The second week of the preseason continues with games on Saturday, including one featuring the New York Lions at the Detroit Lions. 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: Cyrus Geller
Position Battle: Buster Skrine/Juston Burris, CB
- Last season Skrine struggled mightily, as his overall grade of 45.5 ranked 89th out of 110 qualified cornerbacks. However he was very good in the slot, as he only allowed 0.83 yards per coverage snap, which ranked fourth out of 21 qualified corners.
- Burris didn’t play much last season, as he was on the field for only 186 snaps (compared to 816 for Skrine), but he did show promise. His overall grade of 72.5 would have placed him 56th out of 110 corners had he qualified. Morris Claiborne will be one starter at corner for the Jets, but that other spot is up for grabs, and good performances in the preseason could go a long way towards grabbing it for Skrine and Burris.
Players to Watch:
- Chris Harper, WR – With Quincy Enunwa out for the year, the Jets will need Harper to contribute at a very thin receiver position. Against Tennessee, Harper caught two of the four passes thrown his way for 21 yards, and had a solid overall grade of 74.7.
- Robby Anderson, WR – Anderson was very impressive against Titans, catching three balls on only three targets for 71 yards, as he earned a grade of 81.3, which led the Jets receivers.
- Christian Hackenberg, QB – Hackenberg received the bulk of the snaps at quarterback against the Titans, and he was very average in producing offense for New York. He only averaged 5.1 yards per attempt, and his overall grade was 71.5. He will have to play better against the Lions if he wants to move his way up the depth chart.
Coverage by: Brett Whitefield
Position Battle: Greg Robinson/Cyrus Kouandjio, LT
- Last week Greg Robinson took a big step forward in the battle vs. Kouandjio without really playing well. Robinson played 37 snaps earning an overall grade of 64.4. Robinson gave up two total pressures on 25 pass block snaps earning a pass blocking efficiency of 94.0 which ranked 39th out of 82 eligible tackles.
- Kouandjio was a healthy scratch from the game and didn’t play a single snap.
Position Battle: Jeremiah Valoaga/Alex Barrett/Pat O’Connor, third ED
- With the Lions losing Kerry Hyder for the season they will first look for help from within among one of three rookie edge defenders. Last week these three stole the show. Valoaga earned the 10th-best grade among edge defenders at 86.0 while Barrett (84.8) and O’Connor (82.1) followed closely behind.
- All three of them were terrors rushing the passer with each producing an exceptional pass-rush productivity; Barrett at 14.7, Valoaga at 13.5 and O’Connor at 12.5. All three ranked in the top-20 among 4-3 defensive ends for the week.
Position Battle: Jake Rudock/Brad Kaaya, backup QB
- Rudock entered last week’s preseason game as the clear favorite to win the backup quarterback job and nothing has changed for this week. Against the Colts, Rudock played a majority of snaps at 36 and even got some run with the first team offensive line earning the 14th-highest quarterback grade of the week at 73.0. Kaaya played just 23 snaps, mostly with the third team offense earning a grade of 67.7.
- Both quarterbacks struggled under pressure. Ruddock’s passer rating while under pressure of 60.0 ranked 28th out of 61 quarterbacks who had at least 10 dropbacks. Kayaa’s 47.9 ranked 40th.