If you’re a fan of the New York Jets there hasn’t been a lot to get excited about for the last decade or so. Sure, you had the unlikely 10 win year out of nowhere in 2015. Other than that you got a whole lot of nothing. And even the 2015 team failed to make the playoffs with a meltdown in the final game of the year.
The 2020 season is shaping up as no different. The team is sorely lacking in top rated talent. It has zero players in the NFL Network’s annual Top 100 list. Outside of the monstrous new left tackle, Mekhi Becton, and the possibility quarterback Sam Darnold takes a big third year leap in his level of play, there is little to get excited about on this team in 2020.
Nonetheless, there is one area where the Jets just might be the best football team on the planet. ESPN launched new metrics today to attempt to measure the effectiveness in the trenches of run blocking and run stopping, both individually and as a team. And guess which team has not only the best run stopping unit on the planet, but also the best run stopping edge defender on the planet, according to ESPN? That would be your New York Jets.
It perhaps does not come as a surprise that the Jets rank so high in stopping the run as a unit. After all, the Jets defense led the NFL in yards per carry allowed last year with a miniscule 3.3 yards per carry. The Jets run defense was superb last year. What may come as a bit more surprising is that the Jets also have the best run stopping edge defender on the planet, according to ESPN. I know I was surprised when I saw the rankings, and there was unheralded, undrafted Jets rookie defensive lineman Kyle Phillips standing alone atop the world at the summit of ESPN’s rankings. Now that, my friends, is the way to make an entrance onto the NFL stage.
I know, I know, in the ultimate scheme of things, stopping the run is not the most exciting thing in the world. It’s meat and potatoes stuff, not the glamorous world of sacks and interceptions and shut down corners. And run stopping isn’t exactly what edge defenders get paid the big bucks for. But for a team starved for any kind of positivity over the last decade of lifeless, losing football, being the best anything on the planet sure has a nice ring to it.