JAX-KC grades: Big days from Ramik Wilson, Dee Ford limit Jags' offense
Kansas City Chiefs 19, Jacksonville Jaguars 14
Here are the highest-graded players and top takeaways from the Chiefs’ Week 9 victory over the Jaguars.
Quarterback grade: Blake Bortles, 45.5
Bortles struggles to find rhythm against Chiefs’ defense
While Bortles did not get a lot of help from his teammates, including a crucial dropped pass on fourth down early in the game, the Jaguars’ signal-caller was a key reason why Jacksonville’s offense struggled today. Not only was Bortles unable to hit open targets on some occasions, he also misread the coverage at times, which led to three horrible passes that went straight into the hands of Kansas City defenders. While the Jacksonville quarterback was fortunate only one of those throws was actually intercepted, these passes suggest that his struggles in 2016 continue.
Top offensive grades:
WR Allen Robinson, 84.8
C Brandon Linder, 82.1
TE Marcedes Lewis, 74.1
TE Julius Thomas, 71.5
WR Marqise Lee, 69.6
Jags’ offensive players make costly mistakes
Bortles isn’t the only one to blame for the Jaguars’ struggles on the offensive side of the ball. The visiting skill players managed to make mistakes in the most crucial situations. Besides Allen Hurns’ aforementioned drop on fourth down, running backs T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory both happened to fumble the football at times when it seemed like Jacksonville had momentum. In addition to the skill players, the offensive line, especially the two tackles, also had a tough game; OTs Jermey Parnell and Kelvin Beachum combined to allow 11 total pressures.
Top defensive grades:
MLB Paul Posluszny, 89.6
DE Dante Fowler, 80.3
CB Jalen Ramsey, 78.9
CB Prince Amukamara, 75.2
DE Yannick Ngakoue, 72.4
Jaguars’ new recruits already proving key contributors
Dante Fowler may, technically speaking, be a second-year pro, but he may as well be a rookie after missing the entirety of 2015. He re-joins a defense already dependent on a couple of players straight out of college in Jalen Ramsey and Yannick Ngakoue. The Jaguars’ two young pass-rushers combined for two hits and three hurries, providing the kind of consistent pressure Jacksonville’s defense has needed for some time. Combining them with Ramsey’s has been a big boost to the unit as a whole. Ramsey allowed only one catch on two targets for 9 yards against Kansas City, shutting down one side of the field.
Quarterback grade: Nick Foles, 53.4
Nick Foles’ stock recovering after reunion with Reid
Nick Foles’ stint with the Rams was an unmitigated disaster, but an injury to Alex Smith has presented him with an opportunity in Kansas City. Andy Reid certainly retains faith in Foles, who played his best early in his career in Philadelphia. Although the former third-round pick may never be an elite starter, he can be functional in Reid’s West Coast offense. Against the Jaguars, Foles was far from perfect, but he avoided the crippling mistakes that could have cost his side a win. Reid was aggressive early, dialing up a deep fade on the first pass of the game, before transitioning to a more conservative approach. The Chiefs’ QB connected twice downfield, both 23 yard touchdowns. He was more inconsistent in the intermediate and shorter range, but had a passable enough performance.
Top offensive grades:
C Mitch Morse, 80.9
TE Travis Kelce, 77.2
TE Demetrius Harris, 67.9
WR Albert Wilson, 69.6
WR Tyreek Hill, 69.3
Second-year center Mitch Morse continues to improve
After a poor start to the season, Chiefs’ center Mitch Morse has improved significantly the past couple of weeks. He recorded his fourth perfect game in pass protection in a row, and topped his season-high run-blocking grade with a 78.9 mark. Morse is well-suited to the Chiefs’ diversity of running concepts, with his ability to block both in-line and on the move. In the middle of a unit still ironing out some issues, Morse’s development could be key.
Top defensive grades:
LB Ramik Wilson, 93.1
CB Steven Nelson, 86.8
ED Dee Ford, 84.9
DI Jaye Howard, 81.9
DI Chris Jones, 80.4
Kansas City defense able to put Bortles under pressure
While Jacksonville made several unforced mistakes, the Chiefs were responsible for numerous miscues of the Jaguars. Edge defender Dee Ford had an excellent day, as he was in the backfield on almost every dropback of Bortles. Ford finished the game with two sacks, two quarterback hits, and four quarterback hurries, while edge defender Tamba Hali also recorded five total pressures. However, it was actually second-year inside linebacker Ramik Wilson who had a career day and caused the most damage to the Jacksonville offense. Wilson read Bortles’ eyes really well to pick off the Jacksonville quarterback in the first half, but his biggest play came in the second half when he knocked the ball out of running back Chris Ivory’s hand on the goal line to prevent a Jaguars’ touchdown.
PFF Game-Ball Winner: Ramik Wilson, S, Chiefs
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