Patriots Advanced Passing Stats: Malcolm Butler Shines In Coverage


September 21, 2015

Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills didn’t have a winning formula to beat the New England Patriots.

It is nearly impossible to beat the Patriots while allowing eight sacks and committing three turnovers, because it’s extremely difficult to keep up with Tom Brady while constantly turning the ball over and losing yards.

The Bills even got lucky. They fumbled three times on offense and recovered on each occasion. Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor finished strong, but he’ll have to start protecting the ball better if Buffalo wants to compete for a playoff spot.

Here are this week’s advanced passing stats:

Game stats:
Bradley Fletcher: 3-3, 59 yards, TD, pass interference
Logan Ryan: 4-6, 39 yards, INT
Malcolm Butler 1-1, 32 yards, TD, INT
Jamie Collins: 3-4, 18 yards
Tarell Brown: 2-3, 14 yards
Patrick Chung: 2-4, 11 yards, TD
Dont’a Hightower: 1-2, 11 yards
Jerod Mayo: 1-1, 9 yards
Rob Ninkovich: 1-1, 7 yards
Devin McCourty: 1-1, 6 yards
Jonathan Freeny: 1-1, 5 yards
Duron Harmon: INT

— Butler had a nice bounce-back game after allowing over 100 yards in Week 1 to Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown. Butler covered Sammy Watkins, Percy Harvin and Robert Woods.

— Ryan swapped in for Fletcher in nickel early, while Brown also rotated out of the game. Brown was spotted in the locker room with ice on his ankle and thigh.

— Harmon pulled in an interception for the second consecutive game. This one was a lot easier than the first.

— Fletcher was dinged on a 39-yard pass interference penalty, which really hurt the Patriots.

Season stats:
Malcolm Butler: 10-11, 174 yards, 2 TDs, INT
Bradley Fletcher: 7-10, 124 yards, 1 TD, 1 DPI
Tarell Brown: 3-8, 40 yards
Logan Ryan: 4-6, 39 yards, INT
Dont’a Hightower: 3-4, 34 yards
Patrick Chung: 4-8, 24 yards, pass interference
Devin McCourty: 2-2, 23 yards
Jerod Mayo: 2-2, 23 yards
Jamie Collins: 4-6, 21 yards
Rob Ninkovich: 2-2, 16 yards
Jonathan Freeny: 1-1, 5 yards
Duron Harmon: 2 INTs

Game stats:
Chandler Jones: six pressures, three sacks, QB hit, two hurries
Jabaal Sheard: six pressures, QB hit, five hurries
Jamie Collins: four pressures, 2.5 sacks, hurry
Rob Ninkovich: three pressures, sack, QB hit, hurry
Dont’a Hightower: three pressures, 1/2 sack, two hurries
Alan Branch: two pressures, sack, hurry
Geneo Grissom: one pressure, QB hit
Sealver Siliga: one pressure, hurry
Rufus Johnson: one pressure hurry

— Jones had a monster game, as he was able to concentrate on rushing the passer. He was taken off the field in some obvious run defending situations.

— Sheard has lived up to his billing and still leads the team in total pressures, with eight.

— Collins and Hightower continue to have a high degree of success while blitzing and rushing the passer. If they’re sent, they usually cause havoc.

Season stats:
Jabaal Sheard: eight pressures, one sack, one QB hit, six hurries
Chandler Jones: seven pressures, three sacks, two QB hits, two hurries
Dont’a Hightower: five pressures, 1.5 sacks, three hurries
Rob Ninkovich: five pressures, one sack, one QB hit, three hurries
Jamie Collins: four pressures, 2.5 sacks, one hurry
Alan Branch: two pressures, one sack, one hurry
Geneo Grissom: two pressures, one QB hit, one hurry
Malcom Brown: one pressure, one sack
Sealver Siliga: one pressure, one hurry
Rufus Johnson: one pressure, one hurry

Game stats:
Nate Solder: sack, five hurries
Shaq Mason: two QB hits, hurry
Marcus Cannon: three hurries
Sebastian Vollmer: QB hit, hurry
Josh Kline: QB hit, hurry
Tom Brady: sack

— Solder’s six pressures allowed doesn’t look great on paper, but Brady dropped back 61 times, and Solder had a very difficult matchup against Jerry Hughes.

— David Andrews didn’t allow a single pressure despite facing Bills defensive linemen Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams. He has been extremely impressive through two weeks of the regular season.

— Brady essentially sacked himself when he couldn’t find anyone open. He slid for no gain and was touched by Mario Williams.

— Overall, the Patriots inexperienced offensive line protected Brady exceptionally well. It will be interesting to see how the line is shaken up once Ryan Wendell and Bryan Stork are healthy.

Season stats:
Nate Solder: one sack, seven hurries
Marcus Cannon: sack, three hurries
Shaq Mason: two QB hits, one hurry
Sebastian Vollmer: one QB hit, two hurries
Josh Kline: one QB hit, one hurry
Tom Brady: one sack
Dion Lewis: one sack
David Andrews: one QB hit
Tre’ Jackson: one QB hit

— Out of Brady’s 21 incompletions, 10 were his own fault.

— Six of Brady’s attempts were dropped. Julian Edelman led the way with three drops.

— Four of Brady’s incompletions can be blamed on solid defense.

— One of Brady’s incompletions was because of pressure allowed.

Here are Brady’s 21 incompletions, charted:
1. Overthrown to Edelman
2. Wide to Edelman
3. Pass breakup by Jerry Hughes over Rob Gronkowski
4. Dropped by Edelman
5. Short to Gronkowski
6. Overthrown to Edelman
7. Out of bounds to Gronkowski
8. Dropped by Edelman
9. Behind Gronkowski
10. Underthrown to Dion Lewis
11. Overthrown to Gronkowski
12. Dropped by Scott Chandler
13. Pass breakup by Aaron Williams
14. Dropped by Edelman
15. Dropped by Aaron Dobson
16. Pass breakup by Ronald Darby over Edelman
17. Pass breakup by Darby over Danny Amendola
18. Pressure allowed by Cannon
19. Dropped by Lewis
20. Behind Gronkowski
21. Overthrown to Edelman

Thumbnail photo via Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Sep 20, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Percy Harvin (18) is tackled by New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler (21) during the first half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
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