Pittsburgh allowed 17 points in the second half Sunday, the third time this season it's surrendered 14-plus points in the latter half of games.
Minnesota Vikings (1-5, 27)The Vikings return off their Week 7 bye and are thrown into the fire with the Packers this Sunday.

Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz would love to have a healthier rotation of players, but his use of multiple zone schemes served as the right band-aid to help capture the NFC East title. Kansas City owns the NFL's third-poorest rushing defense - giving up 150 yards on the ground per game - and its 65 first downs allowed on rush attempts rank 31st. Sports): The Patriots didn’t play particularly well against the Giants, everyone on Twitter wanted to retire Tom Brady after every incompletion, and New England still beat the Giants by 21 points.

... Also, the Patriots defense is the best unit in the NFL on either offense or defense.

Check out what the ‘experts’ are saying about the Patriots heading into Week 7. Please check your email for a confirmation.

The Steelers may be perfect, but there is still room for improvement. The NFL’s Week 7 slate brought a number of crazy conclusions, two previously unbeaten teams being handed their first loss and a few surprising blowouts. Poor communication led to the Texans yielding 32 touchdown passes, which tied for the fifth-most league-wide. 29:48. However, after the acquisition of Peters before Week 7, everything changed.

24.

It's difficult for the Vikings to stay in games with their turnover troubles. 26. Notes on the Patriots’ snap count numbers from their 24-21 loss in Week 8.

The Pats did let a key piece from last year’s team depart in Trey Flowers, but they acquired Michael Bennett, who has the third-most QB hits (103) in the NFL since 2015, to help fill the void.

Receiving Leader: Michael Thomas, 1725 Yds.

Not too shabby, eh? 1st - Mark Maske (Washington Post): The defense continues to do the heavy lifting while the offense finds its way. To put it kindly, rookie cornerbacks DeAndre Baker (45.6 coverage grade) and Corey Ballentine (29.8) suffered growing pains, combining to allow 1,226 yards and 12 touchdowns on a combined 123 targets, while the defense as a whole gave up the sixth-highest completion percentage (70.9%), the fifth-most passing yards (4,376) and the eighth-most combined first downs and touchdowns (207).

Their cornerback trio of Steven Nelson, Mike Hilton and Joe Haden all rank among the top 25 highest-graded players at their position, and the defense as a whole went on to collect the second-most interceptions (20) and allow the second-lowest passer rating (85.4) among all 32 teams. The Bills played a good mix of both zone (60% of the time) and man coverage (34% of the time), and their low-risk philosophy yielded an average depth of target of just 7.3 yards, which tied for the second-lowest average among all 32 teams. We’ll see if they can avoid the same fate as the Dallas Cowboys suffered against the New York Jets on Monday night.

Second-year cornerback Darius Phillips was a rare bright spot, however,  as he earned the secondary's highest coverage grade (83.8) and led the team with four interceptions, leading many to believe that he could be moving into the starting rotation for 2020.

This year’s 12th-ranked 76.6 coverage grade is a significant decline from last year’s first-place mark (95.7) that was accompanied by a league-leading 27 interceptions. Bruce Arians isn't getting enough consistent production from his No. Armed with PFF’s top-graded cornerback in Richard Sherman, the 49ers' secondary earned our second-highest team coverage grade (92.5) in 2019. But then again, the defending Super Bowl champions are 6-0 -- why should they be anywhere other than No. 1 team.

The Patriots play the Jets, Browns, Ravens and Eagles in their next four games. 8. He was given no one to work with, resulting in a career game for undrafted receiver Jakobi Meyers (6 catches, 58 yards). Armed with safety Malik Hooker and third-year cornerback Kenny Moore II, who finished 25th on PFF’s list of top cornerbacks for 2019, the Colts' defense came away with 15 interceptions, and they led the league in total coverage stops with 114. But the defense continued to stifle and, led by Stephon Gilmore (1 INT, 5 passes defended), forced four turnovers. In a tough 24-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills, the New England Patriots made some odd decisions. Seattle Seahawks (5-1, 2)The Seahawks’ defensive woes finally proved fatal in a NFC West loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Boston allowed only six combined first downs and touchdowns across 16 targets in coverage while Reid gave up an alarming 30 first downs across his 58 targets. Browns holding remote meetings after player reports COVID-19... Packers working virtually after Dillon's reported positive t... Eagles beat Cowboys on SNF to remain atop NFC East, Steelers acquire Avery Williamson from Jets, Big days from Wilson, Metcalf lead Seahawks past 49ers.

Backing up Adams, nickel cornerback Brian Poole earned the highest coverage grade (80.0) of any slot defender on PFF’s list of the top 25 corners after allowing the lowest yards per reception average (7.4) among players at the position in 2019. Whether the running back returns during “Thursday Night Football,” though, is unknown. 4 winners and 5 losers from the Patriots’ 24-21 loss to the Bills. There is plenty of room for encouragement here, though, as the Bears continued to perform well enough to allow the fourth-fewest touchdown passes (17), which were five fewer than the 22 they allowed during their stellar 2018 season.

What I am predicting is a Patriots win, and cover (-9.5), on the national stage Monday night at the Meadowlands.

1st - Lindsay Jones (The Athletic): The Patriots have the NFL’s best scoring offense and most stingy scoring defense. 11.

Safety Justin Simmons played a huge part in that through 17 weeks, as he earned the third-highest coverage grade (91.1) among qualifying safeties on the year. 20.

Belichick will get the 1-4 Jets and 2-4 Browns in the next two weeks. 1?

Safety Jabrill Peppers earned the team's highest coverage grade (70.2), but it wasn’t enough to save his hometown team the embarrassment of another disappointing season.

[Editor's Note: All ELITE subscribers have access to PFF's advanced statistics and grades for every player and team in the NFL.

As a whole, the Tennessee defense recorded 13 interceptions on the year, but it could have easily been more, as the team dropped 11 total interception opportunities through 17 weeks, tied for the most around the league. But even though this year’s 17th-ranked 71.3 coverage grade is a vast improvement, there is still room to grow for New Orleans' talented coverage unit.

30. Which team in the AFC can stop them?

The Lions have been all bark but no bite when it comes to getting after the quarterback. Bill Belichick himself might be calling the defensive plays for New England this season following Brian Flores’ departure for Miami, so the entire NFL should be on notice. Head coach Matt Patricia asked his defensive backs to play 347 total snaps of man coverage in 2019, the most of any defense in the NFL, but that did not go as well as he would have likely hoped. Seattle's stop unit ranks last in both total yards allowed and pass defense while placing 23rd in points allowed per game. This battered group also gave up the second-most touchdown passes (36) and the eighth-most combined first downs and touchdowns (207).

As a whole, their cornerbacks and safeties forced an incompletion on 12.4% of their targets, 11th among the league's secondary groups.

Versus clubs over .500? The defense, who was without Stephon Gilmore, and Newton did enough to have a chance to win in the final minute of the game.

The NFL Power Rankings are selected by a panel of theScore's football editors.With Halloween on the calendar this week, we're identifying every team's scariest stat … Couldn’t pull the trigger.” - NFL.com, “There’s just no way I can rank any other team in the top slot.” - Bleacher Report.

15. Brees throws 2 TDs, Lutz hits field goal in OT as Saints bea... Lynn: Chargers need to 'figure this shit out' after another ... Seahawks' Adams set to return in Week 9 after 4-game absence, Report: Cardinals produce 2 positive tests on bye week, 49ers' Garoppolo, Kittle injured late vs. Seahawks, Report: Raiders' Brown hospitalized after pregame IV mishap, Watch: Bears' Wims ejected after punching Saints DB twice, The ultimate, personalized mobile sports experience, Frederick Breedon / Getty Images Sport / Getty, Jonathan Bachman / Getty Images Sport / Getty, Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty, Katelyn Mulcahy / Getty Images Sport / Getty, Report: 49ers trade Kwon Alexander to Saints, Minshew out Week 9, Jaguars to start rookie Luton at QB, Report: Titans acquiring King from Chargers for 6th-rounder, Ravens' Humphrey tests positive for COVID-19. Los Angeles Chargers (2-4, 20)Justin Herbert looks like a franchise quarterback for the Chargers, earning his first win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. 6.

Through 17 weeks, the Eagles played a zone coverage shell on 58% of their snaps to better protect their ever-changing lineup of players. A lack of talent on the perimeter. Defense is part of the Ravens' identity; once again, their reputation remains firmly intact.

55 69 11. They also checked in with the 10th-fewest missed tackles (34), which shows an improved defense that goes well beyond their good pass-rush. Chicago was under 65 rushing yards in four consecutive games for the first time in franchise history. Observations from Sunday’s AFC East encounter in Orchard Park.

Houston Texans (1-6, 28)The Texans defense is among the worst in the league in points and yards in large part because they’re brutal against the run. The Broncos played a large proportion of their coverage snaps in either a Cover-3 (18.5% of snaps) or Cover-6 (19.0%) shell. The defense was anchored by Stephon Gilmore in the secondary and Trey Flowers on the defensive line.

They often left cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty and Jonathan Jones in single-man coverage without the help of a safety over the middle of the field.

32.
New York Giants (1-6, 30)The Giants led by double digits in the fourth quarter against the Eagles, but Daniel Jones and New York to got tripped up in being dealt the loss.

Damien Harris (102 yard, 1 TD) was the only other productive player in the heartbreaking 24-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Their back end was a mixed bag this past season. Overall, the Patriots have won 11 straight games dating back to last season and including the 2018 postseason.

Belichick is also a key reason that Schein put New England’s defense in the top ten.

Altogether, the Miami defense allowed a 29th-ranked 0.163 EPA per pass play while allowing the league’s eighth-highest yards per reception average (8.3). If this group were a stock, this would be a good time to buy.

135. New York's unit also ranks 32nd in PFF's pass-blocking efficiency rating.

4. Former first-round picks Marshon Lattimore (68.7), Eli Apple (59.1) and Patrick Robinson (65.0) all performed below expectations, while Vonn Bell (51.9), P.J. It's the first time since 1961 that Dallas has trailed by 14-plus points for six consecutive contests.


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