New England Patriots fans really owe Patrick Chung a collective apology.
The reaction when the Patriots re-signed Patrick Chung in the 2014 offseason ranged from hysterical to apoplectic. Chung had some issues in covering during his first tenure with the Patriots from 2009 to 2012, especially when he was asked to play deep in the team’s Cover-2 scheme.
He has shined since moving down toward the line of scrimmage as a traditional strong safety in the Patriots’ Cover-1 and -3 schemes, helping the team win Super Bowl XLIX and continuing his impressive play in 2015.
Check out how he and the rest of the Patriots fared in NESN.com’s season-long advanced passing stats:
— Among the Patriots’ regular pass coverage players, Collins finished with the best passer rating against.
— Chung, Coleman, Brown and Coleman all allowed just a 50 percent completion percentage.
— Ryan led the Patriots with four interceptions, also allowing just three touchdowns while staying on the field for the second most coverage snaps.
— To put the Patriots’ cover stats in perspective, Darrelle Revis allowed 37 receptions on 78 targets last season for 532 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions on 650 cover snaps for a 67.9 passer rating. He allowed 39 receptions on 85 targets for 567 yards with three touchdowns and five interceptions on 584 cover snaps for a 55.4 passer rating this season, per Pro Football Focus.
— Butler led cornerbacks in ball skill percentage (pass breakups plus interceptions per cover snap), while Chung led Patriots defensive backs.
— Harmon was rarely targeted but still came away with three interceptions and four pass breakups as a free safety. He typically got his hand on the ball while other defensive backs were targeted.
— Coleman was targeted frequently but allowed just 1.09 yards per snap.
— Hightower led regular pass rushers in pressure percentage. The Patriots should continue to increase Hightower’s pass-rush opportunities in the playoffs.
— Sheard was more productive per snap than Jones and Ninkovich. It likely helped that he also was more well-rested than the regular starters.
— Hicks surprisingly finished as a more productive player per snap than Easley.
— Rookies Andrews and Jackson finished with the lowest pressure percentage among offensive linemen, though it helps they play center and right guard — two positions that rarely face top pass rushers.
— Vollmer finished with the lowest pressure percentage among offensive tackles. It will be big for the Patriots to get him back for the playoffs.
— Gronkowski led all Patriots blockers in pressure percentage, allowing just two pressures in 75 pass-protection snaps.
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Dec 13, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots strong safety Patrick Chung (23) during the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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