ReFo: Chiefs @ Packers, Preseason Week 4
It’s not the flashiest week on the football calendar, but Week 4 of the preseason is of the utmost importance to a number of players. With one last chance to impress their current team and potential future employers, Week 4 is the Super Bowl for bubble players around the league.
It’s often a good chance to get a long look at rookies and other young, future contributors, so if you’re into player evaluation, it’s not a bad week to watch some football. Kansas City Chiefs fans got to see first-round rookie outside linebacker Dee Ford play all 76 defensive snaps while also getting a long look at quarterbacks Tyler Bray and Aaron Murray. For Green Bay Packers fans, seeing a full game from former first-round offensive tackle Derek Sherrod was a pleasant sight, while preseason sensation OLB Jayrone Elliott got his first extended action as a pro.
Here’s a look at the other performances that shaped the preseason’s final tune-up.
Kansas City – Performances of Note
Phillip Gaines, CB: -5.5
Breakdown: It was a rough day for Gaines who surrendered receptions on all five targets for 77 yards and a touchdown. That wasn’t the worst of it as he also picked up four penalties, including two illegal contacts, a defensive holding, and a pass interference.
Signature Play: Gaines was in coverage on QB Scott Tolzien’s well-thrown 33-yard touchdown to wide receiver Jeff Janis in the second quarter.
Ryan Harris, OT: +3.0
Breakdown: Putting the finishing touches on a strong preseason, Harris had a strong day in pass protection with only one negated pressure in 33 attempts while showing well in the running game (+2.3), particularly opening holes on the back side.
Signature Stat: Harris finished the preseason with just one pressure surrendered on 84 pass block attempts.
Jaye Howard, DE: +2.0
Breakdown: With only 75 snaps to his name in two years, Howard is making a case to be a big part of the Chiefs’ defensive line rotation. He picked up a hurry, hit, and a sack that was negated by a penalty to finish at +4.1 as a pass rusher this preseason.
Signature Play: At the 10:06 mark of the second quarter, Howard split the double team between the right guard and the center to flush Tolzien from the pocket.
Green Bay – Performances of Note
Jayrone Elliott, OLB: +1.2
Breakdown: The small-sample size wonder (four sacks on just 22 rushes coming into the game) finally got his chance to shine and he had another strong outing adding another sack to go along with a hurry and two stops in the run game on 44 snaps.
Signature Plays: On back-to-back plays in the first quarter, Elliott got inside RT Donald Stephenson to pressure the quarterback and force a hold, then came back and got inside him again for the third down sack.
Jake Stoneburner, TE: +2.2
Breakdown: It’s a crowded tight end situation in Green Bay, but Stoneburner made his case by showing a versatile skill set. He caught three of his four targets for 34 yards and did some fine work when lead blocking from full back as he finished at +1.3 as a run blocker.
Signature Play: Early in the fourth quarter, Stoneburner caught a pass in the flat and juked linebacker Alonzo Hightower to pick up the first down.
Carl Bradford, ILB: -3.4
Breakdown: Still transitioning from edge rusher to inside linebacker, Bradford had some issues in the running game (-2.1) and in coverage (-1.4). He too often found himself getting blocked at the second level and he struggled when playing in space in the passing game.
Signature Plays: Two plays in the fourth quarter summed up Bradford’s day as he whiffed on a tackle on RB Joe McKnight after a short pass and then couldn’t get off a block from LG Laurent Devernay-Tardif on the next play.
PFF Game Ball
Chiefs’ OT Ryan Harris caps a strong preseason with the PFF Game Ball after a stellar night in both pass protection and as a run blocker.
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