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MJL456 Jan 21 '20
BANGOR, Maine -- Austin Howard scored a career-high 19 points and hit 4 of 4 3-pointers and Maine used a 22-1 second-half run to rout NAIA-member Maine-Presque Isle 96-45 on Saturday to end a three-game skid. Tarik Cohen Jersey .Ilker Er also scored a career-high with 15 points, Andrew Fleming added 14 and Marko Pirovic 12 for the Black Bears (2-4), who shot 14 of 31 from beyond the arc (45.2 percent) and outrebounded the Owls 52-27.UMP led 13-12 on Kevin Collins jumper, then Maine used a 15-2 run capped by Flemings dunk to take a 40-20 halftime lead. Maine shot 43.3 percent from the floor in the half (13 of 30) to the Owls 21.4 percent (6 of 28).Collins hit a 3-pointer to spark Maines big second-half run with 14:27 to play and Maine cruised, with Dennis Ashley, Howard, Danny Evans and Pirovic all hitting 3s.Maurice Harris led Main-Presque Isle (1-3) with 16 points. Charles Leno Jr. Jersey . Its sharpness matched my mind. This was no night to go to sleep. Javon Wims Jersey . -- Eastern Kentucky thrives off creating havoc for others. http:///...rsey-large-176t.html . -- Ryan Getzlaf grabbed the three pucks wrapped in tape and held them up to his chest in the Anaheim Ducks dressing room for a celebration nine seasons in the making. Stars arent enough to win in the NFL. Elite players such as?Cam Newton?and?Von Miller are essential to make a playoff run, but because of the level of attrition and player rotation in the NFL, teams inevitably have to rely on untested players and reserves to excel in smaller roles.Remember that the Patriots benched nickel corner?Kyle Arrington in Super Bowl XLIX because he was ineffective and overmatched against Seahawks WR/special-teamer Chris Matthews. The guy who entered the lineup in Arringtons place was Malcolm Butler. The Patriots sure are happy they had him.When New England lost Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner in free agency the following offseason, Bill Belichick turned to Butler and saw him emerge as one of the leagues better starting cornerbacks. The lesson? Impressive work in a small sample can often highlight players who turn into future starters. Using the numbers compiled by TruMedia and ESPN Stats & Information, I wanted to take a look at some of the players who have stood out in relatively few snaps as a possible future indicator that theyll grow into larger roles.Of course, were only three games into the 2016 campaign, so those numbers arent especially robust. Ive gone back through the 2015 season and calculated performance on a per-snap basis for a number of statistics. Ill run through them all below. Lets start on the defensive side of the ball and go from there.Pass rushingPlenty of organizations use situational edge rushers in other obvious passing situations. In many cases, those part-time forces of destruction turn into every-down starters, with defensive linemen such as?Jabaal Sheard and Carlos Dunlap as recent examples. Who could be the next players to do the same? Lets use snaps per sack -- with snaps in this case representing exclusively pass plays, and 200 snaps being the baseline -- to see who takes down opposing quarterbacks most frequently.The top of the list is almost exclusively stars:?Ezekiel Ansah (28.4),?DeMarcus Ware (28.7) and?J.J. Watt?(34.8). The first part-time player on the list is veteran?Dwight Freeney, who excelled for the Cardinals last year and picked up his ninth sack since the beginning of last season in Atlantas win over New Orleans on Monday night. With 278 chances at a takedown, he is averaging one sack for every 30.9 opportunities.The most prominent name among the younger part-time players on the list is probably?Shane Ray, the Broncos 2015 first-rounder who had three sacks starting for the injured Ware on Sunday. He now has a sack once every 36.9 chances as a pro. Danielle Hunter, chosen by the Vikings in the third round of that same draft, has taken down opposing passers at an identical rate. Nick Perry of the Packers, who was once seen as a bust after being taken in the first round, has sacked opposing passers once every 38.3 snaps. Players such as?Jacquies Smith, Armonty Bryant?and Lorenzo Mauldin are also under 50 pass plays per sack.For reference, an every-down edge player such as?Khalil Mack will get just under 600 pass-rushing opportunities per 16 games (minus those plays in which he drops back into coverage, which we cant account for). A regular starter who gets rotated out of the game is more likely to get 500 chances to sack the quarterback. Hunter has produced nine sacks in 332 chances. If he kept that up over a full season, that would be 13.5 sacks. Not bad, right?A better metric of pass-rush performance is quarterback knockdowns, which is tracked by official NFL scorers. Watt perennially leads this category, including last season, when he had 50 and nobody else had more than 37. Watt knocked down opposing quarterbacks once every 12 chances; the only player who got to passers more frequently with a minimum of 200 chances was Ansah, who was at 11.4 snaps per hit.Again, the league leaders in snaps per QB hit are who youd expect: Aaron Donald, Ware, and Giants big-money signing Olivier Vernon are just behind Ansah and Watt. Injured front-seven pieces Desmond Bryant (Browns) and Pernell McPhee (Bears) are also in the top 12. The first true part-time player who fits the sort of young asset were looking for is Carolinas Mario Addison, who knocks the quarterback down once every 18.4 chances.Addison is tied with Mauldin and Robert Ayers, now on the Buccaneers, at 18.4 snaps per hit. Rotation players and backups just behind them include Arizonas Frostee Rucker (18.9 snaps per hit), burgeoning Ravens star Timmy Jernigan (20.0), suspended 49ers edge rusher Aaron Lynch (20.3), and anonymous Vikings defensive tackle Tom Johnson, who at age 32 is one of the most underpaid veterans in football. Johnson has 26 hits in 531 chances, giving him a similar knockdown rate (20.4) to Muhammad Wilkerson (21.3). Johnson is in the second season of a three-year, $7 million contract.Breakout candidate: Danielle Hunter. While Hunter is nominally the reserve end behind Everson Griffen and Brian Robison, hes already playing nearly 56 percent of the snaps this season, and its a matter of time before he works his way ahead of Robison into the starting lineup. Hunter has already accrued three sacks this year as part of a devastating Vikings front seven, and truthfully, the hardest thing he might have to do is beat Griffen & Co. to the opposing quarterback.SecondaryIn terms of defensive backs, theres one enormous outlier and everybody else. I tracked how defensive backs performed on pass plays as I did for pass-rushers, but this time, I left out plays ending in sacks.Lets start with interceptions, where Kansas Citys Marcus Peters is rightfully getting plaudits as a ballhawk. Defensive backs who rack up a lot of interceptions in a given season rarely hit those same heights the following year, but Peters looks like the exception to that rule. With some help from Jets quarterback?Ryan Fitzpatrick, Peters has followed his eight-interception season as a rookie in 2015 with four interceptions in three games this year, including two in last weeks win over the Jets. On a per-play basis, Peters is intercepting 1.7 percent of the pass attempts while hes on the field. Thats impressive.Theres one player who might be even more outstanding, though. Jets defensive back Marcus Williams has been a part-time player under Todd Bowles over the past two seasons, but he has been ridiculously productive. Williams has eight interceptions since the start of the 2015 season despite lining up for just 249 pass attempts, about 34 percent of Peters opportunities. He has intercepted 3.1 percent of the passes he has seen since the beginning of last season. To put that in perspective: You know how Peters has 12 interceptions over that timespan? If Williams played the same number of snaps and intercepted throws at the same rate he has with the Jets, he would have?22 picks. Thats unreal.To use a raw number representing a typical workload, Williams is intercepting 16 passes per 500 pass attempts faced. After Williams and Peters, theres a huge drop-off to free-agent corner Trumaine McBride (6.3 picks per 500 attempts), Raiders safety Reggie Nelson (6.1), and Rams corner Trumaine Johnson (5.9). Peters former teammate in Kansas City, Marcus Cooper, has 8.8 interceptions per 500 attempts in a much smaller sample.If we change it up and look at passes broken up (or defensed), the leader is Raaiders cornerback David Amerson, who was cut by Washington last September and caught on with Oakland, where he immediately settled in as a starter and played at a high level the rest of the way. Ken Margerum Jersey. Amerson has broken up 26 passes in 620 attempts since the start of 2015, good for a 4.2 percent breakup rate. That paces the field, with Texans star Johnathan Joseph?behind him?(3.5 percent).Bills starters Stephon Gilmore and Ronald Darby also come in above 3 percent, a testament to both of their abilities and the style of play Rex Ryan looks for in his cornerbacks. Injured Saints CB?Delvin Breaux also came in at 3 percent for his work last season. The only backup defensive back above 3 percent is Pierre Desir, who was cut by the Browns at the end of training camp and is currently playing special teams for the Chargers. Josh Norman?is at 2.9 percent, along with Cardinals special-teams star Justin Bethel, who was a mess as a regular cornerback last year. San Francisco 49ers reserve corner Dontae Johnson is at 2.8 percent.Breakout candidate: Marcus Williams. It has to be Williams, who has been the ballhawk of all ballhawks as a reserve. His role has expanded this season with Antonio Cromartie leaving town, as he has gone from playing about 27 percent of the snaps last year to 67 percent so far in 2016. Darrelle Revis hasnt slipped as much as some circles might want you to believe, so while Williams is going to end up as a starter somewhere, it might not be in New York. Expect Williams to attract attention when he hits unrestricted free agency after the 2017 season.ReceivingLets finish up by taking a look at the receivers who make the most out of their opportunities. TruMedia tracks the number of routes run by each receiver. While some receivers are fruitlessly running decoys on a given play, if a guy repeatedly manages to get open, chances are that hes going to see the football sooner rather than later. We can track which receivers are thrown the ball most frequently in terms of routes run, and then which of those receivers actually produce catches.After Monday night, there are a pair of players tied for percentage of targets per route run since the beginning of 2015. The Monday night mention makes it easy to guess the identity of one of the players. Indeed, its Julio Jones, who caught just one pass but was thrown seven targets on 26 routes. Jones targeting percentage is down from a mammoth 2015, but since last September, Matt Ryan has looked Jones way 32 percent of the time Jones has run a pass pattern.The guy who is tied with him? Its not Antonio Brown, who is third at 31.5 percent. Its not a big-name wideout such as?Mike Evans or Steve Smith Sr., who round out the top five among players who have run 200 routes or more. Its Lions halfback Theo Riddick, who is a focal point of the Lions offense under Jim Bob Cooter. Cooter has emphasized shorter, safer throws for Matthew Stafford, and despite sharing a field with a number of talented receivers, Riddick has been a cornerstone. Since Cooter took over midway through last season, no player in football with 200 patterns or more has been targeted on a higher percentage of his pass patterns than Riddick.Just about every wideout getting force-fed the ball is either an every-down star or a player who has been unavailable for stretches of the last year-plus, such as Steve Smith Sr., Martavis Bryant?and Dez Bryant. One interesting pattern that pops up is with Carolinas offense. There are 25 wide receivers who have been targeted on 23 percent or more of their routes since the beginning of 2015. Three of them -- Ted Ginn Jr., Devin Funchess?and Jerricho Cotchery -- are (or were) on the Panthers. Theyre by far the least notable receivers of the 25, too. My best interpretation of their spots on the list is that the Panthers do a good job of rotating their receivers in and out during games, and when theyre on the field and running routes, theyre generally getting open for throws.The wideouts who get the most receptions per route run are those who generally run a lot of hitches and catch a lot of screens, a group led by Brown (21.5 percent) and followed by Jones, Keenan Allen, Steve Smith Sr. and Jarvis Landry. Brown and Jones also do more work downfield, obviously. Slot receivers such as?Cole Beasley and Danny Amendola sneak onto this list, and again, the one player above 15 percent who doesnt seem to fit is Cotchery, who caught passes on 16.5 percent of the routes he ran last year.The target hog at tight end is Jordan Reed, who broke out in spectacular fashion last year and formed an immediate bond with Kirk Cousins. Twenty-eight percent of Reeds routes resulted in a target last year, with 20.9 percent of those routes producing catches. He led the league in both categories. Delanie Walker, Greg Olsen?and Rob Gronkowski unsurprisingly were among the league leaders in both as well.If youre looking for a backup or two among the ranks, its not quite as easy. Clive Walford of the Raiders is probably the best example, given that the Raiders generally use blocking tight end Lee Smith as their starter. Walford has been targeted on 21.4 percent of his routes, 13th among tight ends with 200 routes or more over the timespan. The Giants combo of Larry Donnell and Will Tye each rank among the top 15 in terms of catches per route run, turning 14.3 and 14.2 percent of their routes, respectively, into receptions. The Bears?Zach Miller, who was a backup before taking over for the injured and then traded Martellus Bennett in Chicago, is 11th at 15.6 percent.At running back, the receiving backs you unquestionably know and love in PPR fantasy leagues are prevalent. After Riddick, the most-targeted back on a per-route basis is Darren Sproles, followed by Charles Sims, James White?and Bilal Powell, all of whom are targeted between 28 and 29 percent of the time when they run routes. One surprise was DeMarco Murray, who is thought of primarily for his running ability. He has been thrown passes on 23.5 percent of his routes. Jeremy Langford and Melvin Gordon are also over 23 percent.Riddick stands alone in terms of turning his routes into receptions. Hes at 26.4 percent and the second-placed Powell is at 21.2 percent. Screen-heavy bigger backs such as?Mark Ingram and James Starks sneak onto this list as well because they catch virtually everything thrown their way. Since Ingram emerged as a regular contributor in 2014, for example, he has caught 82.4 percent of his targets. Riddick, who runs a far wider variety of routes, cant reasonably expect to keep up with that. Hes at 77.4 percent over the same timeframe.Breakout candidate: Clive Walford. Walford is still finding his stride in his second season, but he caught a touchdown pass in Week 2 and should have had another touchdown in Week 3, but it was wiped off the board by a holding penalty on Donald Penn. It takes many talented tight ends a couple of seasons to find their way in the league and become steady targets. Walford has to compete with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree for targets, but as the Raiders get into more and more shootouts, teams are going to need to start accounting for him. ' ' ' 
Max Oct 12 '20
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