Published: Nov. 6, 2019 at 04:50 p.m.
Updated: Nov. 6, 2019 at 05:00 p.m.

Next Gen Stats: Compelling figures that may shape Week 10

Want to see the numbers behind the numbers? NFL Research's Matt Reinhart dives into a fresh batch of Next Gen Stats and identifies figures that are helping to shape the NFL narrative entering Week 10 of the 2019 season.

6 Photos Total

  • Week 10 opens on Thursday night with Derek Carr and the Raiders facing off against the surging Chargers' pass rush, led by Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. The Raiders' offense is built around a quick passing game, as Carr averaged the second-fastest time to throw (2.49 seconds per attempt) in 2017 and fastest (2.55 seconds per attempt) in 2018. However, Carr has made his biggest leap in 2019 on passes taking longer than 2.5 seconds, posting a 117.8 passer rating on these longer-developing plays. Carr might revert to more of a quick passing game against the Chargers and their edge-rushing duo of Bosa and Ingram, who have been incredibly productive when <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/NextGenStats/status/1191154131588665344">rushing the passer from the same side of the defense</a>. When Bosa and Ingram align on the same side of the D, the Chargers generate pressure on 57.9% of opposing dropbacks, and pick up a sack 26.3% of the time, per Next Gen Stats. 6

    Perry Knotts/NFL

    Game-plan wreckers

    Week 10 opens on Thursday night with Derek Carr and the Raiders facing off against the surging Chargers' pass rush, led by Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. The Raiders' offense is built around a quick passing game, as Carr averaged the second-fastest time to throw (2.49 seconds per attempt) in 2017 and fastest (2.55 seconds per attempt) in 2018. However, Carr has made his biggest leap in 2019 on passes taking longer than 2.5 seconds, posting a 117.8 passer rating on these longer-developing plays. Carr might revert to more of a quick passing game against the Chargers and their edge-rushing duo of Bosa and Ingram, who have been incredibly productive when rushing the passer from the same side of the defense. When Bosa and Ingram align on the same side of the D, the Chargers generate pressure on 57.9% of opposing dropbacks, and pick up a sack 26.3% of the time, per Next Gen Stats.

  • Minkah Fitzpatrick was among the Dolphins shipped out of Miami before the trade deadline. Before being traded, Fitzpatrick voiced his displeasure with <a target="_blank" href="https://www.miamiherald.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/armando-salguero/article235048722.html">how he was being utilized in Miami</a>, but his usage (and the Steelers defense) has changed since his arrival in Pittsburgh in Week 3. Fitzpatrick has aligned at deep safety on 84.7% of his snaps in Keith Butler's defense, compared to just 22.4% of his snaps in his time with Miami. Fitzpatrick aligned more in the slot (37.0%) than at safety with the Dolphins, and aligned in the box on a significant number of snaps (12.7%) as well. Prior to the Fitzpatrick trade, the Steelers had been allowing a 141.7 passer rating on deep passes. After plugging Minkah in at safety, they have allowed a 10.8 passer rating on deep passes, the lowest in the NFL since Week 3. 5

    Aaron M. Sprecher/Associated Press

    Fitzpatrick's impact in Pittsburgh

    Minkah Fitzpatrick was among the Dolphins shipped out of Miami before the trade deadline. Before being traded, Fitzpatrick voiced his displeasure with how he was being utilized in Miami, but his usage (and the Steelers defense) has changed since his arrival in Pittsburgh in Week 3. Fitzpatrick has aligned at deep safety on 84.7% of his snaps in Keith Butler's defense, compared to just 22.4% of his snaps in his time with Miami. Fitzpatrick aligned more in the slot (37.0%) than at safety with the Dolphins, and aligned in the box on a significant number of snaps (12.7%) as well. Prior to the Fitzpatrick trade, the Steelers had been allowing a 141.7 passer rating on deep passes. After plugging Minkah in at safety, they have allowed a 10.8 passer rating on deep passes, the lowest in the NFL since Week 3.

  • Dalvin Cook is starting to be recognized as one of the most explosive players in the NFL. He averages 11.04 mph when he reaches the line of scrimmage, the fastest speed among RBs with at least 60 rushes this season, per Next Gen Stats. But Cook's incredible speed goes well beyond the line of scrimmage. The Florida State product has reached 15-plus mph on 55 carries and 20-plus mph on six carries this season, both most in the NFL among RBs (min. 60 rushes). In fact, Cook has reached 15-plus mph on a league-high 31.1% of his carries in 2019. Cook's speed has allowed him to be effective getting to the edge, as he averages 5.5 yards per rush on outside-the-tackle runs (fifth-most among RBs, min. 40 outside runs) and is the co-leader with six TDs on outside runs. Minnesota is set to visit the Cowboys, who allow 4.0 yards per rush outside the tackles (fifth-lowest in the NFL) and hope to have LB Leighton Vander Esch back from a neck injury this week to help contain Cook and the Vikings. 4

    Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press

    Cooking up blazing-fast runs

    Dalvin Cook is starting to be recognized as one of the most explosive players in the NFL. He averages 11.04 mph when he reaches the line of scrimmage, the fastest speed among RBs with at least 60 rushes this season, per Next Gen Stats. But Cook's incredible speed goes well beyond the line of scrimmage. The Florida State product has reached 15-plus mph on 55 carries and 20-plus mph on six carries this season, both most in the NFL among RBs (min. 60 rushes). In fact, Cook has reached 15-plus mph on a league-high 31.1% of his carries in 2019. Cook's speed has allowed him to be effective getting to the edge, as he averages 5.5 yards per rush on outside-the-tackle runs (fifth-most among RBs, min. 40 outside runs) and is the co-leader with six TDs on outside runs. Minnesota is set to visit the Cowboys, who allow 4.0 yards per rush outside the tackles (fifth-lowest in the NFL) and hope to have LB Leighton Vander Esch back from a neck injury this week to help contain Cook and the Vikings.

  • The Chiefs' use of play-action has been a huge factor in keeping the offense humming sans Patrick Mahomes. Andy Reid has slightly increased his play-action rate with Matt Moore (37.4% vs. 33.3% with Mahomes), but it has accounted for <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/NextGenStats/status/1191063285170225153">most of Moore's production</a>. Moore averages 11.6 yards per attempt on play-action, and his tendencies have mirrored Mahomes more on play-action (both average around 10 air YPA and 2.75s time to throw). The difference in these QBs rears its head when we look at their passes without play-action. Mahomes averages 9.2 YPA without play-action (most in NFL, min. 50 such attempts), which nearly doubles Moore's 4.7 YPA without play-action (lowest in NFL). Moore averages a much quicker time to throw without play-action (2.40s vs. 2.78s for Mahomes) and throws the ball much shorter (5.5 air YPA vs. 9.2 for Mahomes). Reid has not named a Week 10 starter as of Wednesday. 3

    Gregory Trott/Associated Press

    No Mahomes? Moore play-action

    The Chiefs' use of play-action has been a huge factor in keeping the offense humming sans Patrick Mahomes. Andy Reid has slightly increased his play-action rate with Matt Moore (37.4% vs. 33.3% with Mahomes), but it has accounted for most of Moore's production. Moore averages 11.6 yards per attempt on play-action, and his tendencies have mirrored Mahomes more on play-action (both average around 10 air YPA and 2.75s time to throw). The difference in these QBs rears its head when we look at their passes without play-action. Mahomes averages 9.2 YPA without play-action (most in NFL, min. 50 such attempts), which nearly doubles Moore's 4.7 YPA without play-action (lowest in NFL). Moore averages a much quicker time to throw without play-action (2.40s vs. 2.78s for Mahomes) and throws the ball much shorter (5.5 air YPA vs. 9.2 for Mahomes). Reid has not named a Week 10 starter as of Wednesday.

  • With Cam Newton landing on injured reserve this week, the keys to Carolina's offense are firmly in the hands of Kyle Allen. The Panthers have won five of Allen's six starts this season thanks in part to a nice plan on offense that includes a heavy dose of under-center snaps utilizing Christian McCaffrey. Allen has aligned under center on 32.8% of his snaps since taking over as the starter in Week 3, while Newton was one of the most shotgun-heavy QBs in the NFL since 2017 (third-lowest under-center rate in 2017, 2018 and 2019 with Newton as the starter). The Panthers' under-center offense has been one of the most efficient in the NFL (6.2 yards per play, second-most in the NFL), and McCaffrey has averaged more than twice as many yards per rush on under-center runs (7.3) than he has on shotgun runs (3.6) this season. All four of McCaffrey's 20-plus mph carries have come from under center, so look for the Panthers to continue to feed their superstar during the stretch run. 2

    Peter Read Miller/Associated Press

    McCaffrey's success from under center

    With Cam Newton landing on injured reserve this week, the keys to Carolina's offense are firmly in the hands of Kyle Allen. The Panthers have won five of Allen's six starts this season thanks in part to a nice plan on offense that includes a heavy dose of under-center snaps utilizing Christian McCaffrey. Allen has aligned under center on 32.8% of his snaps since taking over as the starter in Week 3, while Newton was one of the most shotgun-heavy QBs in the NFL since 2017 (third-lowest under-center rate in 2017, 2018 and 2019 with Newton as the starter). The Panthers' under-center offense has been one of the most efficient in the NFL (6.2 yards per play, second-most in the NFL), and McCaffrey has averaged more than twice as many yards per rush on under-center runs (7.3) than he has on shotgun runs (3.6) this season. All four of McCaffrey's 20-plus mph carries have come from under center, so look for the Panthers to continue to feed their superstar during the stretch run.

  • MVP front-runner Russell Wilson will face a stiff challenge this week against the Seahawks' undefeated division rivals, the 49ers. Wilson has been extremely efficient this season, completing plus-7.3% of his passes above expectation (highest in the NFL). His aggressiveness throwing deep, on the run, and outside the numbers show up in his 60.9% expected completion percentage (third-lowest in the NFL). Niners defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has brought over a zone-heavy scheme from the Pete Carroll coaching tree. His defense has funneled throws behind the line of scrimmage at the highest rate in the NFL (26.2%). As a result, the 49ers' opposing QBs have had the seventh-highest expected completion percentage (66.4%). Yet, San Francisco has allowed the league's second-lowest completion percentage (56.2%). This 10.2% completion percentage below expectation (best in NFL) is a testament to the performance of the red-hot defense under Saleh. 1

    Associated Press

    Wilson's toughest test yet

    MVP front-runner Russell Wilson will face a stiff challenge this week against the Seahawks' undefeated division rivals, the 49ers. Wilson has been extremely efficient this season, completing plus-7.3% of his passes above expectation (highest in the NFL). His aggressiveness throwing deep, on the run, and outside the numbers show up in his 60.9% expected completion percentage (third-lowest in the NFL). Niners defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has brought over a zone-heavy scheme from the Pete Carroll coaching tree. His defense has funneled throws behind the line of scrimmage at the highest rate in the NFL (26.2%). As a result, the 49ers' opposing QBs have had the seventh-highest expected completion percentage (66.4%). Yet, San Francisco has allowed the league's second-lowest completion percentage (56.2%). This 10.2% completion percentage below expectation (best in NFL) is a testament to the performance of the red-hot defense under Saleh.