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2023 NFL Week 6 Game Previews: Stats Leading To Storylines

Andy Benoit provides insight into the most impactful games on the 2023 NFL Week 6 slate. The stats provided below provide the storylines going into the games.

New York Giants @ Buffalo Bills

Giants O vs. Bills D

The Giants gave up 9 unblocked pressures vs. Seattle. Those plays resulted in negative 37 yards. They now face a Bills team that is masterful at getting clean weakside pressure by selectively deploying overload blitzes/simulated pressures. 

Giants will likely feel they have to give their offensive line help against Buffalo’s dynamic and deep four-man rush rotation. With Daniel Jones not seeing things with the greatest quickness or clarity right now, how do you get him on track if you’re sending only 3 to 4 eligibles out in routes?


Bills O vs. Giants D

Giants are the NFL’s most aggressive blitzing defenses. 

Josh Allen dropback success rate vs. blitz:

2018: 37.0% (23rd)

2019: 34.4% (26th)

2020: 46.0% (5th)

2021: 36.1% (27th)

2022: 42.4% (10th)

2023: 47.3% (4th %) 

1st-round rookie CB Deonte Banks traveled with DK Metcalf in Week 4 and veteran Adoree’ Jackson traveled with Tyler Lockett. It was a successful approach overall. Given Buffalo’s style of receivers, the Giants could take that approach again this week, with the bigger Banks matching to Gabriel Davis and Jackson matching to Stefon Diggs? 


Dallas Cowboys @ Los Angeles Chargers

Cowboys O vs. Chargers D

Kellen Moore is on the Chargers' sideline supposedly because Mike McCarthy wanted a coordinator who would run the ball more. 

Dallas’s run rate:
under Moore in 2022 = 44.8%
under McCarthy in 2023 = 40.7%
(LA Chargers run rate in 2023 = 36.7%.)

Cowboys are averaging about the same yards per run as last season (4.0 last year, 3.9 this year). 

Dak Prescott’s aDOT by year:

2016: 8.8

2017: 9.6

2018: 8.3

2019: 10.0

2020: 8.4

2021: 8.4

2022: 9.1

2023: 7.5


Chargers O vs. Cowboys D

LAC stuff or no gain rate via designed rushes in 2023: 

Week 1: 5.6% (best)

Weeks 2-4: 35.3% (worst)

The Chargers have thrown the third-highest rate most screen passes this season (15.8%). The Cowboys have held offenses to unsuccessful results on all but 2 of 15 screen passes they’ve faced. 


LAC’s defense with/without CB J.C. Jackson on field in 2023: 

J.C. Jackson on field: 9.6 yards per dropback, 53.4% success rate allowed

J.C. Jackson not on field: 7.9 yards per dropback, 55.5% success rate allowed


Seattle Seahawks @ Cincinnati Bengals

Seahawks O vs. Bengals D

  • Geno Smith led the NFL with 15 deep TD passes in 2022. So far in 2023, he has just four completions and no TDs. 
  • SEA’s 69.2% success rate when targeting TEs is by far the best in the NFL in 2023. No other team is higher than 57.7%.

Cincy is allowing 7.3 yards per pass against tight ends  (ranks 22nd). 

  • After leading the NFL with 64 “drop 8” coverage plays in 2022, CIN has done so just 11 times so far in 2023. 
  • CIN is second-last in the NFL in explosive run rate allowed (20%) in 2023.


Bengals O vs. Seahawks D

Burrow’s average depth of target in Week 5 was 7.4 (it was 6.9 coming in). His average time to throw was 2.49 (it was 2.3 coming in, according to PFF). This came against a Cardinals defense that is thin at pass rusher….can Cincy push the ball downfield against a Seattle D that’s coming off an 11-sack performance?

Against NYG Seattle they dominated with Cover 3 and single-high fire zone in the first half. In the second half, they had success with hybrid split-safety coverages.

Seattle did have some mild troubles defending the flats for short stretches vs. NYG….Burrow and Bengals offenses is very good at working those areas in two-receiver combinations, especially out of empty (which they’re as familiar with as any offense).


Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Colts O vs. Jaguars D

Jags boundary CB Tyson Campbell has been as good as any corner in the league this season.

Jags were the NFL’s most diverse coverage defense last year (the only D to not rank in the top one-fourth of the league in any of the major coverages – Cover 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 and Zero). Will they change the picture from snap to snap on Anthony Richardson?


Jaguars O vs. Colts D

JAC’s 34 screen passes in 2023 are 21% more than any other team. JAC’s 32.4% success rate via screens is eighth 13th in the NFL. (This is partly because they have tagged smoke screens on to a lot of their run plays.)

Although they’re just 31st in pass blitz rate (19.8%) in 2023, IND has been very successful when blitzing –26.9% success rate allowed is third best in the NFL.

Colts are the NFL’s most Cover 3 oriented defense. 

Jags rank 12th vs. Cover 3 at 6.5 yards per attempt. They’ve had a lot more success throwing outside than inside here.


Detroit Lions @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Lions O vs. Bucs D

Bucs lead the NFL in CB blitz calls per game (6.5) and are 3rd in fire zone blitzes behind only Minnesota and Green Bay. Lions against fire zone are averaging 6.3 yards per pass, which ranks 17th.

DET leads the NFL in success rate via empty (64%) in 2023.

  • TB is second in the NFL in success rate allowed vs. passes outside the numbers (29.1%) in 2023. 
  • The Lions are outstanding with motion….for what it’s worth, the Bucs statistically have been one of the NFL’s best defenses against motion this season.


Bucs vs. Lions D

Lions have evolved from a man-based defense last season under Aaron Glenn to a zone-based one in 2023. (A large variety of stats and metrics to support this, if need be.)

Since Detroit lost edge-bending rusher James Houston, linebackers Derrick Barnes and 1st-round rookie Jack Campbell have both played meaningful snaps on the edge in pass situations in recent weeks. 

  • After allowing 179 rushing yards per game (scrambles excluded) in the final three games of 2022, DET has allowed just 270 rushing yards in five games in 2023. DET’s 2023 ranks in run defense stats: 
    • Yards per carry: 3.2 (3rd
    • Explosive run percentage allowed: 5.9% (4th)
    • First downs allowed: 21 (T-8th)


Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs

Broncos O vs. Chiefs D

Russell Wilson on deep passes:

2023 (12.9% deep rate; T-8th): 42.9% completion rate, 16.8 YPA, 3 TD, 0 INT, 129.5 passer rating (7th)

Chris Jones has played defensive end on 38 of 44 third down snaps this season. Denver paid Mike McGlinchey huge money in free agency presumably for matchups like this….will they let him face Jones 1 on 1? (McGlinchey has not been as vulnerable to the bull rush as he was a few years ago in San Francisco.)

KC still leads the league in CB blitzes (31). Denver has only faced 7 of those all season but has put up big numbers against them.


Chiefs O vs. Broncos D

Patrick Mahomes’ 5.9% NDD scramble rate is second in the NFL in 2023.

KC is averaging just 3.4 yards per rushing attempt against split safety on non-2-min 1st and 2nd downs. That ranks 31st 

Denver on 1st/2nd down is giving up over 8 yards per carry out of split safety.

Given that KC does so many 1x3 formations, would the Broncos have CB Patrick Surtain line up on TE Travis Kelce’s side in known pass situations?