Patriots Advanced Stats: Dont’a Hightower, Receiver Drops Stand Out

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The New York Jets knew what was coming throughout their Week 7 loss to the New England Patriots, and they still couldn’t stop it.

The Patriots had no intention of trying to run the ball against the Jets’ stout front seven in the 30-23 win, and though it took a while to gain momentum, the Patriots still won despite just five total handoffs.

The Patriots forced a shootout by loading the line of scrimmage with defenders and daring Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to pass. They didn’t force any turnovers in the passing game, but they still were rightly confident Brady could out-duel Fitzpatrick, which is exactly what happened.

Check out this week’s advanced passing stats:

PASS COVERAGE
Game stats:
Malcolm Butler: 5-11, 82 yards, illegal use of hands, holding, 18-yard pass interference
Logan Ryan: 4-7, 67 yards
Dont’a Hightower: 3-3, 32 yards, holding
Patrick Chung: 3-6, 28 yards, two PBUs
Jamie Collins: 1-2, 23 yards, PBU
Justin Coleman: 3-7, 22 yards, TD, PBU, illegal use of hands
Rob Ninkovich: 1-2, 9 yards, TD, four PBUs

— Malcolm Butler shadowed Eric Decker, while Logan Ryan matched up with Brandon Marshall and Justin Coleman covered Devin Smith, Jeremy Kerley and Chris Owusu.

— The Patriots stayed in single-high man coverage for most of the game with Devin McCourty playing free safety. Patrick Chung covered tight ends and wide receivers and had another impressive game.

— Ryan had help from McCourty over the top but should be praised for keeping Marshall at bay. Marshall had four consecutive 100-yard games going into this matchup.

— Coleman has been a very pleasant surprise as an undrafted free agent cut by the Minnesota Vikings and added before Week 1.

Season stats:
Malcolm Butler: 23-43, 411 yards, 4 TDs, INT, 7 PBUs
Logan Ryan: 18-30, 209 yards, TD, 2 INTs
Bradley Fletcher: 7-10, 124 yards, TD, DPI
Justin Coleman: 7-14, 119 yards, TD, PBU
Jamie Collins: 12-20, 103 yards, 2 PBUs
Devin McCourty: 9-17, 96 yards, TD, INT, pass interference
Patrick Chung: 11-21, 80 yards, TD, 3 PBUs, pass interference
Dont’a Hightower: 7-14, 71 yards
Tarell Brown: 7-14, 70 yards
Jerod Mayo: 4-4, 49 yards
Rob Ninkovich: 4-7, 34 yards, TD, 4 PBUs
Jonathan Freeny: 5-6, 32 yards
Jordan Richards: 1-3, 6 yards, TD
Duron Harmon: 2 INTs, PBU
Chandler Jones: PBU

PASS RUSH
Game stats:
Dont’a Hightower: eight pressures, two QB hits, six hurries
Dominique Easley: three pressures, three hurries
Jamie Collins: two pressures, sack, hurry
Chandler Jones: two pressures, sack, hurry
Rob Ninkovich: two pressures, two hurries
Alan Branch: one pressure, QB hit
Akiem Hicks: one pressure, hurry
Malcom Brown: drew holding penalty

— Hightower had a monster game as a pass rusher and against the run. He was the Patriots’ best defender Sunday. He forced Collins snap with a bull rush on Jets center Nick Mangold.

— Easley shined as a pass rusher for the second consecutive game, contributing with three total pressures.

— Rookies Geneo Grissom and Trey Flowers played but didn’t tally any pressures.

Season stats:
Chandler Jones: 21 pressures, 6.5 sacks, six QB hits, eight hurries
Jabaal Sheard: 19 pressures, four sacks, three QB hits, 12 hurries
Dont’a Hightower: 15 pressures, 2.5 sacks, two QB hits, 10 hurries
Rob Ninkovich: 14 pressures, one sack, three QB hit, 10 hurries
Dominique Easley: 12 pressures, .5 sack, four QB hits, seven hurries
Jamie Collins: 11 pressures, 4.5 sacks, one QB hit, five hurries
Alan Branch: three pressures, one sack, one QB hit, one hurry
Geneo Grissom: two pressures, one QB hit, one hurry
Malcom Brown: two pressures, one sack, one hurry
Sealver Siliga: two pressures, one QB hit, one hurry
Logan Ryan: one pressure, one QB hit
Rufus Johnson: one pressure, one hurry
Justin Coleman: one pressure, one hurry
Akiem Hicks: one pressure, one hurry

PASSING GAME
Tom Brady had one of his better games in recent memory throwing the deep ball. He was 4 of 6 on passes that traveled over 15 yards.

Brady threw 20 incompletions on the afternoon. Here are Brady’s misses, tracked:

1. Underthrown to Julian Edelman
2. Drop by James White
3. Pass breakup by Calvin Pryor over Rob Gronkowski
4. Drop by Brandon LaFell
5. Drop by LaFell
6. Tipped at the line on pass to Gronkowski
7. Overthrown to White
8. Overthrown to Gronkowski
9. Pass breakup by Antonio Cromartie over LaFell
10. High throw to Edelman
11. Drop by LaFell
12. Overthrown to Gronkowski
13. Caused by pressure
14. Overthrown to Gronkowski
15. Overthrown to Aaron Dobson
16. Drop by Edelman
17. Drop by LaFell
18. Thrown away toward Amendola
19. Knocked out of Michael Williams hands
20. Drop by LaFell

That’s seven drops, seven inaccurate passes, four incompletions caused by defensive plays, one caused by pressure and one throwaway.

PASS PROTECTION
Season stats:
Cameron Fleming: sack, two QB hits
Tre’ Jackson: four hurries
David Andrews: QB hit, hurry
Sebastian Vollmer: QB hit
James White: QB hit
Josh Kline: QB hit
Rob Gronkowski: QB hit
Unblocked: sack

— Brady held onto the ball slightly longer than usual, and that’s likely because the Jets’ coverage was so solid.

— Cameron Fleming gave up three pressures, including a sack, but overall he’s providing satisfactory pass protection for Brady.

— The Patriots didn’t rotate their offensive line, which meant Ryan Wendell didn’t see any offensive action. It’s surprising he didn’t see time at right guard, where Jackson had some issues in the passing game.

Season stats:
Nate Solder: three sacks, three QB hits, 10 hurries
Sebastian Vollmer: two sacks, four QB hits, eight hurries
Marcus Cannon: two sacks, one QB hit, 10 hurries
Cameron Fleming: sack, three QB hits, three hurries
Josh Kline: one sack, four QB hits, two hurries
Shaq Mason: sack, three QB hits, two hurries
David Andrews: one sack, three QB hits, two hurries
Tre’ Jackson: one QB hit, five hurries
Tom Brady: two sacks
Unblocked: two sacks
Dion Lewis: one sack
James White: QB hit
Rob Gronkowski: QB hit

Thumbnail photo via Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports Images

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