Stat Wrap: Jets Tops at Yards After Contact

Posted Nov 18, 2014

Chris Ivory, Chris Johnson, Bilal Powell, Percy Harvin–Our Backs Are Tough to Bring Down

Rex Ryan was asked Monday why Chris Ivory hasn't gotten the ball more. He turned his answer into a tribute to "Chris Brothers" pinball.

"We do have a stacked backfield when you have Chris Johnson in there with Bilal Powell as well," the head coach replied. "We have three good backs, so that’s going to play into it. We like the fact that our backs are fresh right now, where a lot of teams, they’re kind of feeling the bumps and bruises. We’re fresh. We’re ready.

"And here’s something about Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory — they're one and two in this league in yards after contact. So both of them are running hard."

Rex's numbers are right on, with qualifications. For all players with at least, let's say, 50 carries, Stats Inc. lists Ivory as No. 1 in the NFL with 2.8 yards after first contact and Johnson as No. 2 with 2.7 a YAFC average.
I keep my own YAFC for the Jets and I have both Ivory (3.0) and Johnson (2.8) with even better averages. Meanwhile, Powell, who's been a fine role player this season, has a YAFC average of 2.3. But in averaging 2.3 also in yards before contact, his 4.6 average (on 22 carries) is the best of all the full-time backfield members.

Then add WR Percy Harvin into the RB mix and lower the bar to 20 carries, and the Jets have three players in the NFL's yards-after-first-contact Top 10: Harvin first (3.4, including his Seattle carries), Ivory fifth and Johnson sixth. As a Jet, I have Harvin's YAFC average at 4.6 on 11 carries.

What does it all mean, though? Both Chrises have yards-before-contact averages of 1.4. The league averages this year are 2.2 yards before and 1.9 yards after first contact. So our rushing numbers are open to several interpretations: Either Ivory's and Johnson's blocking needs to be better, or both backs need to transition to north-south quicker, or we've faced defenses that are better than average at making their first contacts stick.

The Bills, our Sunday opponents, could be one of those teams. I don't have their defensive YAFC but they are No. 9 in the NFL in yards allowed/game and No. 10 in yards allowed/carry.

Yet while the Bills held down Ivory/Johnson at MetLife on Oct. 26, Powell, Harvin and Michael Vick all found room to ramble as we totaled 175 rush yards on 33 carries. And that game is one of the efforts that has lifted the Green & White ground attack to fifth in both yards/game and yard/carry.

Finally, considering the heavy snowfall now and a rainy forecast for Sunday in Western New York, the team with the better ground game and yards after first contact could be mushing its way to victory.


READ: First Test of Jets' Bye Week Vibe: Buffalo

READ: The Spotlight Swings to 4 Jets Defenders

WATCH: Miller: Vick Gives Jets a 'Short-Term Solution'

WATCH: Dunbar: Richardson Adds Technique to Swagger

WATCH: Ivory: Big Plays Fuel Offense

Let us know your thoughts. Comment below through Facebook, AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo accounts.
Please read the Terms of Use for our commenting policy.