News & Analysis

5 things you need to know for Monday

By Alejandro Chavez
Aug 21, 2017

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OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 19: Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams warms up during pregame warm ups prior to playing the Oakland Raiders in an NFL preseason football game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on August 19, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Hey there football fans! Here are five pieces of news you need to know to start off your week:

Vikings DI Jaleel Johnson had a great game in preseason Week 2. His overall grade was 88.3, and he was highly effective stopping the run.

Johnson’s 21.7 run stop percentage through his small sample of 23 run snaps this preseason would had lead all defensive tackles last season, and would certainly improve upon Shamar Stephen’s 6.4 mark as a replacement for the injured Sharrif Floyd last season.

Floyd remains out indefinitely, so if Johnson were to emerge for Minnesota’s defense, he would provide a great complement to veteran pass rusher Tom Johnson, whose run defense (earning a 57.7 grade a season ago) makes him a part-time player in a perfect situation.

Mike Glennon turned in a second poor performance last week. His grade decreased after a poor Week 1 performance.

Glennon has now backed up a PFF grade of 49.2 against Denver with one of 40.4 against the Cardinals. Glennon’s first two passes of the game were screens, and his ball placement was inaccurate all game long, even on some passes that his receivers were able to bring in despite it.

Glennon’s preseason to date has been miserable, and with Trubisky a No. 2 overall pick, his seat will be increasingly warm for every outing he struggles in. Trubisky for his part at least needs the supporting cast of the second team to be put in the best situation to showcase his skills.

Jared Goff was impressive in the second game of the preseason. Goff’s performance was one of the best of his NFL career.

Goff opened the scoring with a 23-yard touchdown pass to rookie Cooper Kupp off a play action pass that needed a quick adjustment in footwork to get the pass away, and ended the game completing 16-of-20 pass attempts (68.2 percent), and completing 83.3 percent of the passes in which he was not under pressure.

Goff earned a PFF grade of 45.9 for his rookie campaign, which was worse than every other qualifying NFL quarterback other than Blaine Gabbert last year, so signs of life within the new offense for the second-year man will be gratefully received by Rams fans.

The Vikings benched T.J. Clemmings for their preseason game. Clemmings was a healthy scratch Friday night.

Drafted in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Clemmings was immediately thrust into a starting role when veteran Phil Loadholt tore his Achilles tendon in the preseason. He struggled mightily in that role, finishing 55th of 59 qualifying tackles in pass-blocking efficiency (92.4) in his 17 starts (including playoffs).

He wasn’t supposed to play a substantial role in 2016, either, but injuries to Matt Kalil and Jake Long forced him to start another 14 games, and his 31.0 overall grade finished tied for 74th of 76 qualifying tackles, prompting the Vikings to acquire veterans Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers this offseason.

The Dolphins signed Rey Maualuga. Maualuga previously spent the last eight seasons with the Bengals.

Maualuga presumably steps in for rookie Raekwon McMillan, who was lost for the season with a knee injury.

The Dolphins will need to get the 2015 version of Maualuga, who generated 37 stops and seven total pressures en route to tying his highest season-level grade in our system (79.7).

Last season was a different story, as he was one of the lowest-graded linebackers in the league, in large part because he was 57th out of 60 qualifying inside linebackers in run-stop percentage (4.6).

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