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Jets Fourth Best at Forcing Three and Outs

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William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

The most important thing for a defense is not surrendering points, but forcing the offense off the field quickly also has significance. A three and out prevents the other team from flipping field position, which can be meaningful even if a drive ends in no points. Quick series also prevent the defense from tiring. We frequently talk about whether an offense can give a defense rest by sustaining long drives. The defense also has a responsibility to get itself off the field as quickly as possible to avoid fatigue later in the game.

Through some research with assistance from Pro Football Reference's Play Index and calculations by hand, I compiled the percentages with which teams force three and outs (including turnovers forced on the first three plays of a series). The Jets rate well. They are fourth best in the league by the calculations I did, forcing the other team three and out over one-third of the time.

This is likely one of the major reasons the Jets start an average offensive series on their own 32, best in the league despite not having top notch returners on special teams.

Tm Percentage
Patriots 41.32231405
Panthers 37.40458015
Eagles 36.15384615
Jets 35.9375
Seahawks 35.83333333
Bengals 35.34482759
Broncos 33.6
Rams 32.8125
Bears 31.57894737
Texans 31.25
Titans 30.70175439
Chiefs 30.5785124
Cardinals 30.4
Bills 30
Vikings 29.8245614
Steelers 28.68852459
Packers 28.57142857
Lions 28.57142857
Raiders 28.45528455
Saints 28.45528455
Colts 28.24427481
Dolphins 28.09917355
Giants 27.96610169
Jaguars 27.27272727
Browns 26.44628099
Falcons 26.08695652
Cowboys 25.92592593
Buccaneers 25.86206897
Ravens 25.80645161
Chargers 24.32432432
Redskins 23.47826087
49ers 19.09090909