When you truly consider how the Thursday game against the Saints went, you can see how there may have been some positive signs. The offense was able to move the ball very efficiently, but for the fumbles that killed several drives. The defense played very strongly in the first half, all but shutting down the Saints offense. So, while the game felt incredibly negative, it may not be a surprise that some of the PFF scores were positive overall. Let's take a look at some of the notable ones.
I'm hesitant to name the player with the highest overall grade, because my initial reaction was "Haha, no." However, James Stone - our center of excessive snap issues - put up a +2.6 overall grade, anchored by his dominant +4.1 run blocking score. I know, I know. Next on the list is QB Matt Ryan - who despite some errant throws here and there - was pretty good on the night with a +2.5 score. RB Devonta Freeman put up another strong game with a +1.4 overall. Other notable scores: WR Julio Jones (+1.3), LT Jake Matthews (+1.3), TE Levine Toilolo (+1.3), TE Jacob Tamme (+1.1).
Amazingly, there were only two scores in the red for the Falcons offense. Wide Receiver Leonard Hankerson put up a -1.7 score, no doubt hurt by his infuriating tendency to drop passes. Rookie running back Tevin Coleman also scored a -1.7, with his early fumble in the red zone being an early killer. Right guard Chris Chester had a -0.3 on the night overall, hurt by his poor -2.4 pass blocking grade. Believe it or not, these are the only notable negative scores for the offense on the evening.
Our defense had a mixed bag of scores, which makes sense given their fantastic job in shutting down the run combined with their inability to cover ancient, one-legged tight ends. DE O'Brien Schofield had the strongest showing with his +2.4 overall score, driven mostly by his +2.0 pass rush score. Cornerback Desmond Trufant continues to prove he is a true top-5 corner, as his +2.0 score on the night demonstrates. DT Adrian Clayborn played well, putting up a +1.2 overall while LB Kroy Biermann continues to be a force against the run with his +1.1 overall, +2.4 against the run. Other notable scores: FS Ricardo Allen (+1.1), LB Brooks Reed (+1.0), DE Vic Beasley (+0.9).
On the other side, no player struggled more than LB Paul Worrilow. His -3.0 overall score was mostly due to his poor pass coverage (-3.0), which was evidenced by Ben Watson having a career game against our D. Veteran DT Jonathan Babineaux had a rough night with a -2.2 overall, due to his poor -2.1 run defense score. Safety William Moore continues to struggle this year with a -1.3 overall. Other notable scores: DT Paul Soliai (-1.0), CB Phillip Adams (-0.7), S Kemal Ishmael (-0.7), S Robensen Therezie (-0.5).
For the first time this year, Matt Bosher did not have an overall positive score. His -0.3 overall score was saved by his +1.3 kickoffs score (-1.5 punts). Matt Bryant wasn't even given a score by PFF, so I will continue to grade him on the DWF scale, in which he received +2.756x10^30.
What are your thoughts about these strangely positive PFF scores?