Wednesday, May 07, 2008

In the Trenches: 2007 week six

Games Reviewed
Oakland Raiders (14) at San Diego Chargers (28)
Washington Redskins (14) at Green Bay Packers (17)
New England Patriots (48) at Dallas Cowboys (27)
Miami Dolphins (31) at Cleveland Browns (41)
Minnesota Vikings (34) at Chicago Bears (31)

Blocker Ratings
Note: Players in green had above average Blocker Ratings; players in brown were below average.

Left Tackle

None of the left tackles had poor weeks, though it was disappointing to see favorites Chris Samuels, Joe Thomas, and Chad Clifton on the wrong side of average. Each struggled in the run game but did well in pass protection, as did Bryant McKinnie, Barry Sims, and Flozell Adams, who still managed an above-average BR in what was likely his worst performance of the season. Meanwhile, Vernon Carey, with three games reviewed, is having one of the best seasons of any tackle so far.

Left Guard

This is the third time I've reviewed a New England game, including the Super Bowl and 2007 week one (which used my earlier rating system which tended to yield higher scores) and Logan Mankins has yet to turn in a noticeably above-average game. On the other hand, since NFL Replay isn't given to showing blow outs, his best games probably aren't going to be considered here. Dielman and Hutchinson appear right where you would expect them to. Dielman is one of only two left guards with a BR over 9 so far this season (the other is New York Giant Rich Seubert, while Baltimore's Jason Brown is only a couple hundredths off).


Casey Rabach left the game with a groin injury and there was a huge drop off for Washington when Mike Pucillo stepped in. Of the centers with at least 50 reviewed plays so far, Rabach has the second best BR (9.18) behind Denver's Tom Nalen (9.2). Andre Gurode struggled mightily with Vince Wilfork and the middle of that early-season Patriot defense. Olin Kreutz, going against those tough Minnesota defensive tackles, rebounded nicely from his rough week-five performance against Green Bay. San Diego's Nick Hardwick had a BR of 10, but only had six plays rated before leaving the game with an injury.

Right Guard

Dallas owner Jerry Jones received a lot of criticism when he signed Leonard Davis to a big contract last off-season, but it sure looks like it was worth it. Last week I noted that the Giants' Chris Snee might be the best guard in the league these days, so I'll just note now that Snee's 9.23 BR is second best among all guards. First is Davis with a 9.39 BR. Rex Hadnot had a nice game, which is a good reminder that you can't judge a player based off of one game. Cooper Carlisle, on the other hand, looked a lot worse than he had in week two; although, the guys on the San Diego defensive line in 2007 were a tougher match-up than the ones playing for Denver.

Right Tackle

This is becoming a theme: this is the third time a Dolphins' game has been included in these weekly ratings and each time the opposing right tackle—in this case the Browns' duo of Kevin Shaffer and Ryan Tucker—has rated the highest of any right tackle that week. Consider also that in week one the opposing right tackle (for most of the game) was Washington's Stephon Heyer who this week looked miserable against the Packers. The sometimes maligned Nick Kaczur had a good game against the aggressive Dallas pass rush. He has been the best right tackle in the 2007 games reviewed thus far, posting a 8.97 BR. Another player who had a decent week six, the even more maligned L.J. Shelton, is second best with an 8.81 BR.

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