Welcome back everyone! After breaking down three weeks of the Jets in coverage, let’s close out the first quarter of 2017 with a look at the Jets’ pass defense in Week 4. Will Trumaine Johnson bounce back from allowing 120 yards in Week 3? Though they are in the middle of a stretch against terrible quarterbacks, can the Jets make it two straight dominant performances in coverage? Let’s dig in!
- The coverage numbers include only legitimate targets into the general area of a receiver. 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 have an interception to his coverage credit even if the interception itself was made by a teammate. For example, when Tyrod Taylor threw an interception targeting Darron Lee’s matchup, Juston Burris ended up with the interception, but I would add that incompletion and interception to Lee’s resume.
- I did not apply the same rule to fumbles; I will only count those if forced by the covering defender.
- Penalties counted are only those accumulated in coverage.
Remember that these numbers reflect raw production only, and not always are indicative of true performance level! It’s plausible that a defender can get completely smoked and end up being credited with an interception, or vice versa, bringing very tough coverage but allowing big yardage due to an incredible catch. Make of these numbers what you like!
WEEK 4 SYNOPSIS
The Jets reached .500 with a thrilling near-tie overtime win against the Jaguars. This game was largely a sloppy mess on both sides, as Blake Bortles had a horribly inaccurate performance while the Jets let Jacksonville back into the game with a pair of very untimely turnovers. However, in retrospect, it turned out to be the Jets’ best win of the season. The Jags were arguably the league’s best defensive team, and the 471 yards the Jets put up was a season worst for them.
Trumaine and the Rams went into Dallas and took home a 35-30 win.
Overall coverage yield: The first chart shows the total coverage numbers allowed by each individual Jet in Week 4.
Blake Bortles’ inaccuracy played a large part, but the Jets had an overall strong game in coverage. Everyone had strong numbers except for Darron Lee, who yielded 3 first downs, one of which was a touchdown.
Trumaine Johnson gave up 80 yards, but posted a solid rating against due to his low completion percentage allowed and preventing a touchdown for the fourth game in a row. More on his matchup below.
Coverage by matchup and field side: The chart below shows the Week 4 coverage yield for each Jet broken down by opponent matchup and the side of the field they lined up on. Check out my glossary at the bottom of the image!
Trumaine was on an island against Dez Bryant for most of the game. Keeping in line with his trends through the first three weeks, Johnson broke up a potential deep Bryant touchdown and made things tight underneath to limit completion percentage. However, the catches Johnson has given up have been productive for offenses. With this game, 8 of the 9 receptions he has given up over the past two weeks have been first downs.
Avery Williamson again had a limited coverage role, but gave up a 17 yard first down when he was caught biting hard on a play action fake.
Darron Lee allowed a team high 52 yards against the Jaguars, 42 of them coming from Leonard Fournette. That included Lee’s team high second touchdown allowed in coverage on the year. He is very late to track Fournette coming out of the backfield and is caught up in traffic, leading to the easy score.
Buster Skrine allowed just a 63.9 rating on his 6 targets, setting a new season best for the third week in a row. He had decent success against Allen Hurns. Here is a really strong rep of coverage against Hurns from the left slot.
Johnson had an up-and-down game against Dez Bryant. The 68.8 rating allowed is impressive, but the 80 yards allowed by Trumaine on 8.0 yards per attempt and 20.0 yards per completion is not as inspiring. On the first play of the game, Johnson gets called for illegal contact and still gives up enough separation for Bryant to gain 36 yards.
On a brighter note, if you remove that one play, Bryant’s numbers look a lot different. Not to discount that play, because they all matter, but Bryant only caught 3 of 9 targets for 44 yards for the rest of the game. Here, Johnson shows great tracking ability to meet Dez at the catch point and break up this pass.
Here is how the Jets are stacking up after four weeks of work in 2017.
A few tips on reading the numbers above, from how I have come to understand them. I think that quarterback rating is more valuable the larger the sample size. At this point of the year, one touchdown or one interception can make a 30-40+ point difference in rating; the difference between elite and awful. It is a nice stat for rounding everything together, but don’t rely on it completely. Take in some of the more specific numbers.
For linebackers, look at yards per completion. They are naturally going to allow high completion percentages due to their assignments, inflating their QB rating. Yards per completion is the best way to evaluate a linebacker’s coverage performance. We can’t expect them to break up many passes, but how well can they limit the damage?
For corners, completion percentage and yards per attempt are important. This is because they are far more often involved in whether or not a pass is completed than linebackers are, since a corner’s targets are often contested down the field.
So, what are your thoughts on the Jets in coverage through a quarter of 2017?
Who has been the biggest surprise in coverage so far, either positively or negatively?
This poll is closed