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Scientific Football: Kris Jenkins, Jets


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by KC Joyner

http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/30/scientific-football-kris-jenkins-jets-offensive-line-and-screen-pass-proficiency/ (click on link to better see the graph at bottom SFJ)

I’ll be continuing my tour of the AFC East in my posts later this week, but before I do that, I have a couple of other Jets items of note.

The first is on Kris Jenkins. Jenkins was quite deservedly named to the Pro Bowl last year and was a dominant run stuffer for most of the season, but his play did fall off because of a herniated disk in his back.

His metrics offer an interesting view of how the injury affected the Jets’ run D. From Weeks 1-12 (i.e. through the big win at Tennessee), Jenkins faced 62 POA runs in 11 games. He gave up just 153 yards on those plays (2.5 YPA) and won 25.8% of his POA blocks. Those are all tremendous totals for a nose tackle.

Now look at his metrics from Weeks 13-17. Jenkins faced 53 POA run attempts, gave up 189 yards (3.6 YPA) and won 17.0% of those blocks. The YPA and POA success rate aren’t as good as before but they are still solid, so that isn’t the news here.

The notable item is that opposing teams were a lot more willing to try running at Jenkins. He faced an average of 5.6 POA runs in the Jets’ first 11 games and then saw over 10 POA runs per game down the stretch. That wasn’t an anomaly of a couple of games throwing off the total, either, as the minimum number of POA runs he faced in a single game in Weeks 13-17 was nine.

What this says is that the Jenkins injury didn’t hurt the Jets because his play fell off, as his metrics show that he was still a solid NT. The impact it did have was that teams were now willing to run inside much more often. That meant the Jet defense could no longer overplay the edges of the running game, and that limited the unit’s overall effectiveness.

I also wanted to respond to Walt Bennett’s comment from my Friday post on the Jets’ O line. Walt said, “The Jets’ O Line was definitely special last year, as evidenced by the points they scored, among the highest in team history.

“What I saw was that, down the stretch, they did not get the job done, especially in pass protection.

“KC, can you provide a weekly average for the entire line, to see if this is true? And do you have any numbers that relate to pass protection?”

Walt, I ran a couple of quick studies to see how the O line blocked during the collapse and found two items of note.

The first is that the O line POA win percentage on runs did drop off a bit in Weeks 13-17, as evidenced by these numbers:

Game Att Yds YPA Runs without OL POA loss OL POA win %

Week 13 Denver 19 142 7.5 14 73.7%

Week 14 SF 12 59 4.9 10 83.3%

Week 15 Buffalo 25 165 6.6 16 64.0%

Week 16 Seattle 25 115 4.6 23 92.0%

Week 17 Miami 22 70 3.2 19 86.4%

Wks 13-17 totals 103 551 5.3 82 79.6%

(The Runs without OL POA loss tallies the number of rushing plays in which no offensive lineman lost a POA block. The OL POA win % measures that total in a percentage format).

The overall O line win percentage of 79.6% was lower than the overall POA win totals of all of the Jets linemen, so they were not quite up to their previous standard during this period.

The second is screen pass productivity. Brian Schottenheimer was a screen-heavy playcaller, and the Jets were very successful on them last year. They attempted 71, completed 63 and gained 417 yards (5.9 YPA) for the season. Their success in this area continued even during those last five weeks; they were 21 for 25 for 140 yards (5.6 YPA) during that time.

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