The New York Jets are looking to bounce back after their Week 4 bye, but there are still a few areas to address.
13.7% — Win percentage boost for road teams coming off of a bye
The bye week could not have come at a better time for the New York Jets. Given the barrage of injuries that have come their way here in September, drawing the earliest possible bye week is a tremendous relief. It allows time for reinforcements to heal up and return healthy while the team still has a shot to get back into the race.
In addition, most people assume that the extra rest afforded by the bye week provides teams with a performance boost the following week. However, this is not always the case. Over the past few seasons, the “bye week boost” has been dependent on whether or not teams are playing at home or on the road following their week off.
The side of the coin that has received the jolt is likely not the one you think. Home teams coming off of a bye week have actually performed worse than usual. Since 2014, teams playing at home coming off of a bye week have gone 35-37, a .486 winning percentage. That is a dip of about nine percent compared to the average home winning percentage posted by teams not coming off of a bye week, which is .576.
Conversely, teams going on a road trip out of the bye week have performed much better than usual. Over the past five seasons, teams playing on the road coming off of a bye week have gone 49-39, a .557 winning percentage. That mark represents a tremendous increase of nearly 14% compared to the average road winning percentage of teams not coming off of a bye week, which is .420.
Luckily for the Jets, they will be playing with the more favorable of these trends, as they will play their first game out of the bye week in Philadelphia.
Taking on one of the most talented rosters in football, the Jets are surely hoping that the post-bye week boon for road teams is no myth.
2 — Red zone trips by the Jets offense
There are countless statistics that showcase how horrifyingly bad the Jets have been offensively this year, but this one sticks out the most. The Jets offense has driven the ball inside of the opponent’s 20-yard line just two times over 180 minutes of football. Not only is that the worst total in the league, but it’s fewer than half the total of any other team. Even the tanking Dolphins have made five trips into the red zone.
Numerous issues across the offense have contributed to the unit’s ability to put together long drives. Pass protection is one of those. The Jets have allowed a sack rate of 12.1%, worse than every team in the league except the Tennessee Titans (who have a quarterback known for taking too many sacks).
Run blocking is another problem. The Jets have one of the league’s most elusive running backs in Le’Veon Bell, who leads the league with 24 evaded tackles. Yet, the team ranks 29th in yards per rush attempt (3.0). This is due to the awful blocking of the offensive line. Bell has gained just eight of his 163 rushing yards before contact, a portion of 4.9% and a rate of 0.14 per carry.
When you mix all of these issues together, you get some of the worst offensive production the NFL has ever seen. The ghastly statistics are endless.
This is the first time in Jets history that the team has scored only one offensive touchdown through three games.
The Jets have scored a touchdown or field goal on 5.6% of their offensive drives. That rate is less than half that of the 31st-ranked Dolphins’ mark (11.4%). It’s nearly five times smaller than the rate of the 30th-ranked Browns (27.0%), and over six times smaller than the league average rate (35.0%).
The Jets’ average of 3.7 net yards per pass attempt is the worst mark through three games since the 2006 Raiders (2.7). If maintained throughout the entirety of the season, it would be the worst full-season mark since the 1992 Seahawks (3.3).
4.1% — Sack rate by Jets defense
The Jets defense has actually held up surprisingly well in most leaguewide rankings, given the rash of injuries the unit has had to deal with. Gang Green’s defense is ranked 11th in defensive DVOA and 13th in fewest points allowed per drive.
However, one area where the Jets need to see significantly better production after the bye week is the pass rush. With only five sacks across 117 opponent pass attempts, the Jets have notched a sack rate of just 4.1%, which ranks 29th in the league.
Henry Anderson and Leonard Williams need to lead the charge if the Jets are going to start bringing more quarterbacks to the ground. Against the Patriots, both players finished without recording even a single pressure. It also marked the third consecutive game without a sack for the pair.
Fortunately, the Jets will be getting some help in the front seven soon enough. Both of the team’s projected starting edge rushers will be returning in the near future.
Jordan Jenkins should be back for Week 5, after missing the Patriots game and most of the Browns game. Brandon Copeland will return from a four-game suspension against the Cowboys in Week 6. The Jets have sorely missed both, as the players replacing them have produced almost nothing of note.
Jenkins and Copeland are not superstars, but they are the type of guys every defensive coach loves to have on the field — and sorely misses when they are on the bench. They’re tough, physical edge-setters who defend the run well and lay the boom as tacklers.
To boot, both Jenkins and Copeland have improved their pass-rushing ability up to an average level. That’s a huge upgrade over the bottom-of-the-barrel pass-rushing productivity the Jets have gotten out of their edge defenders on the season to date.
Soon enough, the Jets defense that fans were expecting to see this year will be coming back together. In addition to Jenkins and Copeland, C.J. Mosley and Quinnen Williams will be returning soon as well.
You can bet defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is chomping at the bit to get his marquee players back on the field.