The Jets defense bounced back after an embarrassing outing in Duval County, allowing only 16 points to Case Keenum’s Broncos. For the most part, the coverage performance was strong across the board.
Let’s take a look at the numbers!
- The coverage numbers include only legitimate targets into the general area of a receiver/defender; throws in which a defender in coverage was directly involved the outcome. Throwaways and deflections at the line are excluded.
- The stats for each individual are that of the quarterback’s passing numbers when targeting the individual’s matchup. A player could receive coverage credit even if a teammate finished the play. For example, against Denver this season, Morris Claiborne tipped a pass in this direction that ended up being intercepted by Marcus Maye. I credited Claiborne with that interception.
- Penalties and pass breakups counted are only those accumulated in coverage. Penalties/PBUs picked up on blitzes, or penalties tackling another player’s responsibility, are not included.
- “Burns mitigated by opponent miscue,” or “miscues” (M) are included in charting to attempt to knock defenders who benefited from an egregious error by the offense (drop, horrible throw) and give perspective to the validity of their raw stats. A defender can still register an interception or incompletion to his credit on a miscued play.
First, here’s a look at each targeted player’s total numbers in coverage against Denver.
Next, let’s take a look at the coverage numbers broken down by individual player-vs.-player matchups and man coverage vs. zone coverage. Opponents who saw targets lined up both inside and outside are listed twice.
Some takeaways from the numbers:
- It looks like an awful game from Darron Lee in the box score, but most of the production he allowed came in garbage time. They were still mistakes independent of the fact the Jets were playing soft prevent defense, but this game was not as bad as it looked for him.
- Interesting game from Morris Claiborne. He saw an absurd 12 targets in this game. On those, he was a mixed bag, but overall he provided more good than bad. He broke up a ridiculous 4 passes (more than any other Jet has on the entire year), with one of them ending up in the hands of Marcus Maye. While Claiborne allowed 5 first downs, a couple of those were in garbage time, and on the whole he allowed less than 6.0 yards per attempt. He has had a very good start to the season.
- Maye allowed a touchdown to Courtland Sutton early in the game, but settled in afterwards. He made a bunch of great plays in zone coverage, overall yielding only 26 yards on 5 targets. After a rusty game in Jacksonville and poor start against Denver, Maye spent the final 3.5 quarters of this game looking like the player Jets fans have been itching to see.
- Parry Nickerson has had a rough start in man coverage. He allowed two big gains in this game playing man-to-man. On the year, he has allowed 3 first downs and 83 yards on 6 targets in man coverage compared to no first downs and 31 yards on 6 targets in zone coverage. His cover fundamentals are very raw, but he has flashed using his athleticism and that click-and-close ability in zone situations.
- Quality game from Avery Williamson in coverage. A season high 5 targets for him, and he allowed only 14 yards and 1 first down, which came in garbage time. While his coverage responsibilities are not as difficult as Lee’s, you can’t help but appreciate that he has only allowed 84 yards and 6 first downs over 5 games playing every single down.
- I thought Darryl Roberts was a bit underrated last season but he has been toast so far this year. In addition to the 60 yards and 3 firsts he allowed, including a big touchdown to Demaryius Thomas, Roberts was lucky not to be tagged for a 40+ yard gain on another play that was wiped out by a questionable offensive pass interference.
Morris Claiborne got his hands over the football in this game, and nearly had a couple of interceptions of his own. Here (top), Claiborne is all over the out route run by Emmanuel Sanders and gets two hands on the ball. 3 of Claiborne’s 4 breakups in this game came matched up against Sanders.
Fans love to call out Buster Skrine, and sometimes it is deserved. However, it can be tough to realize that a player is starter-quality until he is replaced by a sixth-round rookie.
Parry Nickerson has great athletic traits, but clearly has a ways to go until he is a viable man cover slot corner in the NFL. He follows Daesean Hamilton across the formation and takes him in man coverage. Nickerson bites very hard on the outside step and opens up towards the sideline. Easy money to the middle of the field.
Marcus Maye allowed the first touchdown of the game that put the Jets behind 7-0. Maye (deep middle) has Sutton passed off to him by Williamson, and is in decent position to defend the in-breaking route. However, once Sutton comes out of the top of his route and begins breaking for the corner of the end zone, Maye gets caught looking at the quarterback and missteps, allowing enough separation for Keenum to complete a tight throw for the score.
Maye did quite a bit to make up for that touchdown. Here, responsible for deep routes towards the middle of the field on the defense’s left side, Maye (deep safety on defense’s left side) does a great job picking up Thomas and preventing him from getting to this deep pass. Thomas had the full head of steam to blow by Maye and get to this pass in stride, but Maye does a good job getting in front of Thomas and impeding the route without making the contact excessive, and then sticks to him tight down the field.
Here is how the Jets are stacking up through five games.
Who is most likely to carry their hot start in coverage throughout the year?
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