The second week of the preseason continues with games on Saturday, including one featuring the Green Bay Packers and the Washington Redskins. Teams will be looking to see which players improve on their Week 1 performances and which players really grab hold of important roles. The PFF analysis team has all of the important battles and players to watch in this game:
Coverage by: Sam McGaw
- With starting running back Ty Montgomery likely to miss Saturday’s game with a lower leg injury, Green Bay’s three Day 3 draft picks get an added opportunity to battle for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart. Williams has taken most of the first-team reps this week. A fourth-round pick out of BYU, Williams racked up 779 yards after contact last season, which ranked 22nd in the FBS. His elusive rating of 77.0 ranked 14th among FBS running backs that saw a minimum of 177 carries.
- Jones was a home-run hitter for UTEP last year. His 996 rushing yards on runs of 15 or more yards or more ranked second in the FBS. He had 28 runs of 15 yards or more. Additionally, he averaged 3.98 yards after contact per carry, which ranked fourth among FBS running backs that saw a minimum of 177 carries. Most of Mays’ production at Utah State came in 2015. That year, he posted an elusive rating of 41.2. He had 12 runs of 15-plus yards for 401 yards.
Players to Watch:
- Kevin King, CB – King, the No. 33 pick overall out of Washington, had reportedly struggled in coverage throughout camp, and it showed against the Eagles. He gave up seven catches on eight targets for 90 yards and a touchdown. Quarterbacks targeting him had a passer rating of 153.1. He allowed 3.75 receiving yards allowed per coverage snap.
- Josh Jones, S – Jones played a team-high 44 defensive snaps against the Eagles. He registered three stops and allowed 0.77 receiving yards per coverage snap. At the University of Washington last season, the second-round pick ranked 11th among FBS safeties with a 6.8 run-stop percentage.
- Reggie Gilbert, ED – Gilbert tied for first among edge defenders last week with seven total pressures. His pass rush productivity of 20.2 ranked sixth for 3-4 outside linebackers. Gilbert is battling Jayrone Elliott and Johnathan Calvin for a roster spot.
Coverage by: Mark Chichester
- Stacy McGee earned a career high grade (81.8) as a rotational player for the Oakland Raiders in 2016, but he failed to make the impact he would have wanted in his first game in Washington. He logged 15 defensive snaps against the Baltimore Ravens, and ended the game with a PFF overall grade of 48.8, the fourth lowest grade among defensive linemen. McClain played 14 snaps in the opener and showed glimpses of his potential. He provided a stop (a solo tackle that constitutes an offensive failure) against the run, and produced a quarterback hurry on one of his seven pass rush snaps. His PFF overall grade of 72.1 ranked sixth among 11 interior defensive linemen on his team.
- Second-year players Matt Ioannidis and Anthony Lanier impressed in the team’s opener. Lanier tallied two stops on his 29 snaps, and produced both a sack and a quarterback hurry on his 14 pass-rush snaps. Ioannidis was also disruptive on his seven pass-rush snaps, and although he didn’t produce a pressure, he earned pass rush grade of 82.2, the fourth highest of the game.
Players to Watch:
- Colt McCoy, QB – McCoy struggled in his first preseason game of the year, so will need to bounce back if he wants to prove himself as the team’s backup option. McCoy completed just six passes against the Ravens, and posted an adjusted completion percentage of just 58.3 percent, which ranked 44th of 53 quarterbacks with at least 10 dropbacks. He was particularly underwhelming while throwing under pressure, and registered a passer rating of 0.0 on such throws.
- Deshazor Everett, S – With S’ua Cravens out for the remainder of the preseason following knee surgery, Everett will likely fill the void at strong safety, and he’ll be looking to carry on from his impressive preseason performance from last year. In the 2016 preseason, Everett was a force against the run when lined up in the box, and on his 11 run defense snaps where he lined up within 8 yards of the line of scrimmage, he produced three stops, for a run stop percentage of 27.2 – the league’s sixth highest mark.
- Samaje Perine, RB – Perine struggled in his first start as a pro, so he’ll be looking to bounce back in his second game. On his six rush attempts in the preseason opener against the Baltimore Ravens, he failed to force a missed tackle and managed just 0.83 yards after contact per attempt, the lowest mark among Redskins running backs.