Inside the Numbers: Jets vs Steelers
I skipped the Patriots game last week since there were absolutely no positives that I expected to take from the game. It was a bad game that got out of control and is not typical of the team. This one could and should be a different story.
|Comp %||YPC||YPA||TPA %||IPA%||SPA%||20+PA%|
Analysis: Clearly this was a better game for Sanchez than we had gotten used to seeing, but by no means was this even close to his best game of the year or even a great game at all. I think the game itself is being looked at a little too highly because the bar had been set so low the last three weeks. Sanchez was basically just below average or just above average in every category, so he basically was taking whatever the defense would give him or any other QB. His big play % was way down, 44% below average, but that is what also led to the no interception day against a team that is great in that regard, with or without their star safety. It was a big positive on the day. The other positive was the above average completion percentage, which I believe is his first game since week 2 where he was not negative in this category. He was also helped by the outstanding play of his line which only allowed 1 sack, their best game in ages. It represented nearly a 60% decrease over the Steelers usual sack output which is tremendous. Sanchez was an efficient game manager on Sunday, but maybe that is all he needs to be right now.
Analysis:After weeks of being a non-factor Edwards exploded for his best game of the season. Usually his positive days are made up of 1 huge catch and 1 or 2 small ones to fill up the stat sheet, but this was a day of just solid play after solid play. He again proves to be a great deep threat with another 80% positive in the long plays category, but this time was basically around 50% in the receptions category as well. This was the day of a true number 1 receiver.
|Steelers (WR 2)||4.6||55.9||12.1||23.9|
Analysis: This had to be a disappointing day for Holmes. Wide receivers live for big stat lines and impact plays and he made none against his former team. He had one reception where he almost broke free, but ended up getting tripped up. Last week I made the observation that he and Edwards normally fill up the stat sheet with 1 big play and little else, but this was a total reversal. He had a lot of catches, 30% above the norms, but they were all way short as evidenced by his 45% below average number.
Analysis:Strange to see Jerricho not even involved in the offense on the day. A non factor.
Analysis: Unless something changes in these next few weeks you may see the Jets try to move Keller in the offseason. While you can not expect the Tight End position to produce big numbers each and every week, Keller has completely hit a wall and for over a month has been a non factor. Considering how the year began the Jets must be disappointed in him. This is the same thing that happened in 2008 and again in 2009 and maybe there is a conditioning issue. He did turn it up against the Bengals in the playoffs last season, but that looks like a fluke more than anything. He has talent and is a lower cost player which is why I think the Jets could consider moving him. Considering their other issues on the team that need to be repaired he is one of the few offseason bargaining chips they have to get extra draft choices.
Analysis: Much like the Cotchery situation, it was also surprising to see the runners contribute so little. Without studying the game Id guess they left guys in to block in the event T Wayne Hunter got overwhelmed rather than running them out into pass patterns, because this was very unlike the Jets to really not use them at all. Maybe the Steelers defense did that good of a job in covering them, but their track record says otherwise.
A very surprising performance, especially in light of the injury to RT Damien Woody. The Jets were not afraid to run on Pittsburgh which led to 30% more carries than usual against this team. That’s a big number. They rushed for 68% more yards and nearly 30% more YPC than is the norm. The better day was from LaDainian Tomlinson who broke off a few run in the 8-10 yard category, but Shonn Greene also had a slight above average afternoon.
|Comp %||YPC||YPA||TPA %||IPA%||SPA%||20+/Att|
Analysis: When you break this down by pure statistics you can see that overall the Jets were again very effective in the pass defense. This is another QB that they held way below his average completion percentage, Tds, and big play category numbers and really it’s a dominant performance. The problem is when the Jets make a mistake its so glaring that you do not think they can play pass defense. They will hold a guy like Roethlisberger to no completions in 2 throws to force a 3rd and 10 and then give up a 14 yard pass on third down. The other problem is they never get interceptions. This is a reason to never overspend on a corner. Darrelle Revis can get interceptions, but not if teams decide not to throw on him. Cromartie never gets a big interception and the Safety position brings nothing in that regard. The sack rate ended up only being 24% below average which isn’t awful for this team. Clearly they need major upgrades at DE and OLB next season as those guys just are not getting the job done at all. If the defense could ever figure out what they do different on 3rd downs that gets them in so much trouble they would be getting praise for shutting down a guy like Big Ben rather than getting ripped apart for letting him nearly win the game.
but they need more of a ball hawk back there, most likely at safety, next season.
Analysis:A terrific game for Wallace of the Steelers who just ate the Jets coverage alive. The team did hold him below his YPR average by nearly 30%, but he had two big plays where he was open and the QB just missed him. The Jets tried a number of coverages and nothing worked. For some reason it did not seem as if Revis factored into any of those coverage schemes on a day when they could have used him there. Cromartie really wasn’t able to keep up with him when he had him man on man, and Wallace exploited the zone coverage scheme badly.
Analysis: The Jets never let Ward get on track. He was able to find an opening for two catches, but when they played him man up he never even got a look it seemed. Ward is susceptible to games like this but give the Jets credit for shutting down a guy that always seems to make a play in these close games.
Analysis: A dismal performance, which mainly falls on the shoulders of CB Drew Coleman. Emmanuel Sanders ripped the Jets apart with 7 receptions. He made a number of big plays and little plays that seemed to constantly give the Steelers first downs. This is a problem position for the Jets when teams can trot out at least three competent receivers in a game. Between the lack of pass rush and non-development of rookie Kyle Wilson the Jets are forced to play guys who almost did not make the team and its something that can be easily exploited.
This is the second week in a row where the opposing team has not gained a yard from their backfield in the passing game. This has gone on almost all season as teams are almost totally forced to scrap the runners from the passing game due to the good coverage from the Jets linebackers. The Jet LB’s have all kinds of problems when asked to cover down the field, but in short coverage Im not sure if there is a better group.
Analysis: This was the first opponent to really dominate the Jets this season as Mendenhall got over 50% above his norms in YPA. The Jets lack of speed on the outside was exploited and the poor tackling technique was also apparent. I believe the only other games where the run defense was not a positive was against the Patriots and Broncos, though the Broncos baseline was so low that something like 2 YPA would have been considered positive. You really have to wonder why Pittsburgh stopped running the football in this game. The Steelers were dominating the line of scrimmage and Mendenhall was proving to be to very tough to bring down. Hopefully we can just chalk this up as a bad game and move on
This was a step in the right direction for the team, but some of those flaws are still glaring. The offensive line, decision making on offense, and use of Edwards were all better this week, but the lack of a pass rush and usual problematic coverage areas are still there. It would be pretty tough for even a franchise that seems as snakebitten as the Jets to miss out on a wildcard right now so they can probably afford to keep working on some things to get prepared for round 1 of the playoffs. They still need one win, but can work on these things while trying to get a win. While not the greatest game in the world this was certainly a step in the right direction. The Jets just need to get on a roll where the offense and defense play well on the same day. That has not happened very often this year. .
Braylon Edwards: A+
Offensive Line: A
LaDainian Tomlinson: B
Mark Sanchez: C+
Shonn Greene: C+
Santonio Holmes: D
Dustin Keller: D
Defensive Line: D
Jerricho Cotchery: F
Not only have the Jets draft picks been disappointing lately, but I don't see them coming up with any good UDFA. No Miles Austins or Arian Fosters. Not even some ok starters. You can't win without a good front office and talent evaluators.
I think a number of the starters better spend some serious time on the off season working on their deficiencies (tackling for example)
Maybe some of the Jets coaches are not as good as they seem either.
Im not a big Keller guy myself, but I wouldnt call him a bust. I think the Jets and fans set the bar way too high for him. The fact is most TE's taken there are not integral parts of an offense. While guys like Shockey, who was taken much higher, did produce at a high level for 2 years or so the majority are more like Heath Miller or Greg Olsen- 40 yard a year catch guys. I think its a bad positional draft pick because such little output can realistically be expected. The Jets made the expectations too high by moving up to get him as well.
Ive talked about the poor drafts before on some of the message boards. I dont think people want to hear it but since 2007 its been bad. Those first two years they hit in round 1 (which every GM is supposed to do) and grabbed Harris in round 2. Really its that 2007 draft that was excellent not the 2006 one. I say that because Brick is average or slightly below average in production for a top 10 left tackle (which is not to say he is not good, just that most taken that high were better) and Mangold is above average for an interior lineman in the late first. Harris is clearly above average for a 2nd rounder and Revis blows the field away at CB.
I think the other issue is that when they draft late they are not playing the percentages. When I did my article on projections for the rookie class I specifically mentioned that FBs almost all flop and the Jets track record in that round is poor. Part of the reason the track record is poor is because they are drafting DBs, TEs, WR's, etc...Though there are a handful of success stories lat at almost every position the percentages are that you find defensive linemen (both DTs and DEs) and interior offensive linemen in those rounds.
As for the tackling that has gone back years. The worst was those days of Ted Cottrell. I dont know what he taught but those guys were some of the worst tacklers ever. I believe Cromartie was first coached up by him in San Diego so that does not surprise me in the least, but Pool and even Revis have been very disappointing in the secondary. Ellis is clearly at the end of the line and it shows in his play while Calvin Pace has just looked like a dog at times on the field. Pace looks like lack of effort more than anything else.