Welcome to Trends to Track, a weekly look at some of the developing trends shown by the upcoming opponent and/or the Jets. Here we foolishly go where smarter people fear to tread and try to establish some trends which might influence the outcome of this week's game. This isn't meant to be an exhaustive list, or even necessarily the most important trends and matchups to focus on. Rather, it is a highly idiosyncratic look at trends which caught my eye this week and might prove interesting in this week's game. Please feel free to supplement this article with any trends you've noticed. Now, let's get to it.
Road To Oblivion
In recent years the road has not been kind to Washington. The Redskins have lost 15 of their last 16 road contests, their only win coming against arch rival Dallas in late October of 2014. And that's not all. Other than that one win against Dallas last year, you have to go all the way back to December 18, 2011 against the New York Giants to find their last road win against a winning team. Needless to say, Washington has not been a fearsome opponent on the road, even in playoff years like 2012. If the trend holds, look for the Jets to come away from Sunday's contest with another game in the victory column.
Unlike recent seasons, the 2015 Jets defense has managed to generate turnovers at a prodigious rate. After generating just 13 turnovers all last year on defense, this year's team has generated an identical number of turnovers in just four games to start the season. For the first time in what seems like forever the Jets have been winning the turnover battle, having a +6 turnover differential to start the season. The Jets have limited their offensive turnovers to just one in each of their three wins while generating multiple turnovers on defense in each of those games. Meanwhile, Washington has turned the ball over nine times on offense this year while generating only six turnovers on defense, for a turnover differential of -3. This year the Jets have feasted on turnover differential. The trends suggest that may continue Sunday.
Bigger Is Better
Against Washington, big receivers rule. One after another big receiver has had their best game of the season against the Redskins. 6' 4" Jacob Tamme, 6' 3" Riley Cooper, 6' 1" Nelson Agholor, 6' 4" Reuben Randle, and 6' 5" Jordan Cameron all have had their season's best performances against Washington. In addition, 6' 4" Jared Cook and 6' 3" Kenny Britt both had their second best games of the season against Washington. Big receivers have given the Redskins fits. Fortunately for the Jets, big receivers are something of a team specialty. If trends hold the Jets big receivers should have a field day against a Washington team that is consistently losing the battle against jumbo targets.
One other thing here: you may notice several of the names here are tight ends. Unfortunately for the Jets the team's tight ends have been reported missing, and authorities have no idea where to look to locate them. The only area that has been definitively ruled out is opponents' defensive backfields, where exhaustive searches for Jets tight ends have come up empty. But who knows, with the kind of success opposing tight ends have enjoyed against the Redskins, even the Jets tight ends might surprise and make a rare appearance on the stat sheet. Eh, probably not, but one can dream.
Will The Trends Be Our Friend?
Many trends in this young season point to a possible Jets victory on Sunday. With only a few games in the books, trends can be fickle. We should hesitate to draw any firm conclusions on the available evidence. Still, it's nice to see the early trends in the Jets' favor on Sunday. We'll shortly see how those trends play out