Published: Oct. 3, 2019 at 02:05 p.m.

Next Gen Stats: Compelling figures that could shape Week 5

Want to see the numbers behind the numbers? NFL Research's Joseph Ferraiola dives into a fresh batch of Next Gen Stats and identifies figures that are helping to shape the NFL narrative entering Week 5 of the 2019 season.

7 Photos Total

  • Russell Wilson has been defying expectations his entire career, and he has taken his accuracy to a new level this season. Wilson has completed 72.9% of his passes (highest in the NFL), but has only been <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000964655/article/next-gen-stats-introduction-to-completion-probability">expected to complete</a> 62.9% (eighth-lowest). That +10.0% completion percentage above expectation is the best mark through Week 4 of any QB in the past three seasons. Outperforming expectation isn't new for Wilson, who is the only QB to rank in the top three of completion percentage above expectation in each of the past three seasons. Wilson is especially accurate on deep passes. Wilson has completed 42.4% of his deep balls since 2016, while only being expected to complete 31.3% (+11.1%, highest rate of 27 QBs with 100+ deep attempts). This accuracy, paired with volume, has led to Wilson having 728 more yards than any other QB on deep passes since 2016. 7

    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Russell Wilson's pinpoint accuracy

    Russell Wilson has been defying expectations his entire career, and he has taken his accuracy to a new level this season. Wilson has completed 72.9% of his passes (highest in the NFL), but has only been expected to complete 62.9% (eighth-lowest). That +10.0% completion percentage above expectation is the best mark through Week 4 of any QB in the past three seasons. Outperforming expectation isn't new for Wilson, who is the only QB to rank in the top three of completion percentage above expectation in each of the past three seasons. Wilson is especially accurate on deep passes. Wilson has completed 42.4% of his deep balls since 2016, while only being expected to complete 31.3% (+11.1%, highest rate of 27 QBs with 100+ deep attempts). This accuracy, paired with volume, has led to Wilson having 728 more yards than any other QB on deep passes since 2016.

  • Jameis Winston is often described as a high variance QB, but one consistent aspect of his game is his performance against the blitz. Since 2017, Winston has excelled against the blitz with a 105.5 passer rating (fifth-highest, min. 100 pass attempts vs. the blitz in that span). Winston has been even better against the blitz in 2019, leading the NFL in completion percentage (81.8%), yards per attempt (13.9) and TD-INT ratio (6:0), with a perfect passer rating (158.3) on such passes. The Saints haven't blitzed much this season -- 22.5% of dropbacks (11th-lowest in NFL) -- but when they do, they are effective, pressuring the QB on 52.9% of blitzes this season. 6

    Gregory Trott/Associated Press

    Jameis Winston thwarting the blitz

    Jameis Winston is often described as a high variance QB, but one consistent aspect of his game is his performance against the blitz. Since 2017, Winston has excelled against the blitz with a 105.5 passer rating (fifth-highest, min. 100 pass attempts vs. the blitz in that span). Winston has been even better against the blitz in 2019, leading the NFL in completion percentage (81.8%), yards per attempt (13.9) and TD-INT ratio (6:0), with a perfect passer rating (158.3) on such passes. The Saints haven't blitzed much this season -- 22.5% of dropbacks (11th-lowest in NFL) -- but when they do, they are effective, pressuring the QB on 52.9% of blitzes this season.

  • Shaquil Barrett's dominance rushing the passer this season has been nothing short of extraordinary. Barrett has easily been the most disruptive pass rusher in the league, leading the NFL in pressures (28), pressure rate (18.8%), <a href="https://twitter.com/NextGenStats/status/1178776235859558400" target="_blank">turnovers caused by pressure (4)</a>, sacks (9.0), sack rate (6.0%) and disruption rate (20.8%) among defenders with at least 75 pass rushes this season. Barrett's 28 pressures are more than three teams have this season and are just two fewer than the Broncos' 30 pressures -- the team that let him walk in free agency last offseason. The Saints, Barrett's opponent this week, have allowed more pressures with Teddy Bridgewater playing QB this season (30.9%), compared to Drew Brees (18.4%). 5

    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Shaquil Barrett's dominance

    Shaquil Barrett's dominance rushing the passer this season has been nothing short of extraordinary. Barrett has easily been the most disruptive pass rusher in the league, leading the NFL in pressures (28), pressure rate (18.8%), turnovers caused by pressure (4), sacks (9.0), sack rate (6.0%) and disruption rate (20.8%) among defenders with at least 75 pass rushes this season. Barrett's 28 pressures are more than three teams have this season and are just two fewer than the Broncos' 30 pressures -- the team that let him walk in free agency last offseason. The Saints, Barrett's opponent this week, have allowed more pressures with Teddy Bridgewater playing QB this season (30.9%), compared to Drew Brees (18.4%).

  • The Packers have significantly upgraded their pass rush this season, going from 21st in the NFL in pressure rate (26.2%) in 2018 to first (35.9%) this season. This is bad news for Dak Prescott and the Cowboys' offense, as Prescott's pressure rate has increased in each game this season (Week 1: 3.1%; Week 2: 16.1%; Week 3: 33%; Week 4: 35.3%). The other unwelcome development for the Cowboys: they will be without their starting left tackle, Tyron Smith, due to an ankle injury. Prescott has been pressured <a href="https://twitter.com/NextGenStats/status/1178735084221820928" target="_blank">8.5% more often when Smith's not on the field</a> since entering the NFL in 2016 (35.5% pressure rate without Smith; 27.0% pressure rate with Smith). After Smith exited late in the fourth quarter in the Cowboys' loss to the Saints last week, Prescott was pressured on four of his seven dropbacks to close out the game. 4

    Associated Press

    Dak Prescott vs. Packers' pass rush

    The Packers have significantly upgraded their pass rush this season, going from 21st in the NFL in pressure rate (26.2%) in 2018 to first (35.9%) this season. This is bad news for Dak Prescott and the Cowboys' offense, as Prescott's pressure rate has increased in each game this season (Week 1: 3.1%; Week 2: 16.1%; Week 3: 33%; Week 4: 35.3%). The other unwelcome development for the Cowboys: they will be without their starting left tackle, Tyron Smith, due to an ankle injury. Prescott has been pressured 8.5% more often when Smith's not on the field since entering the NFL in 2016 (35.5% pressure rate without Smith; 27.0% pressure rate with Smith). After Smith exited late in the fourth quarter in the Cowboys' loss to the Saints last week, Prescott was pressured on four of his seven dropbacks to close out the game.

  • Patrick Mahomes is a rare talent, of course, but there's no denying that Andy Reid has created a perfect environment for the QB to thrive in. Mahomes has thrown into tight windows at the lowest rate in the NFL (11.7%) since 2018, and has done so while pushing the ball downfield (9.3 air yards per attempt, fourth-most in NFL), unlike other QBs who have avoided tight-window throws at similar rates. Mahomes gets an appetizing matchup Sunday against a zone-heavy Colts defense. Since 2018, the Colts' defense forces tight-window throws on just 8.1% of attempts (the only team in the NFL below 11%), in part, because the Colts allow so much separation on targets (4.1 yards, 0.7 more than any other team) and the Chiefs have the highest <a href=" http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000967238/article/next-gen-stats-intro-to-completion-probability-part-ii ">expected completion percentage</a> (71.3%) in the NFL since 2018, the only team over 68%. 3

    Associated Press

    Mahomes' massive matchup

    Patrick Mahomes is a rare talent, of course, but there's no denying that Andy Reid has created a perfect environment for the QB to thrive in. Mahomes has thrown into tight windows at the lowest rate in the NFL (11.7%) since 2018, and has done so while pushing the ball downfield (9.3 air yards per attempt, fourth-most in NFL), unlike other QBs who have avoided tight-window throws at similar rates. Mahomes gets an appetizing matchup Sunday against a zone-heavy Colts defense. Since 2018, the Colts' defense forces tight-window throws on just 8.1% of attempts (the only team in the NFL below 11%), in part, because the Colts allow so much separation on targets (4.1 yards, 0.7 more than any other team) and the Chiefs have the highest expected completion percentage (71.3%) in the NFL since 2018, the only team over 68%.

  • Khalil Mack will get his first chance at revenge against his old team this week when the Bears and Raiders meet in London. Since trading Mack before the start of last season, the Raiders have been the worst pass rushing team in the NFL, ranking last in pressures (112), pressure rate (17.5), sacks (18) and sack rate (2.8). In that same span, Mack has ranked second in pressures (82), third in pressure rate (14.7%) and fourth in sacks (17.0) and sack rate (3.0%) among edge defenders with a minimum of 400 pass rush snaps. Mack's 82 pressures are <a href="https://twitter.com/NFLResearch/status/1179064886522863616" target="_blank">two more than the Raiders have as a team when rushing four or fewer pass rushers since 2018</a>. Additionally, Mack has forced seven turnovers on pressures, one more than the Raiders have forced since 2018. 2

    Associated Press

    Revenge of the Mack?

    Khalil Mack will get his first chance at revenge against his old team this week when the Bears and Raiders meet in London. Since trading Mack before the start of last season, the Raiders have been the worst pass rushing team in the NFL, ranking last in pressures (112), pressure rate (17.5), sacks (18) and sack rate (2.8). In that same span, Mack has ranked second in pressures (82), third in pressure rate (14.7%) and fourth in sacks (17.0) and sack rate (3.0%) among edge defenders with a minimum of 400 pass rush snaps. Mack's 82 pressures are two more than the Raiders have as a team when rushing four or fewer pass rushers since 2018. Additionally, Mack has forced seven turnovers on pressures, one more than the Raiders have forced since 2018.

  • Baker Mayfield bounced back in Week 4 thanks, in part, to getting the ball out faster (2.44 seconds to throw) than he did in the previous three weeks (Weeks 1-3: 3.03 seconds to throw, third-longest in NFL), which helped reduce the pressure around him (Weeks 1-3: 32.5%; Week 4: 3.2%). Mayfield has struggled on passes with 2.5-plus seconds to throw this season with four INTs and the third-lowest passer rating on such passes (62.3). Mayfield will need to replicate his Week 4 time-to-throw to avoid being pressured in Week 5 by the 49ers' pass rush. The 49ers pressure opposing QBs on 33.3% of dropbacks (fifth-highest in the NFL) and feature Nick Bosa. The rookie ranks third in pressure rate (18.3%) and first in disruption rate (25.0%) among 134 defenders with at least 60 pass rushes this season. 1

    Associated Press

    Quicker Baker

    Baker Mayfield bounced back in Week 4 thanks, in part, to getting the ball out faster (2.44 seconds to throw) than he did in the previous three weeks (Weeks 1-3: 3.03 seconds to throw, third-longest in NFL), which helped reduce the pressure around him (Weeks 1-3: 32.5%; Week 4: 3.2%). Mayfield has struggled on passes with 2.5-plus seconds to throw this season with four INTs and the third-lowest passer rating on such passes (62.3). Mayfield will need to replicate his Week 4 time-to-throw to avoid being pressured in Week 5 by the 49ers' pass rush. The 49ers pressure opposing QBs on 33.3% of dropbacks (fifth-highest in the NFL) and feature Nick Bosa. The rookie ranks third in pressure rate (18.3%) and first in disruption rate (25.0%) among 134 defenders with at least 60 pass rushes this season.