After hitting a few high points of optimism, the Jets’ season is officially at rock bottom. Positivity is tough to come by right now in the world of Jets football. Let’s change that! Here, I’ll take a look at some of the things the Jets have done at high levels this year.
Protect homefield: The Jets team we’ve seen play in Bergen County is a legitimately solid NFL football team. At home, against a schedule featuring a whopping 6 current playoff teams, they’ve gone 4-3 with a +17 point differential. As of right now, that ties them for the 12th best home winning percentage and the 15th best home point differential. An offense that is barely known as a juggernaut ranks 11th in points per game at home, even though they’ve faced six top-half scoring defenses.
Get it done in the red zone: The Jets have done a solid job in the red area on both sides of the field. Offensively, they’ve turned 58.1% of trips into touchdowns, the 11th best rate in the league. Defensively, they’ve held 52.2% of trips out of the end zone, 13th best.
Produce the big passing play: Thanks to Josh McCown and Robby Anderson, the Jets connected on bomb pass plays at a high rate. Their 11 touchdown passes of 20+ yards tied them for 3rd in the league.
Catch the football: The Jets only have 14 drops this year, tying them for the 7th fewest in the league. You can argue that the Jets offense is a conservative one that produces a lot of easy catches, but the Jets led the league in drops last year. This is drastic improvement no matter how you slice it. Jet WRs also have not lost a single fumble on a passing play.
Limit the run: The Jets have not been the run stopping brick wall they’ve been in years past, but they are still solid against the run this year. Though only 21st in total rush yards allowed, they are placed 13th in rush yards allowed per attempt and 6th in preventing rushing first downs. They’re 7th in the league in percentage of runs resulting in no gain or less.
Take the ball away: The Jets have actually done a solid job forcing turnovers this year. They are tied for 12th in the league in takeaways, including tying for 9th in fumble recoveries.
I was kind of surprised to find that the Jets weren’t near the top in pretty much any category. As listed, they are above average in a few areas when broken down further, but very rarely reach the top 10 in anything major. On the bright side, there are similarly few areas where they have been absolutely brutal, and by that I mean bottom four or bottom three ranges. Perhaps that uncanny ability to avoid complete consistent self-destruction in any single area is what has kept them from the very bottom of the standings.
Still, before getting too hyped about the Jets “overachieving” this season, just keep in mind that this is still a team that isn’t particularly great at anything. There are a lot of holes left to be plugged.