” I hear you say. Well yes, that’s the point, they didn’t. There was Bill Belichick on the sideline looking less flustered than if it was a May OTA and Brady calmly pulling out yet another fourth quarter come-back (only his 30th). There are certainly defensive issues to address but this is a team that will always contend for as long as there’s life in a game.
– The three highest graded players were J.J. Watt (+5.8), Nate Solder (+5.6) and Rob Gronkowski (+4.8)
– The three lowest graded players were Dan Connolly (-4.9), Garrett Graham (-3.4) and Duron Harmon (-3.4)
– That’s a nice bounce-back for Nate Solder. After his destruction at the hands of Von Miller last week he had a good game across the board. His only real blemish was a hurry given up to Antonio Smith while blocking well throughout at both the point of attack and second level.
– There’s a view within PFF that Case Keenum holds onto the ball too long (and that’s not just based on his ridiculous 4-12 attempt with 2.06 left in the game). Of the 37 qualifying QBs his average time to attempt of 3.07 seconds leads the league and in this game that number reached the dizzy heights of 3.39.
– For a player as adept at getting to the quarterback as he is Antonio Smith has been rather quiet this year but over the last few weeks he’s built up a good head of steam. His first six games of the season netted 2.7 QB disruptions a game but over the last five weeks that number has risen to 4.2 with seven here.
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