By and large, the statistics in this post are coming from Pro Football Focus. They have signature stats that are more conventionally comprehensible (like how many QB hurries a lineman gives up). In addition, though, PFF provides weekly "grades" that are overall numbered scores. You can read about their grading process HERE. Positive numbers are good while negative numbers are bad. Anything above +1 is a really good game; anything below -1 is quite a bad game. The grade is a composite grade of different smaller grades (like "pass blocking"). I will typically highlight the strengths and/or weaknesses of a particular performance by looking at these composite grades.
Well that was a cathartic win against the Seahawks. Sure the offense looked, well, like this year's offense for most of the game. But, beating the Seahawks is always fun - especially when they are as good as they are this year.
Today, though, I want to leave behind the offense, and take a look at the true MVPs of the game (non Phil Dawson / Frank Gore category): the defense. By and large, our defense was excellent, save a couple of weaknesses. Today, we will review one of the weaker players in that last game, Carlos Rogers, but first, let's take a look at a couple of guys who had excellent games.
Tramaine Brock: 1.6 PFF Pass Coverage Grade, 2 Targets, 0 Receptions, 1 Pass Defended, 0 Tackles
This really has been a breakout season for Mr. Brock. Not only has he continued to have one of the most awesome names on the team, but he has gotten past a few rough games and has built upon his dynamic debut. In particular, it has been fascinating to see him evolve as a player when injuries forced him into a higher profile position. Earlier in the season, he thrived upon jumping routes. And while he still utilizes this technique at times, his coverage has become more sophisticated over the last few games.
The fact that he was targeted only twice in the Seahawks game speaks volumes. The 0 receptions he gave up with 1 pass defended speaks even more. When targeted on Sunday, Brock allowed a 39.6 passer rating. PFF graded him accordingly, with a 1.6 pass coverage grade. He did have a slightly below average day defending against the run (1.4 grade) and didn't record any tackles. But, with our front seven, we don't need to be too concerned with run defense from the CBs - especially when they are defending the pass as well as Brock is.
Eric Wright: 2.3 PFF Pass Coverage Grade, 2 Targets, 0 Receptions, 1 Interception, 1 Pass Defended, 0 Tackles
For as good as Brock was on Sunday, Wright was just that much better. Even though his interception came on a desperate throw, that play still could have been dangerous. If they receiver doesn't trip, and if Wright doesn't catch the ball, the Seahawks could have been in field goal position. Wright was in the exact right place we needed him, and he should be commended for that.
In addition, Wright also had such a good day that Russell Wilson hardly looked his way. When he did, Wright was able to defend the pass. When targeting Wright, Wilson had a 0.0 passer rating. Like Brock, Wright had little to no impact on the run game. Again, I don't think we mind all that much.
Carlos Rogers: -2.4 PFF Pass Coverage Grade, 8 Targets, 6 Receptions, 71 Yards, 8.9 Average Yards per Catch, 25 Yard Long, 0 INTs, 0 Passes Defended, 6 Tackles, 1 Assist, 1 Missed Tackle
Ouch. Well, that isn't the type of day we were looking for. Rogers got beat often. He was able to turn this into a high tackles total, but this really isn't what we want from him. This seems to be an outlying game in what has otherwise been a solid season, but we don't want Rogers to be giving up a passer rating of 101.6 when targeted, like he did on Sunday. There has been a lot of discussion about what to do with Rogers this offseason since he will be pretty expensive to keep around. I still think he is a good CB, but when he turns in a game like this one, it's hard to keep that perspective. On top of that, his contract is really expensive to keep going. I won't be surprised if we see him move on.
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