Given the up and down nature of the game against the Eagles on Monday night, you may be expecting a wide array of scores from the analysts at Pro Football Focus - and you'd be right. We had a pretty wild mix of scores on both sides of the ball with a few head scratchers sprinkled in for good measure. Here's a look at how some key players fared during the first game of the season.
This may come as no surprise, but the highest rated player on offense was Julio Jones. His +5.7 overall score indicated what we all saw: a dominating performance. Right behind him, however, was Roddy White. Many have begun to question the role White would have on offense this year, but his +3.1 score indicates the team still has big plans for him. Other positive performers on Monday: FB Patrick DiMarco (+1.9), RG Chris Chester (+1.3), LT Jake Matthews (+1.2), RB Devonta Freeman (+1.2), RT Ryan Schraeder (+1.2).
On the down side, no player struggled more than LG Andy Levitre, which is somewhat understandable given his newness to the team. His -3.7 score was largely due to his poor run blocking, which graded out at -3.6. Jacob Tamme had a rough night with a -3.0 score while penalties killed Leonard Hankerson who finished with a -2.2. Other notable negative scores: C Mike Person (-1.4), RB Tevin Coleman (-1.0), QB Matt Ryan (-0.6).
Note: these are PFF scores, and on a personal note I disagree with Coleman's score. I thought the rookie RB did a great job on Monday night.
Do you like feel good stories? Then you'll love the fact that Ricardo Allen - who was cut and stashed on the practice squad by the previous regime - had the highest score of the night on defense with a +1.6. He would have scored even higher if not for his -0.9 penalty grade, having registered a +1.2 in run defense and +1.3 in pass defense. In the trenches, no player had a higher score than DT Ra'Shede Hageman, who netted a +1.3 for his superb run defense. Other positive defensive scores: CB Desmond Trufant (+1.0), DT Grady Jarrett (+0.7), CB Philip Adams (+0.7).
Undoubtedly hurt by the second half performance, there were quite a few negative scores to go around for the defense. Safety William Moore had the worst grade of the night with a -4.4 showing. His -3.2 in pass coverage and -1.3 in run defense was likely attributable solely to his second half performance. LB Justin Durant got a surprising -3.8 overall as well, though he looked very active in the game. Rookie DE Vic Beasley received a -1.4 score, though his pass rush score of +0.7 was overshadowed by penalties and a sub-par run defense score. Some other notable negatives: OLB Kroy Biermann (-3.0), LB O'Brien Schofield (-0.9) and DT Paul Soliai (-0.7).
It's funny to think about initial fan reaction to the first few games of Matt Bosher's career. Many fans wanted him cut - well look at him now. His +7.3 grade (+3.0 for kickoffs, +4.3 for punts) is ridiculous. Bosher's punt to pin the Eagles behind the 10 at the end of the game probably helped seal the win for the team. Kicker Matt Bryant's +1.1 score is stupid, because all he did was win this game with his leg - pounding in 4/4 field goals. From here on out, Bryant's PFF scores will be ignored and the DWF (DW Focus) score for Bryant will be posted instead: +9,123,312,412.7.
On the downside, Philip Adams struggled with a -1.5 while recently cut Charles Godfrey posted a -1.0.
What do you think of these scores and the players who earned them?