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How Well Did the Jets Defense Survive Turnovers by the Offense?

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DENVER BRONCOS VS NEW YORK JETS Photo by Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Yesterday I took a look at how the Jets offense performed when handed a golden opportunity through a takeaway by the defense. Today I’ll take a look at the inverse; how well did the Jets defense handle adversity when an offensive turnover occurred?

TURNOVERS BY THE OFFENSE

Bryce Petty and Josh McCown combined for 11 interceptions in 2017, which tied them for a very respectable 11th fewest in the league. They did lose 9 fumbles though, which tied them for 6th most in the league. Overall, their 24 turnovers was the 11th highest total.

DEFENSIVE SURVIVAL

Let’s look at all drives that started with either an interception, fumble, blocked punt, or blocked field goal, discounting drives that culminated with the end of a half. Defensively, the Jets had 15 of those in 2017.

  • Forced a turnover on 4 of 15, a 26.7% rate that led the NFL, above the league average of 8.5%.
  • Allowed a score on 7 of 15, a 46.7% rate that ranked 11th best in the league, below the league average of 56.4%.
  • Allowed a touchdown on 3 of 15, a 20.0% rate that ranked 5th best in the league, below the league average of 32.9%.

How about defensive drives off of turnovers that started on the Jets’ side of the field?

The Jets’ overall defensive numbers off of turnovers look pretty darn good. Does it translate to the lower leverage situations? As I pointed out in an earlier piece, the Jets’ pass defense fell apart on their own side of the field.

The Jets had 7 defensive drives off of turnovers that began in their own territory.

  • Allowed a score on 4 of 7, a 57.1% rate that tied them for 2nd best in the league.
  • Forced a turnover on 3 of 7, a 42.9% rate that led the league.
  • Allowed a touchdown on 2 of 7, a 28.6% rate that tied for 5th best in the league.

Honestly, these numbers are a bit mind-boggling to me. In the article I linked above, I discovered that the Jets’ pass defense took a significant nosedive when defending on their own half of the field. Yet, when their backs were shoved against the wall and they were forced by the offense to play in tough situations, they came through at really high levels. Though the sample size is small, if you can come through when your team really needs it most, why can’t you be a consistent force? On all other drives besides the 15 included above, they allowed the 5th highest touchdown rate and had the 7th lowest takeaway rate.

What do you take away from these numbers?