In a nice change of pace from their historical ineptness in week 1, the Jacksonville Jaguars managed to improve and put up some offensive points against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Thanks to some meaningless padding in the fourth quarter, the box score from the Jaguars’ week 2 game actually looks somewhat acceptable.
Fortunately we can wade through the misleading conventional statistics and see who really played well with the help of our friends at Pro Football Focus. Here are some of the best and worst performers as graded by PFF:
Best Overall Offensive Grades: Uche Nwaneri (+2.4), Brad Meester(+1.9), Clay Harbor (+1.5)
I was genuinely shocked to see two interior lineman at the top of the Pro Football Focus grades. Watching the game live, the offensive line as a whole seemed to be the weakest position group on the team. The interior line graded out much better than last week however, with both Nwaneri (+2.0) and Meester (+1.3) looking good in the pass block department. Clay Harbor’s grade was almost entirely driven by his pass catching grade and his 10+ yard/catch average.
Best Overall Defensive Grades: Geno Hayes (+2.1), Brandon Deaderick (+2.0), Sen’Derrick Marks (+1.3)
It’s no surprise to see Geno Hayes atop the defensive grades because he was all over the field on Sunday. He did a great job getting 6 total stops (classified as causing an offensive play to fail) and his pass coverage (+1.7) bolstered him to the best grade on the squad. Brandon Deaderick only made it onto the field for 18 snaps, but he was able to get a sack and hurry to finish with a (+2.1) pass rush grade. Marks is supposed to be the penetrating rush tackle, but he excelled in run defense (+1.5) against the Raiders.
Most Disappointing Grades: Jordan Todman (-3.5), Will Rackley (-2.6), Eugene Monroe (-2.5), Andre Branch (-1.7), Johnathan Cyprien (-2.1), Jason Babin (-2.7)
The Jaguars still had plenty of players grading out in the red to choose from, including Will Rackley making his second straight appearance at the bottom. In addition to poor pass blocking (-1.5), Rackley had a penalty that drove his grade down. Jordan Todman was victimized by the sack he gave up in addition to just not being effective in the run or pass game. Eugene Monroe had a rough day allowing 5 hurries and getting a penalty.
Getting 2 penalties doomed Jason Babin to the bottom of the defensive grades despite 3 quarterback hurries. Johnathan Cyprien was very physical against Oakland but his missed tackle in the open field and overall run defense (-1.7) lowered his grade. Andre Branch continued to do his best to get cut by being completely ineffective as a pass rusher (-1.3) and only registering 1 quarterback hurry.
Chad Henne had a decent day by conventional statistics (62.5% completion, 241 yards, no turnovers), but he can’t hide from PFF’s advanced metrics. Henne received an overall grade of (-1.2), due mostly to his inability to stretch the field vertically or horizontally. Almost 40% of his passes were in the short-middle part of the field.
Cecil Shorts had a drop and had a rough start to the game, but overall he got a positive grade (+0.5) thanks to his run blocking (+0.4). Shorts is probably the most talented skill player on the offense, but he needs more consistent play from whoever is at quarterback to really make an impact.
Oddly enough, Paul Posluszny had a fairly neutral grade (-0.1) thanks to a balance between poor run defense (-1.5) and good pass coverage (+1.5). Posluszny clearly had some trouble identifying what to do on some of the read-option plays between Terrelle Pryor and Darren McFadden.
- Daniel Lago
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89