ReFo: Rams @ Dolphins, Preseason Week 4
Coming off of the big news of Sam Bradford’s injury this week, the Rams took a 13-0 lead into the fourth quarter. They were unable to add to their lead and couldn’t hold on as the Dolphins scored twice to take the win. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the starters for either team, but this game still provided an important platform for players on the roster bubble to make their cases in the last live action of the preseason.
Let’s take a look at who stood out.
St Louis Rams – Performances of Note
Darren Woodard, CB: +2.2
Breakdown: Woodard played sparingly this preseason with just 29 snaps entering the game. He made the most of his increase in playing time here, building on his +1.8 performance last week. In 26 coverage snaps, Woodard didn’t allow a single completion in five targets, getting his hands on two of them. Unfortunately, one of those pass defenses included a dropped interception (11:46 of the second quarter). If not for an early illegal use of hands penalty, his overall grade would have been closer to his +3.1 coverage grade.
Signature Play: Third Quarter, 12:38. Woodard made a good break on an out route to defend and almost intercept the pass to Matt Hazel.
Aaron Donald, DT: +1.9
Breakdown: Mentioning the play of Ethan Westbrooks would probably be beating a dead horse at this point, so instead let’s check in on the Ram’s first round defensive tackle. Donald only played 16 snaps, but stood out with his pressure beating the center at 9:15 of the first quarter and two other positive pass rushes against Sam Brenner that didn’t count as pressure.
Signature Stat: Has gotten at least one pressure in each game this preseason.
Sean Hooey, OT: -6.3
Breakdown: Hooey was beaten twice for defensive stops in run blocking and allowed five non-nullified pressures in the passing game. Interestingly, he had trouble early in the game on predominately inside rushes, while later in the game outside rushes were more problematic, particularly those from Chris McCain.
Signature Play: Fourth quarter, 13:06. The Rams likely weren’t going to convert on 3rd-and-23, but Hooey ensured that they didn’t, barely allowing Garret Gilbert to reach the back of his drop before surrendering pressure.
Miami Dolphins – Performances of Note
Seth Lobato, QB: -7.6
Breakdown: Made a couple of really impressive throws, such as at 3:51 of the third quarter hitting Matt Hazel between four defenders on an in-route. However, as his grade (and 48% completion rate) suggests, Lobato far too often made questionable decisions and coverage misreads. Check out 11:46 of the second quarter (his first snap) and 8:05 of the fourth for a sample.
Signature Stat: Faced pressure on seven drop-backs and had a 3.3 QB rating on those plays.
Chris McCain, LB: +7.5
Breakdown: The rookie UDFA spent time at linebacker early before playing more defensive end from a three-point stance late in the game, where he made much more of an impact. McCain picked up two sacks, a hit, and four hurries, most of them coming in a monster fourth quarter during which he repeatedly victimized tackle Sean Hooey and helped hold the Rams scoreless, as Miami came back from a 13-0 deficit.
Signature Play: Fourth Quarter 13:06. Same play as above, but does a great job dropping his pad level to turn the corner against Hooey to pick up the quick pressure and force an incompletion.
Dion Jordan, DE: +1.7
Breakdown: It’s not often that you see a player one year removed from being the third pick in the draft playing late in the fourth quarter of the last preseason game. Yet with a four-game suspension to start the season, that’s the position Jordan found himself in. Despite the circumstance, he continued his solid play after a +3.1 display last week, picking up two stops in run defense as well as three pressures in 25 snaps rushing the passer.
Signature Stat: Played just 11 of 126 preseason snaps from a two-point stance.
PFF Game Ball
Chris McCain gets this one as his unbelievably disruptive fourth quarter helped propel the Dolphins to a win.
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