The New York Jets really are just a quarterback away
“They’re just a quarterback away!”
You hear that phrase in the NFL quite often. It is typically used to describe a team that is championship-ready outside of the quarterback position but is held back by the limitations of the signal-caller(s).
Does this phrase apply to the New York Jets?
I think it does – and there is one stat that makes it clear. And, when I say “one” stat, I actually mean two stats that can be combined into one neat package to prove the point.
Consider this: The Jets allowed only 20.3 points per game in their 10 losses during the 2022 season. That is the fewest points per game allowed by any team in its losses this year.
Now toss this one in: The Jets threw only 0.5 passing touchdowns per game in their 10 losses. That is the fewest passing touchdowns per game thrown by any team in its losses.
If that does not spell “a quarterback away”, I’m not sure what does.
When the Jets lost, they almost always held the opponent to a reasonable point total; one that could have been eclipsed with even just league-average offensive production. But the offense consistently failed to meet those low standards, and it was mostly due to abhorrent quarterback play.
Here is a look at each team’s averages for points allowed per game and passing touchdowns per game in its losses during the 2022 season:
Not only did the Jets allow the fewest points per game in losses, but it wasn’t even close. The second-ranked Saints allowed 22.9 points per game, trailing the top-ranked Jets by 2.6 points. That margin is equal to the margin between the second-ranked Saints and the 11th-ranked 49ers.
In addition to the lack of touchdown passes, another team-sinking weakness of the Jets’ quarterbacks was their accuracy. According to Pro Football Reference, the Jets’ quarterbacks combined for an on-target-pass percentage of 63.3% in New York’s losses, which was the worst mark of any team in its losses.
No team played better defense in its losses than the Jets. No team received worse quarterback play in its losses than the Jets.
That sure sounds like a team that is “a quarterback away”.
Obviously, the Jets have plenty of work to do in other areas of the roster as well, such as the offensive line and the safety unit. You never go 7-10 or lose six consecutive games solely because of the quarterback(s).
But you can go 7-10 and lose six consecutive games primarily because of the quarterback(s). It seems that is the case with this Jets team. It’s easy to picture the same squad winning a few more games if it received competent quarterback play.
No team’s quarterbacks deserve a larger portion of the blame for the team’s lack of success than the Jets.
Next Article: It’s obvious who the NY Jets’ 2023 QB should be
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