Published: Oct. 4, 2018 at 10:01 a.m.

Next Gen Stats: Hidden numbers that defined Week 4

Want to see the numbers behind the numbers? Nick Shook dives into a fresh batch of Next Gen Stats and identifies figures that helped shape Week 4.

7 Photos Total

  • Jared Goff put up video-game numbers in the Rams' Thursday night win over the Vikings, and a look at his expected completion percentage in that game makes it that much more impressive. While fans watched Goff make unlikely -- and sometimes unbelievable -- completions, our tracking data was compiling a sterling stat line. Goff's 78.8 completion percentage was 12.6 percent higher than his expected completion percentage, further highlighting the rare throws he was completing for big yards. His best throw of the night -- <a href="http://www.nfl.com/videos/los-angeles-rams/0ap3000000967201/Can-t-Miss-Play-Kupp-catches-pinpoint-TD-over-two-DBs">a 19-yard strike to Cooper Kupp</a> in an unbelievably tight window of just 1.3 yards of separation -- was the least likely completion of the week across the league. Goff had just an 18.1 percent chance of completing the highlight-reel touchdown pass. 7

    Ryan Kang/NFL

    Goffense exceeds expectations

    Jared Goff put up video-game numbers in the Rams' Thursday night win over the Vikings, and a look at his expected completion percentage in that game makes it that much more impressive. While fans watched Goff make unlikely -- and sometimes unbelievable -- completions, our tracking data was compiling a sterling stat line. Goff's 78.8 completion percentage was 12.6 percent higher than his expected completion percentage, further highlighting the rare throws he was completing for big yards. His best throw of the night -- a 19-yard strike to Cooper Kupp in an unbelievably tight window of just 1.3 yards of separation -- was the least likely completion of the week across the league. Goff had just an 18.1 percent chance of completing the highlight-reel touchdown pass.

  • Keke Coutee's big week (11 catches for 109 yards) came with plenty of room to work. The Texans receiver led the league with the most separation per target at 5.2 yards (among receivers with five or more targets in Week 4) and posted a 73.3 catch percentage. Meanwhile, Detroit's Golden Tate did the most with the least, catching 100 percent of his eight targets, shattering an expected completion percentage of 58.7 with an average separation of just 2.3 yards. 6

    Associated Press

    Keke, are you open?

    Keke Coutee's big week (11 catches for 109 yards) came with plenty of room to work. The Texans receiver led the league with the most separation per target at 5.2 yards (among receivers with five or more targets in Week 4) and posted a 73.3 catch percentage. Meanwhile, Detroit's Golden Tate did the most with the least, catching 100 percent of his eight targets, shattering an expected completion percentage of 58.7 with an average separation of just 2.3 yards.

  • After sacking Carson Wentz four times in their Week 4 win over the Eagles, the Titans find themselves atop the leaderboard for pressure percentage, making the quarterback uncomfortable on 32.1 percent of their attempts through the first quarter of the season. It's even more impressive when you consider that Tennessee is doing this while landing outside the top 10 in blitz percentage. The Titans' blitz percentage of 28.2 is 11th in the league, but has yielded the seventh-most sacks in the league with 12, an average of three per game. 5

    Fred Vuich/Associated Press

    Tenacious Titans

    After sacking Carson Wentz four times in their Week 4 win over the Eagles, the Titans find themselves atop the leaderboard for pressure percentage, making the quarterback uncomfortable on 32.1 percent of their attempts through the first quarter of the season. It's even more impressive when you consider that Tennessee is doing this while landing outside the top 10 in blitz percentage. The Titans' blitz percentage of 28.2 is 11th in the league, but has yielded the seventh-most sacks in the league with 12, an average of three per game.

  • Josh Rosen didn't get a win vs. the Seahawks in his first career start (which was no fault of his), but he did post the highest grade for a rookie QB in his professional starting debut, per Pro Football Focus. This is the Next Gen Stats photo essay, though, so let's dive a little bit deeper into the tracking data.<br><br>
 
Rosen completed 15 of 27 passes for 180 yards and a rating of 88.5, but what made his play remarkable: the conditions in which he had to perform. Rosen was pressured on a league-high 50 percent of his pass attempts, per Next Gen Stats, and still managed to complete 55.6 percent of his passes. He exceeded his expected completion percentage by 1.6 points, throwing passes into tight windows on 22.2 percent of his attempts. Arizona receivers' average separation per target was tied for the second-lowest in the league with fellow rookie Sam Darnold's targets at just 2.7 yards. Comparatively, Darnold was pressured on 39.5 percent of his attempts. 4

    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Rosen-colored glasses

    Josh Rosen didn't get a win vs. the Seahawks in his first career start (which was no fault of his), but he did post the highest grade for a rookie QB in his professional starting debut, per Pro Football Focus. This is the Next Gen Stats photo essay, though, so let's dive a little bit deeper into the tracking data.

    Rosen completed 15 of 27 passes for 180 yards and a rating of 88.5, but what made his play remarkable: the conditions in which he had to perform. Rosen was pressured on a league-high 50 percent of his pass attempts, per Next Gen Stats, and still managed to complete 55.6 percent of his passes. He exceeded his expected completion percentage by 1.6 points, throwing passes into tight windows on 22.2 percent of his attempts. Arizona receivers' average separation per target was tied for the second-lowest in the league with fellow rookie Sam Darnold's targets at just 2.7 yards. Comparatively, Darnold was pressured on 39.5 percent of his attempts.

  • The Browns didn't come away with a win in Oakland on Sunday, but they did continue to bring heat to the opposing quarterback. A week after three of Cleveland's defensive linemen landed in the top 11 for the most pressures per pass rush, the Browns' defense posted a league-high 22 pressures in the loss to the Raiders. Cleveland had plenty of opportunities to get to Derek Carr -- the Raiders quarterback attempted 58 passes -- but still landed in the top five for pressure percentage. 3

    Ryan Kang/NFL

    Dawg Pound on the attack

    The Browns didn't come away with a win in Oakland on Sunday, but they did continue to bring heat to the opposing quarterback. A week after three of Cleveland's defensive linemen landed in the top 11 for the most pressures per pass rush, the Browns' defense posted a league-high 22 pressures in the loss to the Raiders. Cleveland had plenty of opportunities to get to Derek Carr -- the Raiders quarterback attempted 58 passes -- but still landed in the top five for pressure percentage.

  • Vikings QB Kirk Cousins found himself embroiled in a shootout with the Rams' Jared Goff on Thursday night, but the circumstances under which he managed to post a 117.3 passer rating were much more difficult than those of his counterpart. Cousins finished tied with Andrew Luck for the second-most quarterback pressures in Week 4, feeling the heat 18 times -- 33.3 percent of his dropbacks -- and still throwing for 422 yards and three touchdowns. While Minnesota scrambles to fix its defensive woes, it can count on a quarterback who will make the most of his snaps, even while under pressure. 2

    Ben Liebenberg/NFL

    Pressure produces diamonds

    Vikings QB Kirk Cousins found himself embroiled in a shootout with the Rams' Jared Goff on Thursday night, but the circumstances under which he managed to post a 117.3 passer rating were much more difficult than those of his counterpart. Cousins finished tied with Andrew Luck for the second-most quarterback pressures in Week 4, feeling the heat 18 times -- 33.3 percent of his dropbacks -- and still throwing for 422 yards and three touchdowns. While Minnesota scrambles to fix its defensive woes, it can count on a quarterback who will make the most of his snaps, even while under pressure.

  • Dolphins defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick led the league in hustle tackles (when a defender travels 20 or more yards before making the play) in Week 4 with eight against the Patriots, covering an average of 24.4 yards per tackle. Fitzpatrick's eight hustle tackles accounted for more than 10 percent of his team's total tackles on the afternoon, making him the hardest-working Dolphin on Miami's defense. Fitzpatrick is tied for second in the league in hustle tackles this season, recording 16 (Indianapolis' Clayton Geathers has also logged 16) and trailing Kansas City's Ron Parker by just two. 1

    Steven Senne/Associated Press

    Just keep swimming

    Dolphins defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick led the league in hustle tackles (when a defender travels 20 or more yards before making the play) in Week 4 with eight against the Patriots, covering an average of 24.4 yards per tackle. Fitzpatrick's eight hustle tackles accounted for more than 10 percent of his team's total tackles on the afternoon, making him the hardest-working Dolphin on Miami's defense. Fitzpatrick is tied for second in the league in hustle tackles this season, recording 16 (Indianapolis' Clayton Geathers has also logged 16) and trailing Kansas City's Ron Parker by just two.