TEN-JAX grades: Ramsey shines on defense as Jaguars win
Jacksonville Jaguars 38, Tennessee Titans 17
Here are the top-graded players and biggest storylines from Jacksonville’s 38-17 win over Tennessee in Week 16:
Quarterback Grade: Marcus Mariota, 48.8; Matt Cassel, 49.8
Mariota inaccurate, then injured
It was a rough day for Marcus Mariota in more ways than one. Mariota’s accuracy was an issue again in this important divisional game against the Jaguars. He only completed 8 of his 20 throws on the afternoon with 1 touchdown. Although he did not throw an interception, he very well could have in the first quarter, when he chose to throw across his body while rolling right and Jalen Ramsey had both hands on the ball and dropped it. The offense on the whole was poor on Saturday and Mariota did not help his team much. Mariota was sacked by Abry Jones and then carted off the field with an air cast on his ankle late in the third quarter, ending his day.
Cassel performed admirably on his first full drive of action, where he did not throw an incompletion and he led the Titans on a nine-play scoring drive that put the team back within one score with his touchdown pass to Delanie Walker. His next drive started with a disaster where he threw an out route behind Rishard Matthews and Ramsey picked it off and returned it for a touchdown, which effectively put the nail in the coffin.
Top offensive grades:
OT Jack Conklin, 78.6
OT Taylor Lewan, 77.8
C Ben Jones, 73.2
TE Anthony Fasano, 72.4
G Josh Kline, 69.4
Titans ground game ineffective in loss
The story for the Titans offense all year has been how well Jack Conklin and Taylor Lewan were performing at the offensive tackle position. Both were excellent in pass protection, earning 83.8 and 83.5 pass-blocking grades, respectively. They both were very poor run, blocking for their backs, though, with run-blocking grades of 47.7 and 46.4. Without their two offensive staples run blocking well, the Titans averaged just 2.9 yards per carry on the day, and without an effective running game the Titans had a rough day offensively.
Top defensive grades:
DI Jurrell Casey, 86.6
LB Avery Williamson, 81.4
S Da’Norris Searcy, 79.2
S Kevin Byard, 77.2
ED Brain Orakpo, 75.7
Jurrell Casey shines in loss
In an extremely disappointing loss, Jurrell Casey did shine most notably with his pass rush. Casey had six hurries and a batted pass that gave him an 86.1 pass-rush grade. He also added two run stops and to help the run defense. Unfortunately for the Titans he was the only one who could get to the quarterback with any consistency, as he totaled more pressures than the rest of the team combined.
Quarterback grade: Blake Bortles, 66.7
Bortles does enough to get the win
Blake Bortles’ numbers will make his performance look better than it was on Saturday. By no means was he terrible, but he relied on his receivers to make a lot of tough catches for him and they rewarded his faith more often than they have been this season. To his credit he did not throw an interception, but he did fumble the ball when he was in his throwing motion and was lucky to get the ball back. His highlight of the day was actually catching a touchdown from Marqise Lee on a trick play that put the Jags back up by two scores.
Top offensive grades:
C Brandon Linder, 86.3
WR Allen Robinson, 84.1
OT Jeremy Parnell, 75.8
WR Marqise Lee, 68.4
QB Balke Bortles, 66.7
Robinson has one of his best days of the season in win
Allen Robinson was targeted early and often by Blake Bortles and he produced a great receiving day, something that he has not done enough of this season. Robinson was targeted 12 times and had 9 catches for 147 yards. Most of his production came against Antwon Blake, seven of Robinsons 9 catches and 135 of his 147 yards were against Blake.
Top defensive grades:
CB Jalen Ramsey, 92.8
LB Paul Posluzny, 83.1
S John Cyprien, 79.9
S Tashaun Gipson, 78.8
DI Abry Jones, 78.6
Top pick Ramsey outstanding in win
An exciting late-season story that the Jaguars will be able to hang their hat on heading into the offseason is the improvement of Jalen Ramsey. The transition to cornerback in the NFL is one of the toughest of all the positions, and it seems Ramsey is hitting his stride the last month. His best performance was Saturday against the Titans. Ramsey was targeted 10 times and only allowed four catches for 20 yards. Ramsey made the biggest play of the day when he intercepted Matt Cassel and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. That put the Jags up by 21 points with about five minutes remaining, which effectively ended the game.
PFF Game-Ball Winner: Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey, 92.8
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