OK... so after some deliberation I decided to put this in The Stadium versus the ES Coverage Blog, hopefully we'll generate more discussion here on it.
This is part 2 of what will likely be a 3 part series where we focus on the play of all Dlinemen throughout the preseason games, accounting for their impactful snaps along the way. Here's part 1 for those who missed it:
So, first, just a quick reminder as to how I've approached this.
The videos I took are essentially snaps that I thought either had a clear win or a clear loss by any single Dlineman or more. I judged wins/losses more (but not totally) off of the initial movement generated, or ground given up, from the player so as to keep it as basic as possible and avoid schematic context. The snaps that occurred where neither a win nor a loss necessarily occurred on the entire Line (player did nothing impactful either way) were omitted in this count. However, that only happened on a few occasions, the majority of snaps held some intrigue for us.
At the end of this, I compiled the number of wins and losses for each player, and then I'll continue to do this through the next preseason game. This one will have 2 charts, one showing the stats for this particular game and one showing a total throughout the first two preseason games.
Click on the videos to see the line of text detailing said wins/losses. This time around, I color coded wins/losses/neither to make it easier while viewing.
Shall we begin?
(Apologies for the small text size of the following charts, wanted it to fit properly in a mobile format, as well)
Stats against Packers
Player Wins Losses Snaps Accounted For*
63 Brandon Banks 2 4 6
69 AJ Francis 5 3 10
72 Anthony Lanier 4 4 13
73 Ondre Pipkins 1 2 6
78 Joey Mbu 6 4 11
90 Ziggy Hood 3 3 8
92 Stacy McGee 3 0 6
95 Jonathan Allen 4 2 7
97 Terrell McClain 4 2 8
98 Matt Ioannidis 7 2 9
99 Phil Taylor 3 0 4
Totals through both Preseason Games
Player Wins Losses Snaps Accounted For*
63 Brandon Banks 3 5 8
69 AJ Francis 12 4 18
72 Anthony Lanier 12 5 24
73 Ondre Pipkins 2 3 8
78 Joey Mbu 6 12 22
90 Ziggy Hood 3 6 14
92 Stacy McGee 8 2 13
95 Jonathan Allen 6 2 12
97 Terrell McClain 6 2 10
98 Matt Ioannidis 10 3 13
99 Phil Taylor 8 0 9
*Total snaps accounted for is just a tally of snaps where a win/loss occurred on the Dline, and not a total snap count. That being said, the number somewhat reflects total snap counts since the majority of snaps had a win/loss occur.
So what did I learn this time around? Let's go down the list.
-Brandon Banks, similar to last week, didn't play many snaps, only coming in towards the end of the game (along with Pipkins). So his competition was weak, as well. 2 wins, 4 losses. Not a very good game, and you can see why he's on the bottom of the depth chart for now.
So far he's been the same guy throughout both games; a developmental prospect who has quite a ways to go.
-AJ Francis didn't have as good a game as he had last week when he tallied 7 wins to only 1 loss. Again, he mostly played against second-stringers and tallied 5 wins to 3 losses out of the 10 snaps accounted for. Interestingly, when he first came into the game he was at his usual NT spot. Later on when he got some more snaps they had him playing in the nickel a bunch of times. He had his best series where most of his wins came doing that early in the 4th quarter.
So far he's been one of the better players on the Dline throughout the preseason tallying 12 wins to 4 losses, though he hasn't played against first-stringers at all.
-Anthony Lanier didn't have nearly as good a game as he did last week when he tallied 8 wins and only 1 loss. He played mostly against second-stringers and finished with 4 wins to 4 losses. That was on 13 snaps accounted for, so he had quite amount where he wasn't positively or negatively impactful either way. He was off the field for some time, but then came back in towards the end of the game, interestingly enough. Seemed to not be into it, though, and most of his inconsequential snaps were at that point.
Like Francis, Lanier has been one of the better players on the line, and has shown his increased strength, as well. He remains inconsistent to a degree, but he's an improved player overall. Mostly has played against second-stringers, though.
-Ondre Pipkins, similar to the game before, came into the game late with Banks and didn't have many snaps overall. He didn't do too well, finishing with 1 win and 2 losses on 6 snaps accounted for.
So far he's flashed some potential as a Nose, but it's easy to see why he's at the bottom of the depth chart. Has a long way to go.
- Joey Mbu came back with a vengeance and totally outperformed what he did last week, when he ended up with 8 losses and 0 wins. Played mostly against second and third stringers, but had some of the nicer wins of the night. He finished with 6 wins and 4 losses, so it wasn't some wonderful game or anything... but, still, much better than last week.
So far, he's shown himself to be an intriguing prospect in that he's proven he can step up his game after a bad performance. He's got some good athleticism for a Nose Tackle, had a sick spin move on a pass rush, but also has the propensity to get pushed off the LOS.
- Ziggy Hood improved a little bit on his game last week, where he tallied 3 losses to 0 wins. He started the game alongside McGee and McClain, playing mostly against the first team of the Packers. He finished with 3 wins and 3 losses on 8 snaps accounted for.
So far, I view him as the weakest link on the line when it comes to the starters or heavy rotation guys. His totals are 3 wins to 6 losses on 14 snaps accounted for. It's just not promising. The biggest frustration is that he'll be the only guy getting pushed back on the entire Dline in too many instances. He remains the locker room leader on the line, so hopefully he can take another step this Sunday and show his value on the field.
- Stacy McGee added another solid outing to the one he had last week when he won 5 snaps and lost on 2. As mentioned above, he started alongside Hood and McClain. Similar to last week, his wins weren't necessarily big time ones, but he was a net positive overall.
So far McGee seems like a solid starter. He might not be an impact guy, but he doesn't get moved easily and can get up the field pretty quickly for a man his size. He's got a good feel for pass rushing, as well, and can disengage in multiple ways.
- Jonathan Allen had a good game, maybe even better than last week where he finished with 2 wins and 0 losses, with quite a few inconsequential snaps. This time, he finished with 4 wins and 2 losses, but he played a good amount against the first team since he and Ioannidis immediately came in as the nickel linemen.
I mentioned last game that shows great awareness for a rookie. This time his best play arguably came when he sniffed out a screen, ran the RB down, and made the tackle. He's got 6 wins to 2 losses so far, but a bunch of inconsequential snaps. He's absolutely flashed his talent, and there's no doubt he can be an absolute monster, but he still has a ways to go in order to reach his great potential. Hopefully it all clicks fast, and I wouldn't bet against just that.
- Terrell McClain added another solid outing to the one last week, where he tallied 2 wins to 0 losses. However, unlike last week, he started this game and played mostly against the first team of the Packers, finishing with 4 wins and 2 losses.
So far, I'm not as down on McClain as many seem to be. He's definitely not flashing stud potential or anything, but he's also not a liability out there. He seems to be finding his way and is hesitant in what he's doing, but he's a strong guy and doesn't get moved easily. I think as time goes on we'll see a better player.
- Matt Ioaniddis had another good outing, probably even better than last week's where he finished with 3 wins and 1. He got a significant amount of reps against the first team, this time in the nickel with Allen mostly, and finished with 7 wins and 2 losses.
Ioannidis has looked like one of the best players on the line this preseason. He's consistently beating his man, shedding his blocker, and has shown great power in whatever he does. I'm surprised at just how effective he's been at pass rushing. He's got a total of 10 wins to only 3 losses thus far. Impressive.
- Finally, Phil Taylor came in with another excellent performance. Unlike last week, when he tallied 5 wins to 0 losses against the first team Ravens, he mostly played against the second team of the Packers and finished with 3 wins and 0 losses.
Thus far, he has not only proven to be a good Nose Tackle, he has been the best Dlineman on the field! Granted, it's only been two preseason games and things can change fast, that's pretty exciting to think about considering our woes at the position. Guy simply hasn't lost, and has had a positive impact on nearly every snap he's been in on. And he's not just this run-stopping, plodding Nose Tackle. He's extremely athletic and can rush the passer as good as anyone else on the line so far this preseason.
Alright, so a quick summary of what I'm sensing thus far this preseason.
Ioannidis and Taylor are head and shoulders above everyone else. Allen is flashing what he can be, but he's showing he's a rookie, too. McGee seems like a solid, not spectacular, starter. McClain can be a good piece, but he's inconsistent and doesn't seem comfortable too often. He's also looked slow at times, but he's definitely strong, so his athleticism is a mixed bag. Lanier is a bit too up and down since he followed up his great game against the Ravens with an inconsistent one against the Packers, but he's definitely flashing his abilities. Hood has, unfortunately, been a liability. Mbu is a bit of a quandary because he was absolutely terrible against the Ravens, but initially showed up well against the Packers, before tailing off a little bit again. Francis has done well, and is an intriguing young prospect at the Nose position. Finally, both Pipkins and Banks are nothing more than developmental prospects and have a long ways to go, though I think Pipkins has flashed more.
Alrighty, guys and gals... hope you enjoyed. I, for one, can't wait to see what happens next in the culmination of this series!