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Patriots vs Giants advanced stats: New England’s defense consistently made life hard for quarterback Daniel Jones

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Related: Patriots vs Giants snap counts: Injuries force New England to adapt on the fly

New York Giants v New England Patriots Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The New England Patriots were able to enjoy a quiet weekend thanks to a 35-14 victory over the New York Giants last Thursday night — a game that saw the home team start slowly on offense yet again, with the defense and special teams keeping the opponent at check. In the end, however, the Patriots pulled away once more to secure their sixth win in as many games so far this season.

With that all being said, let’s now dig a little deeper and analyze some of the advanced statistics to come out of Thursday’s game.

Pass distribution

NFL Next Gen Stats

With the exception of a 64-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate who was almost perfectly covered by Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones was unable to do much damage against New England’s secondary. The team took away his deep options, and forced the first-round rookie to drive the offense down the field by stringing short gains together on a consistent basis. He could not do it.

With the exception of an interception that was intended for Julian Edelman, Tom Brady played a solid game. He targeted numerous areas of the field and was generally accurate while doing so, and spread the football around well. His final passer rating of 88.9 might not be outstanding, but his contributions to the Patriots’ victory — from his two rushing touchdowns to his ability to captain the offense despite injuries striking hard — go beyond the numbers.

Offensive rush direction

NFL Next Gen Stats

On the day, the Patriots handed the football off 32 times for a combined 114 yards. The average gain of 3.6 yards is not particularly encouraging, with the inconsistent blocking up front and injuries suffered by fullback Jakob Johnson and tight end Matt LaCosse playing a role in it. However, the approach did help the Patriots dominate time of possession and limit New York’s opportunities — which in turn played into the hands of the defense.

Pass receiving

Pass receiving statistics

Player Snaps Targets Completions Yards Yards after Catch Touchdowns Interceptions Rating Drops
Player Snaps Targets Completions Yards Yards after Catch Touchdowns Interceptions Rating Drops
Ryan Izzo 80 4 2 31 5 0 0 76.0 0
Julian Edelman 73 15 9 113 30 0 1 55.7 2
Jakobi Meyers 57 4 4 54 7 0 0 118.8 0
Gunner Olszewski 50 3 2 34 17 0 0 104.9 0
Sony Michel 41 3 2 27 29 0 0 95.2 1
James White 31 9 9 46 50 0 0 87.9 0
Josh Gordon 26 1 1 7 7 0 0 95.8 0
Brandon Bolden 12 2 2 22 23 0 0 112.5 0
NFL/Pro Football Focus

Josh Gordon hurting his knee late in the second quarter had a major impact on the Patriots’ passing game, as only two of Tom Brady’s primary weapons remained available — and they saw the majority of the targets: wide receiver Julian Edelman saw a team-high 15 passes headed his way, running back James White nine. While the other players saw irregular action compared to the two veterans, they did make plays with undrafted rookie Jakobi Meyers standing out in particular. He had a solid day as the third and later second wideout.

Receiver separation

NFL Next Gen Stats

With the Patriots playing some tight coverage in the secondary, Daniel Jones was forced to take his chances with passes into tight windows: his top three targets — Golden Tate, Darius Slayton and Rhett Ellison — were open by just 1.65 yards per average target. Tom Brady, for comparison, did not play that risky a game and generally only targeted players when they were at least somewhat open.

Pass protection

Pass protection statistics

Player Snaps Sacks QB Hits Hurries
Player Snaps Sacks QB Hits Hurries
Marshall Newhouse 82 1.0 1 0
Joe Thuney 82 1.0 0 0
Shaq Mason 82 0.0 0 2
Marcus Cannon 82 0.0 0 1
Ted Karras 82 0.0 0 0
Ryan Izzo 80 1.0 0 0
James White 31 0.0 1 0
twitter.com/jeffphowe

One week after allowing Brady to be sacked four times, the Patriots surrendered another three takedowns. All in all, the 42-year-old was pressured on just eight of his 44 drop-backs, though, for a rather solid rate of 18.2%. One of the pressures, however, was a sack surrendered by tight end Ryan Izzo that knocked the football out of the quarterback’s hands and was ultimately returned by the Giants for a game-tying touchdown.

Pass rush/run defense

Pass rush/run defense statistics

Player Snaps Sacks QB Hits Hurries Run stops
Player Snaps Sacks QB Hits Hurries Run stops
Kyle Van Noy 46 1.0 2 1 0
Devin McCourty 44 0.0 1 0 0
Jamie Collins Sr. 44 0.0 0 1 0
Dont'a Hightower 24 0.0 1 1 0
Danny Shelton 24 0.0 1 0 0
John Simon 24 0.0 0 1 0
Ja'Whaun Bentley 18 0.0 1 0 0
Deatrich Wise Jr. 14 0.0 2 0 1
Chase Winovich 14 0.0 1 0 0
Shilique Calhoun 14 0.0 1 0 0
twitter.com/jeffphowe

New England’s defense entered the game leading the NFL in sacks. However, the unit registered only one against the Giants: linebacker Kyle Van Noy pushed Daniel Jones out of bounds on a perimeter scramble attempt. Despite the lack of sacks, the Patriots still were able to make life hard for the rookie on a consistent basis — not just by playing tight coverage in the backend. On the day, the defense registered 15 pressures for a rate of 46.9%.

Defensive rush direction

NFL Next Gen Stats

The Patriots’ defensive approach was a simple one: let the rookie beat them with his right arm. New England had to effectively shut down the run as part of this plan, and the team did just that as the Giants combined to gain only 52 yards on 16 carries — with two of them for eight yards coming from Daniel Jones himself. Jon Hilliman and Elijhaa Penny, meanwhile, were unable to kickstart an offense that struggled moving the football through the air.

Pass rush separation

NFL Next Gen Stats

Their overall record and defensive statistics may not reflect it, but the Giants do have some considerable talent in their defensive front seven — something the Patriots found out on Thursday. Led by Lorenzo Carter and Dexter Lawrence, the unit was able to get close to Brady in pass rushing situations. While New England’s offensive line did a mostly solid job of keeping pressure away from the quarterback, New York did win its fair share of matchups.

The Patriots, on the other hand, did not get as consistently close to the opposing passer but — as noted above — did still pressure him on numerous occasions. Part of this may have been the game plan, with Jones being a serious threat as a runner that needed to be contained more than straight-up pressured. This approach, of course, is nothing new as New England used in numerous times in the past (e.g. on Russell Wilson in Super Bowl 49).

Pass coverage

Pass coverage statistics

Player Snaps Targets Completions Yards Touchdowns Interceptions Rating Pass Breakups
Player Snaps Targets Completions Yards Touchdowns Interceptions Rating Pass Breakups
Stephon Gilmore 50 6 1 9 0 1 0.0 4
Duron Harmon 45 1 0 0 0 1 0.0 0
Devin McCourty 44 2 2 10 0 0 87.5 0
Jamie Collins 44 2 1 -8 0 0 56.3 0
Jason McCourty 38 3 2 25 0 0 92.4 0
Jonathan Jones 30 6 4 84 1 0 149.3 2
Dont'a Hightower 24 1 1 0 0 0 79.2 0
John Simon 24 1 0 0 0 1 0.0 0
Terrence Brooks 24 1 0 0 0 0 39.6 0
J.C. Jackson 21 2 0 0 0 0 39.6 0
Adam Butler 18 1 0 0 0 0 39.6 0
Patrick Chung 8 1 0 0 0 0 39.6 0
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While Jonathan Jones did surrender the aforementioned long touchdown pass to Golden Tate — the first aerial score against New England’s defense all year long — the unit as a whole played another very good game. Led by Stephon Gilmore’s outstanding performance, the Patriots were able to limit Jones’ options and force the quarterback to make risky throws. When all was said and done, the home team finished the game with three interceptions.