The Decline of the Jets, by statistics

This article is based on statistics compiled by Pro Football Focus. Football is complicated and no statistics will perfectly analyze the game. But analyzing whole seasons statistically can be more revealing and trustworthy than any individual's opinion. PFF analyzes each relevant player's performance on every play. Generally, an average performance on a play gets a 0, + is good and - is bad. They try to be as objective and as scientific as possible, and I would recommend anyone interested to review their process. These individual statistics are added to form categories for each team. The following is a breakdown of the Jets' performance since 2009. (Note: since there have been only 3 games in 2012, these statistics can not be considered as reliable as they would be for a full season. For example, I don't think anybody would agree that the Jets have been the 7th best run defense so far, but it is an indication of how each player has done against the run, and the statistics would normalize over time.)

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OFFENSE 2009 2010 2011 2012
overall 109.2 79 -20.6 -13.6
pass skill -26.3 -16.5 -32.5 1.5
run skill -14.2 -6 -8.2 -5.1
pass block 47.2 35.3 17.1 1.5
run block 98.9 64.1 10.2 -14
overall 7 3 21 27
pass skill 23 18 25 21
run skill 27 19 29 29
pass block 5 2 13 15
run block 5 4 9 27
DEFENSE 2009 2010 2011 2012
overall 84.7 71 62.8 7.5
run def 59.5 83.2 58.8 15.2
pass rush -48.6 -43.9 -39 -11.6
pass coverage 65.9 31.9 37.2 6.1
overall 4 11 6 15
run def 2 1 4 7
pass rush 29 31 28 28
pass coverage 2 3 3 12

This information reveals a great deal about why the Jets have declined from 2009/2010. Anyone looking to Sanchez, Greene, the WR's or the lack of a pass rush are missing the point. These positions have never been good in the Ryan era, and in the case of RB and pass rusher, they have been consistently among the worst in the NFL, even as the Jets were going to AFCC's. Conversely, the Jets have always been among the best teams in stopping the run and pass coverage.

What has gone wrong since 2009? Without question this data shows that the biggest change in the Jets has been the decline of the Jets Offensive Line. In 2009, the Jets truly had an elite OLine, and it was even better in 2010, ranking 2nd in pass blocking and 4th in run blocking. Since then, both run and pass blocking has declined at an alarming rate and in 2012, the OLine has been a weakness instead of a strength.

So far in 2012, Mangold is the best Center in the NFL according to PFF. Ferguson is the 23rd Tackle, Howard is 63rd. Moore and Slauson are 27th and 44th among Guards. The Jets OLine is now mediocre at best. The FO made a big mistake in neglecting the OLine the last 2 years. And now, it looks like they're going to pay.

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