Checking the Numbers: Titans-Jets Game

Tim Larsen/Associated Press

Tim Larsen/Associated Press

On Sunday afternoon, the Tennessee Titans and New York Jets played in a game where the roles most expected coming into the season were reversed. The Jets were 2-0 coming in, while the Titans were 0-2 in much need of a win. The Jets won another close game, but how did each team look compared to what we would expect statistically? As I have done with several games in this season, here I wanted to look at this game from my own analytical perspective.

In this post, I took the box score stats from the game and compared how each team did against a combination of their season averages from the 2008 season and the 2009 season. Up to this point, I had been using only 2008, but I have begun incorporating 2009 numbers as well. For each team, I average per game for all games played in 2008 and 2009 prior to this weekend as the baseline. 

So, anyway, on to the numbers! (Box Scores taken from Yahoo! Sports and 2008 averages from Pro-Football-Reference.com) Below, I have four tables.

Titans’ Offensive Boxscore vs. Titans’ Offensive Averages

The first table is a comparison of Tennessee’s offensive numbers from this game with their average numbers from the beginning of the 2008 season up until last week. This gives an indication as to how well the Jets’ defense performed in this game because it shows whether the Titans’ offensive numbers were above or below their game averages.

Team Statistics Jets’ Def vs. Titans’ Off
  TEN TENAvgOff % Difference
  First Downs 17 16.94 0.33%
    Passing 9 9.28 -2.99%
    Rushing 8 6.5 23.08%
  TOTAL NET YARDS 286 321.5 -11.04%
    Total Plays 69 60.78 13.53%
    Average Gain Per Play 4.1 5.29 -22.49%
  NET YARDS RUSHING 127 140.28 -9.47%
    Rushes 30 31.06 -3.40%
    Average Per Rush 4.2 4.52 -7.02%
  NET YARDS PASSING 159 181.22 -12.26%
    Yards Per Pass Play 4.1 6.1 -32.76%
    Times Sacked 2 0.78 157.14%
    Had Intercepted 2 0.61 227.27%
    Fumbles Lost 2 0.56 260.00%

The Jets’ defense did an great job on the Titans’ offense, holding them below their average offensive output in just about every category. Most significantly, the Jets forced the Titans into 4 TOs, 2 INTs and 2 Fumbles Lost, both over 200% more than the Titans average. In total yards, rush yards, and passing yards, the Jets held the Titans about 10% below Tennessee’s averages for each category.

Jets’ Offensive Boxscore vs. Titans’ Defensive Averages

The second table is a comparison of the Jets’ offensive numbers from the game to the Titans’ defensive averages. This tells us how the Jets’ offense performed compared to Titans’ defensive averages.

Team Statistics Jets’ Off vs. Titans’ Def
  NYJ  TENAvgDef % Difference
  First Downs 13 17.44 -25.48%
    Passing 10 11.06 -9.55%
    Rushing 3 4.72 -36.47%
  TOTAL NET YARDS 229 304.17 -24.71%
    Total Plays 64 64.44 -0.69%
    Average Gain Per Play 3.6 4.72 -23.73%
  NET YARDS RUSHING 83 88.94 -6.68%
    Rushes 31 25.28 22.64%
    Average Per Rush 2.7 3.52 -23.27%
  NET YARDS PASSING 146 215.22 -32.16%
    Yards Per Pass Play 4.4 5.5 -19.93%
    Times Sacked 3 2.67 12.50%
    Had Intercepted 1 1.22 -18.18%
    Fumbles Lost 1 0.67 50.00%

Offensively, the Jets certainly didn’t light up the Titans. In just about every category, they were below Tennessee’s defensive averages.

Jets’ Offensive Boxscore vs. Jets’ Offensive Averages

The third table compares the Jets’ offensive output in this game against their average offensive output from 2008 and so far in 2009. So, it gives an indication as to how the Titans’ defense performed against the Jets’ offensive averages.

Team Statistics Titans’ Def vs. Jets’ Off
  NYJ  NYJ AvgOff % Difference
  First Downs 13 19.11 -31.98%
    Passing 10 11.61 -13.88%
    Rushing 3 5.83 -48.57%
  TOTAL NET YARDS 229 334.61 -31.56%
    Total Plays 64 61.61 3.88%
    Average Gain Per Play 3.6 5.43 -33.71%
  NET YARDS RUSHING 83 128.39 -35.35%
    Rushes 31 27.5 12.73%
    Average Per Rush 2.7 4.67 -42.17%
  NET YARDS PASSING 146 206.22 -29.20%
    Yards Per Pass Play 4.4 6.05 -27.22%
    Times Sacked 3 1.78 68.75%
    Had Intercepted 1 1.33 -25.00%
    Fumbles Lost 1 0.5 100.00%

Here again, in most statistics, the Jets did not perform even up to their  statistical averages. Although they struggled rushing the ball, they did stick with it, still rushing for over their previous averages in attempts, but well below in yards/attempt.

Titans’ Offensive Boxscore vs. Jets’ Defensive Averages

The fourth table compares the Titans’ offensive output with the Jets’ average defensive numbers. So, this gives an indication as to how the Titans’ offense performed against the Jets’ defense.

Team Statistics Titans’ Off vs. Jets’ Def
  TEN NYJ AvgDef % Difference
  First Downs 17 19.11 -11.05%
    Passing 9 12.56 -28.32%
    Rushing 8 5.22 53.19%
  TOTAL NET YARDS 286 319.56 -10.50%
    Total Plays 69 63.06 9.43%
    Average Gain Per Play 4.1 5.07 -19.10%
  NET YARDS RUSHING 127 91.06 39.48%
    Rushes 30 24.44 22.73%
    Average Per Rush 4.2 3.73 12.75%
  NET YARDS PASSING 159 228.5 -30.42%
    Yards Per Pass Play 4.1 5.92 -30.72%
    Times Sacked 2 2.39 -16.28%
    Had Intercepted 2 0.89 125.00%
    Fumbles Lost 2 0.94 111.76%

This table shows that the Titans’ offense underperformed compared to the Jets’ defensive statistics from. They did outperform the New York’s rushing yards average, but that was offset by their lack of a passing attack.

Overall, this was another tight game with the Titans having the edge in yards gained but losing the turnover battle by -2. Also, when I re-checked the Box Score, I saw that the Jets had the more explosive return game, particularly in PRs. They averaged 17 yards per punt return, compared to just 6 per PR for Tennessee. In total, New York had 51 punt return yards compared to 12 for the Titans. It looks like the Jets won this game through strong defense and special teams along with an offense that did just enough and didn’t give the game away.

Let me know your thoughts.

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One Response to “Checking the Numbers: Titans-Jets Game”

  1. Strangely Enough Says:

    Having watched the game, I can’t argue with that assessment. Turnovers, special teams, and offensive inconsistency in the second half cost the Titans a winnable game.

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