New York Jets: Stats That Matter from Week 1 vs. the Buffalo Bills

Erik FrenzSenior Writer ISeptember 11, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 09:  Mark Sanchez #6 and Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets celebrate a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during their season opener at MetLife Stadium on September 9, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

My colleague, NFC East lead writer Brad Gagnon, put it best: "The reality is that [stats] rarely tell the whole story, but I also find that they almost always tell part of the story."

Ultimately, the "whole story" will only be written when the season is over, when we have an idea of how these stats look in the end; but for now, let's just take a look at the stats that had an impact on Sunday's game between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills.



How could this not be the first one?

By now, we all know this was Mark Sanchez's passer rating against the Bills. It was his second best regular-season passer rating in his career, and put him at No. 7 in the NFL for Week 1.

How did he get there? By completing 70.4 percent of his passes (fourth-highest single-game mark of his career) and putting up a career best 9.85 yards per attempt.

The higher completion percentage is more indicative of Sanchez's performance than the high YPA—according to Advanced NFL Stats, Sanchez only threw 18.5 percent of his passes deeper than 15 yards. That's better than over half the league in Week 1, but lower than his 20.5 percent rate in 2011.

This matters because the one thing Sanchez needed to do more than anything else, was to be efficient. This year more than years past, he couldn't afford not to be, with Tim Tebow breathing down his neck. As long as he continues to move the offense, there will be no quarterback controversy in East Rutherford, NJ. 



That was the Jets' pass coverage rating according to Pro Football Focus. The number ranked fourth-best in the NFL for Week 1.

The stat isn't exactly surprising—the Jets finished ranked No. 5 in pass coverage last year—but considering the turnover at safety and the question marks around cornerback Kyle Wilson (who gave up one six-yard catch on two targets and had an interception), Rex Ryan must have been pleased.

This stat is important because the coverage on the back end is still reliable enough that Rex can continue to blitz. He threw 14 blitzes at Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on a total of 33 drop-backs, an absurd 42.4 percent rate. That number will not stay so high throughout the season, but when the Jets do blitz, they can count on their cornerbacks to get it done.

Other stats that matter in conjunction to their pass coverage rating, all via Pro Football Focus: The Jets gave up a completion on 11 of those 14 blitzes; on the 19 dropbacks where they didn't blitz, the Jets gave up just seven completions on 18 throws; the Jets didn't log a single sack on Sunday, but got pressure on 12 out of 33 dropbacks (36.4 percent).



That was Tim Tebow's cumulative rating on running plays against the Bills, according to Pro Football Focus. That number ranked sixth-worst out of 38 total quarterbacks to take a snap in Week 1. 

Last season, Tebow finished with a 3.8 cumulative rating in the regular season, which ranked second-best among quarterbacks behind only Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

The Jets brought Tebow in to help the running game, but Tebow and the option offense were largely ineffective on Sunday.

If numbers like 123.4 and -0.7 are any indication, perhaps the Jets would be better off sticking with their No. 1 quarterback.


Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained first-hand.