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Inside the Numbers: 1-3's a Tough Spot but...

Posted Oct 8, 2016

Teams That Climb Out of That Hole & Reach the Playoffs; Jets Being Held; Steelers' 2-Point Penchant


On Monday, more than a few Jets reporters asked more than a few players some variation of the question: "At 1-3, is your season over?"

The players' response was uniform, partly because it's part of any NFL player's mantra: "Never give up, baby, never give up."

Brandon Marshall's version of that response, when told that 1-3 teams since 1990 have a 14% chance of making the postseason: "Fourteen? Wow. So our year's over, huh?"

Also, why give up when there are enough examples of the good things that can happen when you don't?

Eighteen teams since 2002 have climbed out of 1-3 holes to make the playoffs. The Jets, of course, were one of those teams back in '02. The '07 Giants won the Super Bowl. Last year three teams — Kansas City, Houston and Washington — began 1-3 and finished in the postseason.

As for the downside, that 14% figure is slightly better since '02, when the current playoff format (four division champions, two wild cards in each conference) began: 15.8% of 1-3 teams (18 of 114) managed to get to the second season. The average final record for 1-3 teams is .417, roughly a 6-9-1 season.

So there's no question 1-3 is a tough spot. But to answer Brandon's rhetorical question, year over? No.



You Really Got a Hold on Me

Tanner Purdum has become iconic when it comes to the clocklike consistency of the NFL long-snapper.

Purdum has never missed a game since coming to the Jets in 2010. (Sunday vs. Seattle was his 100th NFL regular-season game.) He's never executed an errant snap. He's never committed a penalty.

And until Sunday vs. Seattle, Purdum had never had an opponent flagged for committing a penalty against him. But on a third-quarter punt snap, the Seahawks' Steven Terrell slid over in front of him and was nailed for holding him.

"Every once in a while a smaller guy jumps over to block me and I push him down the field," said Purdum. "This time he got caught." Not surprising when you put a 5'10", 197-pound safety on a 6'3", 270-pounder.

RT Ben Ijalana also drew his first pro penalty on an opponent when DE Cliff Avril held him at the line one play before Brandon Marshall's second-quarter touchdown catch.




What the Deuce

If the Jets defense can keep the Steelers out of the end zone at Heinz Field on Sunday, more power to them. But probably the unit will yield at least one touchdown.

And after that score, the Jets will need to be ready to immediately defend a two-point conversion attempt.

Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin and the Steelers have thrown out that two-point chart, or at least put it aside for the first three-quarters of games. With the start of the 33-yard extra-point kick last year, the Steelers were the biggest proponent of trying for two at any time. They lead the NFL in the last two years in two-point successes and attempts at 9-for-12, a 75% conversion rate compared to the rest of the league's 49% rate.

And they're a scary 8-for-10 on deuces in the first three quarters.

"It's a feel thing," Tomlin said early last season about when the Steelers might try for two, "because some things we don't know until we get in the stadium. ... The game is an emotional one played by emotional and driven men, and that's an element of the game you can't measure."

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