Hard Facts Debunk Foolish Narrative Surrounding Jets Defense
Facts are a funny thing, aren’t they? The way they can walk in to a room and completely destroy a narrative without warning? So here’s one that obliterates a regurgitated assumption regarding the 2022 Jets defense.
Whether the Jets were facing a starting quarterback or another team’s second or third signal caller in 2022, they were a stellar unit.
In fact, the Jets faced six backup quarterbacks in 2022. In those games, they surrendered just sixteen points per game. An impressive number, but it does come with what one might call a mental asterisk. After all, who cares what you do against Skylar Thompson and Trevor Siemien? What can you do against starting quarterbacks?
Points allowed per game by the @nyjets defense in 2022 when facing backup QBs:
When facing starting QBs:
When facing starting QBs with defense only on the field (minus ST TD's)
Difference of less than a FG.
— Glenn Naughton (@JNRadio_Glenn) May 10, 2023
Well, that depends on how you view points allowed. If you just scan the box scores and compile the points scored by other teams, you’d find that when facing actual starting quarterbacks, the Jets defense allowed a whopping 20 points per game. Over a full season that would rank 8th in the NFL.
However, if you take a more honest look and don’t penalize the defense for points allowed by the Jets special teams units, a group that allowed touchdowns on returns against the Patriots and Vikings, led by Mac Jones and Kirk Cousins respectively, the number of points per game with the actual defense on the field drops to 18.6 ppg. Oddly enough, that’s the number the Jets defense finished at on the season vs all teams and special teams points included. A top 10 number.
In fact, after allowing some big scoring plays in the season’s opening weeks due to poor communication in the secondary, the Jets allowed 24 points or more just once over the season’s final 15 games. That run included games against the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Josh Allen, a rejuvenated Geno Smith and a red hot Trevor Lawrence.
So while the narrative of a team beating up on bad quarterbacks is a fun one for opposing fans, the reality tells a much different story.
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