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Patriots vs Jets advanced stats: Stephon Gilmore leads New England’s outstanding pass defense

Related: Patriots vs Jets snap counts: Blowout win allows New England to use full roster depth

NFL: OCT 21 Patriots at Jets Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New England Patriots are 7-0, thanks to another blowout win. This week — for the second time already this season — the New York Jets fell victim to the reigning world champions, who won 33-0 on Monday Night Football. The game was lopsided from the get-go, with the Patriots jumping to an early lead and never looking back against an overwhelmed opponent who struggled mightily on both sides of the ball.

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

Pass distribution

NFL Next Gen Stats

Even though his final passer rating of 80.7 is rather pedestrian, Tom Brady played quite a good game against the Jets: the 42-year-old moved well in the pocket and spread the football around both in terms of targets — nine different players were on the other side of at least one pass attempt — and areas on the field. While he and the rest of the offense failed to keep up the good early rhythm in the second half, Brady generally had a solid albeit unspectacular outing.

Sam Darnold is a talented quarterback with considerable upside, but he was overwhelmed by the Patriots defense plain and simple. Struggling to adjust to pressure and an aggressive man-to-man coverage scheme, the second-year man threw four interceptions — all of which bad decisions and ugly off-platform throws. New England’s defense did a terrific job of making life hard for Darnold, and he responded by essentially falling apart and taking the rest of the offense down with him.

Offensive rush direction

NFL Next Gen Stats

The Patriots finished the game with three rushing touchdowns — all of which courtesy of Sony Michel — but had a hard time establishing a presence on the ground, in part due to some solid defense and inconsistent blocking up front. Michel was the most productive of the running backs, but he left the game in the fourth quarter with what appeared to be a leg injury. Rookie Damien Harris had a strong start by going 13 yards on his first carry, but was unable to keep up.

New England actually was most productive on the ground when handing the football off to wide receiver Julian Edelman on misdirection runs to the perimeter: the reigning Super Bowl MVP finished the game with three carries for a combined 20 yards and a 6.7-yard average.

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
Julian Edelman 73 12 7 47 29 0 0 67.0 1
Phillip Dorsett II 72 4 3 46 4 1 0 152.1 0
Benjamin Watson 62 5 3 18 10 0 0 67.1 1
James White 44 8 7 59 56 0 0 97.4 0
Jakobi Meyers 42 5 5 47 15 0 0 105.8 0
Eric Tomlinson 38 1 1 1 1 0 0 79.2 0
Sony Michel 31 2 1 -8 0 0 0 56.3 1
Brandon Bolden 18 4 4 39 18 0 0 107.3 0
Gunner Olszewski 15 1 0 0 0 0 0 39.6 0
NFL/Pro Football Focus

As noted above, Tom Brady spread the football around well and targeted nine players on the day. That being said, there was a clear difference between his top targets on a down-to-down basis and the rest: Julian Edelman and James White were the intended receivers on almost half of Brady’s 45 pass attempts. They did each catch seven passes but their yardage and by extension downfield impact was limited as the two veterans averaged only 6.7 and 8.4 yards per reception, respectively.

In fact, only one receiver averaged over 10 yards per catch: Phillip Dorsett, who was on the receiving end of Brady’s lone touchdown pass, gained 46 yards on three receptions for 15.3 yards per attempt — a solid number and reflective of his status as the Patriots’ best deep threat receiver on Monday night.

Receiver separation

NFL Next Gen Stats

While Tom Brady generally avoided throwing into close windows and only had two receivers open for fewer than three yards per target, Sam Darnold played a riskier game — and it resulted in some bad decisions and ultimately four interceptions. While the quarterback’s decision making in combination with some sloppy technique played a role, so did the tight coverage played by the Patriots’ defense all night long.

Pass protection

Pass protection statistics

Player Snaps Sacks QB Hits Hurries
Player Snaps Sacks QB Hits Hurries
Ted Karras 82 0.0 1 0
Marshall Newhouse 82 0.0 0 3
Shaq Mason 82 0.0 0 2
Marcus Cannon 80 0.0 3 0
Joe Thuney 78 0.0 2 0

The Patriots’ pass protection was solid against the Jets as Brady was not sacked and pressured on just 24.4% of his drop-backs, with offensive tackles Marshall Newhouse and Marcus Cannon responsible for six of the eleven pressures. However, it was Joe Thuney — New England’s most consistent lineman this season — who allowed the most consequential play: Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams fought his way through the left guard and was able to get a hand on a pass attempt that was picked off after floating through the air.

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
Devin McCourty 47 0.0 1 0 0
Kyle Van Noy 46 0.0 0 1 1
Jamie Collins Sr. 44 0.0 0 3 0
Dont'a Hightower 42 0.0 0 2 0
Terrence Brooks 40 0.0 2 0 0
J.C. Jackson 35 0.0 1 0 0
Danny Shelton 34 0.0 1 1 0
Lawrence Guy 34 0.0 0 0 1
John Simon 21 1.0 0 0 0
Shilique Calhoun 21 0.0 0 2 0
Ja'Whaun Bentley 21 0.0 0 1 0
Chase Winovich 20 0.0 0 2 0
Deatrich Wise Jr. 19 0.0 0 1 1
Elandon Roberts 17 0.0 0 2 0

New England’s defense registered just one sack on the night, but it was a big one: John Simon blitzed around the edge and got into the backfield in the early second quarter, taking down Sam Darnold and knocking the football loose. Kyle Van Noy recovered and gave the Patriots possession in prime field position. Nine plays later, the team was up 24-0 thanks to Sony Michel’s second touchdown run of the day.

In general, the Patriots’ pressure packages — especially from Cover 0 looks — played a big role in the Jets’ demise: the team was unable to adept, which allowed Darnold to be pressured on 21 of his 33 drop-backs for a rate of 63.6%. It is hard to win football games when your quarterback is under constant duress like this.

Defensive rush direction

NFL Next Gen Stats

While the Jets struggled to move the air via the pass, the team actually did find some success on the ground with Le’Veon Bell averaging 4.7 yards per carry. He was particularly successful running behind the right side of his offensive line, but finished the day with only 15 hand-offs in large part because New York found itself in a whole rather early and had to rely on Darnold for chunk-plays down the field.

Pass rush separation

NFL Next Gen Stats

While Adam Butler did not show up on the stat sheet, the third-year defensive tackle consistently got close to Sam Darnold in pass rushing situations — further proof that the Patriots were able to get contributions from across the board. New York’s own defense, meanwhile, had some success in the form of the aforementioned Leonard Williams: the former first-round draft pick was the team’s most successful pass rusher and finished with three pressures.

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
Duron Harmon 49 2 1 6 0 1 16.7 0
Devin McCourty 47 3 0 0 0 1 0.0 0
Kyle Van Noy 46 1 0 0 0 0 39.6 0
Jason McCourty 45 5 4 32 0 0 93.3 0
Stephon Gilmore 45 5 1 10 0 1 0.0 0
Jonathan Jones 44 3 2 8 0 0 70.1 0
Dont'a Hightower 42 3 0 0 0 0 39.6 1
Terrence Brooks 40 1 0 0 0 1 0.0 0
J.C. Jackson 35 3 0 0 0 0 39.6 0
John Simon 21 1 0 0 0 0 39.6 0
Joejuan Williams 16 3 1 20 0 0 57.6 1

New England’s secondary played an outstanding game against the Jets, not just because Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Stephon Gilmore and Terrence Brooks all registered interception. The unit also effectively shut down its assigned players, with Gilmore in particular standing out: the All-Pro cornerback erased Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson from the game and surrendered just one reception on five passes thrown his way. Another terrific outing from a player that is arguably the game’s best at his position.