News & Analysis

32 NFL observations, Week 15

By Mark Chichester
Dec 21, 2017

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Dec 10, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Dallas Cowboys corner back Jourdan Lewis (27) breaks up a pass intended for New York Giants wide receiver Roger Lewis (18) during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Another week, another 32 Observations by PFF Analyst Mark Chichester, finding an interesting piece of information about all 32 teams after one week of football.

If you would like to make some observations of your own, you can do so with PFF Elite, where you can find several signature statistics for every offensive and defensive position in football.

AFC EAST

Buffalo Bills: Cornerback Tre’Davious White has 15 combined interceptions and pass breakups (four interceptions and 11 pass breakups) which is more than any other rookie corner this year. Through 15 weeks, he’s also racked up a playmaker index of 20.8 percent, which also tops this year’s rookie corners.

Miami Dolphins: Rookie defensive tackle Vincent Taylor has only played 89 run defense snaps this year, but he’s sure made them count. Through 15 weeks, he’s produced 13 run stops, resulting in a run stop percentage of 13.5 percent, the best mark among rookie defensive tackles and the third-best mark among all players at the position this year.

New England Patriots: Defensive tackle Adam Butler has tallied two sacks and 16 hurries this year, giving him 18 total pressures, the most among rookie defensive tackles so far this season.

New York Jets: Safety Jamal Adams has produced 20 run stops so far this year (19 of which have come when he’s lined up within eight yards of the line of scrimmage), the most stops recorded by a safety this year.

AFC NORTH

Baltimore Ravens: Cornerback Marlon Humphrey has allowed a passer rating of just 51.4 on throws into his coverage this season, the fifth-best mark among all cornerbacks and second only to Marshon Lattimore  when it comes to rookie players at the position.

Cincinnati Bengals: Edge defender Carl Lawson has racked up 28 pressures on third down this year, more than any other defensive player in the league. All told, Lawson’s 53 pressures are the most among all rookies, and he needs just 12 more to have the most pressures ever recorded by a rookie edge defender.

Cleveland Browns: Quarterback DeShone Kizer has now thrown six red zone interceptions, the most ever thrown by a rookie quarterback in the PFF era (2006-present). On his 38 red zone attempts, Kizer has posted a passer rating of 43.2, an adjusted completion percentage of 44.1 percent and an interception rate of 15.8 percent, all of which are the lowest marks by a rookie signal-caller in the PFF era.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Edge defender T.J. Watt has dropped into coverage on 154 of his defensive snaps this year, which is the second-most among all edge-defenders. When in coverage, he’s been targeted 17 times and he’s logged four pass breakups, one interception and allowed a passer rating of 34.7, all of which are the best marks among edge defenders this year.

AFC SOUTH

Houston Texans: Through 15 weeks, inside linebacker Zach Cunningham has accounted for 14 tackles against the run that limited the offense to a gain of just one yard or less, the most among all rookie defensive players this season.

Indianapolis Colts: Running back Marlon Mack has been stopped for either no gain or negative yardage on 34.1 percent of his rushing attempts this year. This is the highest rate among all running backs with at least 75 carries this season.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Wide receiver Keelan Cole has seen 13 deep targets this season and has amassed 268 deep passing yards, the most among rookie receivers. When targeted on passes of 20 or more yards downfield, he’s generated a passer rating of 118.3, which is the best mark among all rookie pass-catchers.

Tennessee Titans: Cornerback Adoree’ Jackson has broken up 13 passes so far, tied for the most among all cornerbacks in the league. If he can somehow accumulate five more, he will have logged more pass breakups than any other rookie cornerback in the PFF era.

AFC WEST

Denver Broncos: Left tackle Garett Bolles has a run blocking grade of 81.9 which is both the second-best mark among rookie tackles and tied for 12th-best among all  offensive tackles this season.

Kansas City Chiefs: Running back Kareem Hunt has been mightily productive all year, but he’s been especially impressive on first down. On 160 first down carries, Hunt has racked up 867 yards at an average of 5.4 yards per carry, forced 32 missed tackles and broken out on 14 runs of 15-plus yards, all of which are the best marks among backs with at least 75 carries this season.

Los Angeles Chargers: Through 15 weeks, cornerback Desmond King has recorded 30 total stops (solo tackles that result in a ‘win’ for the defense), the most among cornerbacks this year and the most ever recorded by a rookie corner in a single season.

Oakland Raiders: Interior defensive lineman Treyvon Hester has racked up 10 run stops this year, and is still yet to miss a tackle against the run.

NFC EAST

Dallas Cowboys: Cornerback Jourdan Lewis has seen 10 targets of 20 or more yards downfield this year, and he’s allowed just one catch for 32 yards, while tallying one interception and four pass breakups. When targeted on deep balls, he’s allowed a miniscule passer rating of just 1.7 and catch rate of 9.1 percent, both the best marks among all cornerbacks in the league with at least 10 deep targets in their primary coverage.

New York Giants: Through 15 weeks, defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson has racked up 21 run stops, the most among all rookie interior defensive linemen this season.

Philadelphia Eagles: Cornerback Rasul Douglas has been targeted 11 times on late downs (third and fourth down) this year. He’s allowed just six to be completed and accumulated two interceptions and three pass breakups, for a playmaker index of 41.7 percent, the best mark among cornerbacks with at least 10 late down targets this season.

Washington Redskins: Center Chase Roullier has allowed just five pressures on his 209 pass blocking snaps this year, which has resulted in a pass blocking efficiency of 98.2, which is 10th-best among all players at the position and on pace to be the highest rating recorded by a rookie since Nick Mangold in 2006.

NFC NORTH

Chicago Bears: Adam Shaheen is the only rookie tight end in the league that has seen more than 10 catchable targets and not dropped a pass. Through 15 Weeks, he’s caught all 12 of his catchable targets and has also averaged 1.90 yards per route run, the second-best mark among rookie tight ends with at least 10 targets.

Detroit Lions: Rookie cornerback and return specialist Jamal Agnew has done an excellent job returning punts this year. On 26 return attempts, he’s amassed 416 return yards at an average of 16.0 yards per return, tallied two return touchdowns, and logged an 88-yard longest return, all of which are the best marks in the NFL this year.

Green Bay Packers: Running back Aaron Jones has run past the point of first contact on 87.2 percent of his rushing attempts this year, which is third-best mark among rookie running backs with at least 75 carries, with only D’Onta Foreman (91.0 percent) and teammate Jamaal Williams (89.7 percent) ahead of him.

Minnesota Vikings:  Linebacker Ben Gedeon has produced a run stop percentage of 7.7 percent this year, which ranks second among rookie 4-3 outside linebackers, however, he’s the only rookie player at the position who hasn’t missed a tackle on any of his tackle attempts against the run.

NFC SOUTH

Atlanta Falcons: Edge defender Takkarist McKinley has produced six sacks, four hits and 21 hurries on his 236 pass-rushing snaps this year, resulting in a pass-rush productivity of 10.5, the best mark among rookie 4-3 defensive ends.

Carolina Panthers: With two games of the regular season still remaining, running back Christian McCaffrey has seen 95 targets, the most among any rookie skill position player. If he is targeted just 13 more times over the final two games, he’ll become the most-targeted rookie running back in the PFF era.

New Orleans Saints: Right tackle Ryan Ramczyk has allowed just three sacks, five hits and 14 hurries on his 498 pass-blocking snaps this year, which has resulted in a pass blocking efficiency of 96.5, the best mark among rookie tackles and currently the fifth-best mark recorded by a rookie tackle since 2006.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tight end O.J. Howard has only seen six deep targets this season, but he’s been mightily productive on those targets. Through 15 weeks, he’s boasted an 83.3 deep catch rate and generated a perfect passer rating of 158.3 when he’s been targeted 20 or more yards downfield, both of which are the best marks among tight ends with at least five deep targets this season.

NFC WEST

Arizona Cardinals: Tight end Ricky Seals-Jones first saw significant playing time in Week 11, and since then, he’s seen 25 targets (second-most among his teammates in that span) and racked up 201 receiving yards at an average of 3.94 yards per route run, which is the best rate among tight ends from Weeks 11-15.

Los Angeles Rams: Through 15 weeks, wide receiver Cooper Kupp has seen 22 red zone targets, which is the most for all wide receivers at this point of the season. On those targets, he’s generated a passer rating of 109.3, which is the best mark among rookie pass catchers with at least 10 red zone targets.

San Francisco 49ers: Rookie linebacker Reuben Foster has racked 23 run stops on his 184 run defense snaps this year, which has resulted in a run stop of 12.5 percent, both of which are good for first among rookie linebackers through Week 15.

Seattle Seahawks: Cornerback Shaquill Griffin has broken up six third down passes this year, which is tied for the second-most among all defensive players and the most among rookies.

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