Our friends at ProFootballFocus.com were kind enough to share their quick stats from Sunday's game. Make sure you check out their PFF Edge and PFF Elite products to give you insight, and an edge with your fantasy team. The PFF guys really know the game, so make sure you follow them at @PFF.
Week 3 Patriots offensive stats
- Quarterback Tom Brady continues to excel on deep passes. Brady had eight attempts when the ball traveled at least 20 yards in the air and completed five of them for 185 yards and three touchdowns – the latter three are the highest among quarterbacks who played over the first 14 games of Week 3. Brady leads the league with 22 attempts, 11 completions, 368 yards and four touchdowns on deep attempts, while he has the second highest passer rating on these attempts with 135.4. Last year Brady had 23 such completions for 834 yards and eight touchdowns. Furthermore, while he attempted a deep pass on only 11.3% of his passes last season, he has the highest rate in the NFL this season with 20.0%.
- The Patriots offensive line was unable to open large gaps for the running backs, which heavily impacted the Patriots’ running game. As a result, New England running backs averaged just 1.2 yards before contact and gained the majority of their rushing yards (30 out of 53) after contact.
- Wide receiver Brandin Cooks plays a big part in Brady’s success on deep passes as he leads the league with 187 receiving yards on five deep receptions. As a comparison, Chris Hogan led the Patriots with 10 deep receptions for 397 yards last season. Cooks had three such catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday against the Texans.
- While Tom Brady was under pressure on more than 30 percent of his dropbacks in each of the first two games, the 36.6 percent against the Texans was a season-high (Note: Bedard here, I disagree with PFF's number. I thought it was higher, 50 percent). However, whereas Brady had a passer rating of 139.3 on the plays when he was kept clean, he had a nearly perfect passer rating of 155.8 on his nine pass attempts under pressure.
- The New England offensive line had a tough outing against Houston as they allowed 17 total pressures on 41 passing plays leading to a pass blocking efficiency rating of 67.1, which was the fourth-worst among the 28 teams that played in the first 14 games of Week 3. Furthermore, all of the Patriots’ starting offensive linemen allowed at least two pressures while LaAdrian Waddle allowed the most with five (two sacks, one hit, and two hurries). (Again, I disagree, pending film review)
Week 3 Patriots defensive stats
- Cornerback Jonathan Jones had a rough afternoon as he was the Patriots’ most frequently targeted defender and he allowed five receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown on eight targets. Overall, Deshaun Watson had a passer rating of 129.7 when targeting Jones, the highest among all Patriots defenders.
- Following struggling in his first game in New England, edge defender Cassius Marsh has shown improvement over the past two weeks. Marsh was the Patriots’ third-highest graded defender with a PFF overall grade of 78.7 as he recorded four total pressures (one hit and three hurries) on 16 pass rushing snaps.
- Edge defender Trey Flowers led the Patriots with six total pressures (one sack, two hits and three hurries) on 32 pass rushing snaps. Flowers ranks second in the NFL among 4-3 defensive ends with 17 total pressures after three games behind just Calais Campbell.
- Although he graded negatively in the running game, rookie edge defender Deatrich Wise had another solid game rushing the passer. Wise recorded one hit and four hurries while he also had a batted pass on 22 pass rushing snaps. Wise now has 12 total pressures (two sacks, five hits and five hurries) on 56 pass rushing snaps this season, leading to a pass rushing productivity score of 17.0, which ranks third in the NFL among 4-3 defensive ends behind DeMarcus Lawrence and Calais Campbell.
- While cornerback Malcolm Butler was one of three Patriots defenders along with Kyle Van Noy and Devin McCourty who played all 71 snaps on defense, he had a quiet afternoon as he was targeted only twice. Although Butler allowed a reception to DeAndre Hopkins on both occasions, neither pass went for more than five yards as Butler gave up a total of 10 yards, leading to just 0.25 yards per cover snap. Overall, Butler has allowed 0.63 yards per cover snap this season, which is tied with Marcus Peters for the 16th lowest in the NFL this year.