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Statistical Areas Where the Jets Ranked Lowest in 2017

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New York Jets v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

We can break down position by position, player by player where we think the Jets’ biggest holes are, but what areas in particular did they fail to get it done? Let’s dig into the numbers behind their biggest struggles.

OFFENSE

T-32nd in average plays per drive (5.1): The Jets managed to rank 24th in overall scoring and 23rd in points per drive, but they partially benefited from ranking 15th in red zone efficiency. Despite all of that, the Jets simply didn’t make opposing defenses work. No team in the league averaged fewer plays per offensive drive. A 35.5% 3rd down conversion rate, 23rd in the NFL, could be a big part of the problem. Of the top 11 teams in 3rd down conversion rate in 2017, only 1 had a losing record, and both Super Bowl teams are among the group.

26th in Rushing Offense DVOA: This was an offense led by Josh McCown. It’s not supposed to be some aerial attack, but that is what it ended up looking like at times because of the run game’s inefficiency. The Jets tied for 19th in Y/A and 19th in Y/G, but dismal success in the power game (48% conversions on 3rd/4th and 2 yds or less, 31st) has their true efficiency in the run game near the cellar.

The O-Line could be most to blame. Football Outsiders ranked the Jets 29th in Adjusted Line Yards per carry, which adjusts yardage to assign responsibility to the offensive line.

T-29th in sack percentage allowed (8.4%): The Jets’ O allowed opposing fronts to wreak havoc on Josh McCown and Bryce Petty. Now, while the line deserves some blame, I think both QBs deserve a lot of fingers pointed their way for this one. If there’s one thing Josh McCown didn’t do well that his QB rating won’t reflect, it’s avoid the pressure.

DEFENSE

28th in Passing TD% allowed (5.4%): The Jets ranked decently in a few pass defense areas, including 19th in opposing passer rating and tied for 16th in yards per attempt. Despite all of that, QBs had no problem finding the green end zone. One problem was their pass defense outside the red zone. Outside the red zone, the Jets allowed a 10-9 TD/INT ratio, 4th worst in the league (league average was a 0.62 ratio.)

Opposing Tight Ends: NY really couldn’t handle tight ends this year, once again. They gave up 776 yards and 9 TDs to opposing tight ends, including eight 3+ catch, 45+ yard individual TE performances. The 61 receptions allowed was actually tied for 5th-fewest, while the 776 yards was middle of the road, but the 9 TDs tied them for 4th most in the league, while the 12.7 yards per reception was also 4th most.

28th in sack percentage (4.8%): At the end of the day, you really can’t be a great defense if you’re only picking up a sack under 5% of the time. Pressures and hits have value and shouldn’t be ignored (and Leonard Williams was elite in this regard), but QBs are getting better under pressure and sacks are drive-killers. None of the bottom ten teams in sack percentage won a playoff game this year.

SPECIAL TEAMS

32nd in punt return DVOA: The Jets’ special teams made some nice strides in a few areas, but when it’s all said and done a special teams unit’s most important contribution is its net difference in game-breaking plays, not a couple yards of punting average. The Jets muffed like there was no tomorrow and forgot which direction to move after fielding a punt, in the rare occasion they did field it cleanly. NY averaged only 4.5 yards a punt return, dead last in 2017 and the second worst punt returning campaign in the NFL over the last six seasons.

Poll

Which of these issues is most likely to remain a problem in 2018?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Plays per drive
    (50 votes)
  • 10%
    Rushing efficiency
    (41 votes)
  • 14%
    Sacks allowed
    (57 votes)
  • 15%
    Sacks (Defensive)
    (58 votes)
  • 22%
    Stopping tight ends
    (87 votes)
  • 23%
    Punt returning
    (88 votes)
381 votes total Vote Now