ReFo: GB @ KC, Preseason WK 4
Some enhanced them while others did themselves little favors in what may prove their most recent advert for new employers. As is always the case we take a look at some of the most significant performances.
Green Bay – Three Performances of Note
Young Sums It Up
As the scoreboard would suggest this wasn’t a great outing from the Packers reserves. This was highlighted by a display from Vince Young (-2.9) that did little to convince you the team could still contend without Aaron Rodgers on the field.
Averaging a poor 4.9 yards per attempt (with zero drops) Young struggled for accuracy in completing just 46.7% of his throws. After recent showings in preseason he did at least try and attack the Chiefs deeper, but completing 3-of-11 passes on balls thrown 10 yards in the air or more isn’t the kind of return the Packers are hoping for.
When you take away his legs (three rushes for 12 yards) there really isn’t a lot to be excited about here. As a result of his play Young was released as part of the cuts to 53 on Saturday.
Star of Defense
While those who would see the majority of action failed to impress, one man did and he did so in just 13 snaps. Mike Neal (+3.5) is heading into the season the right way after picking up two hits and a hurry on just eight pass rushes at Donald Stephenson struggled to deal with him. He added a defensive stop in the run game in one of the few positives Green Bay will take out of this game.
At the time of writing this he was still on the roster but will it be for much longer? A 2012 seventh round pick, Andrew Datko (-3.0) likely sealed his fate with a disappointing performance that saw him beaten for two sacks and three hurries. In short, he wasn’t up to the challenge of stopping Josh Martin and it wasn’t just in pass protection that he flopped as he had problems finishing blocks around the line of scrimmage.
One man who did impress and in such a way that you think he could build on his 8 snaps last year, is Jeremy Ross (+1.4). He hasn’t had the best preseason but he did rebound here to turn his three receptions into 50 yards while also drawing a defensive holding penalty.
Kansas City – Three Performances of Note
If you’re on the roster bubble you need to get the attention of your coaches. So credit Darin Drakeford (+4.4) for putting behind him a tough start to preseason to make the kind of plays coaches love. He forced a fumble late in the fourth quarter, added a quarterback hit and hurry rushing the passer and even managed to stand up an offensive lineman on a screen pass (2nd Qtr, 14:01) that ruined that play. A fine all round day as he saw his heaviest action (41 snaps) to date.
A Tale of Two Tackles
Remember when there was a time where the Chiefs were comfortable with 2012 third round pick Donald Stephenson (-3.7) starting? It won’t be any time soon if he keeps playing like this as he was flagged for two false start penalties and had the previously noted major problems with Mike Neal. As if that wasn’t enough he was incredibly slow to diagnose as a blitz that saw that his quarterback sacked. Not ideal preparation.
On the plus side Matt Reynolds (+2.8) had an encouraging game at both tackles spot. He earned his highest grade on the offensive side of the ball by virtue of some fine pass protection that saw him allow just the one hurry on 33 pass blocking situations. He’s spent the majority of preseason at left guard but looked more comfortable moving out.
Strength Up Front
In games like this you’d expect players with substantial experience to make a positive impression. Well Jerrell Powe (+3.9) and Anthony Toribio (+2.6) weren’t about to disappoint in that regard. Both cemented their status as guys who can make an impression on early downs with strong work against the run that saw them combine for three defensive stops, and disrupt countless others.
When you’re playing as much as these guys were in the preseason finale you can never be assured of your roster spots, but you can certainly put forward plenty of reasons why you should be on an active roster during the regular season. Mission accomplished by both men.
– Safety Tysyn Hartman led the Chiefs defense with 62 snaps, while Eric Kush led the offense with 68.
– The teams forced only seven missed tackles between them in a game low on elusiveness.
– 18.2% of the plays Vince Young was under pressure turned into sacks, while he completed only 14.3% of passes of those seven attempts.
He put himself on some people’s radars today regardless of whether he’s a Chief by the end of this week. It’s Darin Drakeford.
Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled