Pro Football Focus Grading: Top St. Louis Rams Performers From Week 13


Nov 30, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt Schaub (8) is sacked by St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (99) during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. St. Louis defeated Oakland 52-0. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Despite what you might be seeing in the news (or not seeing, for that matter), the St. Louis Rams really did have a game on Sunday. They really did completely shutout an NFL team. They really did score 52 points in a single game. Obviously, with such an impressive performance, there are plenty of individuals that had some outstanding statistical games. With that in mind, we turn our attention to Pro Football Focus, one of the most reputable sites for advanced statistics and player grading in the NFL.

Like with any semi-subjective form of analysis, the experts at the site are certainly not “perfect” in their weekly evaluations of players. However, taken with a grain of salt, their grades are about as close to “fair and objective” as you’ll find anywhere in the world of NFL personnel analysis.

So, using their Week 13 evaluations as a reasonable metric for performance, how did some of the “key” St. Louis Rams units fair against the Raiders?

Top Offensive “Skill” Player – Stedman Bailey (+2.9)

For the second week in a row, Bailey has taken the top spot among the offensive skill guys. The second-year stud put up his best performance of the season against the Raiders, hauling in five catches for 100 yards in the opening quarter, alone. His production would taper off after that, with Tre Mason busting 89-yard runs and Brian Schottenheimer pulling back the offense to drain the clock. However, much like at the end of last season, Bailey is showing that he has the tools to be a top-flight receiver in the league. Assuming there are no suspensions this time around, this momentum will hopefully spill over into next season, when the Rams actually have a starting-caliber quarterback throwing the football.

Top Offensive Lineman – Rodger Saffold (+1.1)

Despite leaving the game early with injury, the former-Raider (kind of) performed admirably on the interior of the Rams offensive line. The tackle-turned-guard played 36 snaps without allowing a single pressure; although, to be fair, no Oakland defender put much pressure on the Shaun Hill. In fact, most of the Rams offensive linemen came out with roughly the same grade; the difference being three of the starters got knocked down a peg for committing penalties.

Top Defensive Lineman – Aaron Donald (+3.3)

At this point, we are considering changing the title to “Top Defensive Lineman not named Aaron Donald.” The rookie phenom is currently graded as the top interior defensive lineman in the NFL by Pro Football Focus, and only added to that top ranking by recording one sack, four pressures, and two defensive stops against the Raiders on Sunday. However, the entire defensive line deserves some credit in this section, with William Hayes, Robert Quinn, and even Chris Long having outstanding games versus both the run and pass.

Top “Back-Seven” Player – Alec Ogletree (+2.1)

The Gregg Williams’ scheme appears to have finally “clicked” for the second-year linebacker, notching his third significantly positive grade in the last four weeks. While he did not manage an interception this time around, he did record his first sack of the season, along with two other pressures, five tackles, one pass deflection, and two defensive stops. This is the Alec Ogletree that we expected to see when the Rams selection him in the opening round of the 2013 NFL Draft.