ReFo: Jaguars @ Texans, Week 17
The Jaguars and Texans wrap up their 2014 seasons and Neil Hornsby has notes on the standouts from the finale.
ReFo: Jaguars @ Texans, Week 17
For a while it was exciting for Houston fans as it looked like they might scrape into the playoffs and it also kept Jacksonville faithful on the edge of their seats as Blake Bortles almost pulled out a win at the end. When the fat lady sung, though, much remained the same; the Texans appear no closer to finding their long-term QB and Jacksonville still needs to bolster its roster significantly.
This is where 2014 ends and 2015 begins so let’s consider a little of both:
Jacksonville Jaguars – Performances of Note
Zane Beadles, LG: +1.5
Breakdown: I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t think the pick-up of the ex-Bronco was a great move. I felt he was getting too much credit for the players around him in Denver and would struggle at a team like Jacksonville. Well he’s done significantly better than that and his pass protection overall has been good (he ended the season as our 10th-rated guard). He’s still not a great run blocker but, together with rookie sensation Brandon Linder, he forms a solid foundation for the future.
Signature Stat: Kept a clean sheet all day in pass protection against a formidable Texan front.
Marqise Lee, WR: -4.1
Breakdown: The Jaguars coaching staff have said Lee isn’t where they’d like him to be but what’s particularly disappointing is when his worst games come at the end of the year. Playing his highest percentage of snaps to date (94.7%) Lee followed up his poor showing against Baltimore with an even worse display here. Catching only two of his seven targets for 8 yards is never going to get it done.
Signature Stat: Up until Week 14 he’d not dropped a pass. With the three he spilled here that number is now at six.
Demetrius McCray, CB: -0.1
Breakdown: One of the most pleasant surprises on the Jaguars’ defense has been the play of McCray. A seventh-round selection in 2013 he’s started from week five and done an excellent job. He’s not flashy but he’s gone up against some of the best receivers in the business in that span and held his own. He does a very good job of keeping everything in front of him and limiting YAC. He’s allowed only one TD all year and a QB rating of only 81.0
Signature Stat: Gave up five of six targets but for a mere 27 yards.
Houston Texans – Performances of Note
Derek Newton, RT: +7.0
Breakdown: A career day for the right tackle put a large bold underline on his end to the year. From Week 13 forward he’s played as well as any right tackle in football and today was the icing on the cake. He’s a UFA now and that type of pattern is a clear buyer beware sign to other teams given his history of less than auspicious play. This is his first year of grading anything other than significantly negative but it at least gives him some decent games for a highlight reel.
Signature Play: Got smoothly up to the second level on the first play of the fourth quarter and drove J.T. Thomas a good 7 yards inside the run.
Case Keenum, QB: -1.5
Breakdown: If you wish to believe Keenum is the answer based on a win and a QB rating of 98.5 then be prepared for disappointment. He was only pressured on 10 drop-backs all game and when he was his QB rating dropped from 105.6 to 56.3. He can’t expect this type of protection going forward and needs to improve markedly when under duress.
Signature Stat: Had a QB rating of 113.4 when not blitzed and 47.9 when the Jags brought extra rushers.
J.J. Watt, DE: +5.0
Breakdown: A ho-hum nine QB pressures (sacks, hits and hurries) make this a below average day for the best defensive player in football. It’s remarkable just how quickly he’s made the brilliant appear mundane. For the record he ended the year with a ridiculous 119 QB disruptions with the next best player (Justin Houston) having 84.
Signature Play: I’ve accused him of selling out to get to the QB a little too much this year so it was nice his best play was against the run. At 7:24 in the third quarter he beats both the RT and fullback to make the TFL.
PFF Game Ball
Derek Newton may be playing for a contract but we aren’t grading motivation here just production and that was first rate.
Follow Neil on Twitter: @PFF_Neil
Neil Hornsby | PFF Founder
Neil founded PFF in 2006 and is currently responsible for the service to the company's 22 NFL team customers. He is constantly developing new insights into the game and player performance.