Deshaun Watson completed 22 of his 28 passes for 294 yards and a 134.2 passer rating, his best on the road this season. Which Jets in coverage were to fault? Let’s 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, 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 Houston!
Next, let’s take a look at the coverage numbers broken down by individual player-vs.-player matchups and man coverage vs. zone coverage.
- Trumaine Johnson started to rebound over the past two weeks while matching up against Cameron Batson, Tajae Sharpe, Zay Jones, and Robert Foster. Week 15 marked the first game in a three-week quarterback gauntlet that would truly test the validity of Johnson’s surge. Houston was not a good start. Johnson allowed a team-high 65 yards on only six targets, plus four first downs to tie Morris Claiborne for the team lead. Johnson also benefited from a pressured short throw that saved him from a fifth first down.
- DeAndre Hopkins beat Johnson for a trio of tough first downs, in which Johnson’s coverage was not awful but wasn’t good enough as Hopkins was able to get to his spot and make a tough catch. Claiborne drew the majority of 1-on-1 matchups against Hopkins, since Johnson was beaten by #10 nearly every time they matched up 1-on-1 outside. Otherwise, Johnson mostly stayed home on the left side of the field and played way off, usually about 8-10 yards backed off the line. There was one play where Johnson completely whiffed on an easy tackle attempt of the aging Demaryius Thomas and allowed a 10-yard first down turn into a 27-yard one. Johnson needs to do a lot better over these last two games to save face going into 2019. As of right now, his deal seems like a bust. The Jets don’t even trust him to take on tough assignments, and when he does, he usually fails. It seems like they’re hiding him. Not ideal for one of the highest paid defensive players in the NFL.
- Claiborne’s struggles continued. He was trusted with most of the 1-on-1s against Hopkins and did not do a great job. He allowed four first downs on five targets to Hopkins, in addition picking up a holding call. Claiborne was very, very tight on Hopkins’ 14-yard touchdown, but ultimately Deshaun Watson comfortably fed his favorite weapon all game. There were a few times in which Claiborne was beaten pretty badly and fortunately either not targeted or saw a less than ideal throw in his direction (despite not being tagged with any miscues above).
- Jamal Adams doesn’t even show up in the charts above, as he goes without a target. He did a solid job in a variety of cover roles. He helped double Hopkins over the top on a few plays, went 1-on-1 with tight ends outside, and smoothly took away the flat from the running backs. Over his past six games, I have Adams responsible for allowing 6/13 passing in his direction for 29 yards and no first downs. He is unreal.
- Buster Skrine quietly continues to hold up well. Make of it what you will. Over the past four games (all post-bye week), I have Skrine down for allowing 4/9 passing in his direction for 43 yards and just one first down.
Here are my numbers for the Jets on the season!