Feb 20, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager John Idzik speaks during a press conference during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
There has been a lot of talk this off-season about the Jets. Specifically, about how this is one of the biggest off-seasons they have had in a long time. John Idzik is going to have all eyes on him, in his first off-season unfettered by the restraints of Mike Tannenbaum. The Jets have holes, and we are all watching to see how he goes about filling those holes.
But, are the Jets as far off as everyone says? People talk about such things as a “five-year plan”. Will it take that long? The current model of success is the Seattle Seahawks, based on their success over the last couple of years, leading up to, and including the Super Bowl win one month ago. If you look at the numbers, yes, the Jets need to make additions, but they might not be as far away as it would seem.
Let’s look at the Seahawks’ model. It starts with a dominating defense, which they definitely have. They led the entire league, giving up an average of 273.6 yards per game in the regular season. But, the Jets defense didn’t do much worse, allowing 334.9 yards per game. The Jets actually outperformed the Seahawks against the run, allowing 88.2 rushing yards per game, compared to Seattle’s 101.6.
The Seahawks only recorded three more sacks than the Jets as well, 44 to 41.
Interesting? I think so.
The biggest difference is turnovers. Seattle picked off 28 passes to the Jets’ 13. When they needed a big play, Seattle had the ability to get one. The Jets did not in 2013. What does that scream out? That the Jets need playmakers. Players that can make a difference when a game is on the line.
Let’s take a look at the offensive side of the football. First we look at the two quarterbacks. Yes, I am going to talk about Geno Smith and Russell Wilson in the same subject. Keep in mind, it is for the sake of the concept, I am not trying to say they are the same player. Far from it. 12th man, if you are out there, don’t come looking for me about this one.
In passing yardage, their numbers were actually pretty close, as Geno threw for 3,046 yards, and Wilson threw from 3,357 yards.
See? Not as large a gap as you might have thought.
They also have similar stats when they scramble. In 2013, Geno averaged 5.1 yards per rush, while Russell averaged 5.6. Geno actually scored more often, with six TDs on the ground to Wilson’s one. If you add the scores together, Wilson only account for nine more TDs than Geno (27-18).
The biggest difference is obvious, taking care of the football. Geno Smith threw 21 interceptions while Russell Wilson only threw nine. Geno Smith must take care of the football more consistently. If he can learn that, and the Jets can get him some more weapons on the outside, we will see a lot more out of Geno Smith.
Now look at the running game. Despite it being a passing league, the Seahawks dominated by being able to run the football, led by Marshawn Lynch. On the year, he ran the ball 301 times for 1,257 yards and 12 TDs. “Beastmode” was dominant.
Now look at Chris Ivory‘s numbers. He ran the ball 182 times for 833 yards and three touchdowns. If you figure that over 301 carries, Ivory would have rushed for 1,377 yards, outgaining Marshawn Lynch.
The Jets have a running attack that can get the job done.
So, the Jets have holes. No doubt. This is an important off-season for the team. Choosing playmakers, and the right ones, will be huge. All I am saying is, they may not be so far away, if you think about it……