NE-NYJ Grades: Marshall’s playmaking ability on display against Pats

The highest-graded players and top takeaways from the Jets' 26-20 overtime win.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

NE-NYJ Grades: Marshall’s playmaking ability on display against Pats

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the New York Jets’ 26-20 victory over the New England Patriots.

New England Patriots

– New England’s passing game struggled to find rhythm, as QB Tom Brady was pressured on 16 of 33 dropbacks. His usual quick-hitting attack was non-existent without wide receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola on the field. Brady did make a few big throws, including a well-placed “go” route to Rob Gronkowski early on, and a seam route to Gronkowski to convert a huge fourth down, but there were also some uncharacteristic misses at key times, as well. Perhaps most telling was his passer rating of 100.0 on passes thrown in at least 2.5 seconds, compared to a 64.2 rating on passes lasting 2.6 seconds or longer.

– One encouraging sign for the Patriots was the play of DT Malcom Brown, who posted a career-high +3.6 overall grade, and is now grading at +7.1 over his last five games. He had a strong game against the run at +2.6, as he was rarely blocked and got in on three stops. Brown graded at +0.8 as a pass rusher, also a career-high, as he picked up a hit and two hurries on 24 rushes. The 2015 first-rounder is just starting to hit his stride, and his emergence could be a big factor as the Patriots head into the playoffs.

– The secondary had their ups and downs on the afternoon, often unable to make the key stops in the passing game. CB Leonard Johnson struggled to a -2.4 coverage grade in his third game as a Patriot, giving up five of six passes for 55 yards. Rookie safety Jordan Richards played a career-high 65 snaps, and while he got in on a team-high four stops, he was beaten deep for the would-be game-winning touchdown that was dropped late in the fourth. Finally, CB Malcolm Butler’s stats looked good (one reception on four targets for 6 yards), but the one catch was the game-winning touchdown, and the two of the three incompletions came on Ryan Fitzpatrick overthrows when Butler was beaten down the field.

Top Performers

DE Jabaal Sheard +4.4

DT Malcom Brown +3.6

QB Tom Brady +1.9

LB Dont’a Hightower +1.4

TE Rob Gronkowski +1.3


New York Jets

– QB Ryan Fitzpatrick made a number of huge throws with the game on the line: dropped post for would-be game-winning TD late in fourth, perfectly placed corner route to set up game-winner, and the actual game-winning touchdown to WR Eric Decker on a corner route. As well as he played at the end, he left a number of plays on the table early on, missing a number of big plays down the field to open receivers. Perhaps most importantly, Fitzpatrick avoided the big mistake, as he didn’t have a turnover-worthy throw all afternoon. Even with the missed opportunities, if Fitzpatrick takes care of the ball, the Jets will be a dangerous team come playoff time.

– The Jets got great production out of their rookie first-round defensive lineman, as well, as Leonard Williams paced the defense with a a+5.1 grade. He was powerful at the point of attack, grading at +4.7 in the run game while finishing with four stops. He added a hit and four hurries as a pass rusher, and Williams has now graded positively in all but two games this season.

– The evolving NFL has allowed playmakers to elevate quarterbacks more than ever, and that was on display with WR Brandon Marshall on Sunday. While Fitzpatrick made the big throws in the end, a number of his chunk plays were largely due to Marshall simply winning against opposing cornerbacks and safeties down the field. Marshall’s 31-yard touchdown was a jump ball against safety Duron Harmon that took a nice late adjustment to make the catch. For the game, Marshall caught eight of nine passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns, as his physicality was too much for the New England secondary.

Top Performers

DE Leonard Williams +5.1

SS Calvin Pryor +2.1

WR Brandon Marshall +2.0

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick +2.0

DE Muhammad Wilkerson +1.9

| Senior Analyst

Steve is a senior analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has been featured on ESPN Insider, NBC Sports, and 120 Sports.

  • Anonymous

    Darrelle Revis basically shuts down Gronk when he lined up out wide to the offenses left, doesn’t allow a single catch into his coverage to Gronk or anyone else, picks off Brady and not one mention of it?

    • Devin

      I agree Revis played a great game, but he was also beat on a deep post by gronk, Brady just missed the throw.

      • Anonymous

        Eh, I don’t really know if he was “beat” it was certainly close, but Revis arrived when the ball arrived. If it was on target, there’s a chance Revis breaks it up. Now I know Gronk is a massive dude, so if I was Brady I would have underthrown it a bit and made it a jump ball situation.

        But to say he was clearly beat is a tough one, especially given it was a flea flicker and Revis didn’t bite on that at all.

        • Devin

          Yeah I see what you are saying. I didn’t see any other plays from Revis that could have possibly been graded negatively besides maybe that one play.

      • bturner4559

        It was a flea flicker. He collapsed into stopping the run then had to adjust all the way back to Gronk and almost made it to him. Great play by NE not really anything Revis can do.

    • michael86

      Lucky interception Brady threw it behind Grronk and no receivers for Pats all injuredd so it was easy.Jets beat a banged up Pats team .Jets defense was exhausted by end of game the Pats shold have given the ball to Brady as the pass rush of jets was over in 4th q

      • McGeorge

        How was the Jets defense exhausted? It was the fumble that was run in for a TD that put the Pats back in it.
        It’s not like the Jets D was on the field for 40 minutes (which was the case in prior years with Geno Smith and Mark Sanchez)

      • verge tibbs

        Jets d allowed 1 pat td all game. Domination. Make all the excuses you want, we’ll see in the playoffs. Could easily say the same how the jets were beating a healthy pat team in October until Pryor got hurt late in the game. But excuses are for whiners.

        • Jack Casey

          Beat the Bills first, then win a playoff game before you talk about seeing NE in the playoffs lol

  • Arnav Gupta

    Not one mention of the questionable coin flip call?

    • a57se

      I’ve never seen PFF post grades on the coaching…

    • MattyD929

      What does that have to do with how the players played?

  • michael86

    Marshall is know for pushing off likehe did to Harmon on one TD but still he is akin to Randy Moss and should excel with right QB I wish Brady Had him that wold be something,how Chicago let him go is insane

    • McGeorge

      Miami also got rid of him.
      Brady and Belichick would know how to use him, I agree.