The Jets gave a winless team their first victory for the second time in five weeks, as they took an embarrassing 22-6 loss in Cincinnati.
How did the victory affect their rankings across the league in various statistics? Let’s dive in.
Passing yards per game: 190.3 (30th)
Passing touchdowns: 13 (T-28th)
Interceptions thrown: 13 (T-24th)
Passing first downs: 121 (29th)
Yards per pass attempt: 6.6 (25th)
Yards per completion: 10.5 (26th)
Sack rate allowed: 10.5% (31st)
Net yards per pass play (includes sack yardage): 5.2 (30th)
Touchdown rate: 3.3% (28th)
Interception rate: 3.3% (27th)
Passing first down rate: 28.3% (29th)
Passer rating: 79.2 (29th)
20+ yard plays: 33 (25th)
Pass offense EPA (expected points added): -60.2 (32nd)
Notes: The Jets’ passing attack came crashing down to Earth in Cincinnati, and it was mostly due to the supporting cast around Sam Darnold.
The offensive line, which had played slightly less terrible over the three-game win streak, had another one of its signature performances in which it give the offense zero chance to succeed. Particularly, Kelvin Beachum was atrocious, after a hot four-game stretch in which he allowed only four pressures and the Jets went 4-0. Right guard Tom Compton was extremely abysmal, somehow making me miss Brian Winters.
After a highly impressive three-game stretch, the pass-catchers did Darnold no favors in Ohio. Drops were aplenty, most notably on the opening drive of the game. Robby Anderson could not haul in a (slightly underthrown) deep ball from Darnold that would have been a touchdown. Braxton Berrios dropped a wide open first down that would put the Jets in position for yet another opening drive touchdown. Ryan Griffin also let a potential 20-plus yard gain slip through two hands.
Finally, Demaryius Thomas slowed up on a deep route, leading to a well-placed ball from Darnold falling incomplete rather than into Thomas’ hands for a touchdown.
This time around, the abysmal passing effort was hardly on Darnold. He played a decent game. Unfortunately, most of his supporting cast was still digesting Thanksgiving dinner.
Rushing yards per game: 72.6 (31st)
Rushing touchdowns: 6 (T-24th)
Rushing first downs: 41 (32nd)
10+ yard plays: 18 (30th)
Yards per rush attempt: 3.3 (31st)
Rushing first down rate: 15.7% (32nd)
Rush offense EPA: -37.4 (26th)
Notes: The Jets got into a bit of a groove on the ground in the first half, but they never went to back it. They were forced to rely entirely on the pass in the second half as the defense was unable to minimize Cincinnati’s lead or give the offense strong field position.
Ultimately, despite the hot start, the Jets were ineffective on the ground yet again. They ran for just 62 yards and two first downs on 17 attempts. Le’Veon Bell gained 32 yards on 10 carries with a long run of seven yards. He has gotten zero favors from the offensive line or coaching staff this season.
Total yards per game: 262.8 (31st)
Yards per play: 4.5 (32nd)
Points per drive: 1.16 (32nd)
Third down conversion rate: 28.4% (31st)
Percentage of drives resulting in a score: 21.0% (32nd)
Percentage of drives resulting in a turnover: 11.9% (16th)
Red zone touchdown rate: 60.9% (11th)
Red zone trips: 23 (32nd)
Total offense EPA: -97.0 (32nd)
Notes: Following a three-week stretch of substantial improvement, the Jets offense registered another anemic performance. Adam Gase’s offense could not even run a single play in the red zone against Cincinnati’s 30th-ranked DVOA defense. New York’s six-point, zero-touchdown effort in Cincinnati marked its fourth game of the season without an offensive touchdown and its sixth game with fewer than 10 points scored on offense.
Not a great look for the supposed offensive guru spearheading the team.
Passing yards per game: 242.2 (19th)
Passing touchdowns: 19 (T-18th)
Interceptions: 7 (T-26th)
Passing first downs: 142 (13th)
Yards per pass attempt: 6.9 (8th)
Yards per completion: 11.0 (14th)
Sack rate: 5.7% (26th)
Net yards per pass play: 6.1 (13th)
Touchdown rate: 4.3% (16th)
Interception rate: 1.6% (27th)
Passing first down rate: 30.2% (6th)
Passer rating: 91.0 (17th)
20+ yard plays: 38 (T-14th)
Pass defense EPA: -70.4 (22nd)
Notes: The red-hot Jets secondary collapsed in Cincinnati, getting abused by Andy Dalton. Arthur Maulet, who was nicked up a couple of times in the game, saw his hot streak come to an end. Maulet was clearly a focal point of Cincinnati’s gameplan, as they targeted him with great frequency and enjoyed plenty of success against his coverage (or lack thereof). Additionally, the linebackers were asked to handle some difficult responsibilities in coverage, and they were frequently exposed down the field.
Dalton’s numbers were below average (22 for 37, 243 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions, 88.0 passer rating, 6.6 yards per attempt), but this is an offense that entered Week 13 ranked 31st in passing DVOA. Dalton had failed to lead the Bengals to more than 17 points in six of his past seven starts, yet he moved the ball with ease on the Jets. His numbers only look this pedestrian because of his own inaccuracy and a brutal touchdown drop by C.J. Uzomah.
The Jets left receivers running free all day — the Bengals’ own ineptitude is the only reason they failed to drop their first 30-point game of the season. It was a harsh reality check for a banged-up Gang Green secondary that had been vastly overachieving.
On the plus side, Brian Poole and Blessuan Austin seemed to continue thriving. Perhaps Austin truly is a long-term stud.
Rushing yards per game: 75.3 (1st)
Rushing touchdowns: 11 (T-18th)
Rushing first downs: 52 (4th)
10+ yard plays: 22 (2nd)
Yards per rush attempt: 2.9 (1st)
Rushing first down rate: 17.3% (2nd)
Rush defense EPA: 71.5 (1st)
Notes: Well, the Jets will always have their run defense. They held Joe Mixon to 44 yards on 19 carries, just 2.3 yards per attempt, with his longest run going for nine yards. Cincinnati did pick up five first downs on the ground, but the Jets stopped Mixon for two yards or less on 12 runs, leading to another dominant performance in run defense.
The Jets are allowing a league-low 2.89 yards per rush attempt. That stands as the seventh-best mark through 12 games in the Super Bowl era (since 1966). A team has not posted a mark that good through this point of the season since the 2007 Ravens (2.83). If the Jets maintained that mark over the course of the entire season, it would rank fifth-best in the Super Bowl era.
Total yards per game: 317.4 (7th)
Yards per play: 4.8 (3rd)
Points per drive: 1.80 (10th)
Third down conversion rate: 42.6% (23rd)
Percentage of drives resulting in a score: 32.7% (9th)
Percentage of drives resulting in a turnover: 8.8% (27th)
Red zone touchdown rate: 64.7% (29th)
Red zone trips: 34 (T-7th)
Total defense EPA: 6.5 (7th)
Notes: The Cincinnati game was not the Jets defense’s finest performance. Gregg Williams’ unit was exposed with ease in the first half, allowing two touchdowns and a field goal over four drives. If Uzomah hauled in an uncontested touchdown chance, the Jets may have given up three touchdowns in one half to a team that has not yet scored three touchdowns in a game.
The defense rebounded to allow only a field goal in the second half, although the Bengals missed on another field goal try. However, the Cincinnati offense still controlled the game in the second half even while scoring just three points.
Cincinnati ran 23 plays and bled 11:03 on its first three third quarter drives. As the defense was unable to force any turnovers and frequently allowed Cincinnati to gain some yardage before punting, the Jets were destroyed in the field position battle. The Jets offense started two second half drives inside of its own 10, including one that started at the two and resulted in a safety. The offense’s average drive on the day began at its own 17.8 yard line, which is incredibly poor.
22 points and 277 yards of offense allowed seems like a pretty good outing. But it wasn’t. The Jets defense was controlled all afternoon by one of the worst offenses in football, as they failed to generate any game-changing plays and were unable to garner a field position advantage for the offense. If Cincinnati converted on the opportunities presented to them at the level of an average team, they easily would have cleared 30 points.
Gregg Williams has done a spectacular job this season, but eventually, a lack of talent will catch up to any coach. The Jets defense that took the field in Cincinnati is made up of a vast number of players who are below starter quality. A dreary performance was bound to happen at some point, and we will likely see at least a couple more of them over the final quarter of the season.