32 Observations, Preseason Week 3

| August 25, 2014

2014-32Obs-PREWK3We have just one week remaining of the preseason, and typically the last week is saved for just backups playing backups. This means we basically have all the data we will on the starters for this preseason.

While solid play in the preseason doesn’t necessarily mean good play in the regular season, it should at least give you some players to keep an eye on. Here are 32 players who have performed well at this point and are worth watching come September.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills: Wide receiver Robert Woods has 13 catches without a drop; that 13:0 ratio leads all receivers.

Miami Dolphins: First round rookie Ja’Wuan James has a Pass Blocking Efficiency of 100. He is the only offensive tackle with more than 70 pass blocks that has remained perfect.

New England Patriots:  After posting a rather average Accuracy Percentage of 72.4% last year, Tom Brady is at 83.9% this preseason, which is the best for those with at least 25 drop-backs.

New York Jets: Running back Chris Ivory has continued to impress on limited opportunities. He has an Elusive Rating of 141.8 which is the second best for those with at least 10 touches.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens: Nose tackle Brandon Williams has a Run Stop Percentage of 12.1%, which is the third-best mark for defensive/nose tackles with at least 25 run snaps.

Cincinnati Bengals: Wide receiver A.J. Green has been targeted on one in every three of his pass routes, which has helped lead to an incredible 5.11 Yards Per Route Run which leads the league.

Cleveland Browns: Defensive end John Hughes has dominated the run with seven run stops. He has accomplished this on just 26 run snaps for a high Run Stop Percentage of 26.9% which leads 3-4 defensive ends.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Running back Dri Archer has run 17 routes and has been targeted on eight of them. That has led him to 6.35 Yards Per Route Run, which is over 1.5 yards more than any other running back.

AFC South

Houston Texans: Most guards with a perfect Pass Blocking Efficiency at this point are backups facing backups. One of the few starting guards to maintain a perfect Pass Blocking Efficiency is Brandon Brooks who has been perfect on 35 snaps.

Indianapolis Colts: Cornerback Greg Toler has had a great preseason. He is one of just three cornerbacks to be targeted 10 or more times but allow six or fewer yards after the catch. He also has a strong catch rate allowed at just 40.0%, and has two passes defended which is tied for fourth most in the league.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks has five pressures on 25 pass rushes which gives him a 15.0 Pass Rushing Productivity. That is the best for defensive/nose tackles with at least 20 pass rushes.

Tennessee Titans: The wide receiver with the most deep receiving yards is Justin Hunter. He has caught three of four deep passes thrown his way for 112 yards and a touchdown.

AFC West

Denver Broncos: Defensive tackle Sione Fua has worked his way into the Broncos’ defensive line rotation. He has five pressures on 46 pass rushes which is tied for the fourth-most pressures from defensive/nose tackles.

Kansas City Chiefs: Tight end Travis Kelce has caught 10 passes and has yet to drop a pass. No other tight end has been thrown at more without having a drop.

Oakland Raiders: When Raiders quarterbacks have thrown to Brice Butler, they have a perfect 158.3 Passer Rating. He has caught 11 of 12 passes thrown his way for 178 yards and three touchdowns. Of the receivers who have a perfect passer rating when targeted, he has the most targets.

San Diego Chargers: Quarterback Philip Rivers has been near perfect in the preseason. He has completed 15 of 18 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown. Of his three incompletions, one was purposely thrown away and one dropped by his receiver, leaving just one incompletion that Rivers was at fault for.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys: So far in the preseason Dez Bryant has only been asked to run 18 pass routes, but he has been the target on eight of those plays. In that time he has caught seven balls for 91 yards and a touchdown. His 5.06 Yards Per Route Run is second-best in the league.

New York Giants: In four games, Justin Pugh has managed a +3.3 Run Block Rating, which is the best for right tackles.

Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles have three of the top four 3-4 defensive ends in Run Stop Percentage. Joe Kruger is in second at 23.5%, Frances Mays at third at 23.3% and Cedric Thornton is in fourth at 16.7%.

Washington: Inside linebacker Akeem Jordan has five run stops on 26 run plays for a Run Stop Percentage of 19.2. That was tied for second-best for inside/middle linebackers with at least 25 run snaps.

NFC North

Chicago Bears: Defensive end Trevor Scott has played very well against the run, and has a Run Stop Percentage of 19.2 which is 3% higher than any other 4-3 defensive end with at least 20 run snaps.

Detroit Lions: Fourth-round rookie cornerback Nevin Lawson has a +2.5 grade on special teams plays, which is third best for all special teams players.

Green Bay Packers: The Packers have the best 3-4 defensive end as well as 3-4 outside linebacker in Pass Rushing Productivity. Defensive end Mike Daniels has a Pass Rushing Productivity of 16.7 after having four hurries on 18 pass rushes while Jayrone Elliott has four sacks and two hurries on 18 pass rushes for a Pass Rushing Productivity of 30.6

Minnesota Vikings: Two of the top four 4-3 outside linebackers in terms of Run Stop Percentage are Vikings. Gerald Hodges is third best at 20.0% while Chad Greenway isn’t far behind in fourth at 19.0%.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons: Running Devonta Freeman has made his case for some regular-season touches. His Elusive Rating of 64.6 has been fifth-best for all running backs with at least 25 touches.

Carolina Panthers: Punter Brad Nortman has averaged 50.5 yards per punt, which is the best in the league.

New Orleans Saints: After having a 9.6 Run Stop Percentage last year, Curtis Lofton is dominating in the preseason with a Run Stop Percentage of 30.4% which leads all inside/middle linebackers.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Although Clinton McDonald was signed for his pass rushing, his Run Stop Percentage of 25.0% is the best for defensive tackles. He has six stops on 24 run plays.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals: Rookie receiver John Brown has run 24 of his 60 routes from the slot. During that time he’s caught six passes for 108 yards. That leads to a 4.50 Yards Per Route Run from the slot which leads all wide receivers.

St. Louis Rams: The Rams have gotten a lot of pressure rushing from the left defensive end spot. Ethan Westbrooks has eight pressures and Michael Sam has six, which is the second- and fifth-best, respectively, for players when rushing from left defensive end.

San Francisco 49ers: Cornerback Chris Cook has now been targeted five times and has yet to allow a catch. That is the most targets for a cornerback who has yet to allow a completion.

Seattle Seahawks: Defensive ends O’Brien Schofield and Cliff Avril have Pass Rushing Productivity marks of 16.5 and 14.6, respectively. They are the top two 4-3 defensive ends with at least 35 pass rushes.

 

Follow Nathan on Twitter: @PFF_NateJahnke

Comments (2)

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  1. osoviejo says:

    I guess Schofield’s knee isn’t the wreckage field that the Giants decided it was. Or maybe they just had buyer’s remorse at the 2-year $8M deal they revoked.

    In any case, the Seahawks now have another quality pass rusher, at the veteran minimum, and Schofield has this season to establish his health for the rest of the league.

  2. Pygskyn says:

    I have to admit, the decision to pick James at 19 is starting to look better and better each week. If only he can refine his run blocking (which has been pedestrian) he should be able to prove he wasn’t a stretch to be taken that high at all.