32 Observations: Preseason Week 3
We’re just a week away from the start of the regular season and, for the most part, preseason snaps for the starters have come to an end. In the time we’ve had, though, some trends started to develop. Only time will tell if they carry on into the games that count, but for now all we can do is guess based on what has already happened.
As always, here are the 32 facts you need to know regarding what has gone on in the preseason so far.
Buffalo Bills: Although Manny Lawson has only rushed the passer on 38.2% of his snaps against the pass, he’s been very effective — managing five pressures on 13 pass rushes for a Pass Rushing Productivity of 28.8; third best at the position.
Miami Dolphins: Middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe has had a great start with the Dolphins, delivering a Run Stop Percentage of 26.3, the fourth-best mark for middle/inside linebackers.
New England Patriots: If the Patriots want a tight end other than Rob Gronkowski to block, they might have some problems. Of the seven lowest Pass Blocking Efficiencies among tight ends, three are on the Patriots’ roster: Zach Sudfeld at 75.0, Michael Hoomanawanui at 78.1 and Daniel Fells at 81.3.
New York Jets: Through 90 preseason snaps, Calvin Pace has yet to record a single pressure or stop. He has played more run snaps (36) than any other 3-4 outside linebacker yet to log a stop.
Baltimore Ravens: Left Guard Kelechi Osemele has had a rough time this preseason with a run block grade of -6.8; lowest for all guards in the preseason.
Cincinnati Bengals: It’s just the preseason, but Geno Atkins is continuing the incredible work he put in last season. His Run Stop Percentage of 19.0 is the second-highest for defensive tackles while his Pass Rushing Productivity of 18.2 is the top mar.
Cleveland Browns: Tight end Kellen Davis was brought to Cleveland more for his blocking than his receiving, but his run block rating of -5.3 is the third-lowest of all tight ends in the preseason.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Over the course of the 2012 season, Ben Roethlisberger completed just 11 passes when the ball was in the air for 20 or more yards, 27 QBs had more. In just 38 drop-backs this preseason, Roethlisberger has already completed five deep passes to tie him for the league lead.
Houston Texans: Wide receiver Keshawn Martin had a hard time catching the ball as a rookie with five drops against just 10 catches. He is not off to a great start in his sophomore season either, with his three drops tying him for the most among wide receivers.
Indianapolis Colts: Backup Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck hasn’t had a great preseason. He has completed just three of 12 passes that were in the air for more than 5 yards.
Jacksonville Jaguars: When quarterbacks have thrown at second-round rookie John Cyprien, they have a perfect QB Rating of 158.3. His PFF coverage grade of -5.8 is the lowest for a safety.
Tennessee Titans: In his 92 snaps with the Titans so far, Bernard Pollard has more missed tackles (2) than stops (1).
Denver Broncos: Guard Louis Vasquez has looked very good with the Broncos so far. His +7.7 overall grade is second-highest among guards. His run blocking grade is also second highest, and he has allowed just one pressure in pass protection.
Kansas City Chiefs: Through 31 preseason pass rushes, Justin Houston has yet to come up with a single pressure. He is the only 3-4 outside linebacker with at least 26 pass rushes without one.
Oakland Raiders: The only cornerback with significant playing time and a Yards Per Coverage Snap of 0.0 is Phillip Adams. He has yet to allow a catch on his 34 coverage snaps.
San Diego Chargers: The two tight ends with the most receiving yards coming out of the slot are Ladarius Green at 98 and Antonio Gates at 51.
Dallas Cowboys: Although Dez Bryant has received a lot of preseason hype thanks to a high 4.69 Yards Per Route Run, Miles Austin has had some success as well. His YPRR of 3.36 from the slot is by far the most for all slot receivers in the preseason.
New York Giants: Both Eli Manning and Curtis Painter are tied for the second-lowest Accuracy Percentage at 53.8%. Part of this is because Eli has completed a single pass in 12 attempts to the left side of the field beyond 10 yards in the air.
Philadelphia Eagles: Quarterback Nick Foles has used play-action on 50% of his drop-backs; tops in the league. Michael Vick isn’t far behind at 40.4% (fourth). However, both quarterbacks have more yards per attempt without play action (9.7 for Foles and 10.8 for Vick) than with play action (7.4 for Foles and 9.1 for Vick).
Washington Redskins: In 2012, 3-4 defensive end Kedric Golston had the 10th-lowest Pass Rushing Productivity rating for the position at 4.0. In this preseason’s smaller sample size he has shown improvement with a position-leading PRP of 18.1.
Chicago Bears: An undrafted rookie to keep an eye on is Zach Minter, who has a hit and four hurries on 39 pass-rushing snaps as a defensive tackle.
Detroit Lions: Running back Joique Bell is dominating the Elusive Rating at 209.2. He’s had nine players miss tackles on him on his 20 touches.
Green Bay Packers: While other defensive lineman have had more camp buzz, C.J. Wilson has put up a solid preseason display with a 20.8 Run Stop Percentage. That number is tied for third-best among 3-4 defensive ends.
Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings’ outside linebackers have done a great job against the run this preseason. Chad Greenway has a Run Stop Percentage of 25.9, which is currently the No. 2 mark at the position, and Desmond Bishop is third at 25.0.
Atlanta Falcons: Although Jacquizz Rodgers is known for his receiving, he’s carrying a negative Yards Per Route Run figure at -0.09.
Carolina Panthers: Although converted defensive tackle Nate Chandler has struggled in run blocking as an offensive tackle, he is one of 10 OTs with a perfect Pass Blocking Efficiency at 100.0.
New Orleans Saints: The Saints have a perfect 158.3 QB rating when throwing to Kenny Stills who has seven catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Although second-round rookie Johnthan Banks has been responsible for a high 75% catch rate, he has given up a low 8.0 yards per catch that includes just 7 total yards after the catch on the six completions he has allowed.
Arizona Cardinals: Punter Dave Zastudil has pinned opponents within the 20-yard line on eight of his 12 punts. That rate of 66.7% within the 20 is significantly higher than any punter last year.
St. Louis Rams: Teams don’t typically allow much pressure from their center, but Scott Wells has the lowest Pass Blocking Efficiency for Centers at 91.9 and backup Barrett Jones has the second lowest at 92.8.
San Francisco 49ers: Backup quarterbacks Colt McCoy and B.J. Daniels have had a combined 17 drop-backs under pressure. In that time they have been sacked five times and have not completed a pass.
Seattle Seahawks: Wide Receiver Stephen Williams has a huge 31.0 yards per catch on six catches which is the second-highest rate in the league. He also has a touchdown in all three games.
Follow Nathan on Twitter: @PFF_NateJahnke