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How Have the Jets Done in the Red Zone?

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Games are won in and lost inside the 20. How have the Jets done in that area?

New York Jets v Cleveland Browns Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

OFFENSE

The Jets have only ran 19 red zone plays this season, a league low by a wide margin. The main reason for the lack of red zone action for the Jets is the large amount of long touchdowns they have scored. Their average touchdown this season has been a length of 31.7 yards, the highest number in the league and more than double the NFL average.

Nevertheless, there is still some work to go off of. The Jets have scored a touchdown on 4 of their 19 red zone plays this season, or 21.1%. That’s slightly above the league average of 18.8%.

Overall the output has been very average so far, which is still a major upgrade over the 2016 edition of the Jets. Of the team’s 7 red zone drives (more than only Miami’s 4), they’ve scored a TD or FG 6 of 7 times, 85.7% (league average: 89.6%) and have found the end zone 4 of 7 times, 57.1% (league average: 56.7%).

Josh McCown possesses a 105.6 quarterback rating in the red zone, 9th best among starting QBs and well above the NFL average of 92.5 in that range. His favorite targets have been Jermaine Kearse and Bilal Powell with 3 each.

One more interesting bit on the Jets’ red zone performance. In addition to making few trips into the red zone, the trips they have made have often been gifted to them. The average Jets red zone drive has started on the opponent’s 47 yard line, easily the best starting field position on red zone drives out of any team in the league. It’s fair to wonder if this offense can survive down the stretch of the season without the big plays clicking for them.

DEFENSE

The red zone numbers for the Jets defense look very good right now, but before we get into them let’s deliver some credit to the Cleveland Browns. Their three red zone drives against the Jets all resulted in turnovers, including an unforced fumble and a questionable 4th down attempt that did not convert.

Still, the Jets have taken advantage of these mistakes and held up well with their backs against the wall. Only 10 of the 14 opposing red zone drives have resulted in points, a league-low rate of just 71.4% (keep Cleveland in mind). 7 of the 14 have resulted in touchdowns, a 50% mark that ties for 9th best in the league.

Demario Davis leads the Jets with 5 red zone tackles, while Darron Lee follows with 4. Juston Burris and Marcus Maye each have an interception, though you can also consider giving Jamal Adams half credit on the Burris pick.

What have you made of the Jets’ showing in the red zone?