HOU-NE grades: Patriots CB Logan Ryan earns top mark in playoff victory
New England Patriots 34, Houston Texans 16
Here are the key takeaways and highest-graded players from New England’s 34-16 win over Houston.
Quarterback grade: Tom Brady, 48.6
Off night for Tom Brady
During the 2016 regular season, Brady set the NFL record for touchdown-to-interception ratio. On Saturday, however, he had as many interceptions (two) as he recorded in his previous 12 games. That being said, Brady continually gave his receivers a chance to make plays when given favorable coverage situations. What was most surprising was how long Brady was willing to wait to allow receivers to get open. His 2.86 second average time to throw was 0.47 seconds longer than his season average.
Top offensive grades:
WR Chris Hogan, 81.4
WR Julian Edelman, 81.1
RG Shaq Mason, 75.7
LG Joe Thuney, 73.7
LT Nate Solder, 70.6
Hogan and Edelman impress
The Patriots WR duo of Chris Hogan and Julian Edelman only accounted for half of New England’s targets Saturday (16 of 32), but they totaled 80.8 percent of the team’s receiving yards (232 of 287). The pair made multiple contested catches that resulted from the receiver separating from coverage at the catch point, and not the throw position from the quarterback. Hogan averaged 23.8 yards per target on the day.
Top defensive grades:
CB Logan Ryan, 92.2
DI Alan Branch, 85.3
S Devin McCourty, 83.6
DI Maclom Brown, 80.5
ED Trey Flowers, 79.0
Logan Ryan with huge performance
On Saturday night, Texans QB Brock Osweiler recorded a 10.7 QB rating when targeting the receiver covered by cornerback Logan Ryan. Osweiler targeted Ryan’s man or zone seven times, completing just three of those attempts for 9 total yards, while Ryan registered two pass breakups and an interception. On the defensive line, Alan Branch registered a team-high three QB pressures (Trey Flowers also had three pressures) to go with an extremely impressive six stops (a stop is a solo tackle which constitutes as a loss for the offense, given the situation) in run defense.
Quarterback grade: Brock Osweiler, 40.3
Ugly night for the Texans QB
Osweiler was able to connect with a wide open C.J. Fiedorowicz for a touchdown, but outside of that and two beautiful deep balls—that were both dropped—this was an ugly game for the Texans signal caller. Osweiler greatly struggled under pressure, completing just 4 of 11 passes for 28 yards to go with an interception and 7.0 QB rating on throws coming with pressure in his face. Osweiler competed eight of nine throws on passes that were between the numbers and traveled fewer than 10 yards in the air; outside of that quadrant of the field, he completed just 15 of 29 passes for 135 yards, a touchdown, three interceptions, and a 36.5 QB rating.
Top offensive grades:
T Duane Brown, 75.4
HB Jonathan Grimes, 73.0
C Greg Mancz, 68.1
HB Lamar Miller, 60.5
WR DeAndre Hopkins, 52.5
Lackluster performance from Houston offense
Osweiler deserves a fair share of the blame for Houston’s offensive struggles on Saturday night, but he certainly doesn’t get the full load, with really nobody on the offense standing out in a positive manner. Duane Brown allowed just two pressures (both hurries) on 47 pass-blocking snaps, while RB Jonathan Grimes made some key contributions as a receiver, hauling in all four targets sent his way for 43 yards, including 37 yards after the catch.
Top defensive grades:
OLB Whitney Mercilus, 85.1
S Andre Hal, 84.9
LB Brian Cushing, 81.2
OLB Jadeveon Clowney, 80.2
NT Vince Wilfork, 78.9
Cornerback A.J. Bouye bested
One of the breakout stars of the NFL this season, A.J. Bouye didn’t allow 81 yards into his coverage until Week 7 this season. Against the Patriots on Saturday, he surrendered 81 total yards on six of nine targets. Bouye had a chance to make a game-changing play on the very first snap from scrimmage of the second half, but he dropped the ball that was thrown right to him by Brady. His early-game interception covering Michael Floyd came after he was beaten initially and he got lucky to have the ball tip off the receiver’s fingers.
PFF Game-Ball Winner: Logan Ryan, CB, Patriots
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