PFF Preview: Rams @ Buccaneers, Week 2
Just like the other 14 teams that head into Week 2 at 0-1, the Rams and Buccaneers both look to even out there record after disappointing opening day losses.
This week’s key matchup will be between two position groups looking to rebound after unexpectedly subpar days last Sunday. The Rams will no doubt miss Chris Long during the next two months, but having the league’s deepest D-line to help pick up the slack gives them a better chance than most at managing the loss. They will, however, need a better performance from this group than what they showed last week in order to avoid another loss in the trenches. Rookie Aaron Donald was their only D-lineman to grade in the green (+1.8) while the other seven members of their rotation combined for a sour -8.7.
Across the ball will be the Bucs’ front five fresh from facing another formidable front (Carolina) last week. The good news is that the newly acquired Logan Mankins practiced with the first team on Thursday and is expected to start again at his left guard spot. His return should really help matters as Garrett Gilkey looked out of his element (-3.9) during his 47 snaps in relief. There were struggles at other points on the line as well, including Evan Dietrich-Smith, who posted his worst grade since the 2012 season (-2.9) and Demar Dotson’s -1.1 after a strong combined grade of +19.2 last season.
Here are three other noteworthy numbers for each squad:
St. Louis Rams
Brian Quick – Rams quarterbacks had a QB rating of 112.5 while throwing to Quick. The eighth-best ‘WR Rating‘ figure in the league. Quick also has the fourth highest Yards Per Route Run among his wide receiver peers at 3.67
Tavon Austin – Lined up in the backfield on six snaps and got three carries but produced only 5 yards rushing. Four of those yards did come after contact.
Robert Quinn – Highlighting his 2013 impact, Quinn posted a pass rush grade higher than the +2.4 (sixth-best among 4-3 DEs) he started off 2014 with nine times last season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Gerald McCoy – No surprise here, McCoy started of the season strong by posting top-six performances among defensive tackles in both Pass Rushing Productivity (7.8) and Run Stop Percentage (10.3). Throw in a league-high +6.0 overall grade as well.
Alterruan Verner – Excelling in his Cover-2 duties, the Buc newcomer ranks third among cornerbacks with a Run Stop Percentage of 7.7%.
Brandon Myers – Not a strongsuit over his career, but Myers’ +1.3 run blocking grade was the only significantly positive mark in any category for a Buccaneers offensive player last week.
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