Published: Oct. 10, 2019 at 05:37 p.m.
Updated: Oct. 10, 2019 at 06:38 p.m.

Next Gen Stats: Compelling figures that could shape Week 6

Want to see the numbers behind the numbers? NFL Research's Keegan Abdoo dives into a fresh batch of Next Gen Stats and identifies figures that are helping to shape the NFL narrative entering Week 6 of the 2019 season.

5 Photos Total

  • The Michael Thomas-Teddy Bridgewater connection clicked in a big way in the Saints' Week 5 win over the division-rival Buccaneers. Thomas was able to fight through tight coverage to haul in 9 of 9 targets when pressed, the most receptions against press coverage by any player in a game since 2016. Thomas gained 164 of his 182 receiving yards when pressed, the third-most in a single game since 2016. The Saints benefited from Bridgewater's ability to push the ball downfield for the first time all season, as he finished 3 for 3 with 109 yards and a touchdown on deep passes (20-plus air yards), his first deep completions of the season. The Jags hope to counter on Sunday with the return of shutdown corner Jalen Ramsey. He has missed the last two games with a back injury, but team owner Shad Khan thinks <a target="_blank" href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001064129/article/jaguars-owner-thinks-jalen-ramsey-will-play-sunday">he will play vs. New Orleans</a>. 5

    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    Don't press Mike

    The Michael Thomas-Teddy Bridgewater connection clicked in a big way in the Saints' Week 5 win over the division-rival Buccaneers. Thomas was able to fight through tight coverage to haul in 9 of 9 targets when pressed, the most receptions against press coverage by any player in a game since 2016. Thomas gained 164 of his 182 receiving yards when pressed, the third-most in a single game since 2016. The Saints benefited from Bridgewater's ability to push the ball downfield for the first time all season, as he finished 3 for 3 with 109 yards and a touchdown on deep passes (20-plus air yards), his first deep completions of the season. The Jags hope to counter on Sunday with the return of shutdown corner Jalen Ramsey. He has missed the last two games with a back injury, but team owner Shad Khan thinks he will play vs. New Orleans.

  • The 10th and 12th overall picks from the 2017 draft face off for the first time this Sunday. Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson share some tendencies that make watching them so exciting. Both quarterbacks rank in the top three in throwing deep (Mahomes: 15.8 percent, Watson: 13.7 percent) and throwing outside the tackle box (Mahomes: 19.8 percent, Watson: 18.1 percent) since 2017. But their efficiency from a clean pocket is where they really shine, and QB stats when not pressured <a target="_blank" href="https://www.pff.com/news/pro-pff-forecast-the-stability-of-play-from-a-clean-pocket-by-nfl-qbs">are the most predictive of future performance</a>. Since 2017, Mahomes and Watson rank first and second in both yards per attempt (Mahomes: 9.4, Watson: 9.0) and passer rating (Mahomes: 123.7, Watson: 120.1) when they're not pressured. Watson also has the second-highest completion percentage (74.1) when not pressured (Mahomes is fourth at 71.9 percent). 4

    Associated Press

    Clean-pocket superstars

    The 10th and 12th overall picks from the 2017 draft face off for the first time this Sunday. Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson share some tendencies that make watching them so exciting. Both quarterbacks rank in the top three in throwing deep (Mahomes: 15.8 percent, Watson: 13.7 percent) and throwing outside the tackle box (Mahomes: 19.8 percent, Watson: 18.1 percent) since 2017. But their efficiency from a clean pocket is where they really shine, and QB stats when not pressured are the most predictive of future performance. Since 2017, Mahomes and Watson rank first and second in both yards per attempt (Mahomes: 9.4, Watson: 9.0) and passer rating (Mahomes: 123.7, Watson: 120.1) when they're not pressured. Watson also has the second-highest completion percentage (74.1) when not pressured (Mahomes is fourth at 71.9 percent).

  • The 49ers have pressured opposing QBs on 33.8 percent of dropbacks (fourth-highest in the NFL), and San Francisco's Nick Bosa, the second overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, has been one of the most efficient pass rushers this season. He has the highest pressure rate (23.5 percent) and disruption rate (28.2 percent) among 132 defenders with 75-plus pass rushes this season. The circumstances are ripe for him to continue wreaking havoc against the Rams on Sunday. Jared Goff is the only QB in the NFL to have more than 65 percent of his passes (71.6 percent) take 2.5-plus seconds to release since last season. Goff has struggled on these passes this season, seeing a steep decrease in passer rating (2019: 72.5 passer rating; 2018: 97.5 passer rating). The decline in production can be attributed to the increased pressure rate when taking 2.5-plus seconds to throw (2019: 36.9 percent; 2018: 23.3 percent), as Goff has struggled vs. pressure (66.9 passer rating under pressure since 2018). 3

    Associated Press

    The new San Francisco Gold Rush

    The 49ers have pressured opposing QBs on 33.8 percent of dropbacks (fourth-highest in the NFL), and San Francisco's Nick Bosa, the second overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, has been one of the most efficient pass rushers this season. He has the highest pressure rate (23.5 percent) and disruption rate (28.2 percent) among 132 defenders with 75-plus pass rushes this season. The circumstances are ripe for him to continue wreaking havoc against the Rams on Sunday. Jared Goff is the only QB in the NFL to have more than 65 percent of his passes (71.6 percent) take 2.5-plus seconds to release since last season. Goff has struggled on these passes this season, seeing a steep decrease in passer rating (2019: 72.5 passer rating; 2018: 97.5 passer rating). The decline in production can be attributed to the increased pressure rate when taking 2.5-plus seconds to throw (2019: 36.9 percent; 2018: 23.3 percent), as Goff has struggled vs. pressure (66.9 passer rating under pressure since 2018).

  • Some compared Baker Mayfield to Russell Wilson when the Browns QB entered the draft because of their elite efficiency and underdog mentality as QBs who were looked down upon because of their below-average height. Heading into their first NFL matchup, the two QBs are on divergent trajectories. Wilson is a top MVP candidate, completing a ridiculous plus-10.5 percent of his passes above expectation, the best rate of any QB through Week 5 in the past three seasons. Meanwhile, Mayfield has struggled, completing minus-5.9 percent of his passes below expectation (third-lowest in the NFL). Both QBs will try to extend plays, but Wilson has been far more successful than Mayfield when doing so this season. Wilson ranks second in yards per attempt (10.5) and passer rating (129.3) this season on throws with 2.5-plus seconds to throw. Mayfield has the third-lowest passer rating (55.8) on those throws, with five INTs to just one TD. 2

    Associated Press

    Extending plays, for better or worse

    Some compared Baker Mayfield to Russell Wilson when the Browns QB entered the draft because of their elite efficiency and underdog mentality as QBs who were looked down upon because of their below-average height. Heading into their first NFL matchup, the two QBs are on divergent trajectories. Wilson is a top MVP candidate, completing a ridiculous plus-10.5 percent of his passes above expectation, the best rate of any QB through Week 5 in the past three seasons. Meanwhile, Mayfield has struggled, completing minus-5.9 percent of his passes below expectation (third-lowest in the NFL). Both QBs will try to extend plays, but Wilson has been far more successful than Mayfield when doing so this season. Wilson ranks second in yards per attempt (10.5) and passer rating (129.3) this season on throws with 2.5-plus seconds to throw. Mayfield has the third-lowest passer rating (55.8) on those throws, with five INTs to just one TD.

  • The Eagles defense is predicated on applying pressure with four pass rushers, which has allowed its depleted secondary to sustain a high level of play despite injuries. Philadelphia has allowed 6.3 yards per attempt when it rushes four or fewer players, and 10.4 yards per attempt on blitzes (third-highest in NFL). The Eagles are also one of seven teams with a higher QB pressure rate on non-blitzes than blitzes. On the opposite side of the blitz spectrum are head coach Mike Zimmer and the Vikings' unique blitz packages. The Vikings generate pressure on 40.0 percent of their blitzes, compared to 22.0 percent when bringing four or fewer pass rushers (third-largest differential in the NFL). The Vikings pass defense holds up extremely well when blitzing, as Minnesota has allowed 5.3 yards per attempt on blitzes (second-lowest in the NFL). It will be fun to see these contrasting defensive systems in what should be a physical showdown in Minnesota on Sunday. 1

    Associated Press

    Diverse blitz defenses meet in Minny

    The Eagles defense is predicated on applying pressure with four pass rushers, which has allowed its depleted secondary to sustain a high level of play despite injuries. Philadelphia has allowed 6.3 yards per attempt when it rushes four or fewer players, and 10.4 yards per attempt on blitzes (third-highest in NFL). The Eagles are also one of seven teams with a higher QB pressure rate on non-blitzes than blitzes. On the opposite side of the blitz spectrum are head coach Mike Zimmer and the Vikings' unique blitz packages. The Vikings generate pressure on 40.0 percent of their blitzes, compared to 22.0 percent when bringing four or fewer pass rushers (third-largest differential in the NFL). The Vikings pass defense holds up extremely well when blitzing, as Minnesota has allowed 5.3 yards per attempt on blitzes (second-lowest in the NFL). It will be fun to see these contrasting defensive systems in what should be a physical showdown in Minnesota on Sunday.