Throughout the offseason, I went back and charted the Jets’ individual stats in coverage over each week of 2017 (the final numbers can be seen here). Pass coverage is one of the many phases of the game in which statistics are not readily available to aid in analysis. Of course, stats have never and will never tell the entire story. However, they always do a tremendous job of telling a huge part of it and are just another tool that can be used to help evaluate properly without bias or going simply off of blurry memories.
So, I’m bringing the coverage series back as a weekly feature throughout the year! Let’s get things going with the Jets’ coverage numbers in preseason Week 1!
- The coverage numbers include only legitimate targets into the general area of a receiver/defender; throws in which a defender in coverage were directly involved in 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, if Trumaine Johnson tips a pass targeted in his direction and Morris Claiborne comes up with the interception, I would credit Johnson in my charting.
- I did not apply the same rule to fumbles; I will only count those if forced by the covering defender.
- “Miscues” (M) are included in charting to attempt to knock defenders who benefitted from an egregious error by the offense (drop, horrible throw).
- I charted penalties in the offseason series but will not be charting penalties for preseason since the game is being called a bit differently right now to set the tone for some new rules. Will likely bring them back as a category for the regular season.
During the regular season I will return to charting the numbers in coverage against each individual opponent, but for the preseason I simply broke it down by position due to the enormous amount of players taking the field on the other side. I’ve also split slot receivers and outside receivers into separate positions.
Here are the Jets’ numbers in coverage against the Atlanta Falcons on Friday night. A glossary is available at the bottom of the chart.
Some notes from me:
- Derrick Jones lived up to the hype. He was sound in off-coverage, making well timed breaks on the ball and sticking with his matchups. His most impressive play was on a 4th & 2 goal line fade in which his physical coverage disallowed his matchup to make a play in the back corner of the end zone. The Falcons were 0-for-4 targeting him, though he benefited from one catchable drop.
- J.J. Wilcox laid some hard hits but struggled in coverage allowing three 10+ yard gains.
- Kevin Minter made a pair of good plays on the ball.
- Rashard Robinson was solid, broke and finished on a pair of plays short of the sticks.
- Not coverage-related, but two interior linemen stood out to me against the pass: Mike Pennel and Foley Fatukasi. Pennel was one the most efficient run-stuffers in the league last season, but flashed with a sack and huge hit rushing up the middle. Fatukasi did as well with a late game strip-sack and a pressure up the middle wiped out by a facemask grab.
The Jets played mostly off-coverage in this game, dissimilar from the press that Bowles is likely to employ a lot during the regular season. It was an impressive display on defense, but there was no doubt that the Falcons were struggling big-time offensively with communication and poor QB play.
What did you take away from the Jets in coverage?