PFF Reaction Blog: Week 8

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| 5 years ago

PFF Reaction Blog: Week 8

Last week we gave you a dose of all the PFF Premium Stats as they came in, while reacting to all the developing news in the NFL.

Well, we’re back again. The formula is simple enough: you want interesting nuggets and reaction, and we’re going to deliver on it. Reaction on things like the following:

– The top-graded players from every game

– Interesting snap facts from each game (including wide receiver routes)

– Unique PFF data that you can’t find anywhere else

– Reaction to all the breaking news.

It’s a teaser, so if you want more you’ll need a PFF Premium Subscription, and we strongly advise everyone to follow the @PFF twitter account as we react to all NFL news in 140 characters or less.


19:00 NE @ SL Teasers

– They may have been the away team for the Wembley game but the Pats looked at home in London. The top graded performaces were courtesy of Ron Gronkowski (+6.7), Tom Brady (+2.8) and Brandon Spikes (+2.6).

– New England walked away with two sacks, but also added another seven hits as they got after Sam Bradford.

– When the Rams blitzed Brady he responded by completing 8-of-11 for 107 yards and two touchdowns.

– Even in getting blown out the Rams had some decent performers, not least of which was Harvey Dahl (+2.9) who seems unperturbed by playing in what must now be his 632nd different offensive line combination. He even got a snap at right tackle in this one as the Rams linemen dropped like flies.

– The Rams will be hoping to see improved play out of Sam Bradford, especially under pressure. He completed just 44.4% of his nine attempts in this situation while taking two sacks.

18:30 OAK @ KC Teasers!

– It won’t surprise many that the star Oakland performers all came on defense. The top three of which were Tyvon Branch (+4.3), Tommy Kelly (+3.9) and Richard Seymour (+3.6)

– Michael Huff spent 44 snaps in coverage and didn’t give up a single yard. Patrick Lee on the other hand gave up 2.19 yards for every snap he was in coverage.

– Pressure up the gut can kill and so it proved with Tommy Kelly notching a seasons best two hits and four hurries. He went into the game with just four quarterback disruptions on the year.

– Not every Chief let the side down. The three highest graded Chiefs proved to be Branden Albert (+4.6), Derrick Johnson (+4.5) and Ropati Pitoitua (+3.4).

– This marked the third game out of his last four that Branden Albert had recorded a perfect game in pass protection. Somebody is going to get paid.

– Rookie Dontari Poe was on the field for 30 Raiders runs and recorded a defensive stop on five of them.

18:00 MNF Football!

Are you excited for an all NFC West contest? If so you simply have to read our Monday Night Football Three to Focus On. Issues featured prominently are;

– Mike Iupati versus Calais Campbell

– How will the 49ers cover Larry Fitzgerald

– How bad will the Arizona offensive line be beaten?

17:20 Tannehill Injury Update

The good news for Dolphins fans is that rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill (as per Armando Salgeuro) has no structural damage to his knee. The bad news? Well he may not be back for the upcoming Rookie Bowl with Andrew Luck. That gives us a chance to look at Matt Moore who will fill in for him if needs be, and in particular what he did last year.

– Finished 11th in our 2011 Quarterback Rankings

– Had an adjusted accuracy percentage of 47.5% on deep passes, the ninth highest of all quarterbacks.

– Allowed a league high 27.3% of pressure to turn to sacks

In a snapshot you’ve got a guy more than good enough to lead you to wins, but not so good as he’ll brew up any real controversy. The flaws in his game stem from trying too hard to make the most out of plays at times (holding onto the ball, forcing throws) but these are areas of his game that have improved since his Panther days.

17:05 No News Is Good News For Vick

That’s the word coming out of Philadelphia regarding a possible quarterback change. Vick himself acknowledged it was a possibility and if you saw him play against Atlanta you’d understand why. Here’s some highlights, or lowlights depending on your view.

– Averaged just 5.5 yards per attempt

– Had a 42.4 QB rating when under pressure

– Earned every bit of his -4.3 grade, his fourth grade in the red of the year already.

Maybe the Eagles are going to watch some tape before making a decision. Either way this can’t go on for much longer.

16:45 PFF Grade Teaser

Want to know some of the top performances from the Week from the games we’ve graded so far?

– Well on the defensive side of things Derrick Morgan (+5.7), Henry Melton (+7.6) and Von Miller (+6.3) have all done themselves proud.

– On the offensive side of things how about Demaryius Thomas (+6.6), Peyton Manning (+6.2) and Matthew Stafford (+6.2).

What about some of the worst performances?

– Looking at the defensive players we look no further than Elivs Dumervil (-5.9), Jerry Hughes (-6.3) and DeAngelo Hall (-5.2).

– Meanwhile on offensive Mark Sanchez (-6.6) heads the list, but don’t forget the contributions of guys like Amini Silatolu (-9.0) and Michael Vick (-4.3).

16:10 Indy Say Bye-Bye to Moore and Dixon

His history with Bruce Arians doesn’t count for a lot. Instead Mewelde Moore finds himself looking for a new job  as the Colts crowded backfield shed it’s primary passing down back. It was somewhat inevitable with Moore giving up another pressure to go with a sack and hurry he allowed earlier in the season, lacking upside running the ball and not offering much in the receiving game. He earned a -3.6 grade on the year.

Dixon is another story. You need only look at how he played in 2010 to know the mammoth defensive tackle has talent. But after injuring his tricep in 2011 and being a poor fit for the wide-nine defense he found himself gone from Philadelphia, and then unable to make an impression on his 15 snaps for Indianapolis.

15:35 Hogan Gone

Another one bites the dust as far as the Panthers 2011 draft class goes. This time it’s Brandon Hogan who has struggled for health since picking up a serious injury in college. He managed 57 snaps in 2011 where he was only targeted once for a 16 yard gain.

15:30 ReFocused Articles

Looking for something a little more detailed. Then you absolutely have to check out all our ReFocused articles. Where you ask? Just bookmark this page and keep checking back for updates.

15:00 Signature Stat Teaser

We do love our unique, innovative and quite frankly brilliant signature stat section. We like to think that it adds a whole new context to numbers out there. Take these bad boys;

– This week Andrew Luck was under pressure on 52.3% of dropbacks. What’s more he completed 82.4% of the passes he attempted in these situations.

– Ike Taylor remembered when he used to be a shutdown corner and gave up just 0.15 yards per snap in coverage against the Redskins.

– You think the 4.1 yards per route run Julio Jones picked up against the Eagles is good? What about the 4.89 Demaryius Thomas managed on Sunday Night Football?

– How about Derrick Morgan showing his first round skills. He managed a sack, two hits and six hurries on 35 pass rushes.

16:30 ATL @ PHI Teasers

– With a comfortable victory that was more about the team than individuals, the highest graded Atlanta players were Todd McClure (+3.4), William Moore (+3.4) and Matt Ryan (+1.8)

– Life was made pretty easy for Matt Ryan with his receivers picking up 170 yards after the catch. Still when you consider he threw away two balls his 81.5% adjusted accuracy rating is pretty impressive.

– It was a day for Julio Jones in terms of receiving, but don’t turn your back on Roddy White just yet. He still led the team by running a pass route on all 41 plays Matt Ryan dropped back from center (including plays nullified by penalty).

– Believe it or not some Eagles actually played well. Those guys? Well you’ve got Evan Mathis (+5.7), DeMeco Ryans (+4.8) and Brandon Graham (+3.9) chiefly. Still at the position it mattered the most, they got some truly horrible play from Michael Vick (-4.3).

– The battle is on. Jason Babin played one less snap than Brandon Graham, though the two rushed the passer the exact same of times (18). Of course Babin was therefore in on one more pass play as you’ll remember him being flagged when covering Jacquizz Rodgers.

– What made the performance of Michael Vick so bad? When he was pressured he completed just 3-of-9 passes for 14 yards while taking three sacks.

15:45 NO @ DEN Teasers

– It wasn’t all bad for the Saints. Their top three graded performers were Jermon Bushrod (+3.6), Ben Grubbs (+1.7) and Corey White (+1.6). Yeah we know, they didn’t exactly set the world on fire.

– Drew Brees actually completed a higher percentage of passes when pressured (54.5%) than when he wasn’t (51.6%). Of course his receivers, who dropped six balls, didn’t help him out in this one.

– An experiment? With Brodrick Bunkley not active, Cameron Jordan moved to defensive tackle for the first two and a half quarters of the game. He moved back to defensive left end midway through the third quarter but wherever he lined up the outcome was it’s usual self when rushing the passer. Just one hurry on 24 rushes. For the type of player he is (a run defender) he’s simply playing too much.

– So who were the best Broncos on a night where they ruled? Well take your pick, but the guys with the +6 grades get our praise. Those were Demaryius Thomas (+6.6), Von Miller (+6.3) and Peyton Manning (+6.2).

– It’s not often you can say the Saints should have blitzed more. When they blitzed Manning he completed 54.5% of his passes, and when they didn’t he was up at 84.2%. Whatever you want to say about his arm he will pick you apart if you give him time.

– Thomas picked up a staggering 4.89 yards for every route he ran. All 28 of them. It’s almost too easy.

15:00 MIA @ NYJ Teasers

-It wasn’t meant to be that easy for Miami was it? Big credit goes to their top performers for the week, with the biggest grades going to Richie Incognito (+4.5), Randy Starks (+4.1) and Mike Pouncey (+3.5). I thought we were meant to hate Incognito?

– The Dolphins missed only three tackles all game long, but then so did the Jets. Got to love doing the basics right.

– Life is good when you can stay in 21 and 12 personnel all day long, not needing to chase the game. That was a luxury afforded to the Dolphins who spent only 23.8% of plays with three receivers on the field.

– Hard as it is to believe there were some decent performances from the Jets, most notably on the line. The top three performers were D’Brickashaw Ferguson (+3.5), Brandon Moore (+3.0) and Clyde Gates (+1.6).

– So where did Mark Sanchez struggle this week? Well on the 18 dropbacks he was pressured he was sacked four times, ran once, completed three passes and averaged 3.1 yards per attempt. A 39.9 QB rating in those situations is somewhat generous.

– While Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill led the receivers in running 54 routes, Clyde Gates picked up a more impressive 2.83 yards per route run. Kerley managed just 0.8 and Hill an even lower 0.54.

14:40 Glenn Returns

The Bills will be happy to see Cordy Glenn return to the field. He’s returned to practice and could be about to return to action having not played since Week 4. Before that he’d shown himself a handy pass protector, allowing only one quarterback hit and four hurries through four games. His replacement, Chris Hairston, hadn’t fared quite so well, most notably against Tennessee where he gave up a sack, hit and four hurries.

14:15 Trade Deadline Pushed Back

As a result of Hurricane Sandy, the NFL has pushed back it’s trading deadline until Thursday. Always a damp squib of a day where very little (if anything happens) there had been hope this year could be different. An extended period is unlikely to alter that though some interesting names have been proposed. Not least amongst them is Dwayne Bowe, who whisper it quietly, has been having an excellent year given the horrible play of the quarterbacks around him. He was our 13th ranked receiver heading into the week.

13:45 Which way will they go?

Some chatter today regarding whether the Steelers will return the title of Feature Back to Rashard Mendenhall in the upcoming weeks. Why? Well it’s what Jonathan Dwyer offers, particularly when he’s working his way through contact. Without every game from the week analyzed, he’s picking up 4.1 yards after contact per carry, good for second in all of the NFL. He’s getting his chance to prove himself, but the jury remains out on whether he can keep these gaudy numbers up.

13:15 Cook stirring the Pot

Holy Trade Rumors! It appears that Jared Cook is tired of watching Titans offensive plays from the bench and wants himself some more action. What’s he going to do about it? Well he’s going to demand himself a trade of course. Cook is actually third on the team in terms of pass routes run, and has been on the field for 68.2% of all Titans passing plays. He’s viewed as something of a liability in the run game and as a result his total percentage of team snaps is at 56.2%. It’s hard to see him midseason finding a team where he’ll get more playing time.

12:50 Texans Add Extra McClain

They’ve had such success with Brice, that they’ve now added former Carolina Panther and one time 2011 draft pick, Terrell McClain to the team (courtesy of Nick Scurfield on twitter). One of the biggest mid round busts in recent memory McClain had our fifth lowest grade of all defensive tackles (-17.5) last year before the Panthers gave up on him. It will be interesting to see if he sees any playing time with the Texans not exactly brimming with interior depth. That said with J.J. Watt and Antonio Smith rarely looking like slowing down, it’s hard to take snaps away from them.

12:30 SD @ CLV Teasers

– Where to start with San Diego? At least they got some good performances out of their offensive line. Jeromey Clary (+4.0) earned their highest grade, while the second highest grade was shared between Ronnie Brown (+3.4) and Tyronne Green (+3.4).

– Unfortunately Philip Rivers didn’t play so well. You can blame some on the weather, some on the drops, but a large part of it on his decision making. On 10 occasions he threw the ball further than 10 yards in the air and only two ended up complete. Even with Robert Meachem making that catch those are still ugly numbers and it came in part from Rivers desire to force the ball into spots where the coverage was too tight to be tested.

– The outside linebacker rotation continues. Melvin Ingram played 28 snaps, just three behind starter Jarret Johnson, while Larry English was limited to two appearances. Naturally Shaun Phillips (58-of-66) led the way.

– A hard fought win and indicative of a Browns team turning it around? They’ve played better and lost. Their three top graded players were Shawn Lauvao (+2.7) while Trent Richardson and  T.J. Ward tied for the second highest grade (+2.2).

– The Browns offensive line gave up just one QB disruption between them, and that was on a difficult pull block that John Greco was always going to struggle with.

– Montario Hardesty only saw the field for six snaps and his fourth quarter fumble won’t have done himself any favors in terms of seeing more action. With Richardson forcing seven missed tackles, this team is going to ride him all the way.

12:00 Snap Shots – NYG @ DAL

We’re waiting for some games to go live but we’ve got some snap news for you all.

– The Cowboys ran a 4-3 defense only one despite some speculation they’d do it more.

– The Giants spent 57.5% of all plays with three receivers on the field.

– Only two active Giants defenders didn’t get any snaps (Justin Tryon and Adrian Tracy) while only Michael Boley saw 100% of snaps.

– Miles Austin led the team in in 66 routes run (including plays nullified by penalty) with Dez Bryant 2nd (64) and Jason Witten third with 63 (though he did stay into pass block six times and didn’t miss a snap).

11:30 Big Ben Strikes

It’s been lost a little in the season the Steelers are having, but Ben Roethlisberger is playing about as well as he ever has. His performance against Washington marked the sixth consecutive game he graded in the green, and was one where he had an adjusted accuracy percentage of 87.1%, with the biggest blemishes on his record coming courtesy of three drops and another pass where he was hit as thrown. Don’t sleep on Pittsburgh while Big Ben is playing as well as he is.

11:00 CAR @ CHI Teasers

– Another dark day in a depressing season for the Carolina Panthers. Still credit to Greg Hardy (+4.5), Charles Johnson (+4.2) and Luke Kuechly (+2.4) who were their three highest graded performers.

– It was good to see the Panthers getting back to the formula that brought them success last year. They ran three wide receiver sets on 45.1% of plays. Still a little high for our liking given their relative strengths, but an improvement on the 61.5% from last week.

– How did feature back Jonathan Stewart do? Well his 42 yards featured three broken tackles and 29 yards after contact, while backup DeAngelo Williams saw six fewer carries and picked up 25 of his 33 yards after contact (with two forced missed tackles thrown in for good measure).

– It was a lot closer than expected, but in a big win for Chicago the three highest graded players were Henry Melton (+7.6), Nate Collins (+5.4) and Corey Wootton (+2.2).

– The Panthers avoided Charles Tillman (just three balls thrown into his coverage for one reception) but went after Tim Jennings 17 times. They did pick up 127 yards, but with less than 50% of them complete (8) along with two picks and a pass deflection, Jennings actually walked away allowing a quarterback rating of 32.8.

– The Bears liked their matchup with the Panthers secondary and got three wide receivers on the field for 51.8% of plays. Brandon Marshall led the way with 35 routes ran, Devin Hester (30) was second, with Earl Bennett trailing in third (25).

10:30 Mud at the wall

It’s hard to know what to make of the Saints defense right now. Clearly Steve Spagnulo’s unit is not getting the job, doing the unthinkable and making Gregg ‘Let’s Blitz’ Williams look like a genius. The latest idea saw Brodrick Bunkley an apparent healthy scratch. You know what you’re getting with Bunkley, a guy who can disrupt the run (8th in our defensive tackles in this category) and little else. Instead Cameron Jordan was moved to defensive tackle until midway through the third quarter when he reverted back to end. Stay tuned because when those grades come in they’ll make for some fascinating reading.

10:00 Every bit the first rounder (recently)

Remember when Russell Okung had given up four hurries and three penalties in a horror show of offensive tackle play against the Packers. Well since then he’s given up a further three penalties, but just four hurries in five games. His performance against Detroit marked the second consecutive game where he was perfect in pass protection. That’s exactly the kind of help Russell Wilson needs.

09:30  What happened Winston?

Remember when we waxed lyrical about Winston Justice a few weeks ago? Back then he’d only given up two quarterback disruptions. Well last week he gave up three, and this week he took a beaten from Derrick Morgan to allow a hit and six hurries. Times do change.

09:00 Coverage Notes

It’s time for some naming and shaming from some of the early games to go up. Which players had some rough days? We’ll tell you.

– Justin Durant didn’t have his best day in coverage as he every snap for the first time this year. He was in primary coverage on 8-0f-11 balls for 121 yards (though one of those was the end of game lateral).

– If you go back to Thursday Night E.J. Biggers had a tricky time in giving up 125 yards on 10 targets.

– With Andrew Luck getting little joy from starters Alterraun Verner and Jason McCourty, he focused his attention on Ryan Mouton. The Titans slot cornerback was responsible for 94 yards on a touchdown while allowing all seven balls into his coverage to be complete.

08:30 Early Morning Roundup

Three games are already up for premium members with many more to follow as the day progresses. If you’re not currently a premium member you can get a snippet of what you’re getting below, check out the Why Subscribe page here or sign up for some sample stats to get an idea what all the fuss is about.

08:00 SEA @ DET Teasers

– A heartbreaking loss but we’ll try to cheer up a few Seahawks players this morning. Naturally those will be the guys who got the highest grades, so step forward Russell Wilson (+3.9), Russell Okung (+3.6) and Earl Thomas (+1.8).

– Despite a horrid interception Wilson impressed again. He had to overcome three dropped passes and one throwaway but our accuracy percentage acknowledges that and rewards him with a an adjusted accuracy % of 82.4%.

– The Lions played somewhat into the hands of Seattle by using three receiver sets on 40.5% of plays (while also using Tony Scheffler split out as a receiver on 35 plays). That allowed Seattle to get Bruce Irvin on the field for 36 snaps and 27 pass rushes (he dropped into coverage once). He responded with three hurries, but the once feared sub package defense was missing something without Jason Jones in the line up.

– In a big win for the Lions nobody graded bigger than Matthew Stafford (+6.2), who was ably supported by Ndamukong Suh (+2.9) and Titus Young (+2.4).

– How big a difference is a Matt Stafford under pressure to one not under it? Well on pressured plays he completed 36.4% of throws, while on non-pressured plays he completed 78.9% of passes.

– Does it matter how many snaps a wide receiver plays, or does it matter how many routes they run? Calvin Johnson (49) actually ran one fewer route than Titus Young (50), while rookie Ryan Broyles got up to 23.

07:30 WAS @ PIT Teasers

– In a bad day for Washington some players can still hold their head up eye. Our three highest graded players were Tyler Polumbus (+3.0), Chris Chester (+2.4) and Alfred Morris (+1.9).

– While there was some ragging on Redskins receivers, they ‘only’ dropped seven passes. A terrible display led by the three of Santana Moss.

– Logan Paulsen played a career high 95.2% of plays while the returning Chris Cooley was on the field for 20 snaps, but ran just five pass routes.

– Are people starting to take notice of the Steelers now. At the very least they should take notice of our three highest graded Bumble Bees, with rookie Keenan Lewis (+3.1), Mike Adams (+2.5) and Heath Miller (+2.3) all setting a fine example.

– You can make a lot out of the Redskins drops, but how about some credit to the Steelers for their six pass defenses? No one made more than the three of Lewis.

– It’s always interesting to see who the Steelers decide to rush more. Lamarr Woodley or James Harrison? Well in this one Harrison went after the quarterback on 70.3% of plays, while Woodley was at just 53.3%. Interesting when you consider Woodley had an on paper easier match up with Polumbus, than Harrison had with Trent Williams.

07:00 IND @ TEN Teasers

– Who were the three highest graded Colts? Step right up Mike McGlynn (+4.2), Jeff Linkenbach (+3.7) and Jerrell Freeman (+2.9).

– Kudos to Andrew Luck on his intermediate passing. On balls thrown between 10 and 19 yards in the air he was 9-of-11 for 156 yards. It helped him to an overall accuracy percentage figure (remember he had three drops, two batted passes, a throw away and a hit as thrown) of 85.3%.

– In the weekly battle for running backs snaps the allocation (including pre snap penalties) were as follows; Vick Ballard (31), Donald Brown (30), Mewelde Moore (12) and Delone Carter (2).

– In defeat, the three highest graded Titans players were Derrick Morgan (+5.7), Kamerion Wimbley (+4.8) and Fernando Velasco (+4.0).

– The Titans defensive ends combined for 15 quarterbacl disruptions on a combined 69 pass rushes.

– Akeem Ayers played a season low 34 snaps and responded with a season best +3.8 grade. His snaps included four plays where he rushed the passer with his hand on the ground, the first time he has all year.

06:30 And we’re off!

A minor technical problems has slowed us down from starting, but won’t slow us down during the day as we react to all the breaking news. Three games are already up for premium members and we’ll be commenting on them all shortly. In the meantime bookmark the page and keep checking back every half an hour for the kind of reaction only PFF can provide.


  • Rai

    I don’t get why Matt Ryan got a -1.9 for going 7/8 for 65 yards and 1 TD behind the LOS. Is it a mistake?

    • Khaled Elsayed

      Normalization factor – didn’t get any positive grades but got a negative one for near throwing a pick to Fletcher Cox I believe

      • Rai

        oh yeah, completely forgot about that on like the first play of the game.