Jaguars vs. Rams: Full Roster Report Card Grades for Jacksonville
Despite solid performances from a few players on both sides of the football, the Jaguars are in serious trouble, falling to 0-5.
If they have any hope of winning a few games, it has to start with taking care of the football. Before he got injured, quarterback Blaine Gabbert threw two costly picks.
Using film study and advanced NFL statistical breakdowns, it's time to check out how each player performed in Week 5 and hand out full roster report card grades.
*All stats courtesy of ESPN.com, unless noted otherwise.
*All advanced stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus (subscription required), unless noted otherwise.
Blaine Gabbert: D
It was another poor performance from starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert in Week 5.
While head coach Gus Bradley told The Florida Times-Union last week, per Hays Carlyon, that Gabbert had his support, the fact is, this is a bad situation for the Jaguars organization.
Against the Rams, Gabbert was ineffective as usual. Completing just nine passes for 181 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, Gabbert's lack of accuracy was frightening.
After sustaining a hamstring injury with his team down, 24-10, backup QB Chad Henne came into the game and played better.
Whether he comes back quickly from this injury or not, the Blaine Gabbert era is over in Jacksonville. For the sake of this franchise, let's hope Gus Bradley now understands this.
Chad Henne: C+
Filling in for an injured Gabbert, Henne finished with a 101.1 passer rating. While he isn't the future of this franchise, Henne is a significant upgrade from Gabbert.
With wide receiver Justin Blackmon back from suspension and Cecil Shorts healthy, Henne may be able to help this Jacksonville offense consistently score more points.
Maurice Jones-Drew: B
Finally, fans got to witness a glimmer of hope from star running back Maurice Jones-Drew.
Rushing for 70 yards on 17 carries, Jones-Drew found some room to operate against the NFL's 27th-ranked run defense.
Diving into Pro Football Focus' advanced statistics, Jones-Drew didn't have any major blunders against the Rams in pass protection either.
Thanks to the return of wide receiver Justin Blackmon and the consistent play of Cecil Shorts, MJD finished the game with a positive 1.8 grade.
Jordan Todman: B-
Rushing for 16 yards on just three carries, backup running back Jordan Todman averaged a healthy 5.3 yards per carry.
Showing vision and some burst, Todman is trying to carve out a role for himself in this offense.
Justin Forsett: D
Playing just five snaps against the Rams, running back Justin Forsett finished the game with one carry for two yards.
A non-factor in this offense, according to PFF, Forsett averages just 11.2 snaps a game.
Justin Blackmon: A-
Playing his first game back from suspension, wide receiver Justin Blackmon provided this Jaguars offense with a boost.
Registering five catches for 136 yards receiving and a touchdown on nine targets, Blackmon should be the main point of attack for this offensive unit moving forward.
Cecil Shorts: A-
For all of the issues surrounding this Jacksonville franchise, fans have to be happy that they have two quality wide receivers on the roster.
Finishing with five catches for 74 yards and a touchdown, Cecil Shorts has been an anchor for this Jacksonville offense.
An all-around solid performer, Shorts is able to shred coverages, thanks to his outstanding route-running ability.
His consistent play has been the most positive thing to come out of Jacksonville so far this season.
Clay Harbor: C-
Although Jaguars tight end Clay Harbor managed to play a season-high 41 snaps against the Rams, he was incredibly ineffective for his team.
Compiling three receptions for 39 yards, Harbor was targeted just four times. While you can point to poor quarterback play for his lack of targets, on film, Harbor struggled to consistently get open.
The real killer for Harbor's day came when he caught a six-yard pass and fumbled the football. That turnover led to a Sam Bradford touchdown pass on the ensuing drive.
LT Luke Joeckel: C
Things just keep getting worse for this offensive line.
After playing just 12 snaps against the Rams, starting left tackle Luke Joeckel was carted off with a fractured ankle and will now miss the rest of the season, according to John Oehser of Jaguars.com.
While the No. 2 overall pick in 2013 draft has struggled this season—according to PFF, Joeckel has graded out as the 57th-ranked tackle in the NFL—the experience he was gaining was huge for his career.
Switching back to his natural position at left tackle against the Rams, Joeckel was looking to turn the corner and show fans why he was taken No. 2 overall.
LT Cameron Bradfield: D
Playing for the injured Joeckel, backup up tackle Cameron Bradfield played poorly. Finishing the game with a minus-5.8 grade, according to PFF's metrics, Bradfield struggled in pass- and run-blocking situations.
Unless he drastically improves, it's going to be a tough year for the Jaguars at the left tackle position.
LG Will Rackley: C-
Left guard Will Rackley put together another dismal performance against the Rams. With no positive trend in sight, Rackley finished with his fifth consecutive negative grade, according to PFF.
C Brad Meester: B
Despite being surrounded by a cast of clunkers on the offensive line, Jaguars center Brad Meester actually had a decent game against the Rams.
Playing all 60 offensive snaps, Meester was the one of two Jaguars offensive lineman to finish with a positive grade for the day.
RG Uche Nwaneri: D+
All in all, it was a rough day in St. Louis for right guard Uche Nwaneri.
While he had his moments in pass protection, Nwaneri had major issues with his run blocking. On film, it was a poor display of technique as he missed his assignments frequently.
RT Austin Pasztor: B+
Although he was originally listed as a guard on this roster, Austin Pasztor made his season debut starting at right tackle for the Jaguars.
Using PFF's metrics, Pasztor finished with a positive 1.8 grade. Helping set the edge for Maurice Jones-Drew's 20-yard scamper, Pasztor may have the potential to standout on this offensive line.
For an undrafted player who landed with the Jaguars last season, Pasztor's journey to become a starter has been a long time coming, according to Jacksonville.com.
Jason Babin: D
For a veteran player, Jason Babin has been nothing but a disappointment since landing in Jacksonville last season.
Out of the 50 4-3 defensive ends graded by PFF, Babin is ranked 49th. That's a pretty staggering statistic, considering he is just three seasons removed from being the 10th-ranked DE in all of football.
On film, it's easy to see how poorly he's played. Occasionally flashing burst off the line, Babin seems to always hit a brick wall no matter what offensive lineman he's going up against.
In Week 5, Babin put together another uninspiring performance, finishing with zero sacks and just one tackle.
Tyson Alualu: C-
Like Jason Babin, Tyson Alualu has struggled this season. With a minus-9.2 grade for the year, Alualu just can't seem to do anything right for this Jacksonville defense.
Finishing the contest with just three tackles, the only positive in Week 5 was the fact that he produced three quarterback hurries.
Andre Branch: B-
Registering three quarterback hurries, one sack and three defensive stops in just 37 snaps, defensive end Andre Branch had a few solid moments against the Rams.
Although he's still trying to find a level of consistency rushing the passer, Branch has played far better than some of the other players on this Jaguars defensive line.
Sen'Derrick Marks: B+
Another positive for this Jacksonville defense has been the play of defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks.
Marks, who seems to have a knack for disrupting quarterbacks in the pocket finished the game with four tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit.
On tape, it's easy to notice that, unlike anyone else on this defensive line, Marks seems to get a great push off the line of scrimmage.
He's a big, bruising player who can get to the QB consistently.
The reason why he only ends up with a "B+" grade for the day is because like every other defensive player on this defense, he struggled to stop the run in Week 5.
Brandon Deaderick: C-
Managing to play just 33 out of the team's 73 snaps, defensive tackle Brandon Deaderick wasn't much of a help for the Jaguars defensive line this past Sunday.
According to PFF, Deaderick struggled to defend the run whenever he was out there on the field. Considering he is on a limited-snap count, there's no reason why Deaderick should not be able to make plays for this team.
Roy Miller: C
Finishing with just one tackle in 48 snaps played, Roy Miller wasn't much of a factor on Sunday.
While he did manage to grade out better against the run, according to PFF, Miller didn't provide much of a boost for this defense.
Russell Allen: B-
Against the Rams, linebacker Russell Allen managed to put another solid performance in the books.
Coming off a strong showing in Week 4 against the Indianapolis Colts, Allen was productive defending the pass, once again, this week.
Did you know by registering five tackles—including one for a loss—Allen is now the top-ranked 4-3 OLB, according to PFF in the NFL?
Allen's play has been a rare bright spot for this Jacksonville team.
Paul Posluszny: C-
One of the biggest issues for Paul Posluszny this season has been his inability to stop the run. That trend continued in Week 5 when Posluszny just couldn't slow down the Rams on the ground.
The alarming part about his problems defending the run is that with each passing week, they seem to get worse.
Finishing the game with seven tackles, Posluszny is still the team leader with 47 tackles on the season.
Geno Hayes: C
It was another mediocre performance from linebacker Geno Hayes in Week 5.
Although he seems to be more comfortable with defending the pass, on film, it was apparent that Hayes' consistent struggles against the run was a big reason why this St. Louis team ran the football for 143 yards.
Through the first five weeks of the season, the main concern with this group of linebackers has been their inability to stop the run.
Will Blackmon: C-
The best cornerback on the field for the Jaguars this season has been Will Blackmon.
Coming off a strong showing against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 4, Blackmon was looking to keep things going against Sam Bradford and the Rams.
Instead, what we got was a poor performance from a usually productive cornerback. Allowing four of the eight passes thrown his way to be completed, Blackmon found himself on the wrong end of two Bradford touchdown passes.
Alan Ball: C
With only one pass thrown in his direction, cornerback Alan Ball gave up a 28-yard reception. With most of the throws staying out of his area, Ball never really got a chance to shine against the Rams.
Mike Harris: C
Playing just 21 out of the team's 73 defensive snaps, Mike Harris struggled to defend the pass. Harris allowed four out of the six passes thrown his way to be completed for 48 yards.
Already part of a weak secondary, Harris will need to improve his coverage skills if he has any hope helping this Jackonsville defense out.
John Cyprien: D+
It's been a rough start to the season for rookie safety John Cyprien.
Cyprien had issues in pass coverage, once again, allowing all three of the passes thrown in his direction to be completed.
While most rookies take a while to transition to the pro game, Cyprien's struggles have been magnified, thanks to the overall horrible season this Jaguars defense has had so far.
Josh Evans: B-
Out of everyone in the secondary, it was safety Josh Evans who played the best. Receiving a positive 1.0 grade from PFF, Evans managed to keep his side of the field under control.
Playing all 73 snaps, Evans has been a durable player for this defensive unit.
Behind kicker Josh Scobee's two field goals, this special teams unit showed a few glimpses of greatness against the Rams.
Even though there was a blown penalty call on a huge punt return by rookie wide receiver Ace Sanders, it's clear that the Jaguars may have found a real weapon returning punts.
Sanders has shown that he is capable of getting past defenders and making big things happen whenever he gets the football in his hands.
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