Recently, I concluded my series going through each week of 2017 charting the Jets in coverage, in addition to splash free agent signees Trumaine Johnson and Avery Williamson. Hopefully you learned quite a bit about the coverage abilities of the two from the series.
Today, I wanted to share a few more interesting statistical tidbits surrounding the highest paid player on the New York Jets. Don’t forget that, especially when we are discussing defensive players, stats never tell the whole story. Still, they can tell a great deal of the story when indulged in context. Let’s dive into some more Trumaine Johnson numbers!
Since Johnson entered the league in 2012, he has compiled 67 passes defended, 18 interceptions, 3 touchdowns, and 3 fumble recoveries. The only other players in the NFL to compile 65+ passes defended, 15+ interceptions, 3 touchdowns, and 3 fumble recoveries in that span are Richard Sherman, Casey Hayward, and Chris Harris.
The one part of this filter that might stick out as overly specific would be the fumble recoveries. Even if we remove that, Johnson is still part of a small and decorated group. With fumble recoveries removed, Janoris Jenkins, Aqib Talib, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and Brent Grimes all join Johnson and the other three players mentioned above. Johnson is the only member of the eight-player group without a Pro Bowl appearance to his name.
Tackling in the Pass Game
I thought that Johnson did a solid job as a tackler for the most part. I was curious to find out if the numbers backed up his frequent tendency to rack up tackles short of the sticks.
Turns out that in 2017 Johnson compiled 22 tackles in the passing game short of the first down marker, a strong number for a cornerback. In fact, when coupled with his 13 passes defended, he joins an exclusive club of corners to meet both totals. The only other corners to compile both of those numbers were Jalen Ramsey, Kyle Fuller, Tre’Davious White, Adoree’ Jackson, and Jalen Mills.
Notable Numbers from the Coverage Series
I only tagged Johnson for 1 touchdown allowed in the entirety of 2017. There was one other score that was maybe partially on him, but other than that he was only beaten clean for one score. Seeing around six targets a game throughout the year, primarily against top receivers, that is a remarkable feat. Even if he did allow just one more score, his touchdown rate would be about equal to the NFL’s worst qualified touchdown-tosser in 2017, C.J. Beathard.
The most notable shortcoming in his box score by my tracking was his 14.0 yards per completion allowed. To reference how high that is, Jared Goff led 2017 qualifiers with a 12.9 yards per completion rate. Ironically, that number did not stem from a high amount of deep balls. Preventing bombs down the sideline is actually one of Johnson’s main strengths. The high YPC rate Johnson allowed was mostly due to a very healthy helping of 15-20 yard underneath throws. For all of his playmaking, tackling, and touchdown prevention ability, Johnson was far too susceptible to allowing underneath first downs. Will a change to a more aggressive scheme help him in that department? That should be the primary goal.
After learning more and more about Johnson since he officially became a Jet, what are your overall thoughts on him here in late June?