We at TJB loved advanced statistics and have long been fans of Football Outsiders. Now that the season is underway, we’re going to take a look at the weekly opponents through the overall and unit rankings through the lens of Football Outsiders. But before we do, let’s take a look at how the Jets are stacking up. (As a heads up, negative percentages are good on defense, but bad on offense & specials)
Offense VOA: -39.4% (31st)
Defense VOA: -26.2% (3rd)
Special Teams VOA: 3.9% (9th)
Analysis: So far, the offense is just about as bad as the defense is good. We know that the Jets defensive front is doing a tremendous job but the secondary needs to get more consistent with their play if they want to remain in the top five as the season moves on. As far as the offense, the hope here is that there’s nowhere to go but up. If Geno Smith and Marty Mornhinweg can dial in an offense that works for the rookie without hanging him out to dry, the Jets could get more competitive as the season rolls on.
Analysis: The offensive line looks bad, but we have to think it is more a function of working with a rookie quarterback and defenses who are daring the rookie to beat them through the air. The running game isn’t setting the world on fire, but there’s an argument here that the Jets could use it as a way to mitigate the passing game. While running has never been the favored mode of Marty Mornhinweg, the Jets should consider running more, if just as a way to limit the damage their passing attack has done in terms of holding teams back.
While we fully understand that Santonio Holmes is coming back off injury, his presence or lack of it has done little to help or hurt the offense. Santonio is on his tepid 2011 pace, currently ranking 54th among in the back-half of starters. Of course some of that falls at the feet of the quarterback. Right now, Geno Smith ranks 31st in the league, so does it matter with Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell ranking 27th and 29th respectively? Will opponents expect a run-heavy plan? Certainly, but does that really matter with some of the linemen the Jets have?
The bright spot so far? Get the ball to Kellen Winslow more, who ranks 19th as a tight end when it comes to catching the ball.
Analysis: Oh wow, the defensive line is amazing. This group could stand to get better once Quinton Coples returns to the lineup, but right now they are hanging their hat on their ability to stuff the run. Damon Harrison has proven himself to be quite a find and Wilkerson and Richardson have been men possessed. What seems odd is the pass rush results. The Jets rank poorly in this area as well in PFF (28th) so it’s not just a glitch in the numbers. I’ll want to watch it more, but I do think the Jets can get pressure on the quarterback, but unless it is tallied as a sack in FO it doesn’t really get marked and maybe something else might be true for PFF. More than anything, the Jets ability to get teams off on third down. After a terrible game by the Patriots, the Jets have posted a WITHERING 29.4% third down defense in two weeks … one doesn’t get a lot of hits and sacks when a team’s defense isn’t even on the field.
Special Teams: 8.9% (9th)
Analysis: Right now the Jets special teams is ranking well because it doesn’t have any fatal flaws … if you don’t count not putting a returner back to receive on three punts in one game …