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Pro Football Focus grades for Dolphins vs Chargers

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Miami Dolphins v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The fine folks at Pro Football Focus have been kind enough to share their grades from yesterday’s 19-17 win over the Chargers with us. According to PFF, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh finished with the highest grade, despite the defense allowing Philip Rivers to complete 31/39 passes for 331 yards and 1 touchdown.

This is what PFF’s Ryan M. Smith had to say about Suh’s performance.

DT Ndamukong Suh was the highest-graded player in the game, earning a grade of 89.7, which ranked 4th of all interior DL for Week 2. He was his usual dominant self in run defense, earning grade of 90.2, while his pass-rushing grade of 81.8 was highlighted by 4 QB hurries on Chargers QB Philip Rivers.

Suh wasn’t the only Dolphins’ defensive player to impress in their season debut. Defensive end William Hayes finished with the second-highest grade on the team, finishing the day with 3 QB hurries and a sack.

DL William Hayes earned a grade of 82.6, which ranked 6th for all edge defenders in Week 2. He played just 25 snaps on the afternoon, but was able to record 3 QB hurries and a sack in 17 pass rushing snaps. First-round rookie Charles Harris played 27 snaps (22 pass rushes) and recorded one QB in his first game as a pro.

Newly-acquired QB Jay Cutler looked the part of a starting NFL QB, completing 24/33 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown. His 80.3 PFF grade ranked 5th among all NFL QBs in Week 2.

QB Jay Cutler emerged victorious in his first start with the Miami Dolphins, earning an overall grade of 80.3, 5th-highest of all QBs in Week 2. When facing no pressure, Cutler completed 20 of 24 passes for 199 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions, for an NFL QB Rating of 115.1. In 11 drop-backs under pressure, Cutler was 4-9 for 31 yards and had a rating of 53.5 while also taking two sacks. The Chargers blitzed Cutler only 3 of the 35 drop-backs Cutler had all afternoon.

Offensively, Pro-Bowl HB Jay Ajayi led all running backs in yards after contact with 82. He also forced 8 missed tackles, leading the league in that statistic as well. It was clear Ajayi will have a huge workload going forward and should continue to be the team’s most dynamic offensive weapon.

One year after finishing second in the league with 900 yards after contact, running back Jay Ajayi racked up 82 of his 122 total yards on the day after contact, the most for any back in Week 2. His 8 forced missed tackles also led all backs, a category he led the league in with 58 in 2016. He was on the field for 64 of a possible 68 snaps, suggesting he is once again ready for his three-down role as the focal point of the offense.

The rumors continue to swirl that Miami has had extensive talks with the Seahawks about cornerback Richard Sherman. The Dolphins’ secondary struggled mightily vs LA, in particular, the play of second-year cornerback Xavien Howard.

CB Xavien Howard was targeted a league-high 13 times in Week 2 and allowed 10 receptions for 87 yards on the afternoon (also a league-high). His overall grade of 46.8 ranked 62nd of all CBs in Week 2.

Miami’s depth at linebacker got worse with the unusual departure of veteran LB Lawrence Timmons hours before game time. UDFA Chase Allen was forced into the starting role and despite a limited number of snaps, the game didn’t seem too big for him. Unfortunately, Mike Hull was picked apart by Philip Rivers and finished the day with and abysmal grade.

LB Chase Allen drew the start and had the 3rd-highest grade for any Dolphins player in Week 2 at 81.3, but played just 13 snaps on the afternoon. He had 2 stops in run defense and was not targeted in the passing game. LB Mike Hull played 58 snaps and was picked apart by Philip Rivers all day in coverage, allowing all 9 targets to be caught for 95 yards. The targets, receptions, and yards allowed were all the most for any LB in coverage for Week 2.

All statistics were provided by Pro Football Focus and PFF_Miami.

Special thanks to Ryan M Smith. for providing us with these exclusive stats.