Cliff Avril & Michael Bennett
ProFootballFocus.com 2014 Pass Rush Ratings 4-3 DEs
Bennett and Avril ranked third and fifth a year ago. They rank fourth and fifth now. Chris Clemons ranked 17th a year ago, and is now second from the bottom (#52) of all DEs listed.
ProFootballFocus.com 2014 Run Ratings 4-3 DEs
4-3 DEs QB Hits
4-3 DEs QB Hurries
ProFootballFocus 4-3 DEs Pass Rush Productivity
ProFootballFocus tracks a stat called Pass Rush Productivity (PRP) that is a composite of sacks, hits and hurries compared to the number of pass rush snaps a player gets. Avril and Bennett rank a healthy fourth and eighth in that stat. They were third and sixth and year ago. Avril had a 11.0 PRP last year, and a 10.8 this year.
These guys are playing darn good football.
J.R. Sweezy & Alvin Bailey
Sweezy ranked 79th in screen blocking on PFF among guards last season. He ranks #1 this year
Sweezy ranked 42nd in run blocking by PFF rating last year. He ranks 13th this year.
Sweezy has also cut down his penalties considerably. Nice to know at least one member of the line has done that.
But perhaps even more underappreciated than Avril, Bennett or Sweezy has been the play of Alvin Bailey. Consider that the second-year undrafted lineman has already played four positions (LT, LG, RG, RT) on the line this year. He has started games at LT and LG. He will likely start again this week in place of James Carpenter after starting for Russell Okung last week.
His numbers are not going wow anyone, but think about who he replaced. Paul McQuistan was in the midst of an eight-game run as the worst left tackle in football last year right about now. That is not an exaggeration. McQuistan compiled a -19.7 pass block rating as a left tackle last year. Fans don’t like the pressure Russell Wilson is facing this year. They should go back and watch the Houston, Indianapolis and St. Louis games last year. They make this year look like a day by the pool for Wilson.
Among the Seahawks lineman with at least 100 snaps this year, Bailey has the second-best pass block rating. His ability to sub for a Pro Bowl left tackle without disaster ensuing is a massive luxury. That he can come in at either guard or right tackle is a bonus. Justin Britt is a better run blocker at the moment, but Bailey could sub right now at right tackle and the Seahawks pass protection would improve exponentially. Cable’s preference for run blocking over pass blocking has never been more apparent than his choice to start Britt and McQuistan at tackle over Bailey.
Marcus Burley & Richard Sherman
Part of what has made Burley stand out is his tackling and toughness. He has missed just one tackle all year, and ranks 12th among CBs in tackling efficiency, according to PFF.
Richard Sherman gets plenty of attention, but most are underselling just how well he is playing this year.
|Sherman leads the NFL in coverage efficiency|
It takes 17 snaps in coverage before a team completes a pass against Sherman. That is best in the NFL. He led the NFL in that statistic last year as well. Notice Patrick Peterson and Joe Haden are nowhere to be seen, and Darrelle Revis is well down the list.
People know Sherman is good in coverage. But he has taken a massive step forward in run defense. He ranked 24th in the NFL in run stop percentage a year ago among CBs, but ranks 8th this year. He ranked 24th among CBs in run rating last year, and ranks 7th this year.
He is playing the position better than anyone else in football.