The Jets were obliterated in Baltimore by the most dominant team in football, barely staying competitive with their injury-plagued roster.
How did the victory affect their rankings across the league in various statistics? Let’s dive in.
Passing yards per game: 196.6 (29th)
Passing touchdowns: 17 (T-23rd)
Interceptions thrown: 15 (T-23rd)
Passing first downs: 145 (27th)
Yards per pass attempt: 6.7 (T-22nd)
Yards per completion: 10.8 (T-24th)
Sack rate allowed: 9.5% (30th)
Net yards per pass play (includes sack yardage): 5.4 (T-27th)
Touchdown rate: 3.7% (24th)
Interception rate: 3.3% (T-27th)
Passing first down rate: 29.3% (26th)
Passer rating: 80.2 (27th)
20+ yard plays: 39 (25th)
Pass offense EPA (expected points added): -54.5 (32nd)
Notes: Darnold was up-and-down at M&T Bank Stadium, but he ended up putting forth an impressive performance given the circumstances.
Darnold threw two touchdown passes. In Baltimore’s prior six home games this season, opposing quarterbacks combined for just three touchdown passes, with none of them tossing more than one. That group includes Tom Brady, Deshaun Watson, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Baker Mayfield.
Since 2000, 21 quarterbacks under 24 years old have thrown at least 15 passes as a visitor in Baltimore. Only three threw at least two touchdown passes and averaged over 6.0 net yards per pass play — Darnold, Mayfield, and Ben Roethlisberger.
Eight quarterbacks under 23 years old have visited Baltimore since 2000. Darnold and Roethlisberger are the only ones to launch two touchdown passes. The other six quarterbacks combined for one.
There are things Darnold needs to clean up, namely his willingness to check the ball down and deep accuracy, but he has strung together six consecutive games that can be qualified as at least decent. His consistency has clearly taken a step up from his rookie year. He is enjoying a promising stretch right now.
Robby Anderson deserves a shout-out. He caught four passes for 66 yards in Baltimore, adding a two-point conversion. Since Week 12, he ranks eighth in the NFL in receiving yards (370).
Anderson has been dominating in the intermediate range over the past four weeks, hauling in contested grabs at a remarkable rate. Anybody who (wrongly) claimed that all he can do is run go routes has been quieted. The Jets would be foolish not to bring back the Sun God, who has developed into a dangerous all-around receiver while cultivating a strong rapport with Darnold.
Rushing yards per game: 77.6 (31st)
Rushing touchdowns: 6 (T-28th)
Rushing first downs: 49 (32nd)
10+ yard plays: 21 (31st)
Yards per rush attempt: 3.4 (T-31st)
Rushing first down rate: 15.5% (32nd)
Rush offense EPA: -43.7 (29th)
Notes: In his return to the lineup, Le’Veon Bell looked strong running the football, posting a season-high 87 yards as he tied his season-high with 21 carries. Bell’s average of 4.1 yards per attempt was his second-best of the season. That. . . is a depressing fact.
Bell is an extremely talented player, but his skillset is best suited to an elite offensive line like the one he enjoyed in Pittsburgh. His patience and third-down prowess as a receiver, pass-blocker, and short-yardage rusher allow him to maximize the space created by a good front better than any other running back could. However, his lack of burst and long speed makes him ill-suited to mitigate the lack of holes presented by a bad offensive line.
With that said, there really isn’t a single back in the league that would be able to make the Jets’ run game relevant this season. A couple of the speedier backs might have broken out a handful of long runs that Bell has not been able to, but those guys likely would have cancelled out the big plays by running into even more stuffs than Bell has, who does a good job of avoiding negative plays.
Joe Douglas has a lot of work to do with this offensive line. Every position needs a drastic upgrade.
Total yards per game: 274.1 (31st)
Yards per play: 4.6 (32nd)
Points per drive: 1.23 (32nd)
Third down conversion rate: 30.6% (31st)
Percentage of drives resulting in a score: 22.4% (32nd)
Percentage of drives resulting in a turnover: 12.1% (T-17th)
Red zone touchdown rate: 58.6% (14th)
Red zone trips: 29 (32nd)
Total offense EPA: -96.6 (32nd)
Notes: The Jets are too talented to be the worst offensive team in the league. Given their injuries and historically terrible offensive line, it would be unfair to expect them to even be average, but the level of atrocity at which they have performed this season is downright inexcusable. That falls on the head coach, who is supposedly an offensive genius.
Clearly he is not.
Passing yards per game: 239.9 (T-18th)
Passing touchdowns: 24 (T-21st)
Interceptions: 8 (T-25th)
Passing first downs: 166 (T-14th)
Yards per pass attempt: 7.0 (T-10th)
Yards per completion: 11.2 (T-13th)
Sack rate: 5.6% (26th)
Net yards per pass play: 6.2 (T-12th)
Touchdown rate: 4.7% (T-18th)
Interception rate: 1.6% (27th)
Passing first down rate: 31.0% (7th)
Passer rating: 92.4 (18th)
20+ yard plays: 45 (T-15th)
Pass defense EPA: -96.0 (23rd)
Notes: The Jets took the field in Maryland with a secondary that looked extremely similar to the one that battled the Eagles back on August 29th — in the fourth preseason game.
Lamar Jackson has the best passer rating in football among quarterbacks with at least 10 starts (114.6). Baltimore entered the week ranked second in pass offense DVOA. Playing on the road without Jamal Adams or Brian Poole, the Jets had absolutely no shot of shutting down an offense of that caliber.
On the plus side, Blessuan Austin rebounded after the first down game of his career against Miami. Austin allowed just one catch for eight yards over 27 snaps in coverage. He has stayed extremely quiet in five of his first six career games.
Rushing yards per game: 88.8 (2nd)
Rushing touchdowns: 12 (T-16th)
Rushing first downs: 66 (5th)
10+ yard plays: 32 (7th)
Yards per rush attempt: 3.3 (1st)
Rushing first down rate: 18.5% (1st)
Rush defense EPA: 64.6 (1st)
Notes: If anybody was equipped to slow down Baltimore’s record-shattering run game, it was the Jets, who came into Week 14 with a variety of their own record-shattering numbers in run defense.
Something had to give, and predictably, it was not the best rushing offense in NFL history. In a display of their dominance, the Ravens became the first team to shred the Jets on the ground in 2019, gashing them for season-worsts of 218 yards and 6.4 yards per attempt.
Lamar Jackson went wild, rushing for 86 yards on eight carries as he broke the quarterback rushing record, but that’s expected. He cannot be stopped.
The real issue was that the Jets were obliterated by Baltimore’s running backs. Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards combined for 111 yards on 18 attempts, an average of 6.2 yards per attempt. Ingram averaged 5.8 yards per attempt, becoming the first lead back to eclipse 5.0 yards per attempt against the Jets this year.
However, the Jets’ run defense was not at full strength with Adams, Poole, and Quinnen Williams on the sideline. Williams’ muscle and penetration up the middle was sorely missed. Would the Jets have shut down the Ravens if Williams played? Probably not. But could they have done a somewhat more respectable job holding them down? I definitely think things would be a little bit different.
Williams had been playing very well over his past couple of games before missing Thursday’s showdown, causing a ton of havoc that box score scouts are too naive to notice. Baltimore’s historically great group of blockers would have been a tremendous test for him. Luckily, two more strong offensive lines await with the Steelers and Bills ahead. Hopefully, Williams will be able to suit up for a couple of tough challenges that will serve as good measuring sticks.
Total yards per game: 328.6 (9th)
Yards per play: 5.1 (7th)
Points per drive: 1.92 (T-12th)
Third down conversion rate: 41.1% (21st)
Percentage of drives resulting in a score: 35.9% (T-14th)
Percentage of drives resulting in a turnover: 8.2% (T-28th)
Red zone touchdown rate: 57.8% (18th)
Red zone trips: 45 (T-17th)
Total defense EPA: -26.0 (11th)
Notes: With three of its best players in sweatpants, Gregg Williams’ defense had zero shot at stopping the league’s best offense. The Jets did string together a few stops late in the second quarter and early in the third, but Baltimore still ended up dropping 42 points on them, the most allowed by the Jets’ defense in regulation since the Raiders hung 45 points on Todd Bowles’ group in Week 2 of 2017.
Up next, Gregg and company will take on a pair of below-average offenses in Pittsburgh (29th in scoring per drive) and Buffalo (23rd). If Adams, Poole, and Williams can return, the Jets have a great opportunity to put forth a couple of dominant defensive performances to close out the season.
Should the Jets finish the season as one of the league’s better defenses despite everything they have gone through, it would set the stage for a jump towards elite status in 2020. With a couple of quality additions at cornerback and edge, and a return to full health for C.J. Mosley and Avery Williamson, the Jets defense could be really, really good next year.
Keeping Gregg Williams in Gotham Green is also a must.
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