As if the Washington Football Team being 2-5 and stumbling well below expectations wasn’t exasperating enough for fans, they’ve also had to watch the coaching staff deploy rotations that have made little to no sense.
In an amazing turn of events, Ron Rivera and Co. showed improvements in Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay packers. It stinks that were commending the coaching staff after a defeat, but at this point any positive is worth holding onto, right?
It’s important to note that Washington was dealing with a rash of injuries to starters on both sides of the ball. That listed included Curtis Samuel, Brandon Scherff, William Jackson III and Logan Thomas, who’s been on IR.
The staff adapted pretty well to those injuries and the end product was Washington’s most encouraging performance of the season.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best and worst performers from Sunday, according to Pro Football Focus.
Washington’s best and worst PFF grades from Sunday’s loss
Here are the highest-graded defensive players:
- Matt Ioannidis: 81.5
- Montez Sweat:76.6
- Jonathan Allen: 73.6
- Kamren Curl: 71.7
- Landon Collins: 69.8
As for the worst-graded defensive players:
- Jamin Davis: 58.5
- Daron Payne: 60.7
- Cole Holcomb: 61.1
- Danny Johnson: 61.7
- Benjamin St-Juste: 61.9
Matt Ioannidis continues to fly under the radar as one of the best backup interior defensive lineman in the league. The former fifth-rounder racked up a few pressures, as did Montez Sweat, who also recorded a sack. The real standout of the group, though, was Jonathan Allen, who got home against Aaron Rodgers twice.
Kamren Curl, meanwhile, continued to show that he’s the best safety on the roster. He played 100% of the snaps on Sunday for the second consecutive week. That shouldn’t change for the rest of the season.
How about Landon Collins? His transition to a box linebacker was long overdue, but it appears to be working.
As for Washington’s worst grades on defense, Benjamin St-Juste’s mark is a little harsh, as we believe he enjoyed his best performance as a rookie. Danny Johnson was beat a couple times in coverage, but he brought sound tackling to the secondary.
Jamin Davis and Cole Holcomb had a rough day in coverage, combing to give up six catches on seven targets for 82 yards, including three first downs and a TD, per PFF. Not great, but keep in mind they haven’t played many snaps together.
Here are the highest-graded offensive players:
- Terry McLaurin: 74.3
- Chase Roullier: 69.9
- Wes Schweitzer: 69.8
- Ricky Seals-Jones: 68.2
- Charles Leno Jr.: 67.4
Here are the lowest-graded offensive players:
- Taylor Heinicke: 56.4
- Adam Humphries: 62.8
- Ereck Flowers: 64.8
It’s worth noting that Antonio Gandy-Golden (56.3), John Bates (57.4), Tyler Larsen (60.0) and Jaret Patterson (60.0) all posted lower grades than Humphries and Flowers. However, they barely got any playing time, so it would be kind of draconian to grade their performance on the same measuring stick.
As for the highest offensive grades, Terry McLaurin was his typical dominant self. He finished with seven catches for 122 yards and a touchdown, and could’ve had more if Taylor Heinicke was more accurate from the pocket.
The offensive line has had better days this season, as four of the five starters allowed at least three pressures, per PFF.
Ricky Seals-Jones has been a revelation at the tight end position with Logan Thomas still on injured reserve. Even when Thomas comes back, RSJ should see plenty of snaps. He’s a playmaker and a mismatch waiting to happen.
Finally, we get to Heinicke. It was largely a mixed bag for the 28-year-old on Sunday. He’s a huge reason why Washington racked up over 400 yards of total offense, but he also struggled to find a cutting edge in the red zone, missed a number of open receivers and threw a bad-looking INT when the game was already over.
That should just about wrap it up.
While PFF’s grading system doesn’t always accurately reflect how players perform, they largely got it right on Sunday. Let’s hope the highest-graded players continue to set the tone and that the lowest-graded players bounce back in Week 8.