Robert Saleh, New York Jets, Rain, Bears, Fumbles, Practice
Robert Saleh, New York Jets, Getty Images

This New York Jets coaching staff knows how to identify its weaknesses and work on them

Outside of the quarterback play, the New York Jets have mostly been pleasurable for their fans to watch throughout the majority of the 2022 season so far. There have been ups and downs for all facets of the team, but relative to expectations, this group is a fun one.

While the Jets are an imperfect team with plenty of holes that continue to nag them, there’s really just one non-quarterback issue that has been frustrating for the fanbase to endure on a constant basis: the team’s incompetence at recovering fumbles.

Starting in the very first game of the season and persisting through the Jets’ latest contest, fans have been complaining all year that the Jets seemingly have no idea how to recover a fumble. Any time a ball is loose, it seems like the Jets either bungle a golden opportunity to snag it or the ball simply decides it wants to bounce back to the other team.

And the numbers back up the fans’ frustration. The Jets have recovered only 39.3% of available fumbles this season, which ranks 28th in the NFL.

The defense deserves the brunt of the blame. Offensively, the Jets have maintained possession on 61.5% of their fumbles, which ranks 13th-best. But on defense, the Jets have only recovered 20% of opponent fumbles. That is the worst mark in the NFL.

In the fourth quarter of the Jets’ recent win over the Bears, linebacker Kwon Alexander forced a fumble by tight end Cole Kmet that seemed like it would be an easy recovery for New York with multiple defenders in the area. Somehow, the Jets failed to come up with it, leaving fans scratching their heads once again.

There is a high degree of luck involved with fumbles. Oftentimes it is impossible to control what happens. But when you are only collecting 20% of opposing fumbles at the 11-game mark, there is probably something your team can do better to tilt the odds in its favor.

It seems that head coach Robert Saleh has recognized this issue and is making an effort to correct it. During Wednesday’s practice, the Jets’ defensive players were seen working on fumble recoveries in a drill with coaches.

Give credit to Saleh and his staff for their prudence. All year, the Jets’ coaches have been astute when it comes to recognizing weaknesses and making adjustments to fix them.

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at]jetsxfactor.com - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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mlesko73
mlesko73
2 months ago

This ought to be a team-wide drill, turnover potential works both ways.
Perhaps the most egregious missed fumble recovery was the strip sack fumble against Denver and miss by Obeughi (sp?)
Great to see the staff recognizing an issue.

Jonathan Richter
Jonathan Richter
2 months ago

In one paragraph you say the Jets have recovered 39.3% of fumbles, and in the next paragraph you say only 20%. ?