Friday, October 30, 2009

Everything You Know about the Jets is Wrong

I stumbled upon ProFootbalFocus.com, a website that tries to rank every NFL player based on statistical data. This isn't just quarterbacks, runningbacks, and receivers. Offensive lineman, linebackers, safeties, and even special teamers are also judged. They watch every play of every game and make their ratings accordingly. Here's the link to their FAQ.

My one problem with the site is that the Jets DEs and LBs are listed as 4-3 players instead of 3-4 guys. I'm not sure what difference that makes, and I e-mailed the website, but as a result, I'm not including their numbers in this post, though I'll give a brief mention to some of those numbers at the end.

Now, these stats are far from the be-all, end-all of judging NFL players, but there are a bunch of numbers out there that stood out on me. Some you might already believe or know, and others might seriously surprise you. So let's start with perhaps the most surprising stat I noticed on the site. Note that this only includes players who have played at least 25% of the snaps.

D'Brickashaw Ferguson is the best run-blocking tackle in the NFL...and it isn't even that close.

According to this website, in which zero is considered the average grade, D'Brickashaw Ferguson has a 12.5. The next closest tackle in that department is Browns T Joe Thomas with an 8.7. Brick is rated as the #2 tackle in the NFL, and he is above average (2.7) at pass blocking.

On the other hand...

Damien Woody is the worst run-blocking tackle in the NFL

At a -9.4 Woody is considered the worst run blocker in the NFL. He is considered above average against the pass (3.1). Last season, it was considered common sense that the Jets ran behind Woody and Brick dominated the blind side. These numbers seem to indicate the opposite.

As for the other lineman, Alan Faneca is considered one of the worst OGs in the NFL (-7.4), particularly in pass blocking (-5.1). Brandon Moore is above average at 3.1.

Nick Mangold is considered one of the best centers in the NFL by many, and these numbers go above and beyond in supporting it. His 21.5 overall ranking is over twice as high as every other tackle besides Miami's Jake Grove (12.1) and he owns a staggering 21.1 rating against the run. Mangold should make the Pro Bowl this year, and these numbers help prove that.

Jerricho Cotchery is the 2nd best receiver in the NFL
With a 7.9 rating, Cotchery is only behind Reggie Wayne in the receiver ratings. Now with Braylon Edwards drawing away coverage, Cotchery has the chance to be even more productive.

Thomas Jones has three missed tackles all year.
Despite being in the top 5 in the NFL in rushing, Jones clocks in at a -0.8 for runningbacks. Then again, it appears like runningbacks are a bit underrated. These numbers looked much worse two weeks ago. Jones has drawn criticism from Jets fans in the past for his inability to break through tackles, and despite his big numbers in the past two weeks, these numbers back that sentiment up.

Only JaMarcus Russell has been worse than Mark Sanchez
This should come as no surprise, especially after the five interception game against Buffalo. Only Russell, Sanchez, Matt Stafford, Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn, Kyle Boller, Seneca Wallace, Kevin Kolb, and Jason Campbell have negative ratings, with Sanchez's being the second worst rating at -8.0.

Still, don't read too much into it. He's still a rookie, and one bad game drags his numbers down really far. If he's still this low next year, then you can start to worry.

Darrelle Revis is the best cover cornerback in the NFL.
Revis has the highest rated number for coverage out of any cornerback in the NFL. He's number three overall among cornerbacks, trailing only Antoine Winfield and Jabari Greer. He would be number one if it weren't for his penalties earlier in the year. Dwight Lowery (0.6) has outplayed Lito Sheppard (-4.1) by a pretty wide margin as well.

Dustin Keller has been the 3rd worst tight end in the NFL.
Only Jerramy Stevens and former Jet Sean Ryan (worst in NFL) have been worse. He is the third worst in the passing game (-4.4) and his run blocking has left a lot to be desired (-5.4). He has been thrown to 34 times, and he's only caught 15. Needless to say, he's been a big disappointment in his second year. Hopefully, he and Sanchez can get on the same page because there's no reason he can't be a weapon.

Front Seven Notes

As I mentioned earlier, I'm not sure how well the front sevens are rated, so these numbers could be taken with a grain of salt, especially given the Jets' myriad of looks and formations. A guy like Vernon Gholston (listed at DE with a -3 rating) has seen action at OLB, DE, and DT already.

*Bryan Thomas is listed as the best OLB in the NFL at 8.7. He's a below average pass rusher (-1.3), but he's above average in coverage (1.5), and he is the best run stopper (8.5).

*Mike DeVito (7.3) and Sione Pouha (5.6) have both been more productive at NT than Kris Jenkins (1.9). I don't think the numbers take into account the double teams Jenkins constantly faces, but it's still food for thought.

*David Harris is considered the worst run stopper in the NFL at -7.6. However, his pass coverage ability is one of the best of any LB. Now, for a few interesting names for overall stats. The worst rated ILB? Jonathan Vilma. Second worst? Channing Crowder.

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