TB-JAX Grades: Martin runs wild, vaults Bucs past Jags
Here are the top takeaways and the highest-graded players from the Buccaneers’ 38-30 win over the Jaguars.
– Has QB Blake Bortles turned the corner? After a disappointing rookie season (-1.7 or worse in 11 of his 14 starts last year) and start to 2015 (-1.5 overall grade through week three), Bortles had his second consecutive game of at least +3.0 or better in this week. He’s still struggling under pressure—his second quarter interception is a perfect example of what a quarterback shouldn’t do when pressured—but he’s made tremendous strides as a passer when he’s given time. Last season, he had a staggering -23.5 grade on plays in which he didn’t face pressure, but his grade over the last two weeks with a clean pocket is +6.5.
– When you’re trying to develop a quarterback, it helps if you give him some talented players to throw to, and Jacksonville has a pair of them on the outside. Both Allen Robinson (+2.6) and Allen Hurns (+2.7) continued their strong seasons in week five. They combined to catch 12 of the 15 balls thrown their way for 188 yards and three touchdowns.
– LG Zane Beadles followed up a poor Week 4 (-3.8) with another bad performance in Week 5 (-2.8). He was especially bad in pass protection, where he was responsible for three sacks in addition to one pressure.
DE Jared Odrick (+4.9)
QB Blake Bortles (+3.5)
P Bryan Anger (+3.3)
WR Allen Hurns (+2.7)
WR Allen Robinson (+2.6)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
– HB Doug Martin has had a tremendous season so far (he’s currently our highest graded halfback at +11.5), and he stole the show against the Jaguars. The +4.1 overall grade that Martin received on Sunday is a new career-high, and the +3.0 rushing grade he earned was the second highest of his career (behind only his legendary 251 yard, four touchdown game in Oakland back in 2012). What was especially impressive about Sunday’s performance was that he did it despite a combined -8.2 run blocking grade from Tampa Bay’s offensive line. 71 of Martin’s 123 yards came after contact, and he forced six missed tackles—he had just eight missed tackles all last season.
– CB Tim Jennings (-6.2) earned the worst grade of his career against Jacksonville. Jennings allowed seven of his ten targets to be caught for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Blake Bortles had a 151.3 QB Rating when he threw to the receiver being covered by the veteran.
– DE George Johnson played on just 26 snaps this weekend, but he sure made they counted. His +2.4 overall grade was his highest of the season, and he earned it thanks to his performance against the run (+2.9 run defense grade), where his five stops lead all 4-3 defensive ends.
HB Doug Martin (+4.1)
K Connor Barth (+3.9)
DE George Johnson (+2.4)
WR Vincent Jackson (+1.9)
QB Jameis Winston (+1.5)