John Franklin-Myers, Bryce Huff, and Quinnen Williams lead stellar New York Jets pass rush
The Jets annihilated the Tennessee Titans’ offensive line as they put an enormous amount of heat on quarterback Ryan Tannehill throughout their 27-24 overtime victory. Tannehill was sacked seven times and knocked down another seven times.
New York’s primary four-man rush of John Franklin-Myers, Sheldon Rankins, Quinnen Williams, and Bryce Huff enjoyed a terrorizing afternoon. Here is a look at the pressure production of the quartet, via Pro Football Focus:
- LDE John Franklin-Myers: 9 pressures on 38 pass-rush snaps (23.7%)
- LDT Sheldon Rankins: 5 pressures on 44 pass-rush snaps (11.4%)
- RDT Quinnen Williams: 5 pressures on 35 pass-rush snaps (14.3%)
- RDE Bryce Huff: 6 pressures on 45 pass-rush snaps (14.3%)
That … is utter dominance. For reference, the league average pressure rate for interior defensive linemen in 2020 was 7.0% while the average for edge rushers was 9.7%. Franklin-Myers and Williams both more than doubled their positional averages while Rankins and Huff put up rates that are in the elite range.
Williams collected two sacks after notching one and a half sacks in Denver the previous week. At 23 years and 303 days old, he is the second-youngest player in Jets history to enjoy back-to-back multi-sack games. Only John Abraham has done it at a younger age, accomplishing the feat at 23 years and 189 days old in 2001.
Over his past eight games, Williams has 7.0 sacks. Two of those were half-sacks, so he has actually been a part of eight sacks over his past eight games.
Franklin-Myers is on the road to proving that he is indeed capable of translating his interior pass-rushing dominance to the edge. He currently owns a pressure rate of 15.7% this season, which is 6.0% higher than the 2020 EDGE average (9.7%). That margin is nearly as good as the plus-7.4% margin he posted as a defensive tackle last season, when his 14.4% pressure rate ranked third-best at the position and was lightyears ahead of the 7.0% average for interior defensive linemen.
Going back to the end of the 2020 season, Franklin-Myers has five sacks over his past seven games.
Rankins had made a handful of splashy plays over the first three games but was struggling to generate a consistent groove as he earned a pressure rate of only 4.5% with three pressures over 66 pass-rush snaps. His excellent game against Tennessee puts his pressure rate at a solid 7.3% on the season.
Huff is putting together a breakout second season. He has been given a huge boost in playing time compared to his rookie year and has also improved his per-play efficiency mightily, leading to a huge uptick in production.
The 23-year-old has 11 pressures on 103 pass-rush snaps this season for a strong 10.7% pressure rate. He has contributed to three sacks of his own (two half-sacks, one solo sack) and has created multiple sacks for teammates by forcing the quarterback to step into them.
Huff has contributed to four sacks over his past five games, collecting two half-sacks and two solo sacks.
An honorable mention is deserved for Foley Fatukasi, who continues to prove that he is one of the best pass-rushing nose tackles in the NFL in addition to his obvious run-stopping prowess.
Fatukasi had three pressures on 29 pass-rush snaps (10.3%) against Tennessee. He already has five pressures (1.3 per game) and a 7.1% pressure rate this season. That’s fantastic for a big-bodied, run-game-centric nose tackle – for reference, Fatukasi averaged 0.8 pressures per game with a 5.0% pressure rate in 2020, and even those numbers were among the absolute best among nose tackles.
The Jets’ defense ranks sixth in quarterback hits per game (7.0), fourth in sacks per game (3.3), and ninth in pressure rate (21.9%), according to Pro Football Reference. They have done it all without Carl Lawson. Plus, their best three pass rushers are each no older than 25 years old.
This unit’s future is bright.