PFF Preview: Buccaneers @ Browns, Week 9
In an AFC-NFC matchup, coach Lovie Smith’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers will travel to Cleveland to take on Mike Pettine’s Browns.
The battle in the trenches will go a long way in determining which team comes out on top Sunday afternoon. Tampa Bay’s front four features stud defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who is having another great season in 2014. McCoy leads all defensive tackles with a +21.3 overall grade and +22.3 pass rush grade this season. The former Oklahoma Sooner’s 9.0 Pass Rushing Productivity mark also ranks him fifth at his position. While McCoy has provided excellent pass rush, defensive end William Gholston has been solid against opposing running backs. Gholston is third among 4-3 defensive ends with a 10.7 Run Stop Percentage to go along with 13 Stops in the running game.
Cleveland’s sturdy offensive line will look to provide continuity to both the passing and running games. Left tackle Joe Thomas has arguably been the best offensive tackle in the league this season, leading his position with a +20.2 overall grade. Thomas has only allowed one sack in 2014, and ranks second behind Andrew Whitworth with a 98.3 Pass Blocking Efficiency score. The Browns have also found a bright spot in rookie guard Joel Bitonio. The 2014 second-round selection has a strong 97.1 Pass Blocking Efficiency Grade, but his work in the running game has been even better (+8.3 run blocking grade, fourth-best among guards).
Here are three more notable numbers for each side:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bobby Rainey – Most likely starting this week, Rainey is second among running backs with a 79.6 Elusive Rating, while forcing 28 total Missed Tackles in only 62 attempts.
Lavonte David – Ranks third among 4-3 outside linebackers with a 15.2 Run Stop Percentage and his 30 Stops is tops at his position.
Demar Dotson – Has yet to allow a hit on the quarterback this season, while his 96.6 Pass Blocking Efficiency ranks him ninth among offensive tackles.
Andrew Hawkins – His +7.6 overall grade ranks him sixth among wide receivers this season.
Tashaun Gipson – Leads the NFL with five interceptions, while quarterbacks have accumulated a 43.6 rating when throwing into his primary coverage.
Karlos Dansby – PFF’s second-highest rated inside linebacker (+10.5 Overall grade) also has three sacks and three QB hurries.
Recently at PFF