After week 2 ....
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September 25th, 2010
We’re at the all-important one-eighth point of the regular season, where the Bucs are perfect, the Cowboys are winless, and all is right with the world.
As you would expect at this early stage of the season, the rookies are a mixed bag. Gerald McCoy of Tampa was great in Week 1, not so great in Week 2. Ndamukong Suh is putting up good raw numbers in Detroit, but counteracting it and then some with general rookieness.
And you really know it’s early when an Oakland Raider tops any type of list.
1. Oakland DE Lamarr Houston (79 snaps, +7.5 rating)
After a solid start in Week 1 Houston jumped to the top of the class with a 7 pressure day and some excellent work in run defense. He won’t face Jason Smith every week, but it’s rare we see any talent put in that kind of performance. It’ll be interesting to see how the second-round pick looks this week with another favorable matchup against Arizona RT Brandon Keith. Last week: not ranked.
2. St. Louis QB Sam Bradford (141 snaps, +3.8 rating)
He’s been victim of some poor receiving (6 dropped passes) and has made some mistakes, but Bradford has acquitted himself superbly through two games. Playing well enough to rank above Donovan McNabb, Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers in the pure passing category at the moment. Last week: 3rd.
3. Miami OLB Koa Misi (81 snaps, +4.3)
That’s nine total pressures on the year for Misi at the moment but it was his run defense that was the standout thing about him in Week 2. Not an easy thing when playing Adrian Peterson. Last week: 4th.
4. Seattle S Earl Thomas (150 snaps, +2.3)
Thomas has done a good job coming up from the free safety spot in Seattle while only giving up 22 yards in coverage. It’s a good sign that he’s been solid early on when other rookies safeties have been hit or miss. Last week: 10th.
5. New England CB Devin McCourty (148 snaps, +1.8)
Currently 25th in our cornerback rankings, McCourty has been targeted often (15 times) but only allowed 74 yards. He’s beatable (2 touchdowns allowed) but he already looks the best CB the Pats have. Last week: 5th.
6. Jacksonville DT Tyson Alualu (114 snaps, +1.6 rating)
A sack and 5 pressures are a good return for the active Alualu. He hasn’t excelled in any respect but he’s not looked out of place and seems to have adapted to the NFL faster than those tackles taken above him. Last week: not ranked.
7. Cincinnat WR Jordan Shipley (103 snaps, +1.7 rating)
Yet to drop a pass, it’s easy to see why Carson Palmer has such faith in a player who has caught 10 of 13 balls thrown his way. It’s going to be hard for him to make a bigger impression with such big characters/ players demanding the ball. Last week: eighth.
8. Green Bay CB Sam Shields (106 snaps, +1.4 rating)
Our first undrafted rookie is the guy expected to contribute on special teams but who has made a strong impression for the Packers. Despite seeing considerable actions he’s only been targeted 3 times this year as a result (primarily) of his coverage. Last week: not ranked.
9. Tampa Bay DT Gerald McCoy (121 snaps, +1.5 rating)
It was going to be hard to top Week 1, but McCoy really had a rough Week 2. Gone was the menace to the quarterback but even worse was his run defense. Yo-yo seasons are always a worry and McCoy has made the perfect start for one. Last week: 1st.
10. Oakland ILB Rolando McClain (117 snaps, +1.2 rating)
McClain does some things very well. Like run defense. His 9 defensive stops are in the top 10 of all inside linebackers. But he does some things poorly, and he needs to work on dropping into coverage if he wants to be an every down linebacker. Last week: 2nd.
There were a number of situational players who have excelled that we’d like to see more from. So keep an eye out for Carolina pass rusher Greg Hardy (59 Snaps, +4.9), New England OLB/DE Jermaine Cunningham (44 snaps, +1.4), Atlanta DT Corey Peters (50 snaps, +2.2) and New England ILB Brandon Spikes (60 snaps, +3.0) who are knocking on the door of more playing time.
Dropped out: Pittsburgh C Maurkice Pouncey, Cleveland S T.J. Ward, Arizona ILB Daryl Washington.