You know what's not available anywhere on the interweb? Replays of NFL preseason games. And honestly, my life has been perfectly fulfilling without them so far. Until today...
Why? Because I wanted to figure out whether or not Jerrell Powe is our potential answer at NT, and I'm left without any tape to watch (even preseason tape against scrubs is better than nothing, right...right?). Now, I could man up and get started on my Dexter McCluster breakdown (or my Justin Houston breakdown -- still back and forth on which to do next), but the thing is, those would take a lot of time and effort.
And let's face it, today we need SOMETHING to talk about other than that one dude who became a free agent. So it's on one man to come up with something. One man to change things. One man who is so profoundly disturbed he believes he can look at the NINE SNAPS Jerrell Powe played in the regular season and derive meaning. And that man... is me.
I shall call it... Mini-Breakdown.
(If you don't know, I sometimes do posts that are basically jokes and speculation. I also sometimes do posts that break down Chiefs players based on basic stats, advanced ProFootballFocus stats, and reviewing game film. This post... is the latter)
(Law and Order Sound)
Before I do that, though, I'm going to address the (perfectly rational) reasons why many (including me) don't view Powe as the answer to one of our last remaining questions on defense.
First off, there's the fact that the man didn't play in any but one game this year. Obviously, this is not an encouraging sign. Combine that with his low draft status...
(Let's be honest, does anyone here really count on us finding starters in the 6th round? If so, you REALLY need to play less Madden and maybe pick up a book. I recommend The Count of Monte Cristo. Great read. Or you could go the other direction and try Pat McManus. Dude's hilarious, especially if you're an outdoorsman. Wow, I think I made this too long of an aside to just chuck it into a paragraph. Better break this up. Where were we now? Oh yeah, Powe's draft status...)
...and there's not a lot of encouraging news. It's not as though we're the Ravens, either, with too much talent to give a promising rookie a look. So frankly, it's totally understandable that people aren't expecting much from Powe. I'm not either.
That said, there's a FEW points that the deranged lunatic (also known as a "homer") could throw out there in Powe's defense: We were in nickel a ton and didn't need another pure nose tackle on the active roster, we already had too many defensive linemen active due to the need to constantly swap guys out in different situations, he played well in the preseason, Kelly Gregg was a solid enough vet to keep a rook at bay, they kept him off the practice squad to keep him unavailable... Those are SOME good explanations/excuses, right? He COULD still have potential, right?
So with both sides of the argument presented, let's get to "mini-breakdown".
(Holy crap, I've already used 450+ words and I haven't really started yet. See, I knew I could distract you from That Guy for a few minutes!)
1 game played. 0 tackles. 0 sacks. 0 INTs. 0 FFs. 0 Safeties. 0 PR. 0 KR. 0-0 for 0 yards passing, 0 naked pictures of his manhood texted to sideline reporters... OK, I'll stop.
Obviously what I'm getting at here is he accumulated NO stats in the one game he played (against the Patriots the night we, to borrow a phrase, got Gronk'd upside the head).
(Remember, this site features the guys that look at every snap and then "grade" players. While it's a tad arbitrary, it's handy to find out what those who watched every snap think. Also, they've got GREAT in depth stats)
Here, we find out only slightly more. Powe played 9 snaps. 7 of them were against the run, 2 against the pass. He accumulated no advanced stats either, but was rated as 0.5 (just a TAD above average) against the run and -0.1 (Almost exactly average) rushing the passer.
Again, it's 9 plays, so we're not learning much here. But think of it this way, if he'd have completely crapped himself on any of those plays his rating would've SHOT down. So slightly encouraging, no?
Game Tape Analysis
Well, we're at the meat of these breakdowns, even if in this case the meat is a sparrow that we killed with a BB gun. Meat's meat, right? (That came out wrong. Let's move on)
I'll just break down every snap, since we're only doing 9. Why not?
---Snap 1: 52 in the 3rd Quarter---
We're already getting whipped at this point and the Pats are knocking on the door at the 2 yard line. It's 2nd and goal. The Chiefs are in a "big" formation with Powe lined up right across from the center, Gregg immediately to his left and Gordon to his right.
The Big Guy makes me proud on his first NFL snap! The Patriots center and right guard both attempt cut blocks on Powe and Gregg, respectively. Guess who gets knocked off his feet and who doesn't? That's right, the rook stays on his feet (albeit wobbly and starting to fall) and actually gets in Law Firm's face in the backfield! He doesn't make the tackle, but Law firm is forced to hesitate (as the outside is, rather shockingly, sealed as well) before trying to cut back. He's tackled for a one yard gain. Not bad, rook.
--- Snap 2: 6:32 in the 4th Quarter---
The Pats are killing us but, in true Pat style, haven't let off the gas yet. It's first and 10 at their own 40. Chiefs line up with two down linemen, Powe on the right and Tyson Jackson on the left. The play is a run that looks like it was supposed to go to the right side between left tackle and left guard. Why do I say, "looks like?" Because MY BOY T-JAX AND POWE BLOW THE THING UP! NE's left guard tries to slam into Powe and shove him off the line. Nope. Powe stops him dead in his tracks and moves laterally toward where Law Firm is going. Law Firm has to do a "stepback" to allow Powe's momentum (still being pushed by the left guard) to carry him past. By then, Chiefs are swarming all over him. Two plays, two stuffs! Go Powe!
---Snap 3: 6:00 in the 4th Quarter
Very next play. Pats go to shotgun (I hate those guys) and Powe stays in as the Chiefs are basically in a 4-3 with Houston, T-Jax, Powe, and Hali from left to right on the line. Ball is snapped and Brady throws a quick WR screen pass to Welker in literally less than a second. Not much to see. Powe appeared to be shoving the C back a little, but that could well be because of the nature of the call (a screen).
---Snap 4: 5:02 left in the 4th---
2nd and 7. Houston/T-Jax/Powe/Hali up front. Ball snapped, Powe battles the center, who uses Powe's terrible technique on the play to direct him to his right. Still, though, the C is clearly starting off trying to push Powe downfield and absolutely cannot move him backward, just sideways. The result is the RB has to (again) hesitate as Powe is somewhat still in the play, and T-Jax hits him. About 3 yards on the play. If he'd have used decent technique he'd have blown that play up. You can see the "Green" on him there.
---Snap 5: 3:34 left in the 4th---
2nd and 13. Powe lined up on the left now between right guard and center, with Gilberry on his right and Tamba waaaay to his left. Ball snapped, and I swear to God the following occurs... Powe, our 6'2", 331 pound cement block of a human being, SHOOTS through the gap between right guard and center too fast for them to pick him up. After watching about 30 times (out of sheer disbelief), it looks as though it was on the C, with the right guard (some dude named Streams or Lakes or something) setting his sites on Hali. When the right guard realizes the C didn't get there on time (seriously, Powe shot through too fast. This actually happened) he attempts to help, but too late. Powe shoots through and meets the running back about 5 yards behind the LOS IMMEDIATELY after handoff...
Where he proceeds to hesitate as the running back jukes, and then get put in a clown suit as the running back uses that hesitation to run right by him. Ends up with a gain of 10. It started off incredible, and then again, the Green in Powe showed up. Don't hesitate big man!
---Snap 6: 2:50 left in the 4th---
Powe is lined up on the right again, with Gilberry to his left. He gets a KILLER jump off the line and shoves the left guard back... and is then promptly stood up, stonewalled, and moved backwards that yard as he loses the "handfighting" battle. To his credit, he keeps his head up, and when the running back cuts back his way he does a nice job disengaging from his blocker. But that dreaded Green shows up again. He doesn't quite have his feat under him and lunges to try and make the tackle before he can recover. That crap don't fly in the NFL. The running back jukes back, Powe falls, and the play goes for over 20 yards.
---Snap 7: 2:41 left in the 4th---
I'm not going to bother with any details besides the fact that the Pats are inside the 5 and try a power running play. Powe draws the double team and ends up steamrolled by center and right guard. However... They were clearly both assigned Powe, and that double team left others open to make a goal line stop. Additionally, Powe actually held for a second or two. As in, not moving an inch. Of course, he then went a little sideways (GREEN!!!) and got trucked, so take from that what you will.
---Snap 8: 2:00 left in the 4th---
Same goal line stand. Powe vs. NE's center. This is what football is all about, 2 massive dudes slamming into each other and trying to enforce their will. they run right at where the hole would be if the center had driven Powe... Except he didn't. Not a millimeter. Goal line stand, rook!
---Snap 9: 1:14 left in the 4th.
Same goal line stand, except the Pats go to shotgun and spread it out. Powe looks very active up front, but while he gets closer to Brady it's not nearly close enough, as Brady throws in under 3 seconds for a touchdown. Nullified by a penalty, for what that's worth. Nothing really good or bad on the play from Powe.
Well first, we've concluded that I can write forever about anything. Besides that, we've concluded that 9 snaps is not enough to really judge what you've got in a player.
But if FORCED to come to a conclusion based on what I watched (and I watched each about 10-15 times)... I'd say I'm a little less worried about nose tackle. In fact, I feel pretty good about Powe. I walk away from this firmly convinced (remember, if I HAVE to decide based on those plays) that Powe is a guy who absolutely has the size and strength to be a good 2-gap nose tackle. What's more, the guy's a lot more athletic than I would've thought. The reason I think he sat all season? The Green. Green, green, green. He clearly had (even by that point in the season) a TON of learning to do about proper technique. He shakes that green? Hmmm....
I'm going to make a new bold prediction just for you Texas Chief... Whether or not the Chiefs go out and get themselves a nose tackle in free agency, Jerrell Powe will play more than a few snaps for us this year, and play them well.
Hope you've enjoyed. We now return to your regularly scheduled Manningvision.