Patriots - Jets: Statistically Speaking

Green vs Pennington, now will it be Bollinger?

The New England Patriots and New York Jets have both been plagued by injuries all year long, but the divisional foes are sitting at opposite ends of the AFC standings. The Patriots at 6-5 are still tops in the AFC East but were exposed by a Kansas City team that had no trouble gaining yards on the ground or through the air. The Jets, losers of six straight, don't appear to have an answer to their struggles coming into week 13. PI takes a look at the numbers and shares some keys to the game.

At 6-5, the Patriots are in first place in the NFL’s worst division, the AFC East. With no true threat in the division and a moderately easy five game schedule to close out the season, New England needs to focus on forming a solid, healthy nucleus of players to gear up for a playoff run. The Patriots have only strung together one winning streak this season when they defeated both Miami (Nov. 13) and New Orleans (Nov. 20) by a single touchdown and need to start building momentum. Unless Corey Dillon returns to the lineup, Tom Brady’s ability to control the game will be crucial against the Jets. Brady has a knack for following up a bad game (22/40, 248 yds, 4 int against Kansas City) with anger and excellence.

 

Brady’s Impact:

Without Corey Dillon, the Patriots rushing attack is flat. That being said, Tom Brady needs to be at his best every game for the Patriots to win. New England is winless this year in games where Brady QB rating is below 80. There is no better time for Brady to have a big game than after his worst performance of the season. Against Kansas City, Brady threw a season high four interceptions and had a dismal rating of 42.5. Every time Brady has had a sub-80 rating game this season, he has followed up with a rating 20+ points better in the next game. Although the Jets have allowed just 173.5 passing yards per game this season, Brady is the man to watch on Sunday.

Brady’s numbers week by week:

Wk

Opponent

Att/comp

Yards

Pct

TDs

Int

Rate

1

Oakland

24/48

306

63.2%

2

0

105.8

2

Carolina

23/44

270

52.3%

1

1

69.3

3

Pittsburgh

31/41

372

75.6%

0

1

92.7

4

San Diego

19/32

224

59.4%

1

1

78.1

5

Atlanta

22/27

350

81.5%

3

1

140.4

6

Denver

24/46

299

52.2%

1

0

79.9

7

BYE

-

-

-

-

-

-

8

Buffalo

14/21

199

66.7%

1

0

113.0

9

Indianapolis

22/33

265

66.7%

3

0

121.4

10

Miami

21/36

275

58.3%

2

2

77.9

11

New Orleans

15/29

222

51.7%

3

0

111.6

12

Kansas City

22/40

248

55.0%

1

4

42.5

Vital to the Jets success in slowing Brady will be the play of defensive ends Shaun Ellis and John Abraham. If Brady has time to step back and locate his receivers, he will pick apart the troubled Jets secondary.

 

Jets Pass Defense:

The pass defense of the Jets looks good on paper (4th in yards allowed with 173.5, fifth in total passing yards allowed with 1909) but has struggled of late. The past two games, the Jets have not recorded an interception and have watched quarterbacks complete around 70% of their passes. It will not get any easier for New York facing Tom Brady, who leads the NFL with 3030 passing yards. Brady also owns a 90.5 QB rating. The Jets are winless when the opposing quarterback reaches that mark. DC David Barrett will likely be missing again this week for the Jets. Ty Law is facing his former team for the first time and will likely be paired against Deon Branch, who leads the Patriots with 60 receptions and 756 receiving yards.

How opposing QB’s have faired vs. the Jets this season:

Wk

QB

Opp

Att/comp

Yards

Pct

TDs

Int

Rate

1

Trent Green

KC

15/26

200

57.7 %

0

1

66.2

2

Gus Frerotte

MIA

20/43

177

46.5%

1

1

56.1

3

Byron Leftwich

JAX

16/23

177

69.6%

2

1

103.0

4

Anthony Wright

BAL

15/21

144

71.4%

0

1

70.3

5

Brian Griese

TB

27/42

226

64.3%

0

1

68.2

6

Kelly Holcomb

BUF

18/26

172

69.2%

2

2

80.9

7

Michael Vick

ATL

11/26

116

42.3%

0

3

16.3

8

BYE

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

9

Drew Brees

SD

20/27

270

74.1%

1

1

102.4

10

Jake Delhomme

CAR

10/20

119

50.0%

1

2

45.6

11

Jake Plummer

DEN

18/26

225

69.2%

0

0

95.8

12

Aaron Brooks

NO

17/23

181

73.9%

3

0

136.1

 

Patriots Rushing Attack:

New England is coming off its second worst rushing game of the season against Kansas City. The Patriots ran for only 44 yards on a season low 10 carries. With Corey Dillon out of the lineup, the Patriots were forced to turn to Patrick Pass, who picked up a measly 26 yards on 8 carries (one touchdown). Tim Dwight also ran the ball twice for 17 yards. The Pats released reserve tailback Mike Cloud earlier this week, possibly to make room for the return of either Dillon or Kevin Faulk. Otherwise, Pass will likely share time with FB Heath Evans. Dillon has suggested a possible return against the Jets since missing time with a high ankle sprain and a hurt calf he suffered three weeks ago at Miami. Dillon’s return could dramatically change the outlook of the game for New England, as the Jets are allowing 136.9 yards per game on the ground. New England has ran for just one touchdown in the last four games.

A look at New England’s rushing attack, game by game:

Wk

Team

Carries

Yards

Av.

TDs

1

Oakland

28

74

2.6

2

2

Carolina

16

39

2.4

0

3

Pittsburgh

29

74

2.6

2

4

San Diego

15

69

4.6

1

5

Atlanta

29

140

4.8

1

6

Denver

17

78

4.6

1

7

Bye

-

-

-

-

8

Buffalo

21

89

4.2

2

9

Indianapolis

13

39

3.0

0

10

Miami

24

92

3.8

0

11

New Orleans

29

127

4.4

0

12

Kansas City

10

44

4.4

1

TOTALS

231

865

3.7

10

 

Jets Rush Defense:

The Jets have allowed the opposing running back to rush for over 100 yards in four of the last six games. Although these four running backs were tough (McGahee, Dunn, Tomlinson, Anderson), a healthy Corey Dillon could cause similar problems for the Jets. Last year, Dillon ran all over the Jets, putting up 204 yards on 51 carries in two contests. If Dillon sits out, the Jets should have an easier time stopping Patrick Pass, Heath Evans and/or Kevin Faulk. Jonathan Vilma has already shown significant strides in his sophomore season. Through the first 11 games, the MLB leads the NFL with 121 tackles.

How the Jets have fared against opposing runners:

Wk

RB

Team

Carries

Yards

Av.

TDs

1

L.Johnson, P.Holmes

KC

31

195

6.3

3

2

Lonnie Brown

MIA

12

35

2.9

0

3

Fred Taylor

JAX

37

98

2.6

1

4

Jamal Lewis

BAL

29

81

2.8

1

5

Michael Pittman

TB

13

46

3.5

0

6

Willis McGahee

BUF

29

143

4.9

1

7

Warrick Dunn

ATL

24

155

6.5

0

8

BYE

-

-

-

-

-

9

LaDainian Tomlinson

SD

25

107

4.3

3

10

Stephan Jackson

CAR

27

81

3.0

1

11

Mike Anderson

DEN

26

113

4.3

3

12

A.Stecker, A.Smith

NO

25

97

3.9

0

Avg. per game (primary RB)

25.27

104.6

4.1

1.18

 

Jets Curtis Martin:

Curtis Martin has reached the 100 yard mark only once this season (Buffalo, 148), but New England is allowing 118.8 yards per game on the ground. In order to protect young QB Brooks Bollinger, Martin will be given a significant amount of carries, especially on first and second down. The former Patriot may be able to expose a defense that ranks dead last in the NFL in yards allowed on first down. Martin is averaging 3.4 yards per carry and has five TD’s this season, a far cry from the 4.6 yards per carry and 1697 rushing yards he accumulated in 2004-05. He also is averaging just .36 rushing TD’s a game, while his backup last year LaMont Jordan is averaging .82 rushing TD’s a game with Oakland. Corey Dillon is averaging .875 rushing TD’s in eight starts. Still, it will be up to Martin and the Jets offensive line to control the tempo and outcome of this game. Brooks Bollinger cannot be counted on as THE key player and offensive catalyst against New England. When Martin rushes for 75 yards or more against divisional opponents, his teams are 32-15.

Here are Martin’s numbers, game by game:

Wk

Team

Carries

Yards

Av.

TDs

1

Kansas City

20

57

2.9

0

2

Miami

31

72

2.3

0

3

Jacksonville

18

67

3.7

0

4

Baltimore

13

30

2.3

0

5

Tampa Bay

23

59

2.6

2

6

Buffalo

18

148

8.2

1

7

Atlanta

14

28

2.0

1

8

-

 

 

 

 

9

San Diego

21

72

3.4

1

10

Carolina

19

75

3.9

0

11

Denver

4

7

1.8

0

12

New Orleans

24

91

3.8

0

Avg per game

18.6

64.2

3.4

.36

 

Patriots Rush Defense:

The return of Richard Seymour has provided a much needed boost to the Patriots defensive line. With Seymour back and Teddy Bruschi working toward his old form, New England has two important pieces back to stop the run. If the Patriots have success against Martin, Brooks Bollinger will be forced to throw the ball, which could be problematic, even against a depleted New England secondary.

How opponent RB’s have done vs. the Pats:

Wk

RB

Team

Carries

Yards

Av.

TDs

1

Lamont Jordan

OAK

18

70

3.9

0

2

Stephen Davis

CAR

25

77

3.1

3

3

Willie Parker

PIT

17

55

3.2

0

4

LaDainian Tomlinson

SD

25

134

5.4

2

5

Warrick Dunn

ATL

19

83

4.4

0

6

Anderson/Bell

DEN

28

171

6.1

2

7

BYE

-

-

-

-

-

8

Willis McGahee

BUF

31

136

4.4

0

9

Edgerrin James

IND

34

104

3.1

1

10

Lonnie Brown

MIA

14

64

4.6

0

11

Antowain Smith

NO

11

32

2.9

0

12

Larry Johnson

KC

31

119

3.8

1

Avg. per game (only primary RB)

23

95

4.1

.82

 

Bollinger as the Jets starter:

Brooks Bollinger has taken over the starting QB role for the Jets since Chad Pennington and Vinnie Testaverde went down. The 26 year old is yet to pick up a win in the NFL, but he had his best game to date last Sunday against New Orleans. Bollinger completed 19 of 28 passes while picking up 251 yards, one touchdown and a QB rating of 107.9. Had the rookie kicker Mike Nugent nailed his fifth field goal of the day from 53 yards out with 15 seconds left, Bollinger would have walked away with his first career victory.

Bollinger found TE Doug Jolley four times for 64 yards. He will be likely be eyeing his TE’s again this Sunday, as the trio of Doug Jolley, Joel Dreessen and Chris Baker has produced 34 receptions for 458 yards and one touchdown this season. Last year, the Jets’ TE’s Anthony Becht and Baker made only 31 receptions for 282 yards and five touchdowns.

Bollinger’s game-by-game breakdown:

Wk

Opponent

Att/comp

Yards

Pct

TDs

Int

Rate

1

Kansas City

DNP

-

-

-

-

-

2

Miami

DNP

-

-

-

-

-

3

Jacksonville

DNP

-

-

-

-

-

4

Baltimore

14/28

149

50.0%

0

0

65.9

5

Tampa Bay

DNP

-

-

-

-

-

6

Buffalo

DNP

-

-

-

-

-

7

Atlanta

12/20

94

60.0%

0

0

71.7

8

BYE

-

-

-

-

-

-

9

San Diego

11/20

106

55.0%

2

0

103.3

10

Carolina

11/21

98

52.4%

0

4

25.6

11

Denver

4/5

26

80.0%

0

0

88.3

12

New Orleans

19/28

251

67.9%

1

0

107.9

 

Patriots Pass Defense:

Patriots defensive coordinator Eric Mangini will give Brooks Bollinger a lot of different looks on Sunday. New England will blitz and work to pressure Bollinger into making bad throws to create turnovers. However, the Patriots are giving up an average of 267.5 passing yards a game and are ranked 30th in the NFL in opponent passer rating. New England also is ranked 31st of 32 teams in sacks per pass play. If Curtis Martin is effective in opening up the passing game for Bollinger, the young QB could have another solid outing. Richard Seymour will help pressure Bollinger into making errors. The Patriots have recorded just 16 sacks and five interceptions so far this season, although three of those interceptions have come in the last four weeks.

Game-by-game break down of opposing QB’s vs. the Pats:

Wk

QB

Opp

Att/comp

Yards

Pct

TDs

Int

Rate

1

Kerry Collins

OAK

18/39

265

46.2 %

3

0

94.5

2

Jake Delhomme

CAR

11/26

154

42.3%

0

1

46.0

3

Ben Roethlisberger

PIT

12/28

216

42.6%

2

0

93.7

4

Drew Brees

SD

19/24

248

79.2%

2

0

137.5

5

Matt Schaub

ATL

18/34

298

52.9%

3

0

112.1

6

Jake Plummer

DEN

17/24

262

70.8%

2

0

134.4

7

BYE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

Kelly Holcomb

BUF

20/33

263.

60.6%

1

1

83.3

9

Payton Manning

IND

28/37

321

75.7%

3

1

117.1

10

Gus Frerotte

MIA

25/47

360

53.2%

2

1

83.6

11

Aaron Brooks

NO

27/50

343

54.0%

2

1

80.7

12

Trent Green

KC

19/26

323

73.1%

1

0

127.6

 

Injury Impact:

Corey Dillon is currently listed as questionable, although it has been rumored that he may return on Sunday. Dillon has been recovering from a high ankle sprain and a hurt calf he suffered three weeks ago at Miami. Because the Patriots released reserve tailback Mike Cloud earlier this week, it is expected that either Dillon or Kevin Faulk will be back in the lineup. Whoever returns will likely be sharing carries with fullbacks Patrick Pass and Heath Evans.

Final Thoughts:

The Patriots have been very inconsistent this season, primarily due to injuries, but the Jets are even more banged up and will have trouble winning this game. New England has not lost two straight in two and a half years (44 games), and Brady will be sharp after a poor performance last Sunday in Kansas City. The Patriots have also won 23 of their last 25 at home, while the Jets are winless away from The Meadowlands this year (0-6). The Jets last beat the Patriots 30-17 on December 22, 2002, at Gillette Stadium. Brady has not thrown an interception in his last four meetings with the Jets and has had a QB rating of over 100 in the last three. Even if Corey Dillon remains out of the lineup, Tom Brady should be able to win this game for New England. New England has also been known to dominate when the temperature drops. Under Bill Belichick's reign, the Pats are 15-5 in the month of December. Although New England is expected to win this game, the defense which currently ranks 31st of 32 teams in yards allowed needs to play better. The Jets are not a threat to the Patriots at 2-9, but it is crucial for New England to begin to string together some wins and build momentum as the playoffs approach.

 

Ricky Popolizio is a regular contributor to Patriots Insider. For more of his past articles search the archives. To contact Ricky visit his bio page


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