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Best and Worst: Patriots Defensive PFF Grades vs Chargers

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New England Patriots linebacker Mack Wilson, was the highest ranked Patriots defensive player by Pro Football Focus for Week 13

The New England Patriots offense left a lot to be desired in their 6-0 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday. Getting shutout didn’t tell the entire story. New England amassed 109 yards passing, and allowed five sacks. They made only on first down in the first down, and nine in the game. As they do every week, Pro Football Focus graded all the individual players in the game. A look at the best and worst performers on the Patriots defense, according to PFF, in Week 13.

PFF Grading System

Before getting into the best and worst Patriots performances from Sunday, a quick review of what the numbers represent. Their are five possible tiers a grade places a player in:

  • 100-90 = Elite
  • 89-85 = Pro Bowler
  • 84-70 = Starter
  • 69-60 = Backup
  • 59-0 = Replaceable

New England had only one player on offense (Cole Strange) score over a 70 against Los Angeles. Five defensive players came in over that mark. Despite performing very well, the defense did not force any turnover, nor register any sacks. This prevented the Pro Football Focus grades from being higher across the board.

Best of Week 13

LB – Mack Wilson, Sr. (84.8). Nobody watching the game needed PFF to let them know it was Wilson’s best game of the season. He racked up four tackles (two solo). Wilson registered a QB pressure as well. His coverage grade was highest on the team, impacting his overall score greatly.

DL – Christian Barmore (79.8). Barmore continues to be the Patriots most consistently disruptive defender. He had a stop, a pressure, and a QB hit. Baremore was very solid occupying blockers, which helped limit the run game. Los Angeles only gained 29 yards rushing on the afternoon.

CB – Jonathan Jones (78.4). The veteran cornerback notched his highest Pro Football Focus score of 2023. Impressive, considering Justin Herbert was the opposing quarterback and the Chargers were unable to run at all. Jones was solid in coverage, and against the run as well.

LB – Ja’Whaun Bentley (72.9). Bentley received the highest tackling grade on the team. He led New England with nine tackles (five solo) and had no missed tackles. Bentley recorded two stops and had the third highest coverage grade for New England.

CB – Anfernee Jennings (71.8). Only Jonathan Jones had a higher grade against the run than Jennings. It was his highest grade against the run all season. He continues to prove himself a solid NFL player in the final year of his contract.

No other New England Patriots players scored a 65 or better, so this week the “best” list is getting cutoff at three.

Worst of Week 13

DE – Keion White (53.1). There was some good in White’s game. He graded out decently against the run, finishing with four tackles (three solo) and two stops. He recorded a pressure and a QB hit, but his pass rushing grade (49.5) was among the worst.

S – Kyle Dugger (58.0). A low coverage grade contributes to Dugger’s inclusion here. He received solid marks for run defense and tackling, but coverage was another matter. Dugger twice had a Pro Football Focus grade over 70 in the first three weeks. Since Week 3 his highest game score has been 66.9.

DB – Myles Bryant (58.4). The good news: Bryant did a nice job tackling on Sunday. The bad news is that Los Angeles completed 4-of-5 passes when he was targeted in coverage. He also received a poor mark for run defense.

CB – J.C. Jackson (59.3). Jackson played against his former team on Sunday. He had a strong first half, but struggled more toward the end of the game. He was the primary defender on six catches, resulting in three completions. His tackling grade was good, and he finished with four tackles int he game (three solo).

S – Jabrill Peppers (60.4). Tackling was the major issue for Peppers on Sunday. He finished with four tackles, but had three missed tackles, which led the team. Only DT Davon Godchaux received a lower tackling grade. Both passes with Peppers as the primary defender were completed.

Marte Mapu (30.6) and Sam Roberts (35.1) would have been included in this group as well, but they played only three and eight snaps, respectively, on defense.

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