CHI-MIN Grades: Xavier Rhodes continues hot second half of season

The highest-graded players and top takeaways from the Vikings' 38-17 Week 15 win over the Bears.

| 12 months ago
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

CHI-MIN Grades: Xavier Rhodes continues hot second half of season


Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Minnesota Vikings’ 38-17 win over the Chicago Bears:

Minnesota Vikings

– Teddy Bridgewater (+1.6) had one of the more interesting stat lines that you’ll see from a quarterback. Going 17-of-20 for 231 yards and four touchdowns, his three incompletions came in the form of two drops and a batted pass. With that in mind, his grade of +1.6 might seem low, but it speaks to what he was asked to do in the offense against the Bears. He attempted just two passes of 10 yards or further downfield, with 176 of his 231 passing yards coming after the catch.

– After some struggles earlier in the year, third-year cornerback Xavier Rhodes (+1.9) continued a much improved second half of the season on Sunday. Targeted eight times by the Bears, he gave up just four receptions for 40 yards, including a pass breakup. As the Vikings continue their push towards the postseason, an improved Rhodes will be a key on defense.

– One player stood out as struggling for the Vikings, though: linebacker Chad Greenway. Often found just a step or two away from the play, he had a missed tackle and got pushed around somewhat against the run. It’s been a rough season for the 32-year-old, but this was his lowest graded game (-3.9) of the year.

Top performers:

TE Rhett Ellison +2.3
C Joe Berger +1.9
CB Xavier Rhodes +1.9
DE Everson Griffen +1.6
QB Teddy Bridgewater +1.6

Chicago Bears

– It wasn’t a day to remember for quarterback Jay Cutler (-3.9), and not just because he threw an interception straight to Vikings defensive end Justin Trattou (+0.7) on a screen pass. Cutler completed just one of the seven passes he attempted 10 yards or more downfield, and struggled even when the Vikings didn’t get home with pressure, with a grade of -4.1 on those drop backs.

– His return to the field after a week out saw him play just 22 of Chicago’s 63 defensive snaps, but Pernell McPhee (+2.9) once again showed just how good of a signing he has been for the Bears. Both of his tackles against the run resulted in a defensive stop, and while he didn’t come away with a sack, he still managed a batted pass to make his impact felt on the line of scrimmage.

– Much has been made of Jeremy Langford’s (-0.7) ability to replace Matt Forte (+1.2), but on this Sunday, they formed a nice partnership. Langford rushed for 46 yards, with 25 of those yards coming after contact, while Forte added 47 yards of his own and forced a missed tackle as a runner. Forte also had a solid day as a receiver, catching six passes for 57 yards and a touchdown.

Top performers:

RG Patrick Omameh +4.2
OLB Pernell McPhee +2.9
OLB Willie Young +2.8
DE Mitch Unrein +2.4
RT Kyle Long +2.4

| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

  • NAJ

    It’s rare to see to the top 5 graded players on the team that was spanked by 3 TD’s

    • enai D

      Further suggesting that PFF has slipped of late (whether by adjusting their grading criteria for the worse, or employing less diligent/talented analysts)

      • JonPW

        You need to consider what players had the higher scores. A right guard having a high score isn’t going to make up for Cutler tanking.

        • James Winslow

          true dat

  • derek lundeen

    terrible game played by everyone on the Bears team on offense and defense.. and when the special teams plays better then the rest of your team that’s not a good sight.

    • crosseyedlemon

      I suppose if Cutler ever manages to go more than 2 games without grading negative the Bears will want to waste another $150 million on him.

  • Steven Macks

    Looking at these grades, you’d think the Bears blew out the Vikings rather than the other way around.

    • Craig W

      My thoughts exactly. Seems a little harsh for a 21 point win.

  • WorkingStiff

    I think Bridgewater played better than this rating. He put every pass exactly where it needed to be with the exception of one batted pass. Hitting a player perfectly in stride as opposed to slightly behind can make an enormous difference.

  • Erich Meyenburg

    Rhodes player grade of 47 is 88th of 117 corners. WTF I certainly won’t be paying for these crap grades next year.

    • Craig W

      Yeah, he continually shuts down #1 receivers and gets little credit.

      • JonPW

        He also was leading the league in penalties up until the last 4 weeks.

        I don’t know about shutting down either.

        Against Detroit he gave up 4/5 completions while covering Johnson and a TD.

        Against the Chiefs he gave up 4 for 70 and a TD.

        He’s been playing better as of late but he struggled in the first half.

    • enai D

      Yeah I can’t imagine how anyone actually pays PFF anymore. And its sad, because PFF used to be so good and reliable, now its almost as if their grades are MEANT to troll people.

  • WorkingStiff

    so – Rhett Ellison was better than a QB that threw every pass perfectly, ran for a 12 yard score and took one sack. That’s silly. Saying Bridgewater wasn’t asked to do much is also silly, he was continually put in 2nd and 3rd and medium to long because the running on first down was so unproductive, yet he managed to lead the team to 38 points.

    there is more to QB play than completing passes over 10 yards.

    • JonPW

      The premise of your argument is silly. Nobody is saying Ellison is better. You’re just taking the system out of context. Hypothetically let’s say a punter has a +4 performance and a QB has a +3 performance. That doesn’t mean the punter was the better player. They are graded on their defined roles. They aren’t comparing apples and oranges.

      • Steven Macks

        Except that’s exactly what they do. When they gave JJ Watt the PFF MVP over the last, what, three years(?), they note his 90+ overall grade and talk about how that performance trumps Aaron Rodgers’ 30+ overall grade. Or whatever.

        • JonPW

          That’s subjective. They aren’t implying that a punter with a +15 is more important to a team with a +10 QB.

    • James Winslow

      Wide open passes with recievers making plays, makes the lack of run offense irrelevant. Also he graded +1.6 meaning he had to make some plays on his own, and had a good game in general.

  • Ben Arnold

    These are crap grades. The Vikings utterly destroyed and humiliated the Bears, and yet somehow the top 5 graded players were from Chicago?! Give me a break.

    • JonPW

      5 players does not make a team. Cutler had a horrible grade. A RG and RT playing well is not going to compensate for Cutler playing bad.

      • Ben Arnold

        True. But the grading system is really very wrong if you watched that game and attempt to tell me the best 5 players on the field were Bears.

        • JonPW

          PFF isn’t meant to compare one position to another. It compares punters to punters and qb to qb. For example, the Vikings oline has been atrocious but Berger has been terrific. Berger having a great game isn’t going to make up Clemmings being bad.

          Just because a right tackle and guard had good days for the Bears doesn’t mean the offense as a whole would play well.

          The Bears had a few players that played well but far too many critical players like Cutler that played poorly.

        • crosseyedlemon

          So would you rather have the top 5 grades and have lost the game? Viking fans are such crybabies.

  • bigtrip

    BS grade for Bridgewater. Why is PFF concerned with what he was asked to do? Shouldn’t they be grading how well he did it?

    • James Winslow

      Oh no he graded positive. It is like he played well or something.