The Jets held Bills quarterback Josh Allen to a 44.4 passer rating in their 27-23 win in Buffalo. Was the Jets secondary that great or did they benefit from mistakes by the Buffalo offense? Let’s look at the individual 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, deflections at the line, and other plays of that variety 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 his 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. Also, PBUs and INTs in the box score are not exclusive to one another.
- “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.
Here are the individual numbers for the Jets against Buffalo!
Next, let’s take a look at the coverage numbers broken down by individual player-vs.-player matchups and man coverage vs. zone coverage.
- Morris Claiborne was not awful in this game, but his slump continued. He allowed only about nine yards a catch (which is low), but gave up five catches on six throws in his direction for three first downs. He is starting to play way off the line consistently, and is giving out a lot of free production underneath.
- Buster Skrine had a bad 33-yard pass interference penalty on a free play caused by an offsides call. However, outside of that one bad play, he didn’t allow a catch. Over the past three games, I have Skrine down for allowing 2/6 passing in his direction for 30 yards and just one first down.
- Rashard Robinson, whom the Jets traded a fifth round pick for at the trade deadline last season, has not made the most of his limited opportunities. I tagged him for allowing 5/6 passing in his direction for 131 yards in 2017. That was on only 20 total defensive snaps. This season, he’s allowed 3/3 passing for 68 yards - on 19 total snaps. Altogether, he’s given up 199 yards and six first downs on nine targets as a Jet, in only 39 total defensive snaps. That is...... unfathomably bad.
- Neville Hewitt played 82% of defensive snaps with Darron Lee going out for the remainder of the year due to suspension. I thought the dropoff in coverage quality was noticeable. As you can see above, Hewitt only yielded one first down on six targets and a 5.8 yards per target average, but I tagged him with two mitigated burns. A bad drop by Zay Jones and a poor throw from Josh Allen helped Hewitt avoid a bit more ire from the casual onlooker (including me) upon television viewing. There were a few other less egregious plays that worked in his favor. Hewitt doesn’t have the same speed as Lee, and I saw way too much of him getting caught staring at the quarterback without knowing where the nearest threat was.
- Got to give Trumaine Johnson some credit. He was not dominant in this game, as he was rarely challenged by a bad Bills offense and played a lot of zone. However, he continued to make the splash play as he picked off two more passes, making it three for him in two games and four on the year. It’s always a good thing to make a lot of big plays in succession, regardless of how easy the plays might have been or who they were against.
Both picks were on the left sideline as Johnson was playing a deep zone. On each one, Josh Allen made a very poor decision trying to force the ball to Zay Jones over the top. Johnson showed solid instincts on both to go and find the ball, staying disciplined to his assignment and reading Allen well. On the second, he did a nice job redirecting Jones at the line of scrimmage.
For all of his down points this year, I have Johnson tagged for a 1 to 4 touchdown to interception ratio in his direction on the year. It doesn’t make up for his overall struggles, but it’s a number worth giving him some credit for accumulating.
Johnson had his share of highly disappointing struggles early this year and still has a way to go over the next three weeks of the season to make up for those low points. Challenges against Deshaun Watson (and DeAndre Hopkins), Aaron Rodgers (and Davante Adams), and Tom Brady in New England will be his three toughest tests of the season. If he can carry this hot streak through those three games, then at that point we can feel legitimately more confident in Johnson going into 2019.
Here are my numbers for the Jets on the season.