As he does every week, friend of GGN, Andrew sent some relevant statistics from Sunday's game via Pro Football Focus.
The Patriots blitzed Ryan Fitzpatrick 9 times on 44 dropbacks resulting in a 55% completion percentage and 4.4 ypa. He completed 65 percent of his passes for 8.1 ypa on the remaining 35 dropbacks.
It is easy enough to see why the Pats were not blitzing frequently. They were without their safeties. Blitzing puts a lot of pressure on the back of the defense. Based on these numbers, the injuries to the defensive backfield seem pretty important.
Breno Giacomini's rough season continued as he rated as the worst overall RT during Week 16 play. (1 sack, 1 hit, 3 hurries. 2nd worst run blocking grade)
Giacomini's biggest contribution was being soundly beaten on Jabaal Sheard's strip sack that was returned for a touchdown and made it a game.
James Carpenter was the only member of the O-Line with a positive Pass Blocking Grade
With D'Brickashaw Ferguson having a down year and Nick Mangold banged up, Carpenter has probably been the best offensive lineman on the team this year.
Eric Decker had a much rougher go round with Malcolm Butler this time around, only catching 1 pass on 3 targets in his coverage. However, that catch was the game winning TD
There was another key Decker-Butler play that went in the Jets' favor. With under 90 seconds left in regulation, the Jets faced a third and four from their own 26. Decker drew a pass interference flag on Butler to extend the drive. The Jets did not score, but they escaped a situation where they would have had to punt the ball back to a hot New England offense needing only a field goal to win the game. Extending the drive allowed the Jets to bleed the clock and get the game to overtime.
Leonard Williams was the highest rated 3-4 DE against the run in Week 16
When the Jets took Williams in the Draft, he seemed like a slam dunk. Of the nonquarterbacks, he was the most likely to turn into a transcendent talent. At a minimum, the odds of him being a very good starter were high as long as he avoided injury or off field problems. So far it seems like the Jets have a potentially special player. He's still learning how to play the game, and opponents are having a nightmare blocking him. He's also only 21 years old. In a few years, I would not be surprised if he was the best of all the Jets' linemen.
Sheldon Richardson continued to cause havoc in the passing game, generating 7 total pressures which was 2nd among peers at his position in Week 16
These were important pressures too. Richardson had a sack of his own. He also supplied pressure that forced Brady to step into Lorenzo Mauldin for another sack. He additionally provided pressure that forced the off target pass intercepted by Darrelle Revis.
Demario Davis and Erin Henderson both graded among the top 6 ILB's in run defense in Week 16.
It has not been a very good year for Davis, but he played perhaps his best game of the season Sunday. He made multiple big plays behind the line of scrimmage reading the blocking assignments correctly.
Despite only playing 27 snaps, Lorenzo Mauldin garnered the 3rd best pass rushing grade among all 3-4 OLB's in Week 16. (4 Hurries, 1 Sack)
Mauldin has quietly put together a strong second half to his rookie season. I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do once he gets an offseason of work under his belt.
The Patriots moved Rob Gronkowski around in order to create mismatches. 5 different Jets lined up across from Gronk in Week 15.
With that said, I was surprised by how often they sent him out wide to be met by Darrelle Revis. On one of the fourth downs on the game-tying touchdown drive, the Pats had to burn a timeout because they had sent him out to Revis' side and wanted to free him up. Out of the timeout, they moved him inside where he caught a ball on Calvin Pryor.