Patriots - Jets: Statistically Speaking

In week 15, the New England Patriots proved they were back by dominating Tampa Bay and clinching the AFC East Title. In New England, now more than any other time this year, the Patriots look like a legitimate Super Bowl contender again. The gap between the Pats and the NFL's upper-class has closed drastically. It can close even more if the Pats can handle the Jets in the Meadowlands on Monday Night. Patriots Insider Ricky Popolizio takes a look at the numbers and shares some keys to the game.

New England (8-5) can now clinch the AFC East division title and a playoff spot with a win or a Miami loss in any of the final three regular season games. The Pats are almost certainly in the playoffs. But the key to postseason success still lies in the team’s ability to build momentum as the season winds down.

The 52-man roster is as healthy as it has been all year. Tedy Bruschi and Richard Seymour are playing better. Cornerback Ellis Hobbs has transformed from a questionable fill-in to among the teams most reliable. While New England is 2-5 against teams with winning records, the Bucs are 4-2 against the league’s elite, and 5-2 on the road. The matchup will be a good measuring stick to see just how far the Pats have come now in week 15.

The Corey Dillon Effect:

Corey Dillon was limited to just 48 yards on 19 carries by the Buccaneers defense last Sunday, but he did manage to get into the end zone twice (one rushing, one receiving). The Bucs rush defense was ranked fifth in the NFL compared to the Jets dismal 28th ranked rush D. Although Dillon may begin to see fewer carries in the final two games of the regular season, he should be able to get going against the Jets defense that is allowing an average of 133.9 yards a game on the ground.

Kevin Faulk may be used more often than not on Monday. With the playoffs approaching, Dillon and Faulk may be used similarly to save Dillon's legs. Regardless, the two backs should have success against the Jets. Dillon's 3.6 yards per carry ranks 36th in the NFL.

Corey Dillon's numbers, game by game:

Wk

Team

Carries

Yards

Av.

TDs

1

Oakland

23

63

2.7

2

2

Carolina

14

36

2.6

0

3

Pittsburgh

22

61

2.8

2

4

San Diego

14

63

4.5

1

5

Atlanta

23

106

4.6

0

6

Denver

DNP

-

-

-

7

Bye

-

-

-

-

8

Buffalo

21

72

4.0

2

9

Indianapolis

13

40

3.3

0

10

Miami

DNP

-

-

-

11

New Orleans

DNP

-

-

-

12

Kansas City

DNP

-

-

-

13

NY Jets

16

65

4.1

1

14

Buffalo

22

102

4.6

1

15

Tampa Bay

19

48

2.5

1

TOTALS

183

656

3.6

10

Since returning from a high ankle sprain and hurt calf, Corey Dillon has rushed for a touchdown in three consecutive games. Dillon also caught a touchdown pass against Tampa Bay for his team-leading 11th score of the season. Dillon's 11 touchdowns is tied for 10th best in the NFL. The Pats have lost only once this year when Dillon has a touchdown run. They are undefeated when he runs for two TDs.

Jets Rush Defense:

The Jets rush defense is allowing 133.9 yards per game and ranks 28th in the NFL, but it has improved of late. After allowing four backs to rush for over 100 yards between weeks 6-11, none have single handedly reached the century mark since. The Jets have also only allowed two rushing touchdowns in the last four weeks after giving up seven in the previous three.

Corey Dillon was only given 16 carries last time out against the Jets. He ran for 65 yards and one touchdown. Jonathan Vilma and John Abraham have led the Jets defensively all year long. Their success in defending the run will go a long way in determining how the Jets fair on Monday. Vilma currently has a league-leading 149 tackles. Abraham has recorded 50 tackles, 8.5 sacks (14th in NFL) and five forced fumbles (T-5th in NFL).

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

13

Corey Dillon

NE

16

65

4.1

1

14

LaMont Jordan

OAK

14

49

3.5

0

15

R. Williams/R. Brown

MIA

26

115

4.4

1

Avg. per game (primary RB)

23.86

98.57

4.1

1.07

The Jets have allowed 17 total rushing touchdowns this season (not limited to primary running backs). It is tied for the third highest total in the NFL.

Brady's Impact:

A week after lighting up the Buffalo Bills for 329 yards and three touchdowns with a hurt left leg (one rushing), Tom Brady picked apart the fifth ranked Bucs pass defense. He threw for 258 yards and three touchdowns against Tampa Bay. It was the fourth time Brady has thrown for three touchdowns this season and the 18th time in his career. Brady is 17-1 in those outings. He also set an NFL record against the Bucs by completing touchdown passes to Corey Dillon and Tom Ashworth. Ashworth was Brady’s 12th TD recipient this year. The previous record of 11 was shared by Brady (2002), Sammy Baugh of Washington (1947), Dan Marino (1985) and Vinny Testaverde of Baltimore (1996).

One of the NFL’s leading MVP candidates, Brady is now ranked first in passing yards (3888), third in completions (313), tied for third in touchdowns (23), fourth in yards per pass attempt (7.89), sixth in QB rating (93.3) ninth in completion percentage (63.5%) and tied for 14th in sacks (23). All those numbers have been compiled with consistently missing and hurt personnel. Also, Brady’s current numbers in passing yards, yards per pass attempt and QB rating are all career highs.

Brady heads into Monday night’s game with a 7-1 career record against the Jets. He is an amazing 20-0 when the game-time temperature is less than 40 degrees. He owns a 13-1 career record when playing on artificial turf, including a 2-0 record already this year. He is 30-4 in games played after Thanksgiving.

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

13

NY Jets

27/37

271

73.0%

0

0

93.4

14

Buffalo

29/38

329

76.3%

2

2

97.4

15

Tampa Bay

20/31

258

64.5%

3

0

122.8

Brady is currently riding his first three game stretch this year with a QB rating of 90 or above and a completion percentage above 60%. When Brady posts a QB rating of 100 or above, he is 31-1.

Jets Pass Defense:

The pass defense is the crème of the Jets’ crop right now. Currently ranked 3rd in the NFL, the Jets pass defense is allowing an average of 172.4 passing yards per game. New England’s passing offense is averaging 267.6 yards per game, the second most productive passing unit in the league. As was the case against Tampa Bay, something will have to give on Monday night.

John Abraham is the Jets best pass rusher. He is currently tied for 14th in the NFL with 8.5 sacks. His five forced fumbles is tied for fifth in the league. MLB Jonathan Vilma also has four forced fumbles. Cornerbacks David Barrett has played well as of late with an interception in each of the last two games.

Last time out against the Jets, Brady threw to seven different receivers for 271 yards on 27 attempts. He has had a completion percentage above 64.5% the last three outings. The Jets have not won a game when the opposing QB has a completion percentage of 64.5% or higher. Brady has also had QB rating above 90 in his last three outings. The Jets are winless when opposing quarterbacks reach that mark.

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

Wk

QB

Opp

Comp/At

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

13

Tom Brady

NE

27/37

271

73.0%

0

0

93.4

14

M. Tuiasosopo

OAK

14/26

124

53.8%

1

2

47.6

15

Frerotte/Rosenfels

MIA

14/29

175

48.1%

2

1

78.1

Jets Cedric Houston:

With Curtis Martin out of the lineup, the Jets have had to put rookie running back Cedric Houston into duty. Houston, who received just 17 carries in his first five appearances, has rushed for an impressive 158 yards and one touchdown in the last two games. Last Sunday against Miami, Houston averaged 5.6 yards per carry on his way to an 84 yard outing on the ground.

Here are Houston's numbers, game by game:

Wk

Team

Carries

Yards

Av.

TDs

1

Kansas City

DNP

-

-

-

2

Miami

DNP

-

-

-

3

Jacksonville

DNP

-

-

-

4

Baltimore

DNP

-

-

-

5

Tampa Bay

DNP

-

-

-

6

Buffalo

DNP

-

-

-

7

Atlanta

-

-

-

-

8

BYE

-

-

-

-

9

San Diego

2

10

5.0

0

10

Carolina

0

0

0

0

11

Denver

10

53

5.3

0

12

New Orleans

5

12

2.4

0

13

New England

0

0

0

0

14

Oakland

28

74

2.6

1

15

Miami

15

84

5.6

0

TOTALS

60

233

3.9

1

Patriots Rush Defense:

The New England Patriots continued to shutdown opposing running backs in week 15. The Pats held Cadillac Williams, who had been averaging 4.6 yards per carry over the previous four games, to just 23 yards on 14 carries. Over the past three weeks, the Patriots have held star running backs Curtis Martin, Willis McGahee and Cadillac Williams to a combined 55 yards on 37 carries (1.3 avg.) and no touchdowns.

The Patriots rush defense, which ranked 27th in the NFL no more than a month ago, is now the NFL’s sixth ranked unit. Obviously, the return and steady improvement of Richard Seymour and Tedy Bruschi have been vital to this newfound success. Bruschi had his best game last Saturday since rejoining the Pats lineup. The MLB made a team game-high 11 tackles and two sacks, one which resulted in a fumble. Vince Wilfork is playing great in his sophomore season. Mike Vrabel recorded 8 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble against Tampa Bay last week. And perhaps most notably, Rosevelt Colvin has been a dominant force. He has posted a sack in each of the last four games. The entire unit is gelling at the right time and making New England a team to be reckoned with.

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

13

Curtis Martin

NYJ

15

29

1.9

0

14

Willis McGahee

BUF

8

3

0.4

0

14

Cadillac Williams

TB

14

23

1.6

0

Avg. per game (only primary RB)

20.71

78.57

3.8

.64

New England has been forcing teams to be one-dimensional in recent weeks, and it is obvious in the results. With the exception of Larry Johnson’s performance in week 12, the Pats have not allowed a single back to rush for over 65 yards or a touchdown. In those games, New England is 5-0, and much scarier than the team that allowed four 100+ yard rushers between weeks 4-9.

Brooks Bollinger as the Jets starter:

Brooks Bollinger is coming off debatably the best performance of his career. In a tough 24-20 loss to Miami, the rookie QB threw for a career high 327 yards. His 28 completions was also a career high and the two touchdowns matched his best mark.

The 26-year-old Bollinger is not turning the ball over. In his last five games, he has thrown just one interception. It will be crucial for Bollinger to continue to keep the ball out of the opponents’ hands on Monday, as the Patriots have been very opportunistic after creating turnovers.

Bollinger's game-by-game breakdown:

Wk

Opponent

Comp/Att

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

13

New England

15/37

135

40.5%

0

1

39.8

14

Oakland

14/26

119

53.8%

1

0

78.8

15

Miami

28/42

327

66.7%

2

0

106.0

Patriots Pass Defense:

As of late, New England has been extremely successful in pressuring opposing quarterbacks. Against Tampa Bay, the Patriots recorded a season-high seven sacks. Willie McGinest and Tedy Bruschi both had two sacks, while Mike Vrabel, Artrell Hawkins and Rosevelt Colvin each had one. Both a Bruschi and Vrabel sack created forced fumbles. On the drive following McGinest’s fumble recovery after Vrabel’s sack in the second quarter, Brady found David Given’s for a 16 yard touchdown pass. The Pats have scored on four straight drives following turnovers.

Opposing QB’s have completed just 53.3 percent of their passes over the last six games against the Pats. After allowing five of the first six QB’s they faced this year to achieve a rating above 90, New England has since allowed only two QBs to achieve that mark in the last eight contests. The Pats have also recorded eight interceptions over that stretch after picking off just one pass in the first six games.

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

13

Brooks Bollinger

NYJ

15/37

135

40.5%

0

1

39.8

14

J.P. Losman

BUF

10/27

181

37.0%

1

3

33.6

15

Chris Simms

TB

21/34

155

61.8%

0

0

72.6

New England’s pass defense, ranked 30th in the NFL, is allowing an average of 238.7 passing yards per game. However, no quarterback has reached the 200 yard mark in the air over the last three games. Previously, the Pats had held only one quarterback to under 200 yards in the first 11 games.

Injury Impact:

The Patriots roster is the healthiest it has been all year long. Tackle Matt Light is the only Patriot listed as questionable as of now. For the Jets, LB Mark Brown, DE Shaun Ellis and DT Dewayne Robertson are questionable.

Final Thoughts:

The Patriots have now won five of their last six games and have clinched the AFC East. With little to play for other than momentum, they need to continue to look sharp. On the other hand, the Jets (3-11) are playing only for pride. They have rookies starting at both quarterback and running back. That being said, the Jets can take all the chances they want on Monday night. Also, New York is a respectable 3-3 at home.

The Patriots front seven has been dominant lately. The Jets’ rookies at QB and RB will have their hands full as New England’s healthy defense had manhandled opponents lately. The seven sacks against Tampa Bay last week was the Pats season high. The game was also Tedy Bruschi’s best this year. Rosevelt Colvin extended his sack streak to four games. New England has allowed just 28.3 rushing yards per game in the last three contests. During that stretch, they have given up a franchise record-low 10 points.

Winners of 14 of their last 15 divisional games, the Patriots will again this week have several statistical advantages heading into the game: a 44-7 record since 2001 in games played after November 1, a 15-0 record since 1999 in games played after Christmas day and 15 straight wins when the game-time temperature is 35 degrees or colder. Tom Brady has never lost when the game-time temperature is 40 degrees or colder (20-0). The bottom line is that over the last five years, Patriots have consistently been the best team in football late in the season.

 

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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