Happy Friday! Welcome back to the ninth edition of my 2017 Jets coverage report, detailing the individual coverage stats for each Jet in 2017, including newcomers Trumaine Johnson and Avery Williamson. Let’s get into the numbers for the Jets in Week 9.
- The coverage numbers include only legitimate targets into the general area of a receiver/defender. 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 9 SYNOPSIS
The Jets snapped their three-game losing streak with a 34-21 clobbering of the Bills on a MetLife Thursday night. Tyrod Taylor completed 29 of 40 passes for 285 yards and 2 touchdowns, for a highly deceiving 108.9 rating. Taylor and the Bills stockpiled stats in garbage time after playing a uber-conservative offensive game for 3.5 quarters that went nowhere and resulted in 7 sacks, many of which were avoidable.
Overall coverage yield: The first chart shows the total coverage numbers allowed by each individual Jet in Week 9.
The QB rating numbers are ugly, but they make the Jets’ defensive performance in this game look much worse than it really was. Taylor and the Bills stockpiled completions and 8-10 yard gains, but never got anything going offensively until the final two drives of the game when they were already down 27 and 20.
With Morris Claiborne out, the Bills picked on Juston Burris and Darryl Roberts, and both struggled, combining for 7 first downs allowed on 16 targets. Demario Davis had another strong game, allowing only 1 first down on 5 targets. Outside of 2 penalties, Buster Skrine had a sound game, limiting first downs and big yardage.
Trumaine Johnson’s numbers look dominant, but he was not nearly as good as the stat sheet suggests, which I’ll get to more below.
Coverage by matchup and field side: The chart below shows the Week 9 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!
The Bills beat the Jets in Week 1 solely through their running backs and tight ends exposing the Jets’ linebackers. They curiously didn’t try that route much at all this game, throwing to their backs only 4 times and their tight ends only 6 times.
Trumaine Johnson posted a gaudy 25.0 passer rating allowed on his 5 targets. The highlight of his game was an acrobatic interception of Eli Manning, his second and final pick of the year. (Bottom of picture)
However, on his other four targets, Johnson allowed 2 first downs and should’ve allowed 2 more if it weren’t for awful throws by Manning. Below, lined up on the bottom of the picture against Sterling Shepherd, Johnson is already playing the sideline. Shepherd gives one jab step outside, and that’s enough to buy himself at least 3-4 steps of space down the field over the middle. Eli overthrows Shepherd to bail out Johnson.
Here is the second of Johnson’s two lucky offensive miscues. On the bottom of your screen, Johnson will cover Evan Engram, who runs an out towards the sideline. Johnson is put in a tough position here, but he still lets Engram get plenty of space behind him and is lucky Eli is pressured here and makes another bad throw.
Plays like the two above are why I warn you not to take the stats as definitive towards representing a player’s performance level. More so in football than in any other sport, the numbers fail to capture all of the factors involved in determining an outcome, and often do not properly distribute the credit both positively and negatively.
With Morris Claiborne missing the Bills game, Juston Burris received a then-season high 46 defensive snaps, which was also his first game with 30+ snaps since Week 2. There was more of the same from the second-year corner. Below, he gets toasted by Zay Jones for his third touchdown allowed of the season. At the top of the picture, Jones puts Burris on skates with a simple stutter step.
Though Burris often struggled in this game, he did make one very impressive splash play. Below, Burris is already making a play by stopping Jordan Matthews short of the sticks on 3rd & 6, but he also strips the ball loose and recovers it for the takeaway.
Burris’ strip wasn’t the only one the Jets made on a receiver in the game. Marcus Maye would bail out Jamal Adams with a strip and recovery of his own, taking the ball away from Nick O’Leary after an awkward “is he down?” sequence (the second one of these that the Jets benefitted from, in addition to the Powell TD against Jacksonville!)
Adams presses O’Leary on the left side of the Bills’ formation, and has tight coverage until O’Leary disengages and frees himself open towards the sideline. He’s not touched down, and Adams wraps him up while Maye flies in and rips the ball loose. Credit to the hustle of both young safeties here.
Here is how the Jets are stacking up after nine weeks of work in 2017, sorted from top to bottom by total yards allowed.
What are your thoughts on what went down for the Jets in coverage in Week 9? Are you getting the sense Trumaine is as advertised, or less than advertised? Who has surprised you the most so far?