No punny title from me, just telling the truth about who the Defensive Rookie of the Year award should be going to and saying who will have a bigger impact on this week's game. This week, we return to MetLife Stadium to play the other New Jersey team that has New York in their name. That's right, we'll be Jetting off to play the Jets.
New York Jets:
Record/Standing: 7-6-0 (3rd in AFC East)
Expected Win/Loss: 7.1-5.9
Strength of Schedule: .529
Overall DVOA: 8.2% (9th)
With like White ruled out with his rib injury, we will be facing the Cougar Hunter himself. Wilson in his 7 games this season has posted a 5-2 record, but this is definitely more on the team than him. He is PFF's lowest-graded QB. He has attempted 27.0 passes a game, completing 15.0 (55.6% completion rate) for 182.7 yards (6.8 Y/A), 0.57 TDS (2.1%), and 0.71 INTs (2.6%). His CPOE is -7.0%. Wilson is averaging -0.2 EPA/dropback. 10.6% of his throws are deep, while 13.8% are into tight windows. 28.3% of his passes come off play action. PFR credits him with a 23.8% bad throw rate. Wilson is FO's 26th QB by DYAR (-13), 26th by DVOA (-12.1%), and 32nd in EYds (1040), but is 6th in their ALEX metric (2.8). He has a 72.6 passer rating and a 43.2 QBR. Therefore, while the team posted a winning record with him under centre, this is a product of the team and is not a reflection of Wilson's play.
The Jets' offensive line is ranked 25th by Football Outsiders in the run game. They have created 4.13 adjusted line yards, with a 59% power success rate (27th), a 19% stuffed rate (23rd), 1.26 second-level yards (12th), and 1.03 open field yards (5th). PFR has them creating 3.2 YPC/attempt, which is 5th in the league. They are FO's 13th-ranked line in pass protection, with a 6.5% adjusted sack rate. They give Wilson 3.12 seconds time to throw, with a 7.8% sack rate and 33.7% pressure rate.
New York has a new Knight in the Jets' backfield. In his three games so far, he has averaged 15.3 carries a game, which he has taken for 76.7 yards (5.0 Y/A), 0.33 fumbles, 4 first downs, 0.66 broken tackles, and 0.33 TDs. He is averaging 3.1 YAC/attempt, 0.98 RYOE/attempt and adds 0.03 EPA/attempt. NGS credits him with a 46% rush success rate. As with White, Knight has not hit the 100 carry threshold for FO to include them in their rankings, but they have stats for him. He has 63 DYAR, a DVOA of 23.9% and 269 EYds. Carter has had 8.67 carries a game for 31.3 yards (3.6 Y/A), 0.17 fumbles, 1.08 first downs, 0.5 broken tackles, and 0.25 TDs.
The most targeted player on the Jets' offence is the rookie WR out of Ohio State; Garrett Wilson, who commands a 24% target share. He is thrown at 7.77 times a game, of which he catches 4.85 (62.4% catch rate), for 66.8 yards (13.8 Y/R), 0.31 drops (4.% drop rate), 0.08 fumbles, 3.38 first downs, 0.31 TDs, and a 103.1 passer rating when targeted. Wilson is posting a -1.0% CROE, averages 2.1 yards per route run, creates 0.4 EPA/target, and is averaging 3.6 yards of separation. He is FO's 34th WR by DYAR (108), 39th by DVOA (0.6%), and 20th in EYds (820). On the opposite hash, with Davis out, it'll likely be Mims. He is targeted 3.14 times a game, catching 1.43 passes (45.5%), for 24.7 yards (17.3 Y/R), 0.43 drops (13.6%), 0.86 first downs, and a passer rating of 72.7. In the slot, Moore catches 2.33 balls a game on 4.33 targets (53.8%), for 29.3 yards (12.5 Y/R), 0.17 drops (3.8%), 1.42 first downs, 0.08 TDs, and an 81.5 passer rating. Tight end Tyler Conklin gets 5.46 targets a game, for 3.46 catches (63.4%), 32.2 yards (9.3 Y/R), 0.31 drops (5.6%), 0.15 fumbles, 1.38 first downs, 0.23 TDs and an 81.8 passer rating. He is FO's 38th TE by DYAR (-39), 26th by DVOA (-16.3%), and 28th by EYds (282). Out of the backfield, Knight gets 3.33 targets a game for 3.33 catches (an unbelievable 100% catch rate), for 22.7 yards (6.8 Y/R), a first down and a 95.0 passer rating when targeted.
The Jets run two personnel sets more than 10% of the time. The most used is of course 11, which they use 67% of the time, passing the ball 71% of the time out of this set, creating -0.07 EPA/p. The other is 12, which they use 24% of the time, running the ball 53% of the time for -0.08 EPA/p. Overall, the Jets throw the ball on 63% of their offensive plays, creating -0.06 EPA/p.
Looking at how they match up against our Lions, we can be thankful that they are weak at tight end considering our historic weakness in defending this position. Knight is a good running back in a system that always elevates talent at this position (remember the emergence of Mostert a few years ago) but we have been really good against the run recently. The main problem is perhaps guarding their WRs, as they are pretty shifty and could cause our secondary some issues, especially if the illness from last week is still affecting Jefe.
The Jets' defensive line is ranked 7th by FO against the run, allowing 4.08 adjusted line yards and 4.06 RB yards. They are the 22nd team against power runs (72%), 9th in stuff rate (19%), 11th in second-level yards (1.11), and 12th in open-field yards (0.65). They are allowing 4.1 yards per rush and -0.02 EPA per rush. In terms of TFLs, their leader is Quinnen Williams with 0.92. C.J. Mosley leads in terms of run stops with 4 a game, but his partner in the second level, Quincey Williams, leads the team in "hustle" run stops (where the defender has travelled 20+ yards to make the stop) with 1 a game.
The Jets are FO's 7th-best pass rush with an 8.2% adjusted sack rate. Their "scariest" player is the monster in the middle: Quinnen Williams. On his 298 pass-rushing snaps so far this season, he has a 4% sack rate, a 14% pressure rate, averages 3.24 seconds to pressure, 4.41 seconds to sack, and a 1.04-second get-off time, along with causing 2 turnovers with pressure. He averages 3.31 pressures a game, with 0.85 of these resulting in a sack, and 0.85 being "quick" pressures (under 3 seconds after the snap). Their best edge rusher is Lawson, who averages 3.07 pressures a game, 0.46 of which are sacks, with a 13% pressure rate. On the other side, Franklin-Myers gets 2.08 pressures a game, with 0.31 of these being sacks. He has a 10% pressure rate. Beside Quinnen, Rankins gets 0.27 sacks and 0.73 pressures a game, with a 4% pressure rate. My favourite of their rookies (as should be no surprise to those who have followed ROTL UK over the past year), Jermaine Johnson II has a 9% pressure rate, getting 0.25 sacks a game as part of a 0.7 pressure average.
Their most well-known is the (fraudulent?) Defensive Rookie of the Year favourite Sauce Gardner. He is targeted 5.15 times a game for 2.69 receptions (52.2%), 23.8 yards (8.9 Y/C), 1.23 PDs, 0.15 interceptions and a 57.4 passer rating in coverage. On the opposite hash, Reed is thrown at 5.07 times a game, allowing 3.23 catches a game (63.6%), 26.8 yards (8.3 Y/C), 0.62 PDs, 0.08 interceptions and an 80.9 passer rating when targeted. In the slot, Carter is targeted 4.31 times a game for 2.53 catches (58.9%), 24.4 yards (9.6 Y/C), 0.62 PDs, 0.15 INTs and a 65.8 passer rating. Further back, Whitehead allows 1.38 catches on 2.62 targets (52.9%), 19.0 yards (13.7 Y/C), 0.54 PDs, 0.15 INTS, and a passer rating of 71.6. Joyner is targeted 2.23 times a game for 1.46 receptions (65.5%), 29.0 yards (19.8 Y/C), 0.46 PDs, 0.23 INTs, and a 103.7 passer rating.
The Jets also run two personnel sets on more than 10% of their defensive plays. They run 425 nickel on 60% of plays, facing a pass on 69% of these plays for -0.13 EPA/p. They run 434 base on 22% of plays, facing a run on 63% of these plays for -0.06 EPA/p. Overall, the Jets face a pass on 61% of their defensive plays and allow -0.06 EPA/p.
As Ant so astutely pointed out on yesterday's preview podcast, some Jets fans might expect to shut us down because they have a good pass defence. However, they fail to remember how teams stacked the box against us to stop the juggernaut that is Jamaal Williams. I suspect that might change this game, which will be to the Jets' detriment, especially with their weaknesses against power runs. Furthermore, despite their good pass defence, I still think we can move the ball on them through the air with the variety of passing weapons we have and how strong our offensive line might be with the potential return of Evan Brown at RG.
Zuerlein is a decent kicker but he isn't the guy he used to be.
Mann is an okay punter.
Berrios is a good returner, especially when fielding punts.
Keys to Victory:
Run the ball- The Jets might think given recent weeks that our run game isn't strong and so will focus on stopping deep shots to Jamo and Chark. Punish them for this and run the ball down their throats.
Target the middle of the field- The Jets run a Cover 3 heavy scheme, so the middle of the field is a weakness in their coverage. This bodes well for St. Brown, Swift and the tight ends.
Pressure- Wilson has talent, but he is erratic under pressure. His passer rating drops roughly 35 points, his YPA drops by more than 3 yards, his completion rate drops by nearly 30%, and his EPA/dropback tanks by nearly 0.9 points. Their OL isn't great either, so we need to get pressure on Wilson.
Wrap up- Knight gets most of his yards after contact, so whoever is the first defender to him needs to wrap up well to stop his forward momentum, otherwise, he could get a lot more yards on us.
Goff- 21/32, 240 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 95.8 passer rating
Jamaal Williams- 15 carries, 65 yards, 1 TD
St. Brown- 8 targets, 7 catches, 75 yards, 1 TD
Cominsky- 2 tackles (1 solo), 0.5 TFLs, 2 pressures, 0.5 sacks
Anzalone- 9 tackles (4 solo), 0.5 TFLs, 1 PD
Okudah- 4 tackles (3 solo), 2 PDs, 1 INT
Z. Wilson- 16/35, 175 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT, 49.1 passer rating
Knight- 13 carries, 50 yards, 1 TD, 1 target
G. Wilson- 9 targets, 7 catches, 65 yards
Quinnen Williams- 3 tackles (2 solo), 2 pressures, 1 sack
Mosley- 8 tackles (5 solo), 0.5 TFLs
Reed- 4 tackles (3 solo), 1 PD, 1 INT
Hot take: Hutch has more PBUs than Sauce
Score: Lions 24, Jets 16
Draft Rooting Guide:
6) Arizona: lose against Denver (I know it doesn't make sense on the surface but it'll mean both Arizona and the Rams' picks get better)
5) Philadelphia (via New Orleans): win vs Atlanta
4) Detroit (via LA Rams): lose against Green Bay (I know, I know, it sickens me too but it's nothing a nice warm shower won't fix, right?)
3) Chicago: win vs Philadelphia
2) Seattle (via Denver): win vs Arizona
1) Houston: win vs Kansas City
How do you think the game will go? Who will win this week and become King of the Year 2 Rebuilding teams? Will we sweep the "New York" teams? Who do you think will be the stat leaders, and what will the final score be?
Pod Links: linktr.ee/roarofthelionsuk