It’s difficult to come away from this game thinking about anything other than Sam Bradford. With 8:23 left in the first quarter Armonty Bryant beat Jake Long(-3.3 grade in his first game back from his torn ACL) outside and put a hit on Bradford that took him out of the game. On Sunday afternoon it was released that the quarterback had torn his left ACL for the second straight season. It’s terrible news for Bradford, who looked better than ever, and for the Rams playoff hopes. The former number one overall pick had a +4.1 grade in 38 preseason snaps.
St. Louis – Three Performances of Note
Ethan Westbrooks, DE, +4.0
Breakdown: Westbrooks’ roster spot is a formality at this point. Now he’s just competing for snaps in the regular defensive rotation. The undrafted defensive end put forth a monster game for the third straight week with four pressures and a stop. His real value during the regular season could be as an interior rusher in passing situations. Seven of his nine pressures this preseason have come from the defensive tackle position.
Signature Stat: Westbrooks’ is comfortably the highest graded 4-3 defensive end of the preseason at +11.8 overall.
Greg Robinson, OG, -1.5
Breakdown: Is it too early to worry about the number two overall pick? Robinson got an extended look with 67 snaps on Saturday and it resulted in his third straight negatively graded game. Draft analysts all said he was raw, but that was mostly referring to pass not run blocking. Through three games Robinson has a -6.3 run blocking grade.
Signature Play: Playing left guard at Q2-4:15, Robinson was unable to execute a simple down block on nose tackle Ahtyba Rubin who made the tackle on power left.
Kenny Britt, OT, +1.4
Breakdown: Just two catches on two targets for the day, but boy were they pretty. Both catches went for 30+ yards into contested coverage. After rave reviews throughout camp, but no production through the first to games, I was beginning to wonder if he really still had the physical ability that saw him make back-to-back PFF Team’s of the Week in 2011 before tearing his ACL. Thankfully Britt cleared that up for me.
Signature Play: On a 3rd and 25 on the Rams first drive Britt ran a deep post route and skied in Leon McFadden and Donte Whitner for 36 yards.
Cleveland – Three Performances of Note
Justin Gilbert, CB, -2.5
Breakdown: It was an eventful Saturday night for the rookie cornerback. He played 54 of a possible 85 snaps and was targeted on eight passes. Unfortunately, he surrendered five catches for a game high 141 yards and two touchdowns. It wasn’t all bad though, after halftime Gilbert would break up two passes including a beautiful one handed swat on a Chris Givens’ go route.
Signature Play: Gilbert’s half-hearted tackle attempt on Givens’ crossing route with 3:00 left in the 2nd quarter ended up in a 75 yard touchdown.
Chris Kirksey, +.2
Breakdown: Almost a mirror image of his performance from the Detroit game, Kirksey excelled against the pass(+2.0), but left a lot to be desired against the run(-1.7). The rookie had an interception and yielded just 13 yards on his three other targets for the day. His +3.8 coverage grade is the highest of any inside linebacker this preseason and is a welcome sight for Browns fans that had to watch Craig Robertson earn PFF’s lowest coverage grade last season.
Signature Play: This one is obvious. It occurred midway through the third quarter when linebacker read the post route from Alex Bayer all the way and undercut it perfectly to intercept the pass from Austin Davis.
Armonty Bryant, +.6
Breakdown: Another game, another pass rushing clinic. Bryant earned a +1.5 pass rushing grade for the third straight game. Bryant had two hurries and a hit in 20 pass rushes. Bryant has been a pleasant surprise this preseason and should be an admirable replacement for Desmond Bryant until he returns from his wrist injury.
Signature Stat: Bryant’s 9.5 Pass Rushing Productivity is the fourth highest among 3-4 ends this preseason.
PFF Game Ball
He set the tone early with a +2.1 grade in just 10 drop backs, but just like against Carolina last season, no one is going to talk about his performance. Here’s hoping Bradford can rehab successfully and start next season playing even better.
Follow Mike on Twitter: @PFF_MikeRenner