32 NFL Observations, Week 3
The 32 Observations series continues, with Mark Chichester finding an interesting piece of information about all 32 teams after three weeks of football. If you would like to make some observations of your own, you can do so with PFF Elite, where you can find several signature statistics for every offensive and defensive position in football, thanks to Premium Stats 2.0.
Miami Dolphins: Cornerback Xavien Howard hasn’t allowed a touchdown since Week 11 of the 2017 season. Since then, he’s allowed just 30.2 percent of the passes thrown into his coverage to be caught, and he’s yielded a passer rating of just 32.2 – both the best marks among cornerbacks in that span.
New England Patriots: Over the first three games of the 2018 season, Tom Brady has targeted his running backs on 31.0 percent of his pass attempts, which is the highest rate he’s ever recorded through the first three weeks of a season. He’s targeted his wide receivers on just 39.0 percent of his attempts, the lowest rate he’s ever recorded through the first three weeks of a season.
New York Jets: In three games, cornerback Morris Claiborne has allowed a passer rating of just 16.9 on throws into his primary coverage. This is the best mark among cornerbacks this year and the fifth-lowest rating ever allowed in the first three games of a season.
Baltimore Ravens: In three games, defensive tackle Michael Pierce has recorded pressure on 25.0 percent of his pass-rushes. Javon Hargrave (2017) and Warren Sapp (2006) are the only two interior defensive linemen to record pressure at a higher rate in the first three weeks.
Cincinnati Bengals: Interior defensive lineman Geno Atkins has produced three sacks, four hits and 12 hurries on his 106 pass-rushing snaps so far this season. His 19 total quarterback pressures are tied for the second-most ever recorded by an interior lineman in the first three weeks of a season.
Cleveland Browns: Through three games, linebacker Joe Schobert has been the first defender to the ball carrier on 11 run plays so far this season, which is tied for the ninth-most among linebackers. Since 2017, Schobert has been the first to the ball carrier on 62 run plays – three more than the next closest linebacker in that span.
Houston Texans: Deshaun Watson has been sacked (10) and hit (19) a combined 29 times in the first three weeks of the season. That’s the most that we’ve ever seen from a Texans quarterback in the first three games.
Indianapolis Colts: Rookie linebacker Darius Leonard has been the first defender to the ball carrier on 38 plays this year – the most among all defensive players through three weeks.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Cornerback A.J. Bouye hasn’t allowed a regular-season touchdown since Week 16 of the 2016 season. Since then, he’s gone 709 coverage snaps without allowing a touchdown, which is the longest active streak among cornerbacks.
Tennessee Titans: 34 quarterbacks have thrown at least 30 passes in the last three weeks. Among that group of signal-callers, Marcus Mariota and Blaine Gabbert are the only two who are still yet to register a ‘big-time throw.’
Denver Broncos: Rookie running back Royce Freeman has forced at least one missed tackle on 22.2 percent of his rushing attempts this year – the best mark among rookie running backs.
Kansas City Chiefs: Last season, running back Kareem Hunt forced a colossal 61 missed tackles on his rushing attempts, by far the most in the NFL. On average, he forced at least one missed tackle every 5.6 rushing attempts, which ranked eighth among running backs with at least 50 carries. Through three games of the 2018 season, Hunt is actually on pace to better his 2017 mark. He’s already forced 15 missed tackles as a runner, which ranks first among players at the position, and on average, he’s forced at least one missed tackle every 3.7 attempts.
Los Angeles Chargers: Safety Derwin James is the only rookie safety in the PFF era (2006-present) to record at least 10 tackles, at least five total pressures and at least one interception in the first three weeks of a season.
Oakland Raiders: Running back Marshawn Lynch ended his Week 3 game with 66 rushing yards after contact. Lynch has now logged at least 60 rushing yards after contact in 31 career games, which is the fourth-most ever recorded, just behind Adrian Peterson (60), Steven Jackson (41) and Frank Gore (32).
Dallas Cowboys: In the first three games of the 2018 season, quarterback Dak Prescott has attempted just five deep passes (passes of 20 or more yards in the air), which is the least among the league’s starting quarterbacks. Since 2016, just 8.8 percent of Prescott’s pass attempts have been targeted at least 20 yards downfield, and Mike Glennon and Blaine Gabbert are the only two quarterbacks who thrown deep passes at a lower rate.
New York Giants: Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has generated a passer rating of 112.9 on his third down targets so far this year – the best mark among receivers with at least 10 targets on third down.
Philadelphia Eagles: In the first three games of the 2018 season, the Eagles defensive line has produced 67 quarterback pressures, collectively won 17.5 percent of their pass-rushing matchups and combined to produce pressure on 12.8 percent of their combined pass-rush snaps – all of which rank first among defensive lines so far this season.
Washington Redskins: Jonathan Allen and Matt Ioannidis have both recorded three-plus quarterback pressures in each of the last three games. Only six other interior defensive linemen have achieved this feat, and the Redskins are the only franchise to have two players on this list.
Chicago Bears: Through three games of the 2018 season, edge defender Khalil Mack is off to the best start of his career. His 20 total quarterback pressures are not only tied for the most among the league’s edge-rushers, but they’re nine more than his next closest opening three-game stretch.
Detroit Lions: Safety Glover Quin has lined up within eight yards of the line of scrimmage on 40.3 percent of his run defense snaps so far this year. On those snaps, he’s produced four tackles, all of them being defensive stops, and currently ranks first among safeties with a run stop percentage of 14.8 percent.
Green Bay Packers: Wide receiver Randall Cobb dropped two of his three catchable third-down passes against the Redskins in Week 3. It’s only the second time in his career that he’s dropped more than one pass on third down.
Minnesota Vikings: Linebacker Anthony Barr has played 211 defensive snaps so far this season, and is yet to miss a tackle. The next closest linebacker with a clean tackling slate is Shaq Thompson, who has played 192 snaps.
Carolina Panthers: Running back Christian McCaffrey forced a whopping eight missed tackles in his Week 3 game against the Bengals, the most by a Panthers running back since Week 11 of the 2015 season.
New Orleans Saints: Linebacker A.J. Klein has only seen 21 run defense snaps so far this season, but he’s sure made them count. Through three games he’s produced three stops and currently leads all 4-3 outside linebackers with a run stop percentage of 14.3 percent.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Through three games, tight end O.J. Howard has averaged 3.31 yards per route run, the best mark ever recorded by a tight end with at least 10 targets in the first three games of a season.
Los Angeles Rams: Through three games, veteran tackle Andrew Whitworth has allowed just one quarterback hurry on 106 pass-blocking snaps, which has resulted in a pass-blocking efficiency of 99.6 – the fourth-best mark ever recorded by an offensive tackle in the first three weeks of a season.
San Francisco 49ers: Week 3 against the Chiefs, cornerback Richard Sherman stayed step-for-step with speedster Tyreek Hill and broke up a 50-yard post route that would have otherwise resulted in a touchdown. Since 2012, Sherman has amassed a combined 29 pass breakups (16) and interceptions (13) from passes of 20 or more yards downfield, which is second to only Dominique Rodgers Cromartie (32) in that span.
Seattle Seahawks: Week 3 against the Cowboys, running back Chris Carson racked up 109 rushing yards after he was contacted by a defender. This is the fourth-most we’ve ever seen from a Seahawks running back since 2006.