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Inside the Numbers | Great Rate of Return with Brandin Echols, Ashtyn Davis in the Nickel

Crisp Metrics When Either DB Has Been in the Lineup Before and After the Practice Injury to Michael Carter


With nickel Michael Carter sitting out the past two games, fans of Jets pass defense might have thought the team would struggle against some tough slot receivers. But Brandin Echols and Ashtyn Davis have provided plenty of good work before and especially after Carter went down with a practice hamstring injury before the Bills game.

"It's just the next-man-up mentality," said Davis, who has started five games as a Jets box safety. He said about Echols, "B's a phenomenal athlete, he can play ball. We didn't really miss a beat there. We'd love to have Mike — he's one of the best in the league in the slot. But we've got another guys who can get the job done in B."

And AD has done OK for himself as well, considering he's only gotten a mere 100 defensive snaps this season. And Davis' "superpower," as head coach Robert Saleh would term it, is having the ball leave offensive skill players and leap into his hands.

In Week 4, Davis got his first takeaway of the season on a Patrick Mahomes INT vs. the Chiefs. Since then, he's been a regular visitor to the Jets' game TA charts: a special-teams forced fumble at the Giants, then the past three games a fumble recovery at Las Vegas, an interception at Buffalo and a fumble recovery (not including a forced fumble earlier that was nullified after a Jets replay challenge) vs. Miami.

Setting the ST fumble aside, Davis has four takeaways in the NFL's last nine weeks. That alone is remarkable. He's one of only seven NFL defenders with two INTs and two defensive fumble recoveries since the start of the season. And all six of the others have at least 367 snaps compared to Davis' even 100.

Then let's go to recent Jets history. Since 2008, Davis is one of only four different Green & White defenders with two-plus INTs and FUM recoveries in the first 12 weeks of a season (HOFer Darrelle Revis did it twice), and the only one who's achieved that exacta it in fewer than 300 snaps. The list:

Table inside Article
Jets Defender Season DSnaps INTs FRs
Darrelle Revis 2008 1,017 5 2
Kerry Rhodes 2008 1,000 2 2
Dwight Lowery 2010 339 3 2
Darrelle Revis 2015 855 5 4
Ashtyn Davis 2023 100 2 2

Echols is more of the cover nickel kind of guy and he showed that again vs. Miami when he picked Tua Tagovailoa and took it 30 yards to the house with 58 seconds left in the first half, briefly turning the Black Friday meeting into a one-score affair. The last Jets pick-six? Yes, it was Echols taking his first pro interception, off of Tagovailoa at Miami, 20 yards for a TD two years earlier.

"On the spur of the moment, when I got to the end zone, I said, yeah, it was the exact same play," Echols said, noting the mirror image of the plays (in '21 he went down the right sideline, on Friday he took the left sideline directo to the EZ). "It was just read and react and trust my keys."

Next Gen Stats tells us more about Echols the past two games. He has held opposing QBs to 39 yards on six completions for a 28.8 passer rating as the nearest defender. That's a crazy number compared to his defensive passer rating since '22 (119.4) and his individual game ratings are two of the seven lowest allowed by slot corners with at least 15 coverage snaps in a game this season.

So the nickel has been in good hands lately and will get even better with Carter's return. But of course slot coverage isn't going to turn around the Jets' 4-7 season. Davis

"There are no magical words that are going to make this any better," he told's Ethan Greenberg following the Dolphins game. "No one's coming to save us. We've got to dig ourselves out of this hole. We took the two days off after the game to get ready to play six great games, and that's what we're going to do."

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