Below are a variety of advanced stats from the Patriots’ 35-14 win over the New York Giants including a dominating performance from Stephon Gilmore.
TOM BRADY’S PASSING CHART
The first half offensively was once again wildly inconsistent for Tom Brady and the Patriots offense.
Brady led two second-quarter touchdown drives but also had two costly turnovers that were both, at least in part, on the quarterback. The interception was a bad throw, it happens. And the protection gave Brady enough time to make a decision with the ball on the strip-sack, even if it was to throw it away or protect against the sack.
After starting four-of-11, Brady heated up completing 27 of his final 30 pass attempts with three completions of 20 or more yards downfield.
The six-time Super Bowl champ also dominated the intermediate area between the numbers completing five-of-six passes for 104 yards and PFF grade of 89.5 on those throws.
One of those throws was a 23-yard strike to rookie Jakobi Meyers. On the play, Brady gets to his second read, Meyers, on an over route off of play-action. Brady’s first read is to Edelman on an out-cut along the sideline, which is covered, so he works back to the crosser against man coverage. Meyers does a nice job tucking the ball away after he catches it to finish the catch, not allowing the defender to make a play on the ball.
Brady’s longest throw of the day in terms of air yards came in the fourth quarter to Edelman.
This time, two Giants defensive backs bracket Edelman. The Pats wideout runs a stutter-and-go move, selling a break at the top of his route by firing his feet and sinking his hips before releasing vertically downfield. Brady drops it in the bucket, and the Pats have first and goal.
In the time to throw department, Brady got back to his usual quick release with an average time to attempt of 2.37 seconds. Last week, the Redskins forced him to hold the ball for 2.65 seconds on average.
Brady needs to cut down on the turnovers, but he’s far from the problem with the Patriots offense.
OFFENSIVE LINE STATS
Upon review, Thursday night was one of the better performances for the offensive line since Marshall Newhouse took over at left tackle.
It wasn’t perfect, but Brady was only under pressure on 18.2 percent of his drop-backs; outside of a few ugly reps, they mostly kept Brady clean.
With that said, Newhouse continues to be a weak link, and the Pats are trying to tread water on the left side until Isaiah Wynn hopefully returns. Newhouse received a 53.6 game grade from Pro Football Focus on Thursday night, and his sack was one of those ugly reps.
On the sack, Newhouse gets caught looking for an outside move and leaves the inside door open for Giants pass rusher Markus Golden who slants inside and takes down Brady. Scar told me last month that pass protection starts with inside-out leverage, and Newhouse failed to maintain that leverage there.
There’s no doubt that the eye test suggests that the Patriots offensive line is struggling, but in pass protection, the metrics don’t back up what our eyes say.
Since Newhouse took over as the starting left tackle in Week 3, Brady is the least pressured quarterback in the NFL (24 percent of drop-backs). Consider that some perspective.
Brady only targeted Edelman and Meyers in the slot, and Edelman played more snaps on the outside than usual because of injuries to Josh Gordon and Phillip Dorsett.
We already showed one of Meyers’s slot targets in the Brady section, so here’s the other. This time, Meyers runs a slot fade against man coverage. Instead of throwing the ball over the top, Brady throws it at Meyers’s back shoulder, and the rookie made a great adjustment on the ball with the wind knocking it down.
Although Meyers has a different skill set, his ability to win between the numbers gives the Patriots another threat outside of Edelman in the middle of the field.
QUARTERBACK PRESSURES & RUN STOPS
The Patriots pressured Giants rookie Daniel Jones on 54.5 percent of his drop-backs, a season-high for the New England defense.
Leading the way was linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who tallied eight quarterback disruptions, including a sack of Jones and a quarterback hit.
In rushing the mobile Jones, the Patriots linebackers sat back in underneath zones and then hunted the Giants quarterback once he tried to escape the pocket.
Here, Jones feels the pressure of the left side as edge rusher John Simon bull-rushes the left tackle backward into Jones’s feet. Once Jones rolls out, Van Noy comes screaming down from his zone to hurry Jones into an incomplete pass on third down.
After the game, Simon told me that the Patriots build in opportunities for the linebackers to come off their assignment and rush the quarterback.
The Patriots are also getting terrific production from defensive end Deatrich Wise. Wise leads all interior defenders in pass-rush win rate, defeating his block on over 26 percent of his rushes.
Along with production as a pass rusher, Wise played the run well against the Giants.
Wise has excellent technique on this run stop landing a solid punch inside the frame of the blocker, creating extension and separation with his arm length, and then sheds the block to make the tackle short of the sticks.
If Wise continues to play well, it’ll be interesting to see how it affects Michael Bennett moving forward. Wise (14) out-snapped Bennett (11) on Thursday night, and the two play similar roles.
In the secondary, Stephon Gilmore took over Thursday Night Football with a dominant performance.
Jones threw at Gilmore eight times, completing only two of those passes with two interceptions and four pass breakups.
On Jones’s first interception, Gilmore deflected the pass into the air, and it fell into Simon’s hands. Gilmore is in perfect position on Golden Tate’s in-cut, planting himself on Tate’s upfield shoulder and undercutting the route. Gilmore knows he has two second-level defenders dropping over the middle, so Jones can’t lead Tate, allowing Gilmore to sit on his outside hip. To finish the play, Gilmore pushes Tate after the deflection to prevent the Giants wideout from contesting Simon’s interception attempt. The attention to detail there is insane.
To cap the game off, Gilmore made one more pass breakup on rookie Darius Slayton.
Slayton separates on Gilmore at the top of the route and has the ball in his hands, but the Pats corner punches through Slayton’s hands to prevent the completion.
The Patriots held Jones to 5.2 yards per attempt with blanket coverage on a depleted Giants receiving corps.
Stats Provided By Pro Football Focus