A budding Jets star quietly thrived against Philadelphia
The New York Jets‘ defense was obliterated by the Gardner Minshew-led Philadelphia Eagles offense in a 33-18 loss at MetLife Stadium. Philadelphia mustered up 418 yards of offense and scored on all but one of its eight possessions in the game.
New York’s defense generated a defensive EPA (estimated points added) of -22.38 in the game. The defensive woes wiped out a solid outing by Zach Wilson‘s offense, which picked up +6.13 offensive EPA (the Jets’ fourth-best mark of the season and sixth positive score in the last nine games).
Nearly every player on Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich‘s defense played a disappointing game. The pass rush, run defense, tackling, and coverage were all abysmal.
Only one Jets defender put out a legitimately strong performance: cornerback Bryce Hall.
The second-year budding star from Virginia dropped into coverage on 31 snaps and was targeted only three times, yielding two catches for a measly nine yards. Neither grab resulted in a first down or touchdown.
Hall was the only Jet that the Eagles failed to pick on. When targeting anybody besides Hall, Minshew racked up 233 yards on 19 targets, a sizzling average of 12.3 yards per target.
Most notably, Hall provided picture-perfect coverage on a deep shot into the end zone intended for standout rookie receiver DeVonta Smith, breaking up the potential touchdown.
Smith was held to a season-low 15 receiving yards thanks largely to Hall’s coverage. The two matched up frequently, as Smith lined up outside-right (across from Hall’s primary home, outside-left) on 66.7% of his offensive snaps. Hall took Smith out of the game – the broken-up deep shot was the only target that Smith saw against Hall’s coverage across their many reps against one another.
Tackling was another strength for Hall. He was the only Jet who consistently finished his tackle opportunities.
Hall made six tackles in the contest and was credited with zero missed tackles, giving him the most tackles without a miss among Jets defenders. All other Jets combined for 13 missed tackles, with eight different players whiffing at least once. Non-Hall defenders combined for a missed tackle rate of 18.1%, which is brutal.
On the season, Hall is now tied for second among all cornerbacks with 11 “forced incompletions”, per Pro Football Focus. He is also ranked just 31st at the position in yards allowed (435) despite playing the 17th-most coverage snaps (459).
Hall continues to be a silver lining for the Jets’ league-worst defense. If he can maintain his current pace over the team’s final five games, he will cement himself as a long-term answer at outside cornerback.
Great to hear and see he is developing. My one question would be how much of his production is the Offense just not needing to challenge Hall? With so many open players, why even bother going at Hall?
Definitely part of it in this particular game. But when he was challenged Hall did answer the bell – had that pass breakup on Smith and both of the other two targets in his direction were tackled short of the first down marker.
That tells me one thing – GET A NUMBER 1 CORNER in the offseason. Period.