Last year when the Jets struggled mightily on defense, their tendency to allow big plays jumped out at me. My main focus was on the run defense. The nine rushing attempts that went for 30 yards or more against the Jets accounted for 15% of the yardage the team allowed during the season.
Run or pass, offense or defense, big plays change games. This is really just common sense. Is it easier to execute great once to pick up 30 yards or four straight times for 7.5 yards per pop.
Using the Stathead database, I took a look at how the Jets are doing producing and preventing big plays and compared their numbers to the rest of the league. Here is what I found.
On offense the Jets are producing a 30 yard gain on 1.7% of their snaps, the sixth lowest rate in the league.
The Jets defense is allowing 30 yard gains on 1.63% of their snaps.
A low number is good on defense and bad on offense. When you have the ball, you want to produce big plays. When the other team has it, you want to prevent them.
If you have watched the team, I probably don’t need to tell you that the Jets offense is struggling while the defense is playing excellent football. Still I thought the stats were interesting and worth sharing.
I think Sunday’s game in New England also provides a spotlight on the value of producing and preventing big plays. On a day where the Jets were struggling to get anything going, one splash play on offense could have made all the difference in the world. Meanwhile the Jets defense allowed the Patriots to move the chains. However, their ability to prevent the long touchdown put them in a spot to eventually wear down the offense and make the stop on key downs.