Each week, I’ll be checking up on where the New York Jets currently stand in a variety of different statistical categories.
Let’s dive into the Jets’ current rankings following Week 5 of the NFL season.
*- keep in mind that in this post, higher rankings are always better, even for stats in which less = more.
Passing yards per game: 113.5 (32nd)
Passing touchdowns: 1 (32nd)
Interceptions thrown: 3 (T-11th)
Passing first downs: 27 (32nd)
Yards per pass attempt: 5.0 (32nd)
Yards per completion: 7.6 (32nd)
Sack rate allowed: 16.1% (32nd)
Net yards per pass play: 3.2 (32nd)
Touchdown rate: 0.8% (32nd)
Interception rate: 2.5% (21st)
Passing first down rate: 21.0% (32nd)
Team passer rating: 69.2 (31st)
20+ yard plays: 4 (32nd)
Notes: The Luke Falk-led Jets offense keeps finding ways to set new lows. The Jets are ranked dead-last in 10 of the 13 passing categories listed above.
Against the Eagles, the Jets averaged 1.69 net yards per pass attempt, mustering 69 yards of passing offense across 36 passing plays. That mark was the second-worst posted in a single game by a Jets team over the past 40 years.
Things should be getting better soon. It is looking strongly likely that Sam Darnold returns to the starting lineup in Week 5. Darnold is not the only reinforcement returning to action on the offensive side – stud young tight end Chris Herndon will be back as well. The Jets have sorely missed Herndon’s pass-protection and versatile receiving ability. Having him back will add a dimension to the offense that simply did not exist with Ryan Griffin as the TE1.
Rushing yards per game: 66.0 (30th)
Rushing touchdowns: 1 (T-28th)
Rushing first downs: 10 (31st)
10+ yard plays: 6 (T-29th)
Yards per rush attempt: 3.1 (31st)
Rushing first down rate: 11.9% (32nd)
Notes: Le’Veon Bell got back on track against the Eagles, frequently forcing missed tackles, but the offensive line continues to be too awful to bail out. Bell gained just 43 yards on 15 carries in Philadelphia.
It’s a shame that one of the league’s most talented runners alive is wasting away behind one of the worst offensive lines in Jets history. Bell looks extremely fresh after taking last season off, and in turn has played some of the best football of his career. In addition to the impressive amount of yardage he created after contact against Philadelphia, Bell even threw a lead block down the field to pave the way for Vincent Smith’s touchdown run.
The Jets offensive line probably will not get much better this season regardless of how many changes are made. However, the return of Darnold should make the run game look a lot better. Over the last three games, opposing teams have had no reason to respect the Jets passing attack. Defensive coordinators have stacked the box to stop Bell, while defenders have been much more focused on getting downhill to stop the run than dropping back to cover.
With Darnold back, teams should respect the pass a lot more, and Bell should get a little more breathing room to work with in the trenches. He should also get more red zone opportunities as the Jets generate more long drives.
Total yards per game: 179.5 (32nd)
Yards per play: 3.2 (32nd)
Points per drive: 0.34 (T-32nd)
Third down conversion rate: 21.1% (32nd)
Percentage of drives resulting in a score: 6.0% (32nd)
Percentage of drives resulting in a turnover: 12.0% (16th)
Red zone touchdown rate: 66.7% (7th)
Red zone trips: 3 (32nd)
Notes: The Jets’ total of 718 yards through four games is the second-worst mark in team history, better than only the 1971 team. It’s the 12th-worst mark by any team since the 1970 merger, and the second-worst of any team in the 21st century (better than only the 2001 Redskins). Additionally, the Jets’ average of 3.19 yards per play is the 7th-worst mark since the merger and the worst of any team over the past 40 years.
This unit has been terrible in every way imaginable. Perhaps the return of Sam Darnold will turn things around.
Passing yards per game: 260.3 (21st)
Passing touchdowns: 5 (T-7th)
Interceptions: 4 (T-11th)
Passing first downs: 47 (4th)
Yards per pass attempt: 7.5 (17th)
Yards per completion: 12.1 (22nd)
Sack rate: 3.9% (30th)
Net yards per pass play: 6.8 (20th)
Touchdown rate: 3.4% (8th)
Interception rate: 2.7% (12th)
Passing first down rate: 30.9% (8th)
Team passer rating: 84.5 (7th)
20+ yard plays: 19 (T-22nd)
Notes: Dropped passes and penalties by the Eagles offense helped the Jets defense put up numbers that did not match their performance level. Carson Wentz passed for just 189 yards on 29 passes (6.5 per attempt), but the Jets defense really did not play that well. Trumaine Johnson had an awful game in coverage, while the pass rush was far too quiet.
Rushing yards per game: 87.5 (7th)
Rushing touchdowns: 5 (T-18th)
Rushing first downs: 18 (4th)
10+ yard plays: 9 (5th)
Yards per rush attempt: 3.4 (3rd)
Rushing first down rate: 18.6% (5th)
Notes: The Jets held Philadelphia to 86 rushing yards on 27 non-kneel attempts, an average of only 3.2 yards per attempt. This unit continues to be solid, and I think that is almost entirely on the strength of Steve McLendon and Jamal Adams. Both players routinely do a good job clogging up running lanes, creating opportunities for their teammates to clean up run plays for short gains.
Total yards per game: 347.8 (13th)
Yards per play: 5.5 (14th)
Points per drive: 1.80 (11th)
Third down conversion rate: 39.2% (15th)
Percentage of drives resulting in a score: 32.7% (15th)
Percentage of drives resulting in a turnover: 12.2% (16th)
Red zone touchdown rate: 70.0% (T-30th)
Red zone trips: 10 (T-4th)
Notes: Somehow, the Jets have maintained solid numbers on the defensive side despite appearing to play poorly. The cornerback position has been awful. Henry Anderson and Leonard Williams have been extremely disappointing. The team’s four projected starting linebackers have either missed all or most of the season to date. The pass rush has been weak. Yet, here the Jets stand ranked in the top half of most overall defensive categories.
I do think opponent miscues are partially to credit for the Jets’ “success” thus far. Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield played poorly against the Jets, making quite a few unforced mistakes. The Eagles offense did not play a good game, committing a ton of penalties, dropping passes and botching play calls. Against the Patriots, the defense did stop the bleeding in the second half, but they had already let the game slip out of reach with an ugly first half.
It will be interesting to see if this defense can fly even higher in the rankings with C.J. Mosley, Jordan Jenkins, and Brandon Copeland returning to the field soon.