ReFo: Falcons @ Jaguars, Preseason Week 4
Wrapping up the preseason, the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars set about getting final on-field looks at their roster question marks. Entering the game with fingers crossed that the play put on tape would make decisions easy, the staffs on both sides were given plenty to go by.
Cuts have already started coming in from both sides as they trim toward the final 53 and here are a handful of performances that stood out one way or another from the final audition.
Atlanta Falcons – Performances of Note
T.J. Yates, QB: +2.2
Breakdown: While the Jaguars may have quarterback questions cropping up, there’s no such mystery in Atlanta as Matt Ryan’s job is miles from any jeopardy. It’s always nice for a coach’s sanity, though, to have a capable backup. After a pair of less than inspiring preseason performances that had the Falcons’ No. 2 QB sitting in the red, T.J. Yates showed something in this one, hitting a variety of routes for first downs and connecting on a deep-ball score while putting up an Accuracy Percentage of 84.2.
Signature Play: Not as obvious as the long touchdown when hunting for a highlight, but Yates’ throw at 6:23 of the first that hit Jeremy Ebert in stride on a skinny post was a pleasing sight.
Robert McClain, CB: +3.0
Breakdown: On just 16 snaps in coverage McClain was challenged four times including three throws where he was the primary defender. Coming away with a pair of passes defensed (one erased by penalty) and third-down stops on the other two, McClain ended the preseason on a high note.
Signature Play: In another example of him making a play on third down, at 5:58 of the second quarter, McClain undercut an out route and nearly hauled in a pick.
Stansly Maponga, OLB: +1.7
Breakdown: A fifth-round pick in 2013, Maponga found his way onto the field for just 131 regular-season snaps and, worryingly, put together a -8.7 overall grade in that brief time. A better showing during this preseason says maybe he’s settled in and his week on week improvement this month says maybe there’s more to come.
Signature Stat: Adding three hurries to his preseason total, Maponga currently sits third among 3-4 outside linebackers in total pressures with eight.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Performances of Note
Sam Young, OT: +1.6
Breakdown: With his third straight game in the green – actually, his third straight +1.6 – Young maintained his spot among the top-graded offensive tackles this preseason. Getting a long look in the exhibition season’s fourth and final week, Young played all 63 snaps for Jacksonville and did nothing to hurt his chances of sticking on through cutdown day.
Signature Stat: Young also graded well in the preseason last year, earning a +3.0 overall mark for Buffalo, but his regular season time split between the two teams totaled just nine snaps.
DeAndre Coleman, DT: +2.5
Breakdown: Coleman, a rookie free agent out of Cal who was let go by the team on Friday ahead of cutdown day, saw his highest snap total of the preseason and brought home a QB hurry to go with four defensive stops while making Atlanta guard Harland Gunn’s day a rough one in the process.
Signature Stat: Coleman’s preseason Run Stop Percentage of 12.9 ranks 11th among the 108 DT/NTs who’ve seen at least 20 snaps of run defense.
Mike Brewster, C: -3.2
Breakdown: The mountain of red grades Brewster built as a rookie starter at guard in 2012 didn’t dissuade the team from giving him a shot to take over Brad Meester’s vacated center position once the long-time anchor retired. However, an injury late in 2013 and a 2014 preseason that saw him go 4-for-4 in adding games in the red have forced their hand.
Signature Stat: Brewster’s -7.0 overall grade on 77 snaps this preseason has him 76th of 78 centers that have played at least 50 snaps.
PFF Game Ball
For a game in the fourth week of the preseason, there’s more slop than standout expected, but Robert McClain’s efficient day in coverage was a rare treat and gets him the honor.
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