Published: Dec. 14, 2018 at 05:28 p.m.
Updated: Dec. 14, 2018 at 06:09 p.m.

Next Gen Stats: Hidden numbers that defined Week 14

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 14.

7 Photos Total

  • After struggling under pressure in the last two games (4 of 19, 47 yards, two interceptions, 0.0 passer rating), Jared Goff will meet another defense that excels at getting pressure. Philadelphia registers a pressure on 29.8 percent of all opposing dropbacks, the second-highest rate in the NFL, while Goff has completed just 39.8 percent of his attempts while under pressure, the third-lowest rate among qualifying quarterbacks in the NFL. The Eagles do so a bit differently than the Rams' last opponent, the Bears, with defensive tackle Fletcher Cox ranking second in pressure rate among interior defensive linemen (minimum 250 pass rushes) at 11.3 percent. Only the Rams' Aaron Donald has a higher rate, meaning the heat will be coming from all directions in Week 15. 7

    Associated Press

    No rest for the Goffense

    After struggling under pressure in the last two games (4 of 19, 47 yards, two interceptions, 0.0 passer rating), Jared Goff will meet another defense that excels at getting pressure. Philadelphia registers a pressure on 29.8 percent of all opposing dropbacks, the second-highest rate in the NFL, while Goff has completed just 39.8 percent of his attempts while under pressure, the third-lowest rate among qualifying quarterbacks in the NFL. The Eagles do so a bit differently than the Rams' last opponent, the Bears, with defensive tackle Fletcher Cox ranking second in pressure rate among interior defensive linemen (minimum 250 pass rushes) at 11.3 percent. Only the Rams' Aaron Donald has a higher rate, meaning the heat will be coming from all directions in Week 15.

  • Sam Darnold's return from a three-game absence was a sight for sore eyes in New York last week, as the rookie led the Jets to a <a href="https://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2018120900/2018/REG14/jets@bills">come-from-behind victory over the Bills</a> to end their losing skid. Darnold did so in typical fashion, making something out of nothing on multiple occasions (and also throwing a bad interception). But his touchdown pass to Robby Anderson early in the fourth quarter was key -- it came on a play he extended with his legs in nearly harrowing fashion before it ended in a score. Related: Darnold is good against the blitz, posting the highest passer-rating differential between non-blitz and blitz situations (plus-27.6), and he hasn't thrown an interception against the blitz. But when he takes longer than 2.5 seconds to throw, he's one of the league's worst, posting a passer rating of 62.5 (31st in the NFL) and throwing 10 interceptions (T-29th). 6

    Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

    Smooth Sam

    Sam Darnold's return from a three-game absence was a sight for sore eyes in New York last week, as the rookie led the Jets to a come-from-behind victory over the Bills to end their losing skid. Darnold did so in typical fashion, making something out of nothing on multiple occasions (and also throwing a bad interception). But his touchdown pass to Robby Anderson early in the fourth quarter was key -- it came on a play he extended with his legs in nearly harrowing fashion before it ended in a score. Related: Darnold is good against the blitz, posting the highest passer-rating differential between non-blitz and blitz situations (plus-27.6), and he hasn't thrown an interception against the blitz. But when he takes longer than 2.5 seconds to throw, he's one of the league's worst, posting a passer rating of 62.5 (31st in the NFL) and throwing 10 interceptions (T-29th).

  • Lamar Jackson's first few weeks behind center in Baltimore weren't exactly passing clinics, but he took advantage of a poor Chiefs secondary last week to put together the best game of his young career through the air. In Weeks 11-13, Jackson completed 9 of 21 passes outside the numbers for a 0:2 TD:INT ratio and a passer rating of 26.4. But in Week 14, his completion percentage, air yards per attempt, TD:INT ratio and passer rating all improved on attempts outside the numbers. The latter was the most drastic, jumping from 26.4 to 115.9. Furthermore, he expanded on his success on passes attempted from inside the tackle box, completing 11 of 19 for 112 yards and two touchdowns (110.0 passer rating). Pocket-passing Lamar might be the best Lamar for the 2018 Ravens. 5

    Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press

    Signs of growth for Jackson

    Lamar Jackson's first few weeks behind center in Baltimore weren't exactly passing clinics, but he took advantage of a poor Chiefs secondary last week to put together the best game of his young career through the air. In Weeks 11-13, Jackson completed 9 of 21 passes outside the numbers for a 0:2 TD:INT ratio and a passer rating of 26.4. But in Week 14, his completion percentage, air yards per attempt, TD:INT ratio and passer rating all improved on attempts outside the numbers. The latter was the most drastic, jumping from 26.4 to 115.9. Furthermore, he expanded on his success on passes attempted from inside the tackle box, completing 11 of 19 for 112 yards and two touchdowns (110.0 passer rating). Pocket-passing Lamar might be the best Lamar for the 2018 Ravens.

  • Aaron Rodgers is unique for a number of reasons, including his tendency to throw outside the numbers. In 2018, Rodgers leads the NFL with 1,802 yards on passes thrown to targets outside the numbers and has posted a perfect 14:0 TD:INT ratio on those throws. But he's facing a tough test in Week 15 in the form of the Chicago Bears, who have the league's best defense against passes outside the numbers. Chicago's 13 interceptions in that area of the field lead the league and are five more than the next-closest team has recorded -- the Los Angeles Chargers have eight. Additionally, Chicago has allowed a paltry passer rating of 64.7 on such attempts, the best in the league, meaning this will be a difficult one for Rodgers. 4

    Associated Press

    Will Bears D quiet Rodgers?

    Aaron Rodgers is unique for a number of reasons, including his tendency to throw outside the numbers. In 2018, Rodgers leads the NFL with 1,802 yards on passes thrown to targets outside the numbers and has posted a perfect 14:0 TD:INT ratio on those throws. But he's facing a tough test in Week 15 in the form of the Chicago Bears, who have the league's best defense against passes outside the numbers. Chicago's 13 interceptions in that area of the field lead the league and are five more than the next-closest team has recorded -- the Los Angeles Chargers have eight. Additionally, Chicago has allowed a paltry passer rating of 64.7 on such attempts, the best in the league, meaning this will be a difficult one for Rodgers.

  • Myles Garrett is one of the league's top edge rushers this season, ranking second in pressures (57), seventh in pressure rate (12.5 percent), tied for second in sacks (12.5) and 11th in sack rate (2.7 percent) among edge defenders with 250-plus pass rushes. The Browns travel to Denver this week, and Broncos QB Case Keenum has had issues when pressured from the edge, watching his completion percentage fall by 26.4 points in such situations, the sixth-largest decrease in the NFL among qualified quarterbacks. His completion percentage under pressure is a mere 41.7 percent. Keenum would be wise to get the ball out of his hands quickly when he drops back, although it won't guarantee success -- the Browns are among the league's best defenses when not recording a pressure. 3

    Associated Press

    Rocky Mountain heat

    Myles Garrett is one of the league's top edge rushers this season, ranking second in pressures (57), seventh in pressure rate (12.5 percent), tied for second in sacks (12.5) and 11th in sack rate (2.7 percent) among edge defenders with 250-plus pass rushes. The Browns travel to Denver this week, and Broncos QB Case Keenum has had issues when pressured from the edge, watching his completion percentage fall by 26.4 points in such situations, the sixth-largest decrease in the NFL among qualified quarterbacks. His completion percentage under pressure is a mere 41.7 percent. Keenum would be wise to get the ball out of his hands quickly when he drops back, although it won't guarantee success -- the Browns are among the league's best defenses when not recording a pressure.

  • Kirk Cousins has been pressured 20 more times than any other quarterback in the NFL, helping explain Minnesota's offensive struggles. He could be granted a reprieve this week, though, with the Miami Dolphins registering a pressure on just 23.1 percent of all opposing dropbacks, third-lowest in the league, and a sack rate of just 4.8 percent, second-lowest in the NFL. One would think this could be a boon for Cousins' receivers, as the quarterback's attempts under pressure land at just 7.9 air yards per attempt, second-lowest in the league. Surprisingly, though, Cousins' air yards per attempt when he isn't pressured are even lower, at just 6.8 per attempt, tied for seventh-lowest in the league. Will that change in Week 15? 2

    Associated Press

    Calmer waters for Captain Kirk?

    Kirk Cousins has been pressured 20 more times than any other quarterback in the NFL, helping explain Minnesota's offensive struggles. He could be granted a reprieve this week, though, with the Miami Dolphins registering a pressure on just 23.1 percent of all opposing dropbacks, third-lowest in the league, and a sack rate of just 4.8 percent, second-lowest in the NFL. One would think this could be a boon for Cousins' receivers, as the quarterback's attempts under pressure land at just 7.9 air yards per attempt, second-lowest in the league. Surprisingly, though, Cousins' air yards per attempt when he isn't pressured are even lower, at just 6.8 per attempt, tied for seventh-lowest in the league. Will that change in Week 15?

  • Cam Newton's shoulder has caused him <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000997031/article/myles-garrett-newton-looks-different-due-to-shoulder">noticeable problems in the last two weeks</a>, potentially impacting plays like the pass he sailed late in the fourth quarter against the Browns, <a href="http://www.nfl.com/videos/cleveland-browns/0ap3000000997645/Damarious-Randall-seals-game-for-Browns-with-INT">resulting in a game-sealing interception</a>. His numbers have reflected such a struggle. In Weeks 1-12, Newton completed 54.3 percent of his passes of 10-plus air yards for 10.6 yards per attempt, a 9:4 TD:INT ratio and a 101.8 passer rating. In Weeks 13 and 14, however, Newton has completed just 44.4 percent of his attempts of 10-plus air yards for 7.9 yards per attempt, a 0-4 TD:INT ratio and a 32.6 passer rating. The Panthers' struggles in the past month seem to be no coincidence, with their last two losses coming against teams with worse records than their own. 1

    Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

    Shoulder Stress

    Cam Newton's shoulder has caused him noticeable problems in the last two weeks, potentially impacting plays like the pass he sailed late in the fourth quarter against the Browns, resulting in a game-sealing interception. His numbers have reflected such a struggle. In Weeks 1-12, Newton completed 54.3 percent of his passes of 10-plus air yards for 10.6 yards per attempt, a 9:4 TD:INT ratio and a 101.8 passer rating. In Weeks 13 and 14, however, Newton has completed just 44.4 percent of his attempts of 10-plus air yards for 7.9 yards per attempt, a 0-4 TD:INT ratio and a 32.6 passer rating. The Panthers' struggles in the past month seem to be no coincidence, with their last two losses coming against teams with worse records than their own.