After a long run, it appears we are nearing the end! It’s time to take a dive into the Jets’ individual cover performances in Week 16 of 2017, meaning after today, we have only one week left to go! Thanks to everyone who has been along for the entire ride! If you’ve missed anything, every edition is linked below!
- The coverage numbers include only legitimate targets into the general area of a receiver/defender; throws in which a defender in coverage directly affected 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 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 a tight end running into Jamal Adams’ zone, Juston Burris ended up with the interception, but I credited that pick to Adams since he made the primary play in coverage to cause the pick.
- 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. Learn from the numbers, but don’t expect them to tell the entire story!
WEEK 16 SYNOPSIS
The Jets lost a 14-7 Christmas Eve slugfest to the Chargers in East Rutherford to hit double-digit losses for the second consecutive year. Philip Rivers completed 22 of 40 passes for 290 yards, 1 touchdown, no interceptions, and an 86.5 passer rating.
Overall coverage yield: The first chart shows the total coverage numbers allowed by the Jets in Week 16.
Darron Lee had a simply terrible game, tying for the most yards allowed in a single game by a Jet defender in 2017, after Buster Skrine’s 122 yards allowed in Week 7.
Morris Claiborne snapped his touchdown skid, but still allowed 60 yards and 3 first downs and should’ve given up another ~20 yard first down if not for a blatant Keenan Allen drop.
Juston Burris had his best game of the year, while Buster Skrine continued his stretch of strong coverage.
Coverage by matchup and field side: The chart below shows the Week 16 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!
Jamal Adams allowed his team-high sixth touchdown to Antonio Gates, and also allowed an additional pair of 16+ yard first downs.
With the Titans lacking a dominant number one receiver that needs shadowing, Johnson stayed mostly at home on the left side. He was strong there, forcing three throwaways with tight coverage and stopping a pair of completions short of the sticks.
Juston Burris saw his first extended action in a long time, and delivered on the stat sheet. Burris benefited from one blatant drop and wasn’t necessarily challenged vehemently in this game, but at the end of the day any team will sign up for one of their corners allowing 16 yards and 1 first down on 5 targets.
This was his best play. Great read from Burris out of the zone to make a nice hit. He is lined up at the bottom of the picture at the snap.
I know Antonio Gates is a future Hall-of-Famer, but he is going to be 38 years old in a few days. The Jets did not draft athletic, versatile defenders in Jamal Adams and Darron Lee for them to be schooled 1-on-1 by a player who was born before Return of the Jedi was released.
Adams is on the far right of this picture. Gates sells Adams outside, but come on. This isn’t lightning quickness. Adams needs to react quicker to this. He does come close to making a play on the ball, but that highlights another issue of his that I will get to. Adams has been dangerously close on a number of his big gains allowed, but he needs to do better locating and defending the football.
As I just mentioned, here is a more prime example of Adams being in perfect position to contest a catch, but failing to make a play. We’ve seen this from Adams against beasts like Rob Gronkowski and excused it, but below, Adams allows a 23-yard downfield catch to some guy named Sean McGrath, who picks up half of his season receiving total (46 yards) on this one play! The point is, any NFL athlete can make an incredible catch, and because of that, much of the time it takes more than pristine coverage. Adams needs to get his head turned here and bat this ball away.
Antonio Gates picked up season highs of 6 catches and 81 yards in this game; his high for yardage in any other game was 46. Darron Lee was the culprit for over half (51) of those yards. Below, lined up in press coverage against Gates in the left slot (bottom of the picture), Lee is physically mauled by the ancient tight end and allows and easy catch. Then, at the end of the play, he leaps over Gates without touching him down; luckily Marcus Maye was there to touch him down.
Buster Skrine quietly played a lot of good football under the noses of fans who wrote him off after an absolutely atrocious game in South Florida. Especially late in the season, he started to become a playmaking machine. Here, lined up in his unnatural outside spot, Skrine makes a great break on the ball to force the incompletion to Mike Williams.
This final play isn’t that notable but I found it very funny. Keenan Allen buys himself plenty of space against Morris Claiborne, but simply drops the wide open pass. Claiborne doesn’t hesitate to let him know with some not-so-subtle clapping in his face.
Here is how the Jets are stacking up through 16 weeks of coverage in 2017, sorted from top to bottom by total yards allowed.
I wanted to discuss a section in the image above that I have seldom addressed to this point; the field side breakdown. I’ve been listing each player’s targets defended on each side of the field (based on where they lined up) as well as their passer rating allowed on each side. Here are a couple of players whose difference in play by side of field have stood out to me the most.
Demario Davis: Davis’ 17-point difference in his rating allowed by side of the field is one of the very highest among the players on this chart with a similar amount of targets. On the left, Davis has allowed 6 first downs on 30 targets (20%), compared to 10 first downs on 19 targets (53%) on the right.
Trumaine Johnson: Johnson has seen two-thirds of his snaps on the left, but has been much better on the right side. On the left, he’s given up a 44% first down rate, compared to 37% on the right. His QB rating is also about 9 points better due to his one TD coming when lined up on the left side.
I think the reason for this is that, as a primarily left side corner, a higher rate of Johnson’s right side snaps were in press-man coverage. As you saw in this week’s report, Johnson stayed home on the left when he was not shadowing an opponent, thus playing less press-man coverage. The difference in his numbers on each side might demonstrate the potential for him to perform better in a more aggressive scheme.
One week to go. What are your thoughts on everything you’ve seen so far?