Welcome back to my 2018 Jets Coverage Stats series, where I go through each Jets game and assign responsibility in coverage! 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 obscured memory.
With that, let’s dive into preseason Week 3, as the Jets took on the Giants.
- The coverage numbers include only legitimate targets into the general area of a receiver/defender; throws in which a defender in coverage was 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.
- “Miscues” (M) are included in charting to attempt to knock defenders who benefited from an egregious error by the offense (drop, horrible throw). A defender can still register an interception or incompletion to his credit on a miscued play.
- I charted penalties in the offseason series reviewing 2017 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. I will bring them back as a category for the regular season.
Here are the Jets’ numbers in coverage against the New York Giants this past week. A glossary is available at the bottom of the chart.
Darron Lee quietly had a very impressive performance in coverage. While his plays were mostly routine, they were the exact variety that he usually struggles with. If Lee can simply elevate himself to a player who makes the routine stops against the pass and nothing more, that would be a major upgrade for this entire defense.
This play is nothing spectacular, but it’s one we’ve seen Lee blow plenty of times, including a very similar play just last week against the Redskins. He does bite with a couple of steps on the initial play action, but recovers quickly enough to meet the tight end for a very short gain. Just doing what needs to be done.
Conversely, Avery Williamson was exposed in coverage after a sound first couple of games in terms of raw production allowed. I tagged Williamson as responsible for 3 firsts allowed in this game. Here is one of them. Williamson reacts in stride with the break out by the back, but is just not quick enough to make the tackle short of the sticks as he allows Wayne Gallman to pick up the first down.
Trumaine Johnson benefited from one drop underneath that would have resulted in a first down, but outside of that he was strong, allowing no first downs and only 9 yards on 5 targets (including that play). Here, impressive recovery from Johnson to break up the deep ball. Even when a corner is beaten, it is important to have the ability to recover and contest the pass, since no quarterback is good enough to hit every pass in perfect stride deep down the field. More often than not, a quarterback will give a corner a chance to make up for the separation they allowed. Johnson does that here.
Jamal Adams saw the ball in coverage for the first time this preseason with 3 targets. This play below really stood out to me and demonstrates the special ability Adams possesses that raises his ceiling to exciting levels. As Calvin Pryor showed us, playing with hustle and heated pursuit is but only a trait, not necessarily a positive ability unless one is able to harness it. Adams has that unique athleticism where can hit his (very high) top speed in an instant, and couples it with relentless downhill pursuit. When you have those traits and the football IQ and instinct Adams has, you can make plays like this one. Adams recognizes this play quickly, drives with tremendous burst, and runs a perfect route to the ball with a strong finish. If Adams can do things like this against tight ends in coverage consistently, he can be a surefire top-five-or-better safety consistently.
Morris Claiborne allowed the biggest bomb of the night, a 54-yarder to Cody Latimer.
Other notes from me:
- Rashard Robinson is playing very well. He has allowed only 6/11 passing in his direction for 43 yards (an incredible 3.9 yards per attempt) and 1 first down (9% first down rate - insane), throwing in two pass breakups. It will be interesting to see where he fits in when he returns from his 4-game suspension.
- Neville Hewitt has earned a spot on the roster. Though it has been against backups, Hewitt is just very quick out there diagnosing, breaking, and finishing, both in coverage and against the run. Hewitt has given up only 3 first downs on his 11 targets and a very strong 6.1 yards per catch rate across his 10 completions allowed.
- Ugly game for Buster Skrine. Skrine allowed 4/5 passing in his direction for 68 yards and 3 first downs. The only incompletion was a dropped corner route that would have been another 15 yards and a first down. Easily the worst performance in coverage by a Jet so far this preseason.
- Juston Burris had already sunk low in the cornerback race, and did nothing to help his cause with his allowing of a 47-yard bomb in which he lost a jump ball in the middle of the field.
- Slot corner Terrell Sinkfield has had a strong past couple of games after a bit of a slow start against Atlanta. Over the past two games, Sinkfield has allowed 3/6 passing in his direction for only 22 yards and one first down.
Here are the total numbers for the team through three preseason games.
Thoughts on the individual coverage performances put out by the Jets so far? Any suggestions or comments on the content/presentation of the coverage series? Do not hesitate to let me hear your thoughts!