Pro Football Focus uses a complex system to analyze every NFL player involved in every snap in every game and assigns a grade based on how he performed on that play, with each position having its own set of grading guidelines. Plus/minus scores are given in 0.5 increments and a small normalization factor is applied to make 0.0 the average grade for a game or season. To learn more, visit www.profootballfocus.com
Three statistical observations about the Packers’ wild-card playoff game Sunday at Washington, with an assist from PFF’s Bryson Vesnaver:
1. Kirk Cousins has been on fire in the second half of the season, benefitting from the return from injury of deep-threat receiver DeSean Jackson. Cousins was PFF’s third-highest graded quarterback over the final four weeks, tossing 12 touchdown passes with only one interception and averaging a whopping 9.7 yards per attempts.
2. The Packers’ pass rush must bring the heat against Cousins. When not pressured, the Redskins quarterback has a 115.7 passer rating (well above the league average of 98.6). When not blitzed, Cousins’ rating is 105.3 (league average 90.6). Conversely, when pressured, Cousins (73.0) barely is above average (71.4) and when blitzed his rating is 90.8 (league average 89.4).
3. Jackson missed six games because of a hamstring injury, but when he’s out there, the defense must respect the deep ball. Jackson averages 17.6 yards per reception, which ranks seventh in the NFL. Curiously, that trails the Packers’ James Jones (sixth in the NFL at 17.8). Yet Jackson is considered a deep threat, Jones not so much. The reason? Jackson has gained 74 percent of his total yards (392 of his 528) and scored all four of his TDs on deep balls (passes thrown more than 20 yards in the air) and ranks 18th in that category. Jones ranks 54th with only 39.5 percent of his total yards (352 of his 890) coming on deep balls.