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Muhammad Wilkerson's Season off the Edge

Posted Nov 28, 2013

We won't say Muhammad Wilkerson is the strong, silent type, but on certain occasions he is a man of few words.

Such as this week when he was asked if reaching 10 sacks for the season with his two sacks of Joe Flacco in Baltimore was a particular goal of his.

"One of my goals," Mo said, "always is to improve each game and try to get better from the previous season, and that's pretty much it."

Consider that goal a lock. Wilkerson has been on a tear since midseason 2012, and he's already doubled last year's five-sack total with five games to play, beginning Sunday at home against the Dolphins and QB Ryan Tannehill.

On this Thanksgiving Day, here's another Wilkerson measure we can give thanks for. He's already forced opposing blockers to commit, let's call them pass-rush penalties — holds, illegal use of hands, intentional groundings — this season. Add that to his sacks and he's at 15 pass-rush minus plays.

And with those five games to play, Mo is threatening to eclipse our best showing in that esoteric number since 1995, which is as far back as I've charted those penalties.

The best showing in that span, of course, was by John Abraham. Big Abe, still bagging quarterbacks for the Cardinals this season, had 19.5 pass-rush minus plays in 2005, his last season in green.

We don't want to jinx Wilkerson, and we're sure this is not a goal of his, but he is in position to pass by Abraham with 20 minus plays, and that will further enhance his standing as an NFL Defensive Player of the Year candidate.

Here are the top six seasons of Jets pass-rush minus plays — PRMPs for short — since '95 (*totals through 11 games):

MO’S IN A FAST CROWD
Player Year Sacks Yards Pens Yards PRMPs Yards
DE John Abraham 2005 10.5 75 9 90 19.5 165
DE John Abraham 2002 10 54 8 80 18 134
DE John Abraham 2001 13 58.5 3 30 16 88.5
LB Mo Lewis 2000 10 61 5 55 15 116
DE Muhammad Wilkerson 2013* 10 60 5 50 15 110
DE Shaun Ellis 2003 12.5 52.5 2 20 14.5 72.5
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