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Inside the Numbers: Jets' YAC, 1st Down & Penalty Leaders

Some Revealing Statistics from a Season of Charting the Green & White


After 16 regular-season games and no playoffs, it's Jets accounting time. Here are a number of numbers from a season of charting the Green &White:

Pass-Catching Potpourri
Chris Herndon's strong rookie season is reflected in his receiving numbers. He caught 70.9% of the passes targeted for him (39 of 55), had only one drop, and led all Jets receivers with a 108.3 "receiver rating" (same as passer rating but only on passes targeted for him).

Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa were slowed for multiple games with ankle injuries but still showed flashes of their skills in 2018. Anderson finished with career-best averages of 11.7 yards before each catch and 15.0 yards/catch. And his 10 receptions of 20-plus yards give him 37 catches of 20-plus in his career, most by a WR in his first three Jets seasons since Laveranues Coles' 43 chunk-play catches from 2000-02.

Despite Quincy Enunwa's injury-slowed finish, he still averaged a team-leading 7.3 yards-after-catch average, which is also the best YAC average by a Jets WR in the last 15 seasons.

Top Images of the Rookies During the 2018 Season

Yards After First Contact
Isaiah Crowell had one up-and-down year before he went on IR after Game 13 at Buffalo. He averaged a robust 2.85 yards after first contact on his 143 rushes, thanks in large part to his 9.1 YAFC in the opener at Detroit and his 5.2 average at home vs. Denver. But Crowell averaged a more tame 1.94 yards before first contact for a 4.79 yards/carry average. That's because other than those big yardage games, the Jets' team figures were 1.64 YBFC and 3.93 yards/carry, both their lowest rushing figures since 2012.

Penalty Tales
It wasn't all bad news on the yellow-flag front. The top two Jets at forcing opponents to commit infractions were LB Jordan Jenkins, who forced nine penalties (seven marked off for 60 yards) and rookie DL Nathan Shepherd, who caused eight penalties (six marked off for 55 yards).

On the other side of the beanbag, the Jets flagged for the most infractions this season were T Kelvin Beachum and CB Morris Claiborne with nine penalties each, and the player who had the most yardage marked off against him was CB Buster Skrine, with 107 yards on seven penalties.

Who was penalized least? When DL Henry Anderson got hit for roughing Tom Brady last Sunday, it was his first and only flag of the season, not bad for 668 defensive snaps and 168 more on special teams.

Moving the Chains
One of many things Sam Darnold does well is know how to optimize his carries. The rookie kept the ball seven times on third- or fourth-and-1 and converted six of them. That's the best showing by a Jets QB since Boomer Esiason went 8-for-8 in 1993. Mix in Darnold's scrambling ability and he led the Jets with 10 rushing third-down conversions for the year.

The first-down leader this season was Crowell with 32. That's the lowest figure for a Jets leader since 1991 for a few reasons. One, because Crowell missed almost all of the last four games with injury, and two, because the Jets offense managed 241 first downs, third-fewest in the NFL in 2018.

Big Takeaway Plays Return
The Jets' takeaway production wasn't consistent, as the five turnover-less midseason games would attest. But the return touchdown — three INT-return TDs, by Darron Lee, Morris Claiborne and Trumaine Johnson, the most in a season since 2010 — and the strip sack — six, their most in three seasons — returned to the defensive equation.

The Jets had 20 total takeaways, same as 2017, but averaged 3.1 points after each one, their best figure since 2012. The leader for most TAs involved in (including forced fumbles and PDs on picks) was Johnson with five (four INTs, one fumble recovery), the most since Darrelle Revis was involved in 10 TAs in 2015. Jamal Adams, Claiborne and Avery Williamson had a hand in four takeaways each.

Play Count Leaders
This season's ironmen: On offense, RG Brian Winters and LT Kelvin Beachum each played in all 1,001 of the Jets' offensive snaps. (Darnold logged 810 plays in his rookie season.)

On defense, Adams was in for 1,119 of the team's 1,120 snaps. The only play he missed was for an obviously minor injury at Chicago. Silver medal to MLB Avery Williamson, who missed only six defensive snaps. But with a 98-54 edge in special teams plays, Williamson was the team leader with 1,212 total snaps to Adams' 1,173.

On special teams, Terrence Brooks led the way with 392 snaps, 79% of all ST plays.

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