PFF Reaction Blog: Week 3

The PFF team offers reaction to the weekend's action as our analysis rolls in. Follow along for highlighted player grades and signature stats you can't find anywhere else.

| 4 years ago

PFF Reaction Blog: Week 3

Reaction-blog-WK03The NFL is back and so is the PFF Live Reaction Blog!

Our analysts have been working around the clock to get the week’s games to you and here’s where you’ll get your first glimpse of the results.

All through the day we’ll be dropping PFF Premium-style nuggets designed to give you information you simply can’t get anywhere else. Naturally you won’t get all of the info you’d get from a Premium subscription, but you’ll still see:

•  The highest-graded players from every game – any make it to the PFF Page of Fame?

•  Unique Signature Stats that offer more context than any box score number ever could.

•  Snap numbers including routes run, pressured passes, slot coverage, and more.

•  Analysis with a PFF twist on all the breaking news.

So bookmark the page and check back every half hour to be in the know.


16.15 – Bears at Steelers Game Notes

– The three highest graded players were Antonio Brown (+5.1), Troy Polamalu (+4.0) and Lamarr Woodley (+3.9)

– The three lowest graded players were Martellus Bennett (-4.1), Charles Tillman (-3.2) and Mike Adams (-3.0)

– What went wrong for Ben Roethlisberger? As the Bears blitzed him (18 dropbacks) he could only complete 53.3% of his passes, throw a pick and earn a -3.8 grade.

– That’s better from Julius Peppers. His five hurries came after he only picked up two in the first two weeks of the season.

Jarvis Jones got the start and responded with some good work against the run (+2.8) but could only pick up one hurry on 14 pass rushes.

16.00 – Bills at Jets Game Notes

– The three highest graded players were David Harris (+5.1), Damon Harrison (+4.3) and Muhammad Wilkerson (+3.6)

– The three lowest graded players were Colin Brown (-7.6), E.J. Manuel (-6.4) and Kyle Wilson (-5.4)

– Kyle Wilson earned that grade in part because he was flagged five times. To put that into perspective no cornerback has been flagged more than four times in the first three weeks combined.

– A rough day for Manuel was made worse by Geno Smith outplaying him. Smith wasn’t perfect but coped exceptionally well when blitzed, converting 6-of-11 attempts for 161 yards and a touchdown.

– A lot of guys can consider themselves lucky not to make the bottom three. One of those is Justin Rogers who allowed a staggering 247 yards into his coverage.

15.45 – Giants at Panthers Game Notes

– The three highest graded players were Charles Johnson (+5.7), Amini Silatolu (+4.9) and Byron Bell (+4.8)

– The three lowest graded players were Justin Pugh (-5.5), Shaun Rogers (-3.9) and Mark Herzlich (-3.7)

– Why was it such a rough night for Pugh? He got handled by Johnson and allowed a horrid two sacks, two hits and five hurries. Those nine quarterback disruptions more than doubled his total of eight from his first two games.

– The Giants impotent pass rush delivered pressure on just six of 29 Cam Newton sized dropbacks.

– The Panthers spent 23 of their snaps in 21 personnel, 21 in 12 personnel and 23 in 11 personnel. Good balance.

15.00 – Premium Package

If you’re wondering where you can get all the grades for all the games, then you simply need to join the thousands out there who have already signed up for a PFF Premium package. It’s just $26.99 for 365 days worth of access. What are you waiting for?

14.30 – Falcons at Dolphins Game Notes

– The three highest graded players were Dion Jordan (+4.3), Julio Jones (+3.2) and Matt Ryan (+3.0)

– The three lowest graded players were Lamarr Holmes (-6.2), Thomas Decoud (-4.2) and Philip Wheeler (-4.1)

– The record will show that Matt Ryan wasn’t sacked once. However don’t be fooled into thinking he wasn’t pressured, with 17 of his 38 dropbacks seeing him face it.

– With Atlanta battling injury it meant a heavy load of work for undrafted free agent Joplo Bartu who played all bar one snap while the less than 100% Stephen Nicholas saw only 11 snaps.

– Miami blitzed on 12 of 38 passing plays and managed to keep the yards per attempt of Ryan down to 5 yards when they did.

14.00 – Texans at Ravens Game Notes

– The three highest graded players were J.J. Watt (+8.9), James Ihedigbo (+3.8) and Chris Myers (+2.7)

– The three lowest graded players were Michael Oher (-4.2), Gino Gradkowski (-3.9) and Bryant McKinnie (-3.7)

– What pushed Watt to such a high grade? A sack and three hurries doesn’t hurt, but his six defensive stops in the run game were the highlight. The most any other 3-4 defensive end has on the season is eight.

– After his spectacular appearance in week two, rookie first rounder DeAnfre Hopkins was held to 1.58 yards per route run on his 38 snaps, with Andre Johnson limited to just 18 routes run.

– Ravens safety James Ihedigbo was meant to be the odd man out when the Ravens signed Michael Huff and drafted Matt Elam. Instead he’s up to second in our safety rankings.

13.30 – Lions Re-sign Fluellen

With Jason Jones out the Lions have delved into their black book of defensive linemen and called the first name they saw. As ever that’s Andre Fluellen who was a former third round selection of the team back in 2008. He was last with the team in preseason, playing well enough to earn a +4.7 grade on 103 preseason snaps but not to find room on a deep defensive line. Capable of playing on the edge and interior, he’ll provide some valuable depth.

13.00 – Cards Lose Two

Not great news for Cardinals fans still digesting the gruesome news that Rashad Johnson lost a bit of his finger yesterday. That news is that Lorenzo Alexander (-1.4) and Sam Acho (-2.5) are done for the year. Now their grades indicate they’re replaceable, but at this point in the season you’re looking more at whether guys on your own roster can step up than finding someone off the street to help. It highlights the paucity of options they have at outside linebacker where John Abraham has failed to really light it up, and leaves them short on pass rush with Calais Campbell slow getting started this year.

12.30 – Jaguars at Seahawks Game Notes

– The three highest graded players were Luke Wilson (+4.1), Sidney Rice (+3.3) and Brandon Mebane (+3.2)

– The three lowest graded players were Will Rackley (-3.5), Jonathan Cyprien (-3.0) and Chad Henne (-3.0)

Russell Wilson only attempted 21 passes but a credible 11 of those were thrown over 10 yards in the air.

– The Jags spent 41 snaps in a 4-3 defense and a further 26 in nickel.

Michael Bennett had two sacks, two hits, two hurries, two defensive stops in the run game and two penalties.

12.00 – Browns at Vikings Game Notes

– The three highest graded players were Jabaal Sheard (+6.3), Marcus Sherels (+4.9) and T.J. Ward (+4.0)

– The three lowest graded players were Jared Allen (-4.9), Charlie Johnson (-4.5) and Craig Robertson (-4.1)

– The much maligned Browns offensive line were part of a pass protection unit that gave up pressure on 12 of 57 quarterback dropbacks. It helped that Brian Hoyer got rid of the ball at an average of 2.4 seconds, while Brandon Weeden averaged 3.1 seconds.

– You think Cleveland saw something in Sherels that they wanted to exploit? 18 balls into his coverage, though just 9 were complete for a paltry 50 yards.

– In 7 snaps in run defense Desmond Bishop (+2.7) made a case for more playing time with two defensive stops.

11.30 – Snap Count Tidbits

– Giovanni Bernard played in a season high 53.6% of offensive snaps.

– Kenny Britt ran 24 routes, compared to Nate Washington picking up 39 and Kendall Wright 24. Justin Hunter ran his first nine routes of the year. Those numbers are likely to rise.

– Rookie first round pick Barkevious Mingo rushed the passer 28 times, with 23 of them coming from the right side of the line.

11.00 – Colts at 49ers Game Notes

– The three highest graded players were Anthony Castonzo (+4.0), Bruce Miller (+3.0) and Jerrell Freeman (+2.9)

– The three lowest graded players were Jeff Linkenbach (-3.6), Tarrell Brown (-3.3) and Erik Walden (-3.2)

– On what may be his last appearance for a while Aldon Smith could only pick up two quarterback disruptions on 28 pass rushes.

– Another bad day for Colin Kaepernick. He couldn’t cope on the 10 plays he was pressured, taking three sacks, throwing a pick and only completing one of five passes attempts to earn a -2.0 grade in this regard.

Reggie Wayne led the Colts with 30 pass routes. In second spot was Darrius Heyward-Bey with 28 while T.Y. Hilton ended up running 20.

10.30 – Rams at Cowboys Game Notes

– The three highest graded players were Doug Free (+5.4), Barry Church (+4.1) and Tony Romo (+4.0)

– The three lowest graded players were Harvey Dahl (-3.8), James Laurinatis (-3.4) and both Chris Long and Chris Givens (-3.1)

– Sloppy football much. The Rams missed 11 tackles and dropped six passes. By contrast Dallas missed four tackles and dropped one pass.

– Rookie first round pick Tavon Austin ran 40 pass routes but could only pick up 0.75 yards per route run. His average for the season is 1.05 (to give perspective Chris Givens is at 1.71 yards per route run).

– On 29 touches DeMarco Murray broke seven tackles.

10.00 – Packers at Bengals Game Notes

– The three highest graded players were Michael Johnson (+7.1), Don Barclay (+3.9) and Brad Jones (+3.5)

– The three lowest graded players were David Bakhtiari (-5.1), Vontaze Burflict (-3.8) and Jermaine Gresham (-3.6)

– All passes Andy Dalton attempted where he held onto the ball at least 2.6 seconds, he completed. Unfortunately he also took four sacks and was forced to scramble twice.

– A difference in tackling. We credited both Brad Jones and Vontaze Burflict, but while Jones had five defensive stops on his tackles Burflict didn’t manage any.

– A real quiet day for Geno Atkins. No defensive stops on 20 running plays and just the one hurry on 44 defensive snaps. His grade for the year after three games is a disappointing +0.3.

09.30 – Buccaneers at Patriots Game Notes

– The three highest graded players were Logan Mankins (+6.1), Nate Solder (+4.0) and both Demar Dotson and Donald Penn (+3.3)

– The three lowest graded players were Ryan Wendell (-4.1), Tom Brady (-3.4) and Daniel Te’o-Nesheim (-3.0)

– What went wrong for Tom Brady? He completed just three passes aimed over 10 yards in the air and needed 62.7% of his passing yards came after the catch.

– Another solid day for Darrelle Revis. A +2.3 grade on 73 snaps as he allowed 3-of-4 balls into his coverage to be complete but for just 18 yards combined.

– On defense New England ran a 4-3 on 17 snaps and a 3-4 on 20 snaps. Their sub package defense saw them use a nickel on every occasion.

09.00 – Cardinals at Saints

– The three highest graded players were Darnell Dockett (+6.4), Lyle Sendlein (+3.1) and Cameron Jordan (+3.0)

– The three lowest graded players were Tim Lelito (-5.5) and both David Hawthorne and Levi Brown (-3.1)

– The Cardinals missed a disappointing 14 tackles. The Saints? Just four.

Levi Brown was beaten for a sack, hit and three hurries. All by Junior Galette.

Drew Brees was actually under more pressure (37.7% of dropbacks) than Carson Palmer (33.3% of dropbacks).

08.30 – Chargers at Titans Game Notes

– The three highest graded players were Nate Washington (+4.3), Jake Locker (+4.1) and Jurrell Casey (+3.9)

– The three lowest graded players were Kenny Britt (-4.8), Moise Fokou (-3.8) and both Dwight Freeney and Zach Brown (-3.2)

Philip Rivers completed all six passes he attempted over 10 yards in the air. The Titans Jake Locker wasn’t much worse in completing 8-of-11 between 10 and 19 yards but could only complete 1-of-8 over 20 yards.

– A quiet day for Freeney as his old AFC South foe Michael Roos won their battle. Freeney picked up just two hurries on 35 pass rushes (31 of them from the right side)

– Locker had a 118.8 QB rating when throwing to both Kendall Wright and Nate Washington. By contrast he was at a 39.6 for Kenny Britt with zero of the five balls thrown his way caught.

08.00 – Lions at Redskins Game Notes

– The three highest graded players were Ryan Kerrigan (+3.8), Barry Cofield (+3.2) and Will Montgomery (+3.1)

– The three lowest graded players were Chris Chester (-4.2), Robert Griffin III (-3.6) and Brandon Merriweather (-3.0)

– Teams might pay attention to the Redskins strategy of blitzing Matthew Stafford. When they did he completed 45.8% of passes and walked away with a 64.8 QB rating. When they didn’t it was a completely different story. 77.8% completion percentage and a 137.0 QB rating.

– Another 12 tackles missed by the Redskins with four players missing multiple efforts. A slight improvement on weeks one and two but still not good enough.

– Contrasting days for the Detroit defensive tackles. Ndamukong Suh turned his 51 pass rushes into a hit and five hurries. Meanwhile Nick Fairley could only convert one his 41 into a pressure.

07.30 – Chiefs at Eagles Game Notes

– The three highest graded players were Justin Houston (+8.3), Tyson Jackson (+5.6) and Fletcher Cox (+4.7)

– The three lowest graded players were Lane Johnson (-5.6), Mychal Kendricks (-5.3) and Todd Herremans (-4.0)

– Johnson wasn’t the only rookie right tackle to struggle. Eric Fisher earned every bit of his -3.8 grade after getting flagged for two penalties and allowing a sack, hit and two hurries.

– The Chiefs are going to let their defense and running game do the work. Alex Smith completed one pass on balls thrown over 10 yards in the air and only attempted four on 47 dropbacks.

– Despite picking up 158 yards, Lesean McCoy picked up only 25 after contact. The offensive line and gameplan got him to the second level where he could do damage.

07.00 – Underway

Off we go. With six of the games from yesterday already up for premium users and all the others to come, sit back and relax as the blogs brings you snaps, stats and grade-y goodness all day long.



  • mike jones

    how can you grade the games before the 22 tape comes out? I mean, how do you have any idea how to properly the secondary? even the offensive line can be hard to judge unless there is a replay.

  • Jason Saidoo

    Two notes regarding Stafford vs. the Redskins’ blitz: in the first two weeks, it looked as though the Skins ran mostly zone pressure. Against the Lions, they ran man pressure. The sideline printers also unavailable which made it more difficult to adjust to the looks the Redskins were giving (which weren’t on tape to gameplan for). Given the circumstances, I thought Stafford and the Lions adjusted admirably.

    • FunkTron

      Well stated, sir.

  • a57se

    Nothing at all on the Jets-Bills…..interesting.

    • Jeff

      Wilkerson graded out at 3.6, Surprised though, that D-line just dismantled the Bills offensive line.

  • corners

    “- Miami blitzed on 12 of 38 passing plays and managed to keep the yards per attempt of Ryan down to 5 yards when they did.”

    And all without Cameron Wake.He only played a quarter i believe

  • CincinnatiMike

    I am curious PFF, can you sum up a team’s players’ grades weighted for the number of plays they were on the field to get an overall team grade? How would these team grades correllate to a win when set against the opponent’s sum? My (ample) gut feeling is that we should expect this to work if the individual grades are accurate. Especially if the original grades factor in critical situational performances. That would also let you build up a “performance margin” for a team and a distribution that would highlight teams that tend to play to the level of their opponents as opposed to those who play at a consistent level no matter who the opponent is. just asking.