Entering week six of the NFL, teams are starting to develop 2018 tendencies. Let’s look at what I believe are the most meaningful #’s so far from each team, Division by Division.
Buffalo: So far, so good for Josh Allen (by my low standards), but he has just two TD passes and the team has allowed 22 sacks. In addition, they have scored 46 points in five games, with no TD’s in three of those games.
Miami: Two things stand out. 1st, Miami has just 8 defensive sacks. 2nd, Ryan Tannehill is on pace to throw for under 200 yards per game. In today’s NFL, that won’t cut it.
New England: The biggest surprise is their 7 defensive sacks thus far.
NYJ: While running does not translate to win success, the Jets are taking pressure off their rookie QB and substandard OL by rushing for nearly 5.0 yards per carry.
Baltimore: This is the NFL’s best pass D at 55%.
Cincinnati: Two defensive TD’s gave Cincy an “undeserved” win last week, clouding the fact that they have allowed 130 points and are below par vs. the run and vs. the pass.
Cleveland: Two stats. 1st +8 in turnover margin. That may be unsustainable. 2nd, the OL has allowed 21 sacks, 31st in the NFL.
Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh had 56 defensive sacks a year ago. The pressure continues, with 19 sacks through games 1-5.
Houston: The pass D% is near the bottom of the NFL. QB Watson has been sacked 18 times.
Indy: Two stats show that the Colts still have some ground to make up. 1st, Andrew Luck has completed 163 passes for just 1,471 yards. I think this will improve with the mini-break and later, with the full bye week, but check this out just in case. 2nd, the pass D% is over 70%. That gets you beat every time in the NFL.
Jacksonville: Blake Bortles has thrown 7 interceptions, leading to a -7 turnover ratio. The Jags were +10 in ’17.
Tennessee: Marcus Mariota is 65-103 for just 676 yards with a 2-4 TD to interception ratio.
Denver: The stat sheet is acceptable, but Case Keenum has a 5-7 TD to interception ratio.
Kansas City: Andy Reid has adjusted the pass game to fit the new rules protecting QB’s. KC averages 35 points per game.
Los Angeles Chargers: Anything related to special team play. Their kicker is 9-12 on field goals, and 8-12 on extra points. They’ve allowed a blocked punt TD and a punt return TD. Philip Rivers is the unsung hero of NFL QB’s in ’18 but he needs help.
Oakland: Oakland is last in the NFL with 6 defensive sacks. The run D is near the bottom as well.
Dallas: Dallas allowed no more than 33 sacks from ’15-’17 (91 in total). They have allowed 16 thus far in ’18. RB Elliott is again a stud, averaging nearly 5.2 per carry. Once again, running by itself does not correlate well with win success.
NYG: 6 defensive sacks. The past three seasons they have just 23, 26 and 34 sacks. This area remains substandard.
Philly: 17 sacks allowed. They allowed 35 a year ago and the OL saw few offseason changes. Something is not right.
Washington: Their leading WR has but 13 catches. No #1 target has stepped up to the plate.
Chicago: The Bears have allowed just 65 points through four games. That’s #1 in the NFL.
Detroit: Matt Stafford is NOT the problem. The Lions have improved the pass rush (17 defensive sacks). The run D is poor.
Green Bay: The GB OL was supposed to be better in ’17. So far they’ve allowed 18 sacks.
Minnesota: Pass D%. After excelling in ’17 the # is over 66% in ’18. Watch this area closely.
Atlanta: Matt Ryan is excelling, but the defensive #’s are poor, with 70% allowed and an overall sack ratio of 8-16.
Carolina: RB McCaffrey is on pace for over 2,000 rushing and receiving yards. Cam Newton has been sacked just 7 times.
New Orleans: WR Michael Thomas has been targeted 49 times. He’s caught 46 passes. Drew Brees is 148-190 with an 11-0 ratio. The pass D% is way too high at 71%.
Tampa: Playing cover zero as I call it, the usually awful Tampa pass D is even worse thus far at 77.1% allowed!
Arizona: Josh Rosen’s overall performance. He’s under 50%, but while Sam Bradford did not stretch the field at 8.2 yards per completion, Rosen’s figure is 14 yards per completion! He’s also taken just two sacks in his two starts.
LA Rams: LA has scored 33 or more points in all five games. The run D is poor, but many playoff teams can’t stop the run.
San Fran: Replacement QB Beathard throws too many interceptions. Despite allowing 29 points per game the run D is at 3.7 allowed per carry and the pass D is allowing just 59.2%. Keeping turnovers down is critical moving forward.
Seattle: The Legion of Doom is no longer, with Richard Sherman, Cam Chancellor and now Earl Thomas missing. The pass D% is in unchartered territory while the OL is on pace to allow 57 or 58 sacks.