STL-WAS Grades: Donald shines despite rough loss
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Rams-Redskins game:
St. Louis Rams
— DT Aaron Donald (+7.9) continued his dominant level of play despite the loss, racking up a sack and two additional hurries as well as four solo stops. Donald’s +7.9 overall grade was the highest by far among either team. Donald’s pass rushing productivity on the season stands at 12.1, the highest among all defensive tackles. His pass rush grade (+9.9) and run defense grade (+8.7) are both the highest at his position, as well.
— After a positive game last week, QB Nick Foles (-6.3) fell back down to earth with a very below-average game. He held the ball too long multiple times, and missed wide open receivers even more. He made one great throw on his lone touchdown to WR Kenny Britt (-1.3), but finished the day with a -6.3 passing grade. He really struggled when he was under pressure (38% of his dropbacks), going a mere 2-for-11 for 12 yards.
— CB Trumaine Johnson (+2.5) had another strong game at corner, finishing with a +1.7 pass coverage grade. Johnson mostly worked against WRs Pierre Garcon (0.0) and Ryan Grant (+0.2), limiting them to just one catch by Garcon for 3 yards. The only other pass he saw (thrown to Grant), he broke up himself. Johnson’s +4.9 overall grade through two games is third among all corners in the league.
DT Aaron Donald (+7.9)
DE Chris Long (+3.3)
DT Michael Brockers (+3.2)
DT Nick Fairley (+2.9)
CB Trumaine Johnson (+2.5)
— QB Kirk Cousins (+0.9) did what he needed to do to win this game, but not much more than that. He finished with a +0.4 passing grade, throwing plenty of short throws and letting receivers do the rest. Of his 27 attempts, only five of them were thrown beyond 10 yards downfield, of which he completed two for 56 yards. Of his 203 yards, only 91 of them were in the air, the rest being gained after the catch. That percentage (44.8% YIA) was the sixth-lowest among QBs across the league this week.
— A great day for DE Jason Hatcher (+3.7) rushing the passer that doesn’t show up in the sack column due to the Rams’ strategy of quick passes. Hatcher had five QB hurries and finished with a +4.9 pass rush grade, which was the highest among either team. He struggled elsewhere however, finishing the game with no tackles and a -1.3 run defense grade.
— The Redskins did well to win the game considering the very poor play of C Kory Lichtensteiger (-10.0). He was constantly beaten when pass blocking, surrendering a sack, a QB hit and an additional hurry en route to a -4.3 pass block grade. His run blocking was arguably worse (-5.8). If you take away RB Alfred Morris’ (-2.4) 35-yard run (a zone play where Lichtensteiger received double team help), the Redskins ran the ball on either side of Lichtensteiger 10 times and gained 11 yards. The Redskins averaged 6.33 yards per carry (27 rushes for 171 yards) everywhere else in the game.
DT Jason Hatcher (+3.7)
TE Jordan Reed (+2.3)
ILB Keenan Robinson (+1.9)
TE Derek Carrier (+1.9)
OLB Ryan Kerrigan (+1.5)