ReFo: Jaguars @ Ravens, Week 15
On a day of defense, stalled drives and field goals, the Ravens held off the Jaguars in what was a closer game than many expected. Four first-half field goals gave Jacksonville a 12-10 lead at halftime despite having a punt blocked and returned for a touchdown, but Baltimore’s defense stepped up in the second half. The Jaguars never got closer than the Ravens’ 37-yard line as Baltimore sealed their ninth win of the season.
The win for Baltimore helps them keep pace with Cincinnati and Pittsburgh and remain a half game out of first place as we head into the final two weeks of the season. Meanwhile, the loss keeps Jacksonville tied for the worst record in the league and in contention for the top draft pick in May as they face off against the fellow 2-12 Tennessee Titans on Thursday night.
Here are a few notable individual performances from each team.
Jacksonville Jaguars — Performances of Note
John Cyprien, S: +2.4
Breakdown: Cyprien played well in coverage, allowing just one catch for a first down on three targets and he made a few nice stops against the run. Cyprien’s +2.4 overall grade on defense is the highest of his two-year career. He also recovered Jacksonville’s surprise onside kick early in the second quarter.
Signature Play: (Q4 5:32) As Joe Flacco scrambles, Cyprien does a great job of staying with Owen Daniels to defend the pass and force a punt.
Marqise Lee, WR: -3.1
Breakdown: Lee has not made the kind of impact this season that the Jaguars had hoped to see out of the second-round pick, but Sunday’s performance was arguably his worst of the season. Lee caught four passes for just 14 receiving yards on a season-high nine targets, and only one went for a first down. He also dropped his second pass in as many weeks.
Signature Stat: Lee averaged 0.33 receiving Yards per Route run versus the Ravens. Only Packers’ wide receiver Davante Adams averaged less with as many routes run this week.
Josh Scobee, K: +2.1
Breakdown: Connecting on four of five field goal attempts, all of which were beyond 40 yards, Scobee earned his highest field goal grade since 2011. Scobee also had touchbacks on all three deep kickoffs and a successful surprise onside kick to give him the highest grade for a kicker in Week 15.
Signature Stat: Scobee is the only kicker to make four 45-plus yard field goals in a single game this season.
Baltimore Ravens — Performances of Note
Daryl Smith, ILB: +3.5
Breakdown: Smith put forth another strong performance on Sunday. He allowed two catches for 6 yards on three targets, tipped a throw for a pass defense, and batted a pass at the line. Smith also added four stops in run defense. After a bit of a shaky start to the season, his +18.0 overall grade since Week 7 is the highest among inside linebackers.
Signature Play: (Q1 2:48) You won’t see it on the stat sheet, but Smith does a great job reading the screen pass which prevents Bortles from throwing and allows Timmy Jernigan to pick up the sack.
Rashaan Melvin, CB: +2.4
Breakdown: It continues to be ‘Next Man Up’ in the Baltimore secondary as Melvin saw 24 snaps in his first career game after being signed off the Dolphins’ practice squad a little more than a month ago. He certainly looked like a capable NFL cornerback in limited time as he allowed one catch for 12 yards on four targets.
Signature Play: (Q3 4:58) Melvin nearly came up with his an interception in his first game as he prevented a Cecil Shorts catch that would have picked up a first down on 3rd-and-10.
Timmy Jernigan, DE: +1.2
Breakdown: Starting in place of suspended Haloti Ngata, Jernigan played a season-high 44 snaps and was excellent when rushing the passer. He tallied two sacks, two hits, and a hurry on 27 pass rushes for a +2.1 pass rush grade, his highest of the season. He didn’t fare as well against the run as he was sealed a couple times, but still a positive showing overall from the rookie.
Signature Play: On the first play of the fourth quarter, Jernigan quickly sheds Luke Bowanko’s block to pick up his second sack of the game.
PFF Game Ball
The Ravens were able to get pressure on Bortles (34.8% of drop-backs) when it mattered and they were led by Timmy Jernigan and Terrell Suggs (three sacks, four hurries).
Follow Matt on twitter: @PFF_MattC