The Jets lost a sloppy one in their home opener to the Dolphins, 20-12, but the secondary seemingly didn’t get much attention for the loss. Instead, the offensive line (broken down here), skill positions, and run defense received most of the blame. Was the back end really off the hook? Let’s dive in.
- 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 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 receive coverage credit even if a teammate finished the play. For example, in Week 1 last season 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 I deemed he made the primary play in coverage to cause the pick.
- Penalties and pass breakups counted are only those accumulated in coverage. Penalties/PBs picked up on blitzes, or penalties tackling another player’s responsibility, are not included.
- “Burns mitigated by opponent miscue,” or “miscues” (M) are included in charting to attempt to knock defenders who benefited from an egregious error by the offense (drop, horrible throw) and give perspective to the validity of their raw stats. A defender can still register an interception or incompletion to his credit on a miscued play.
First, here’s a look at each targeted player’s total numbers in coverage against Miami.
Next, here’s a breakdown of the Jets in coverage broken down by player matchup and coverage type. Keep in mind receivers who saw targets lined up both outside and in the slot are listed twice.
Some notes from me, as well as some clips:
- Trumaine Johnson had a strong bounceback game. He did get caught up on a couple of screens underneath that ended up as first downs, as well as benefit from a misfired potential first down, but overall he was the main reason the Dolphins had no downfield attack in this game.
Johnson was on the field for every defensive snap and only yielded 30 yards. That’s what teams pay corners of his reputation to do. Johnson strictly covered the left side of the field, but I saw him match up man-to-man with Kenny Stills about 6-7 times. Stills only was targeted once on those snaps, a throw that ended up as a short incompletion. Johnson was shutting down the deep part of the field all day. As they say, if you don’t remember hearing a cornerback’s name called, they probably had a good day. Johnson did a lot of this:
- Very encouraging start from Darron Lee and Jamal Adams. It was a much quieter game for Lee, and it was certainly far from perfect. He was guilty for some of the early-down run game issues and also might’ve been at fault on the fatal 3rd & 19 Frank Gore catch and run. However, aside from that one play in which many were possibly involved, Lee allowed only 5 yards and 1 first down on 3 targets.
Last season, I tagged Lee as responsible for allowing 36.6 yards per game (on 3.9 targets), 9.3 yards per target, and a 49% first down rate. So far this season, I have him responsible for 28.0 yards per game (on 8.0 targets), 3.5 yards per target, and a 13% first down rate. Very unsustainable, but encouraging nonetheless. In Theo Riddick and Kenyan Drake, it’s not like the Jets haven’t faced good receiving backs.
Jamal Adams is also looking much improved. Last season I tagged Adams for allowing 18.2 yards per game (on 2.4 targets), 7.5 yards per target, and a 41% first down rate. So far this season, I have him responsible for 9.5 yards per game (on 4.0 targets), 2.4 yards per target, and a 13% first down rate.
We wanted to see Adams improve his man coverage against tight ends. While he has not seen a legit challenge yet, Adams has not allowed either of his targets in man coverage against tight ends to be completed so far. He intercepted his first against Detroit, and made this solid play against Miami’s A.J. Derby.
With much thanks to Adams and Lee, the Jets currently rank 2nd in fewest receiving yards allowed to tight ends, and 10th in fewest receiving yards allowed to running backs.
- Buster Skrine’s struggles in Week 1 flew under the radar due to the team’s success around him, but he wasn’t so lucky this week. Skrine had another poor game and it played a large role in the loss. He led the team in receiving yards allowed once again, giving up 4 of 4 passing for 56 yards and 2 first downs (1 of those a TD). In addition, he added a holding call that cancelled a 3rd down sack of Ryan Tannehill late in the 3rd quarter, and a 15-yard facemask in the second quarter that led directly to his allowing of this touchdown to Albert Wilson. Terrible fundamentals by Skrine, inexplicably opening up to the outside immediately out of his stance, leaving him vulnerable inside. He also fails to bring Wilson down on the hesitation move.
- Morris Claiborne was extremely lucky to escape MetLife unscathed. He left the game with only 13 yards and 1 first down allowed on 4 targets, but was toasted for 2 other big plays that should have been converted. Most notably, he was burnt for what should have been the final dagger in the Jets’ chests. This looks like a basic Cover 3 with Wilson the lone wideout on Claiborne’s side. This is just terrible. I know Claiborne doesn’t want to give up the first down on 3rd & 10, but he is playing the boundary here. If Wilson runs an inside route, Claiborne is toast anyway. He can’t take this long to react to Wilson running this go route.
- Doug Middleton has had a lot thrown on his plate filling in for Marcus Maye. He was put in a tough situation in Week 1 having to make an open-field tackle on Golden Tate to prevent a touchdown, but could not come through. He was at fault for yet another score this week. It looks here like he was expecting help to the inside from either Avery Williamson or the other deep safety, Jamal Adams, but this route right here from Derby is his only responsibility. There are no other threats Middleton needs to account for. He needs to carry this route inside regardless of who else was supposed to be there.
Here’s a look at how the Jets are stacking up through two weeks.
What are your thoughts on how the Jets performed in coverage against the Dolphins?
Will Jamal Adams and Darron Lee sustain quality coverage numbers throughout the season?
This poll is closed
Only Adams will
Only Lee will