GB-JAX grades: Packers defense steps up in close win

Second-year cornerback Damarious Randall earns team's highest grade. For Jaguars, QB Blake Bortles performs very well in loss.

| 9 months ago
during a game  at EverBank Field on September 11, 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida.

during a game at EverBank Field on September 11, 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida.

GB-JAX grades: Packers defense steps up in close win

Green Bay Packers 27, Jacksonville Jaguars 23

Here are the biggest takeaways and highest-graded players from the Green Bay Packers’ 27-23 Week 1 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars:

Green Bay Packers

Quarterback grade: Aaron Rodgers, 76.2

While wide receiver Jordy Nelson returned from his knee injury, the connection between him and Rodgers clearly did not work in this game as it used to. There were a few plays when Rodgers was not on the same page with his receivers, but he was still accurate on 67.7 percent of his aimed passes. Although he struggled a bit when he had to hold onto the ball for long, Rodgers was at his best when he was blitzed by the Jacksonville defense. His highlight pass also came on a play when Jaguars rookie defensive back Jalen Ramsey was holding onto his jersey as he completed a pinpoint-accurate pass to Devante Adams in the end zone. Here is a look at Rodgers’ numbers when he held the ball for more than 2.6 seconds:


Top offensive grades:

G T.J. Lang, 79.9

OT David Bakhtiari, 77.7

WR Randall Cobb, 77.2

OT Bryan Bulaga, 73.0

TE Richard Rodgers, 72.1

Offensive line keeps Rodgers clean

Although the Packers recently released one of their elite guards in Josh Sitton, the other — T.J. Lang — is still on the team and showed Sunday that he is still capable of playing at a very high level. While Lang was impressive in run blocking, he was even better in pass protection, as he did not allow a single pressure on his 41 pass-blocking snaps. Furthermore, while the Packers offensive line did surrender six quarterback hurries – including three by Lane Taylor, who is Sitton’s replacement – they did not give up a single quarterback hit or sack.

Top defensive grades:

CB Damarious Randall, 86.1

ED Nick Perry, 80.9

LB Joe Thomas Jr., 80.2

S Micah Hyde, 80.1

ED Datone Jones, 80.0

Randall shines as Matthews struggles at old position

Second-year cornerback Damarious Randall was all over the field in this one, as he prevented two receptions, including one pass breakup, had an impressive stop on a run play and registered a tackle even on special teams. While he was targeted six times in coverage, he allowed only two receptions for 13 yards. Clay Matthews was back at his original position at outside linebacker Sunday, but he had an off day as he recorded only two pressures on 33 pass-rushing snaps, and neither came by beating a blocker. In addition, he missed the most tackles on the Packers defense with two, and also earned the lowest overall grade with 38.1.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Quarterback grade: Blake Bortles, 81.3

Blake Bortles had an excellent start to his season, as he passed for 320 yards and had an adjusted completion rate of 68.4 percent. While he did turn the ball over on a slightly inaccurate pass, it could have been avoided if Marqise Lee held onto the football. Bortles’ touchdown pass to tight end Julius Thomas was one of the prettiest you will see this week, as he used excellent touch to find Thomas in tight coverage.


Top offensive grades:

OT Kelvin Beachum, 79.4

TE Julius Thomas, 79.4

TE Marcedes Lewis, 78.1

OT Jermey Parnell, 74.6

C Brandon Linder, 72.5

Young pass-catchers perform below expectations

Experts are expecting big things from the young Jacksonville WR trio of Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee this season. However, while they had plenty of opportunity to put down the foundations for a breakout season, they could not take advantage of the situation. They did combine to catch 12 passes for 169 yards, but that production came on 23 targets — not the most efficient game from them. Robinson had a few opportunities to come down with jump passes thrown towards him, but today he was unable to come down with any of the acrobatic catches we saw from him last season.

Top defensive grades:

DI Jared Odrick, 78.3

S John Cyprien, 75.5

CB Dwayne Gratz, 73.9

CB Prince Amukamara, 72.4

LB Telvin Smith, 71.0

Jacksonville defense can’t produce much of a pass rush

While the Jaguars defense did put together a solid performance when it came to coverage and run defense, they could not get close to Aaron Rodgers on a consistent basis. Even though Jared Odrick earned the highest grade among Jacksonville defenders, even he failed to record a single pressure on his 24 pass-rushing snaps. In addition, while second-year edge rusher Dante Fowler Jr. did record two defensive stops, including the first tackle in the game, he failed to register a single pressure on 30 pass-rushing snaps.

Get access to grades for every player, complete with positional rankings, in our Player Grades tool.

  • Skolbro28

    Yo bro, GB Refs +89.9
    That’s the only reason the slackers won, they won’t win this week against a REAL team

    • Drew

      The Vikings are not a real team.

    • Paul

      Right – who did the Vikings play? The team who had the #1 pick this year. Talk about not playing a real team. Couldn’t even score an offensive TD on the WORST team in the league – two years running.

  • GA27

    The refs were atrocious. There were at least 4 PIs on Allen Robinson not called.

    • Tom Jahn

      As is almost always the case, there were several PI calls that were not called against the Jaguars that should have been called as well.

      • Tim Edell

        Stop whining about PI calls.. Watch the SEC that is how CBs should be allowed to play!

        • Tom Jahn

          Don’t reply to me. I wasn’t whining. That was GA27 that was whining.

        • Tom Mullens

          I am not sure you know how this works old timer.

    • gbFan12

      Jordy getting mugged on the Packers last offensive drive, Clay getting blatantly held on the jag’s TD pass, etc. You’d tell Packer fans to quit whining if the jags won.

      • Travis D. Holmes

        The holding call on Luke Joeckel was garbage. The PI call on Cyprien was garbage…the FOUR missed PI calls by Shields and Randall on Allen Robinson that were no-calls (two of which occurred in the end zone) were garbage. Even the vast majority of the fans over at acme packing company agree on that in the comments. Take the win. It was a great game between two evenly matched teams…but let’s stop pretending that was anything CLOSE to an evenly reffed game.

        • Nelson Cobb

          So I guess it was only the Packers who got away with no calls huh??? GTFO with your homerism!! It goes both ways!! Believe it or not.

      • Travis D. Holmes

        Soooooooo “shocker alert”: Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell spoke at a meeting yesterday. The Jaguars sent in 23 questionable calls to the league office this week for Jags v Packers game… 16 came back as missed for the Jags. 16/23 calls went the Packers way….like I said Sunday – shenanigans….

    • john doe

      I saw a facemask that wasn’t called on a big gain for the Jags.

      • Travis D. Holmes

        “Shocker alert”: Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell spoke at a meeting yesterday. The Jaguars sent in 23 questionable calls to the league office this week for Jags v Packers game… 16 came back as missed for the Jags. 16/23 calls went the Packers way….

  • Jags28

    How did Gratz have a better grade then Ramsey?

  • Bill Atkinson

    Clay Matthews graded a 38.1, did we watch the same game?

    • Puq OT

      I’m not sure exactly how in-depth the ratings go, but there’s probably a lot of stuff that’s not going to show up in the ratings (like when he’s drawing a double team)

    • john doe

      I saw Matthews put pressure and make important stops in the Jags backfield. He’s doubled on almost every down.

      • Travis H

        Yea, that’s not based on fact. I’ve now watched the game twice. The vast majority of the game Matthews was either unblocked (coming directly to the QB on zone read looks) or single blocked. The few plays he did make in the run game were when he beat the 3 WR blocks (that happened twice in the first half). Outside of that he didn’t do much.

        • john doe

          Where did you see the game twice???

          • Travis D. Holmes

            I write for a Jaguars fan site so i tape the game tv copy then rewatch every Jags game.

          • john doe

            So I’ supposed to take you as an impartial observer????? Ya Right

          • Travis D. Holmes

            Irrelevant to me if you do or dont. There have been enough articles written on it for you to acknowledge the truth, even by Green Bay sbnation and ESPN writers. Up to you if you chose to (shrug).

    • Jacob Basson

      here’s packer beat man bob mcginn’s breakdown of matthews: “Perry and Clay Matthews kept changing sides. Of Matthews’ 53 snaps, he was wide left on 14, wide right on 32 and seven as a stand-up rover in dime. Despite just 20 percent double-teaming, Matthews mustered only one pressure. He couldn’t solve unorthodox LT Kelvin Beachum or RT Jermey Parnell. Matthews’ best play came on a toss when he slashed by three blockers to stuff Yeldon for minus-3. He was in position for two other tackles for loss but missed Yeldon.”
      seems like mcginn and pff largely agree, he had one good play, a couple of stats off other people’s pressure, and not much else.

  • a3uge

    Rodgers 76.2, Bortles 81.3 is why I can’t take PFF grades seriously.

    • SteveS

      I agree with you on Bortles grade maybe being a little too high, but Rodgers was pretty pedestrian by Rodgers’s high standards. Missed a couple throws and timing was bad on multiple occasions, which is why he was caught holding the ball so long multiple times

    • Tom Mullens

      I agree completely. Maybe Rodgers missed a handful of throws but all QBs should be graded by the same standard. If PFF think Bortles was better yesterday they have no business grading anyone on anything.

      • Jags28

        He had a higher A/YPA, and 121 more yards despite at least 4 no-call PIs on Robinson and an interception that wasn’t his fault.

        • Nelson Cobb

          He also had over double the YAC from his WR’s than Rodgers too, 151 to 70. And GTFO with the non calls. You’re a complete homer if you don’t believe that goes both ways all game long. Just cause you seen it on TV, doesn’t mean that’s the only time it happened. People who cry about non calls are so damn annoying. Either the refs throw too many flags, or they don’t throw enough. Some people are never happy.

      • Travis D. Holmes

        Rogers was held in check mostly. Had less than 200 yards throwing (without the excuse of having a lot of drops by the WRs). Had a few good splash plays (like the TD play with Ramsey holding him and the scramble play with the LT holding….but outside of that he had an off day full of dink and dunk.

        • Tom Mullens

          Manning made an entire career out of dink and dunk passing. They say he is a sure fire HOF.

          • Travis D. Holmes

            Hasn’t made a career out of sub-200 yard games…..

          • Tom Mullens

            Manning had plenty of sub 200 yard games. It is more about quality than quantity. If you are throwing for four hundred yards week in and week out your defense is crap. The occasional 400 yard game is excusable. You are not going to win the Superbowl with a crappy defense however.

          • Nelson Cobb

            Aaron Rodgers is going into year 9, has he made a career out of sub-200 yard games??? He only got to 30,000 yards with fewer pass attempts than anybody in NFL history. So, I think that answers that question.