ReFo: Colts @ Jaguars, Week 4
Even with former first round pick Blaine Gabbert back under center it was more of the same for the winless Jaguars. Gabbert threw three interceptions and the offense gained just 205 total yards in the 37-3 loss. On the other side the Colts made quick work of the Jaguars defense, scoring on five out of their six drives in the second and third quarters. Meanwhile the Jaguars managed to go three and out five straight times. It was smooth sailing for the Colts on both sides of the ball as they gained almost 2.5 more yards per play than the Jaguars.
The loss drops the Jaguars to 0-4 with a -98 point differential on the season. Only three players on the entire offense have positive grades for the season and only one of them is a starter (OG Uche Nwaneri). The win moves Indy to 3-1 and keeps them atop the AFC South. Their defense has been a revelation as they have given up only 51 points through four games, compared to 110 at the same point last season.
Colts – Three Performances of Note
A Dominant Stretch
For the last three games Anthony Castonzo has looked like the best left tackle in the NFL. After his Week 1 debacle against Oakland, Castonzo has given up just four pressures and has been downgraded in the running game just four times as well. In those three games he totaled a grade of +12.9 with his highest grade of +4.3 coming against the Jaguars. Castonzo’s Pass Blocking Efficiency is now up to 94.4 and he is our 5th highest graded tackle.
Better With Age
If you were searching for the defensive MVP for the Colts on Sunday, look no further than Cory Redding. The veteran defensive end was on the field for just 35 snaps, but made his presence felt with the highest grade on the defense at +4.8. Redding was routinely double teamed in the running game, yet he held the point like a nose tackle. On more than one occasion he disrupted the Jaguars’ pulling guards by taking his blocker into the backfield. Against the pass he was equally effective, notching a sack, a hit, and two hurries on the day. Redding is now the third highest graded 3-4 defensive end with an overall grade of +8.9.
Still Need Holes
Sunday was a wakeup call for all those that thought Trent Richardson would be the answer to the Colts running woes. Poor blocking up front forced the newly acquired running back to gain 46 of his 60 yards after contact. Donald Brown had the complete opposite day. On his three runs he saw two gaping holes. In the middle of the second quarter, on the only trap the Colts ran all day, Brown ran 20 yards in a straight line before he was even touched. It was still quite the display by Richardson though as he dragged defenders almost every play, he had just one run on which he didn’t gain any yards after contact.
Jaguars – Three Performances of Note
In a game bereft of much to cheer about for Jags fans, one defender had a career day. Will Blackmon has never been known more for his return skills than his coverage ones. The eighth-year cornerback’s 75 snaps on Sunday were more than he played the previous four years combined. What I want to know is what took teams so long? Blackmon was targeted eight times and allowed three catches for 38 yards. He intercepted a pass on a mixup between Luck and T.Y. Hilton and he defended three more. The Boston College product would add two run game stops for an amazing overall grade of +4.3.
Not So Safeties
For as good as Blackmon played, the Jaguars safeties played equally bad. John Cyprien (-4.5) and Josh Evans (-2.9) were liabilities in this game. They allowed a combined 9-of-10 targets for 137 yards, two touchdowns, and four missed tackles. Evans allowed his touchdown when he was caught frozen on a stick nod from Reggie Wayne towards the end of the third quarter while Cyprien’s occurred just before that, when he was caught out of place on Fleener’s walk-in seam route. Cyprien now owns the worst grade among safeties at -11.9 while in just two games Evans has the fourth worst.
The Jaguars offensive line got rocked at every single position against the run. The team combined for a -9.4 run blocking grade. Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch called variations of power runs over and over again and not once could they get a clean hole. This led to the Maurice Jones-Drew (-0.9) and company having a long carry of just six yards. The Jaguars have the second worst team run blocking grade at -26.3 for the season.
– Sen’Derrick Marks dropped into coverage twice and was downgraded both times. On one play towards the end of the third quarter he was actually tasked with covering Fleener running up the seam.
– The Colts had trouble multiple times with their blocking schemes on play action passes. Luckily Marks tackled Richardson on two separate occasions where breakdowns allowed him a free run on Luck.
– The Jaguars dropped five passes on the day while the Colts didn’t drop one
– Colts corners Vontae Davis, Darius Butler, and Greg Toler gave up just 21 yards on 13 targets
PFF Game Ball
The stat line wasn’t his prettiest one of his career, but his +5.1 grade was. Andrew Luck threw an interception early on a miscommunication with T.Y. Hilton where Hilton expected a hot route from the snap. The second year quarterback rebounded well though and was fitting balls into tight windows all day.
Follow Michael on Twitter: @PFF_MikeRenner