Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comOne of our favorite sites to understand what is happening with the Jets in relation with the rest of the league is Football Outsiders. In-season, every Tuesday they release their efficiency rankings based on how a given team performed against their opponents (cumulative as the season goes on) in all three phases of the game and how that stacks up against the rest of the league.
Football Outsiders uses a regressive analytic formula they call DVOA, a system that breaks down every single NFL play and compares a team’s performance to a league baseline based on situation in order to determine value over average. Learn more about it here.
Last year the Jets post-Week 1 rank proved a cautionary tale. The Jets ranked 6th overall after their Week 1 blowout of the Bills, yet the team ended the season tumbling down to the league’s 27th ranked team. So, with that in mind, check out how the Jets did in Week 1.
Overall: 14th (6.2%)
Offense: 28th (-26.1%)
Defense: 5th (-23.6%)
Special Teams: 9th (8.6%)
Offensively and defensively that seems entirely plausible. The Jets defense played lights out, and FO even called out Damon Harrison as one of their week one stars for amassing six tackles on Doug Martin for just a 1.0 YPC average. Nice work, Snacks. As far as the offense? The Jets had a tall order in trying to keep their rookie QB on a leash and in throwing in Wildcat plays to keep the Bucs defense reacting to them. While it wasn’t a runaway success, I think the Jets tend to use the Wildcat more as a way to neutralizing the possibility of larger mistakes. Still, there’s lots of room for improvement on offense, and if the Jets can realize it, I truly believe that even a mediocre offense (a first-year victory for Marty) paired with an excellent defense is enough to keep them in contention deep into the season.
Of course, since Football Outsider’s head statistician Aaron Schatz is dealing with a smaller sample size, they use something called DAVE, which we don’t need to get into, but which essentially tries to dial back the small sample size of the early regular season by tying in data from their projections before the season.
So, when adding in the DAVE data, the Jets are currently ranked 21st after one week, or essentially just about where we thought they should have been ranked (20th) at the outset of the season.