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Patriots vs Jets advanced stats: The Newton-Meyers connection keeps powering New England’s offense

Related: Patriots vs Jets snap counts: Chase Winovich plays a big role on defense and special teams

New England Patriots Vs. New York Jets at MetLife Stadium Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The New England Patriots are back in the win column, thanks to a last-second victory over the New York Jets. While they did not play their best football on Monday night, and had some major issues on defense, the Patriots did make enough plays in the end to come away with a 30-27 win to improve to 3-5 on the year.

With that said, let’s dive into the advanced statistics from the game. Before analyzing the numbers, however, we will have to explain two of the categories you will meet here that go beyond conventional statistics:

  • OSR: OSR stands for “Offensive Success Rate” and is based on Bill Connelly’s work at SB Nation. It aims to characterize how successful a play was relative to the down and distance in which it took place. For a play be considered a success it will have to gain at least 50 percent of the necessary yardage on first down (i.e. at least 5 yards on 1st-and-10), 70 percent on second down (i.e. at least 7 yards on 2nd-and-10), and 100 percent on both third and fourth down (i.e. at least 10 yards on 3rd-and-10 and 4th-and-10).
  • EPA: EPA stands for “Expected Points Added” and is based on the work done by Ben Baldwin through his website rbsdm.com. EPA aims at measuring the value of individual offensive plays in terms of points by calculating what is expected to happen on an individual play depending on down, distance, field position and game situation and contrasting it with the eventual outcome.

With that out of the way, let’s dig into the stats.

Quarterbacks

Quarterback statistics

Player Snaps Attempts Completions Yards Touchdowns Interceptions Drops Throwaways Pressure rate Rating OSR EPA/Play
Player Snaps Attempts Completions Yards Touchdowns Interceptions Drops Throwaways Pressure rate Rating OSR EPA/Play
Cam Newton 81 34 27 274 0 0 0 0 42.9% 100.2 45.7% 0.41

After some dismal performances coming back from his stint on the Reserve/Covid-19 list, Cam Newton played a very good game against the Jets. Granted, New York’s defense has made most quarterbacks look like Pro Bowlers this season, but Newton still looked comfortable throwing and did find some success as well. While his OS of 45.7 percent does not necessarily stand out, his 0.41 EPA per play and 99.0 passer rating are both encouraging.

Newton did have some plays he would likely want back, but he also led a fourth quarterback that saw him make some tremendous plays — including a 20-yard pass to his favorite target, Jakobi Meyers, to set up the game-winning Nick Folk field goal. All in all, it was a good night for the Patriots’ starting QB.

Ball carriers

Ball carrier statistics

Player Snaps Attempts Yards Yards after Contact Touchdowns Fumbles OSR EPA/Play
Player Snaps Attempts Yards Yards after Contact Touchdowns Fumbles OSR EPA/Play
Cam Newton 81 11 17 9 2 0 45.5% 0.34
Gunner Olszewski 35 3 16 3 0 0 33.3% -0.04
Rex Burkhead 34 12 56 19 1 0 66.7% 0.20
Damien Harris 28 14 71 38 0 0 42.9% -0.04
James White 21 2 0 1 0 1 0.0% -1.84

New England took a balanced approach with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels calling 39 run or option plays that ended with a carry. All in all, the Patriots gained 160 yards on the ground on 40 rushing attempts — a solid average of 4.0 yards per attempt — with three touchdowns. Damien Harris was once again the featured early-down back, but Cam Newton and Rex Burkhead also had some solid contributions. Burkhead in particular had a good game as his 66.7 percent OSR and 0.20 EPA show.

Pass receivers

Pass receiver statistics

Player Snaps Targets Completions Yards Yards after Catch Touchdowns Interceptions Rating Drops OSR EPA/Play
Player Snaps Targets Completions Yards Yards after Catch Touchdowns Interceptions Rating Drops OSR EPA/Play
Jakobi Meyers 80 14 12 169 33 0 0 117.0 0 57.1% 0.76
Damiere Byrd 80 9 5 65 25 0 0 78.5 0 55.6% 0.60
Jakob Johnson 45 2 2 6 4 0 0 79.2 0 50.0% -0.14
Gunner Olszewski 35 1 1 -1 2 0 0 79.2 0 0.0% -0.80
Rex Burkhead 34 3 3 11 3 0 0 81.9 0 0.0% -0.27
James White 21 5 4 24 32 0 0 86.7 0 40.0% -0.13

While Damiere Byrd and James White also had their moments in the passing game, Monday night was the Jakobi Meyers show.

The second-year wideout was the Patriots’ best receiver, finishing with 12 catches on 14 targets for 169 yards — setting new career-bests in each category. Meyers was able to find holes in New York’s zone coverage regularly, and also showed an ability to get open against man-to-man looks. His success rate and EPA are both impressive, but the most promising takeaway might be his connection with Cam Newton: he has turned into his go-to guy even as starting wide receivers N’Keal Harry and Julian Edelman remained sidelined due to injury.

Pass protection/run blocking

Pass protection/run blocking statistics

Player Snaps Sacks QB Hits Hurries Stuffed runs
Player Snaps Sacks QB Hits Hurries Stuffed runs
Shaq Mason 81 0.0 1 3 0
Joe Thuney 81 0.0 0 1 0
David Andrews 81 0.0 0 0 2
Michael Onwenu 81 0.0 0 0 0
Ryan Izzo 76 0.0 1 0 0
Isaiah Wynn 73 0.0 1 0 0
Jakob Johson 45 0.0 0 0 1
Rex Burkhead 34 0.0 1 1 0
Damien Harris 28 0.0 0 1 0
Korey Cunningham 12 0.0 0 1 0

New York’s pass rush may not have post outstanding numbers heading into Week 9, but it made life hard for the Patriots’ offense with the use of blitz and unbalanced attacks. All in all, Cam Newton was pressured on 42.9 percent of his dropbacks, with Shaq Mason’s four disruptions leading the team. While Newton was not sacked all game, he avoided some takedowns due to some tremendous movement in the pocket and timely throwaways.

When adding the run blocking, however, New England’s offensive line had a solid albeit somewhat inconsistent game. Still, it did enough to help the offense show some solid rhythm at times.

Pass rush/run defense

Pass rush/run defense statistics

Player Snaps Sacks QB Hits Hurries Stuffed runs
Player Snaps Sacks QB Hits Hurries Stuffed runs
Adrian Phillips 41 0.0 1 0 0
Deatrich Wise Jr. 36 1.0 2 0 0
Chase Winovich 31 0.0 0 2 1
Derek Rivers 10 0.0 1 1 0
Adam Butler 10 0.0 1 0 0

With both Lawrence Guy and Ja’Whaun Bentley inactive, the Patriots’ front seven had a hard time disrupting Jets quarterback Joe Flacco: the veteran, who was filling in for the injured starter Sam Darnold, was pressured on nine of his dropbacks for a rate of 34.6 percent, but sacked just once all game. That sack was a big one, however, with Deatrich Wise Jr. taking Flacco down to help force a three-and-out and set up New England’s final drive.

One positive was the performance against the run: New York gained just 65 yards on 18 carries for an average of 3.6 yards per attempt. While the numbers are not outstanding, they show a noticeable improvement over the last few weeks.

Pass coverage

Pass coverage statistics

Player Snaps Targets Completions Yards Touchdowns Interceptions Pass Breakups Pass interference Rating OSR
Player Snaps Targets Completions Yards Touchdowns Interceptions Pass Breakups Pass interference Rating OSR
J.C. Jackson 46 8 3 80 2 1 1 1 75.0 37.5%
Jason McCourty 46 4 4 69 1 0 0 1 158.3 75.0%
Devin McCourty 46 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 39.6 0.0%
Adrian Phillips 41 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 39.6 0.0%
Jonathan Jones 37 2 2 19 0 0 0 0 106.3 100.0%
Chase Winovich 31 1 1 5 0 0 0 0 87.5 100.0%
Shilique Calhoun 11 1 1 11 0 0 0 0 112.5 100.0%
Myles Bryant 11 1 1 5 0 0 0 0 87.5 100.0%
Joejuan Williams 10 1 1 12 0 0 0 0 116.7 100.0%

The secondary is supposed to be a strength of the Patriots’ defense, but it struggled mightily versus the Jets without star cornerback Stephon Gilmore: Joe Flacco posted an EPA of 0.63 and had a success rate of 68.0 percent — not a good look for New England’s defensive backfield. While Flacco found considerable success against zone coverage, New England’s top-two cornerbacks also had their fair share of miscues.

J.C. Jackson and Jason McCourty surrendered three combined touchdowns, with Flacco going 7-for-12 when targeting them for a combined 149 yards with two pass interference calls on top of it. That said, Jackson came back strong by making one of the biggest plays of the night: his fourth quarter interception sparked the Patriots’ comeback.