Fun NextGen Stats from Week 9
By Rhys Knott
Week 9’s NextGen stats throw up an ecclectic mix of players, including a defensive player making the fastest carry. That’s what we like to see. There’s even a defensive back on the “fastest sacks” list, that’s the sort of chaos you only get mid-season. There’s even two bafflingly long plays that both make the top 16 of the season!
NextGen Fastest Carries From Week 9
It was Week 6 last year when the Packers discovered how potent a kick returner Keisean Nixon is. This season it took him until Week 9 to break off a big return. NextGen stats clocked Nixon at an impressive 21.46mph on his 51 yard kickoff return against a disheveled Rams team. That’s the 12 fastest carry of the season.
Tre Tucker of the rejuvenated Raiders appears in second place. There haven’t been many memorable moments in Vegas this season, but Antonio Pierce has arrived and lifted the pall of misery in the desert. Like the Ange Postecoglu of the NFL (if Ange played linebacker and won a Super Bowl with the Giants) Pierce has bought the fun back. Tucker’s top speed of 21.17 yards came when he caught a 50 yard bomb from Aidan O’Connell (because Jimmy Garappolo’s arm would fall off it he tried to throw it that far).
You are literally not going to believe who is third on this list. Go on guess. You won’t even be able to pick what position they play. Give up? Of course you do. It’s Jonnu Smith. No, really. The Falcons tight end caught a 60 yard touchdown pass (seriously, that game was wild). Not satisfied with that level of showing off Smith hit 21.15mph while doing it. That’s the 19th fastest carry of the season and unsurprisingly Smith is the only tight end in the top 20. Not bad for a 28 year old, who needs Kyle Pitts? Not Arthur Smith apparently.
There’s some much needed youth in the fourth spot on this list. Rookie Baltimore running back Keaton Mitchell scored a 40 yard touchdown, it’s not Jonnu Smith range, but it’s not bad for a youngster. Keaton is the son of former Ravens defensive back Anthony Mitchell, maybe they thought it was “bring your child to work day”? The 21 year old clocked at 20.99mph on his way to the endzone. Mitchell didn’t even start the game for the Ravens!
And just in case you were worried that we could go a whole week without a Miami Dolphin in the top five it’s fine, there’s one at five. Jaylen Waddle saved their blushes in Germany. On what looked like a pretty slick field (even though it has a roof) Waddle still managed to sprint at 20.90mph on a 12 yard rush.
NextGen Remarkable Rushes From Week 9
As is now traditional the remarkable rush list features someone who also appeared on the fastest carries list. The dashing rookie from Baltimore Keaton Mitchell went 55 yards over his expected yards on his 60 yard run against the Seahawks.
In a rare exciting bright spot for the Patriots Rhamondre Stevenson appears at second on the list. Stevenson’s Patriots team let the Commanders get out to a 10-0 lead before eventually losing 20-17 at home. Might not want to give the oppostion a 10 point head start next week guys. But Stevenson had his best game of the season, with 87 yards on the ground and 42 more through the air. So obviously Bill O’Brien let him run the ball nine times. Bill has no time for successful running backs in his offense. Stevenson’s longest run of the day went for 64 yards, that was 54 yards more than it should have done.
As if having one Baltimore Raven in the top five list Gus Edwards appears at third in the list. You can see why the Seahawks traded for Leonard Williams, can’t you? Edwards’ longest run of the day went for 42 yards, that was 37 yards over expected.
You’ll never guess what? There’s only another flipping Baltimore Raven at four. And it’s no ordinary Raven, it’s the shifty rookie again. Not satisfied with skinning the poor Seahawks for 55 extra yards on one run he did them for another 35 yards over expected on his 40 yard rush.
At fifth is another newbie, Packers running back Emanuel Wilson doesn’t technically count as a household name. There’s probably people in Wisconsin who don’t know who he is, he certainly took the Rams defense by surprise. He rushed for 31 yards when he was expected to only go five yards downfield!
NextGen Fastest Sacks From Week 9
The Seattle defense might have been taken to the cleaners by Baltimore’s rushing attack but Boye Mafu was there to make sure the Ravens passing game wasn’t as potent. He sacked Lamar Jackson in just 2.74 seconds to at least show some resistance.
The Cowboys also lost, but Sam Williams put up his hand in the loss to Philadelphia. It only took him 2,77 seconds to get Jalen Hurts on the deck.
Continuing the good news story that is Antonio Pierce’s resurgent Raiders (for this week at least) Malcolm Koonce joined the sack party against the Giants. The Raiders recorded eight sacks against a very banged up Giants offense. Koonce’s only took him 2.8 seconds.
Continuing a run of teams who lost despite generating some impressive pass rush Devin White from the Buccaneers is fourth. C.J Stroud absolutely smoked the Bucs’ defense but they did sack him three times. White took 2.83 seconds to get him to the floor.
There’s cornerback at fifth, finally! Jaylen Watson isn’t one of the most talked about players in Kansas City but he’s probably one of the most versatile. He’s a very good ball hawk. He scored a 99 yard interception return last season and now he’s sacking QB’s too. It took Watson 2.84 seconds to sack Tua in Frankfurt.
Week 9's Longest Plays
Keisean Nixon’s 51 yard kickoff return actually involved him running 79.2 yards, which seems like a lot of effort. But by far the most energy expended by anyone this week came in the Monday Night stinker between the Jets and Chargers. Rookie receiver for the Chargers Derius Davis ran 118.7 yards as he scored his 87 yard punt return! Seriously people, just kick the ball off the field, a touchback is much better than giving up 7 points!
Rhys has been watching the NFL for 30 something years and still hasn’t managed to pick a team to support. When he’s not fixatED on pass rushers you can find him blithering on about most sports on Twitter @wrhys_writes