The Jacksonville Jaguars are one of many teams who have an analytics department now, so we'll take a look at some of the advanced metrics after games this season to see how players did. So let's take a look at Pro Football Focus and see how they graded out the players and if it meshed with what we saw on the field.
Jaguars vs. Falcons rating: Who fared well
Demetrius McCray: McCray was the highest graded defensive player with a +4.3 rating including a whopping +3.4 rating in pass coverage. On the initial watch, McCray stood out as having a good game, often batting passes away and generally having excellent coverage. He allowed just two receptions for 13 yards on eight targets.
Will Blackmon: The brand new Jaguars signing, who was picked up after an excellent first three preseason games with the Seahawks, was the Jaguars second highest graded defensive player with a +3.3 rating, including a +2.4 rating in pass coverage. Blackmon was targeted five times, allowing one reception, but also picked off a pass and looked like a viable punt returner.
LaRoy Reynolds: If you watched the game, it's no shocker Reynolds graded out positively by the numbers. He was flying around all over the field, picking up double-digit tackles and involved in a handful of other plays. Reynolds had a +1.3 overall rating, grading out on the plus side in every category.
Jaguars vs. Falcons rating: Who fared poorly
Andre Branch: Big shocker that Andre Branch was the worst graded defender against the Falcons. If you watched the game, it was clear he struggled rushing the passer. On 23 rush attempts he picked up just one quarterback hurry, which was on a straight bull rush. Branch had a -4.9 overall rating. Branch also picked up two bad penalties, attributing to his poor rating.
Uche Nwaneri: The Jaguars veteran right guard hasn't had the best preseason and he graded out poorly once again on Thursday with a -1.5 grade, allowing a hit on the quarterback as well as a hurry. It's possible Nwaneri is still getting his feet wet coming back from injury, but he also hasn't been bad enough on a consistent basis to be called a liability at this point. Then again, consistency has always been his issue.
Kyle Knox: It was odd, for me at least, to see Kyle Knox as the second worst graded player defensively with a -4.0 grade, but then again it was weighed down with a -2.8 rating against the run. Playing at both LEO and linebacker at 220 pounds, it's not a shock he was poor against the run. I thought Knox made an impact rushing the passer however, causing a sack and nearly having one of his own. In 11 pass rush attempts he officially tallied one hurry, but he definitely effected the quarterback.
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