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Key To Improving Third Down Conversions: New York Jets Must Be Better On First Down

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In case you didn't know, Jets have struggled in third down conversions as well as red zone scoring percentage all season. Not the type of things you expect to see from a "ground-and-pound" team.

  • Jets rank No. 30 in red zone scoring percentage, scoring a touchdown only 36.85 percent of the time.
  • Jets rank No. 17 in third down conversion percentage, converting 37.50 percent of the time

After watching QB Mark Sanchez throw 44 times on Sunday (completing only 17 passes), it's clear why. The Jets and OC Brian Schottenheimer have gotten away from the simple "run, run, pass" gameplan. They are failing to gain yards on first down, and we saw a lot of "2nd & 10" downs as a result. You cannot win a game when you don't pick up yards on first down.

Yesterday, Manish Mehta tweeted some disconcerting statistics which shed some light on why Jets are struggling on third downs. Take note of the stats which are bolded.

 

Manish Mehta
Craziest stat of loss? They called 20 pass plays on 21 3rd downs. Only 1 designed 3rd-down run all gm

Manish Mehta
Dissecting offensive woes: only gained 2.5 yards per play on 1st dn w/9.2 yards to go on 3rd on Sunday
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Manish Mehta
Since you can't look at 3rd downs in a vacuum, consider this: average yards gained on 1st down Sunday was 2.5 yards. Not good.