Opponent by the Numbers: New York Jets Week 16

The 4-10 Jets aren't the most intimidating team, but they excel in some hidden areas. 

I’m not sure if there’s a team I knew less about when entering a game week than the New York Jets.

Seemingly their entire roster is full of guys that I’ve either never heard of or whom I forgot were in the league. I had seven or eight “Ahh, that’s where that guy went” moments when researching this article.

Remember when Leonard Williams was a beloved jewel of draft analysts, touted as a versatile and disruptive force on the defensive line out of USC? He’s now a fourth-year pro and a solid player. He’s played in every one of the Jets’ 62 games since the 2015 draft.

Safety Jamal Adams and linebacker Darron Lee were a couple other favorites of mine from draft research who ended up on the Jets, although Lee has been suspended for four games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.

Then again, being one of the NFL’s most dysfunctional franchises does often lead to good draft position. The Jets have just one winning season in the last eight campaigns, and they’ve won their division exactly twice since the AFL-NFL merger.

On the bright side, their fans can spell.

The Jets last played on Saturday, giving them an extra day to prepare and heal for their matchup with the Packers. More importantly, Week 15’s close loss to the 10-4 Texans was perhaps Sam Darnold’s best game as a pro. The rookie quarterback led the Jets on a 15-play drive to take lead with five minutes remaining, but the defense couldn’t contain Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins in the end.

323

Similar to how some Jets players fly under the radar for me, nearly every Jets result this season has gone unseen since they embarrassed the Lions in Week 1. The Jets had a game this season in which they rushed for 323 yards, one of the 35 best performances on the ground since the merger.

In a season highlighted by video-game passing, a 300-yard rushing game is incredible.

The bad news for the Jets is that their offensive line isn’t considered very good by the metrics, and they’ve had plenty of pedestrian rushing performances since. To make matters worse, the only running backs who received carries in the Week 5 ground-and-pound—Bilal Powell and Isaiah Crowell—are now on injured reserve. Elijah McGuire is now the Jets’ top running back.

32.6%

The Jets’ defense is allowing conversions on less than one-third of third downs this season, the second-best mark in the league. Third-down conversions have been problematic for the Packers all season long, and this should be an interesting test for what’s left of the Packers’ offense.

Another problem area for the Packers has been red zone offense, and the Jets prevent red zone touchdowns at the fourth-best rate in the NFL.

The Jets’ defense ranks in the 20s in yards and points per game, but a closer look shows it may be a good unit that’s been put in some tough game situations.

13

The Jets have forced 13 turnovers in their four wins, compared to just six in their 10 losses. Turnovers are a pretty good predictor of winning for any team, but the Jets need turnovers to win. Their offense simply isn’t good enough to link together several long scoring drives consistently.

14.9

One wild card for the Jets in this game is special teams weapon Andre Roberts, who leads the NFL at 14.9 yards per punt return. The league average is 8.5. The Packers are sixth-worst in yards per return, but rookie punter JK Scott has been tremendous at forcing returners to call fair catches. Scott’s performance will be key in preventing a momentum-swinging return.

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Matt Kelley is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter via @hustleandheart1

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Comments (9)

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ricky's picture

December 21, 2018 at 06:21 pm

My one and only hope is that the Packers have no injuries. Especially to #12. Other than that, winning on the road would be nice. Which pretty much sums up how disappointing this season has been.

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Skip greenBayless's picture

December 21, 2018 at 08:16 pm

I have a gut feeling big Mike "I want revenge on the Packers for cutting me" Pennel is going to get thru our porous border wall that protects Rodgers from bad hombres and puts all 350 lbs of his body onto the top of Rodgers throwing shoulder and basically wipes out the rest of his career similar to Jim McMahon. The only consolation is many here who wanted him to play will always remember him for his bravery in playing with one of the worst border walls in league history in a meaningless game. I hope and pray my vision does not happen. I also hope we build a better wall of protection next season.

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fastmoving's picture

December 22, 2018 at 01:55 am

dont make fun of the faithless, brainless loser all the time...….but your right the wall is a funny thing. just like him….. Lombardi would never stop laughing, just like the rest of the world.
and dont spend your prayers on things witch do not matter, you may need them for something important

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Skip greenBayless's picture

December 22, 2018 at 08:50 am

So you are fine with our offensive line the way it is? You actually believe that will be enough to keep Rodgers safe? No upgrades at all for next year? That's asking for trouble is you ask me.

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PAPackerbacker's picture

December 21, 2018 at 08:12 pm

The Cardinals weren't the most intimidating team either and look what happened. And that was on the Packers home turf. Never, ever, underestimate an opponent. I'm sure the Jets want to win as much as the Packers do. And the Packers have yet to win a road game. This contest will not be a rout by any means by either team.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

December 21, 2018 at 08:30 pm

Whatever happened to Pennel? I was really jazzed about his potential at the time and he bombed. Just like I was really pumped about Adam's coming into the season. Sigh!

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Skip greenBayless's picture

December 21, 2018 at 08:37 pm

I think he took a piss test and got suspended. Ted then let the poor guy go and Jets took a chance on him. Has been an absolute model citizen ever since. I loved the guy too. I just have a fear it will be Pennel for some reason that will get thru to Rodgers and put a major hurt on him. He has the motive to do so. Another reason not to play Rodgers. Pennel is like Jefferson on Fast Times At Ridgemont High. Someone told him Rodgers wrecked his car.

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stockholder's picture

December 21, 2018 at 10:25 pm

Take a good look at the Jets. Hire the wrong coach and the packers are looking in the mirror. Another site reported; The packers gave up 46 sacks. 4 OLs are in the top ten this year. (Pass block win rate) Bahk, Bulaga 2nd. Taylor 7th. Linsey 10th. ( How does that translate into a #1 OL choice with the Jets and the Lions to go.) So how do we look at Arron Rodgers? The man is an alternate. Things are so different with Arron Rodgers now. He points instead of going to the open man. He hangs onto the ball like he's confused. He misses badly. Stats and records don't mean a thing when you lose. It's just a matter of time Arron Rodgers must be the one that gets replaced. The storm in Green Bay is just starting. People who don't put in the Time, don't get better.

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Nick Perry's picture

December 22, 2018 at 04:23 am

"People who don't put in the Time, don't get better."

Talk about hitting the proverbial nail on the head.

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