Advanced statistics help give us a better understanding of how a team and its players performed, and it’s time to take a look at some advanced and basic statistics that give some more perspective about the New England Patriots 29-26 win over the New York Jets.
1. Tom Brady was second among all quarterbacks in WPA last week with a .68 mark (Eli Manning was first), which shows just how big of an impact Brady had in winning the game. WPA is significantly weighted towards clutch plays, and Brady was certainly clutch and made key throws in a classic Brady-like performance in crunch time. He didn’t have the best rate statistics, but anyone who watched that game knows that he was clearly the Pats best player on offense.
2. Mark Sanchez went 11-14 when targeting the middle of the field, including a 23-yard pass to Dustin Keller and a 24-yarder to Jeremy Kerley. The Patriots need to tighten up their coverage in the middle of the field, because Sanchez absolutely devoured them in that regard. He was actually at his worst when throwing it to the left side of the field going 6-11 for just 54 yards.
3. Danny Woodhead only averaged 2.8 yards per carry, but he caught all four passes thrown at him and finished the game with a solid 54.5% success rate, which measures the percentage of Woodhead’s plays which were successful based on down and distance. Even when his rushing statistics aren’t the best, he still manages to do well based on down and distance stats. Remember, Woodhead had the last two plays for a gain leading up to the two field goals by Stephen Gostkowski to put the Pats in field goal range. I hope that didn’t go unnoticed by too many people.
4. Need any more reason to be impressed by Sebastian Vollmer’s play? He deserves your All-Pro vote and showed it by helping Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen notch 16 and 12 yard runs respectively when running it off the right tackle. It’s too bad the Pats ran it more towards the left side than the right.
5. It was certainly a game of tight ends. Dustin Keller led the league in WPA and EPA this league, while Gronk was second in both stats. Aaron Hernandez finished 2nd in WPA and 6th in EPA.
6. Rob Ninkovich finished the game with six successful plays, including four tackles and a game-winning fumble forced. He had two hits on the QB and 1.5 sacks as well. Ninko shut down the run all day long and was one of the most valuable defensive players this week.
7. Brandon Spikes finished the game with ten tackles, including three tackles to stop passing plays short in the middle of the field and a handful of key tackles in run defense. Running it up the middle is no easy task against the Pats, and the Jets averaged just 3.2 yards per carry when running it up the heart of the Pats defense. Vince Wilfork finished the game with six “successful” plays as well to help the cause.
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