32 Observations: Preseason Week 2
We have passed the halfway point of the preseason, and doubled the amount of data we had from last week. There are plenty of battles to watch, ranging from finding out who will make the starting lineup, to who will make the roster. Even if a player’s spot in the starting lineup or roster is set, they can still be playing better or worse than expected. As always, here is an interesting piece of information to get you 32 steps closer to figuring out how the 2013 season will turn out.
Buffalo Bills: The Bills are looking very strong at offensive tackle. Cordy Glenn, Erik Pears and Sam Young have a combined 132 pass blocking snaps in the preseason, and in that time they have allowed no sacks, no hits, and two hurries.
Miami Dolphins: Although he has played three games and most players have only played two, Jonathan Martin has the highest overall rating for all left tackles at +4.5.
New England Patriots: Rookie receiver Aaron Dobson has the most deep targets this preseason, at five. Only one of those five passes was completed, and it went for 23 yards.
New York Jets: Last year the worst quarterback in terms of Accuracy Percentage under pressure was Mark Sanchez, at 50.5%. He has looked a lot better so far in the preseason at 88.9% — the best for quarterbacks with more than 10 drop-backs under pressure.
Baltimore Ravens: Only one of Joe Flacco’s 18 attempts has been in the air for more than 9 yards. That pass was intercepted.
Cincinnati Bengals: New outside linebacker James Harrison has three run stops on 16 run plays. That leads to a 18.8 Run Stop Percentage, which is fifth-highest for 4-3 outside linebackers.
Cleveland Browns: Brandon Weeden has an NFL QB Rating of 150.9 when not under pressure this preseason, and an NFL QB Rating of 39.6 when under pressure.
Pittsburgh Steelers: The offensive lineman who has looked the best through two games is second-year guard David DeCastro. His +2.6 overall rating is tied for third-highest among right guards.
Houston Texans: Although there has been a lot of buzz for Case Keenum, who has an Accuracy Percentage of 81.8% in the preseason, T.J. Yates is also playing well with a league leading Accuracy Percentage of 96.0%.
Indianapolis Colts: The Colts have an interesting battle on the defensive line. They have six backup linemen with a Run Defense Rating of +1.0 or better. This includes Martin Tevaseau (+3.2), Drake Nevis (+1.5), Lawrence Guy (+1.5), Ricardo Mathews (+1.5), Josh Chapman (+1.2) and Kellen Heard (+1.0).
Jacksonville Jaguars: An undrafted rookie to keep an eye on is LaRoy Reynolds. In two games he has four stops on 37 run plays, and also has a pass defensed.
Tennessee Titans: Wide receiver Damian Williams has looked the best of the Titans’ receivers. He has six catches on eight targets for 100 yards.
Denver Broncos: Only three Broncos have managed more than two pressures in the preseason. Von Miller, Shaun Phillips and Jeremy Beal have three each.
Kansas City Chiefs: The center situation isn’t looking great so far in Kansas City. Starter Rodney Hudson has a -3.2 Run Block Rating, which is second-lowest for all centers. The only one with a lower rating is his backup, Eric Kush, at -3.7.
Oakland Raiders: After a strong first game with a 40-yard catch and 30-yard catch, seventh-round rookie Brice Butler saw significant time with the first team offense in his second game. His 21.6 yards per catch is third-highest for those with five or more catches.
San Diego Chargers: Undrafted rookie Kwame Geathers is making a strong case to be the team’s backup nose tackle. His +4.0 Run Defense rating is tied for second best among nose tackles, and he has done it on just 26 run snaps.
Dallas Cowboys: Of receivers with at least seven pass routes, Dez Bryant has the highest Yards Per Route Run in the preseason, at 6.79.
New York Giants: Although second-year receiver Kevin Hardy has been targeted six times, he has yet to make a preseason catch.
Philadelphia Eagles: Although Connor Barwin has played with the starters, and Brandon Graham with the backups, there is a noticeable difference in their pass rushing. Barwin has yet to pick up a pressure on his 13 pass rushes, while Graham has six pressures on 28 pass rushes for a Pass Rushing Productivity of 16.1.
Washington Redskins: In his two starts at safety, Bacarri Rambo has more missed tackles (2) than tackles (1).
Chicago Bears: Undrafted rookie Michael Ford is doing his best to show the Bears don’t need Devin Hester. He has 185 return yards, and a 46.3 average that leads the league.
Detroit Lions: Right Tackle Jason Fox is looking like he should be a starter in Detroit. Over 40 pass blocking snaps Fox has yet to give up a pressure.
Green Bay Packers: The tight end with the highest Yards Per Route Run in the preseason is Jermichael Finley, at 6.07. That is more than 2.5 yards per route more than any other tight end.
Minnesota Vikings: Things aren’t looking good at the Vikings’ backup defensive end position. George Johnson (-4.5), D’Aundre Reed (-4.0), and Lawrence Jackson (-3.3) are all within the bottom 10 rated defensive ends. They have a combined zero sacks, 1 hit and eight hurries on 134 pass rushes.
Atlanta Falcons: Rookie cornerback Robert Alford has played 36 coverage snaps, and has yet to give up a catch.
Carolina Panthers: Backup defensive end Louis Nzegwu is creating some buzz with three sacks over two preseason games. He also has three hurries, and he has done this all on just 22 pass rushes.
New Orleans Saints: One part of the transition to the 3-4 that has gone very well is the interior pass rush. Glenn Foster and Cameron Jordan have the two highest Pass Rushing Productivities for 3-4 ends with at least 15 rushes, at 19.2 and 16.9.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: If Mike James doesn’t end up making the Buccaneers’ roster, you can probably point to his pass protection. On 13 pass block snaps, he has allowed five pressures for a low Pass Blocking Efficiency of 71.2. No other back has allowed more than two in the preseason.
Arizona Cardinals: In two games, undrafted rookie Tony Jefferson has two interceptions, four stops, and zero catches allowed. He is also among the youngest players in the league as one of the few born in 1992.
St. Louis Rams: As a team, the Rams have allowed 40 pressures so far which is six more than any other team.
San Francisco 49ers: Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha has looked good in two games. The only catch he allowed was a 5 yard gain on 3rd-and-12.
Seattle Seahawks: Outside linebacker O’Brien Schofield has made the most of his opportunity so far with his new team. His Pass Rushing Productivity of 12.5 from the left side is the third-highest for players with at least 20 snaps rushing from the left.
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