Full Stat Predictions for New York Jets' Regular Season
With so many new faces at key positions on both sides of the ball, predicting stats for the entire regular season is as difficult as it has ever been.
The Jets could have a different quarterback in Week 4 from Week 1. There is no telling exactly when Santonio Holmes will return to action, and the running back rotation is far from settled.
As the Jets continue to evaluate their young roster in a rebuilding season, plenty of changes will be made to the depth chart as they determine who will be a part of the team moving forward.
Here are stat projections for the Jets in 2013.
650 yards passing, 3 TDs, 3 INTs, 55% Completion
Sanchez gets the start for Week 1—but he can't hold onto the job for long. Within two and a half games, Sanchez is pulled in favor of Geno Smith.
So far, the Sanchez we have seen in preseason is the same guy he has been for five years now (except for the hideous headband). Sanchez will have streaks of solid play, then turn around and make a brutal mistake that costs his team the game. His completion percentage has been in the same 50-60 percent range that it has been throughout his career.
Even if Sanchez plays better this year as a starter, the Jets are going to insert Geno Smith into the lineup. At some point this season they're going to be shopping for next year's quarterback.
2,700 yards passing, 18 TDs, 16 INTs, 59% Completion
Geno Smith is certainly the player the fans and coaches want to see this year, but he may have to wait a few weeks before the Jets have more justification to start him.
While Geno has a bigger arm than Sanchez, Smith lacks the experience that Sanchez has as a four-year starter. Fans may be tired of watching Sanchez throw face palm-inducing interceptions, but there is no promise that a rookie in Smith won't make the same mistakes. In fact, it is rather likely that he does make those mistakes as a part of the developmental process.
Starting a young quarterback prospect is always an exciting venture, but Geno will have to endure some growing pains before his numbers resemble that of a typical NFL starter.
240 carries, 1008 yards (4.2 avg), 6 touchdowns, 15 receptions, 70 yards
It's assumed that Ivory will be the main workhorse in the Jets' backfield after giving up a fourth-round pick for him, but Ivory will still lose a significant amount of carries to Bilal Powell.
Ivory will ultimately be the Jets top back because of his unique skill set as a tough inside runner with great lateral agility.
Perhaps the biggest worry for Ivory entering 2013 will be his health—for as much potential as he showed in New Orleans, he had a tough time staying available for 16 games. His physical style does not match up with his lighter frame, which predictably leads to a laundry list of injuries for Ivory every year.
130 carries, 560 yards (4,3 avg), 4 touchdowns, 30 receptions, 235 yards
While he is currently listed as the starter headed into the third preseason game, Powell will likely revert to his former role as a third-down back who can also carry the ball on earlier downs.
Powell's best asset is his pass protection, which allows him to be in the game in just about any situation. After all, defenses will not be able to anticipate a run or a pass with him in the game.
The biggest stat jump for Powell will be his receptions. Look for Marty Mornhinweg to use Powell in the same way he used LeSean McCoy: catching passes out of the backfield and being the target of screen passes—a staple of Mornhinweg's offense.
10 carries, 45 yards (4.5 avg), 0 touchdowns, 8 receptions, 60 yards
Still on the fence to make the team, McKnight has yet to establish a full-time role on offense—and there is no reason to believe that is going to change anytime soon, even with a new offensive coaching staff.
McKnight, if he is healthy, will likely retain his duties on special teams. However, unless there is an injury, his production on offense will be limited to just a few, if any, carries per game and a handful of receptions.
15 carries, 56 yards (3.8 avg), 0 touchdowns, 3 receptions, 15 yards
Kahlil is simply a placeholder for if and when Mike Goodson reports. In fact, there is a good chance that Bell will not even be active if the three other runners are healthy.
A solid veteran who can be trusted in pass protection, Bell will get his carries to give Ivory and Powell a break while making a couple of catches along the way.
Tommy Bohanon (FB)
12 carries, 48 yards (4.0 avg), 3 touchdowns, 18 receptions, 120 yards
The Jets' seventh-round pick out of Wake Forest, Bohanon's best trait comes from his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, at least for a fullback. His 120 yards through the air won't warrant a spot on your fantasy roster, but he will be a useful asset out of the backfield.
Because there is no way to tell exactly when Holmes will return to the starting lineup (or if he ever will), predicting his stats is impossible. This section will be updated when more is learned about Holmes' timetable as he recovers from his Lisfranc injury.
70 catches, 1,050 yards (15.0 avg), 8 touchdowns
With Santonio Holmes out indefinitely, Hill enters the 2013 season as the top outside target for the Jets.
Hill's rookie struggles have been well-documented, but he has the physical tools needed to make a big leap in his second season as a pro. Hill's combination of size, speed and athleticism make him an ideal big-play target.
He won't lead the team in catches, but he will generate big plays and be a huge asset in the red zone.
Hill's numbers will certainly be limited by the quarterback play around him, but he should take a big step from his injury-riddled rookie campaign in what should be a more pass-friendly offense.
65 catches, 780 yards (12.0 avg), 4 touchdowns
While Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill battled injuries all last year, Kerley emerged as the team's top receiving option and was forced to move out of his natural position at slot receiver.
Kerley should return to his slot position with (almost) everyone healthy again, which will change how his stats project. His relatively high average of 14.8 yards per reception should drop, while his receptions will receive a boost from 56.
Kerley will no longer be the centerpiece of the pass offense, but he will still get plenty of opportunities to make plays from the slot in an offense that is not as predicated on the run game.
40 catches, 520 yards (13.0 avg), 5 touchdowns
Plagued by injuries and age, Edwards is not the same player he was when he was with the Jets as a full-time starter in 2010.
However, Edwards will still play a role in providing depth for a position that sorely lacked talent behind its starters last year. If Santonio Holmes is out for an extended period, Edwards' value will skyrocket and he will see about as many snaps as a full-time starter.
With his size, Edwards will be a valuable asset in the red zone and should rack up more touchdowns than his playing time would suggest he should have.
35 catches, 473 yards (13.5 avg), 1 touchdown
Once a hideously, raw route-runner, Clyde Gates has managed to develop into a useful player as he begins to learn how to use his elite speed to his advantage.
Gates will likely see about as much playing time as Braylon Edwards and should generate some chunk plays from time to time, but he won't be as big of an asset near the red zone. If he continues to develop, he could rise up the depth chart.
400 yards, 37 receptions (10.8 avg), 4 touchdowns
The former undrafted free agent will get his chance to enter the season as the top tight end on the depth chart for the first time.
Cumberland, who missed one game last year, should continue to build on his 359-yard season, although his statistical ceiling will be limited by his quarterback play and Kellen Winslow's presence.
310 yards, 28 receptions (10.7 avg), 1 touchdown
The biggest challenge for Kellen Winslow this year will be to stay healthy and available on a weekly basis, as Winslow's once-promising career as a former first-round pick has been derailed by injuries.
Winslow should see a comparable amount of playing time with Cumberland, but he may spend a bit more time blocking, as Cumberland is a bit lacking in that area.
6.0 sacks, 20 tackles
As an interior defensive lineman, no player is going to be put in a better position to rack up sack totals than Sheldon Richardson.
Drafted in the first round because of his great athletic ability, Richardson excels in being able to penetrate gaps and get in the backfield in a hurry. Rex Ryan will put him in one-gap situations on obvious passing downs so he can unleash his full athletic prowess.
Richardson may be a bit of a liability in the run game in his first year, but he will put up impressive sack totals for an interior defensive lineman.
1.0 sack, 35 tackles
The third-year player out of Hampton is primed to break out this season—as long as he can stay healthy. He missed four games last year and is currently dealing with a back injury that occurred when he was lifting weights, Michael Fensom of The Star-Ledger reports.
In either case, Ellis won't be in a position to rack up a lot of stats as the team's primary nose tackle. Ellis will be "two-gapping"—taking up space to allow linebackers and safeties to make stops.
1.0 sack, 15 tackles
The former Charger will provide (valuable) insurance in case Ellis continues to struggle with his health. However, even if Garay does get more playing time than expected, don't expect him to rack up tackle numbers as a nose tackle.
8.0 sacks, 60 tackles
Muhammad Wilkerson is primed to build on his stellar sophomore season in which he was the most dominant defensive lineman in the game not named J.J. Watt.
Wilkerson has always been a dominant run defender, but he started to improve as a pass-rusher as the season went along last year. Even as a 5-technique defensive end, a position usually reserved for run-stuffers, Wilkerson should be able to put up a healthy amount of sacks.
Still, what Wilkerson does best—controlling the point of attack and collapsing the pocket—cannot be justly measured with basic statistics.
7.0 sacks, 45 tackles
With Coples out “indefinitely” with an ankle injury, breaking the double-digit sack mark from a new position at outside linebacker is a bit of an unrealistic expectation.
However, Coples will get more snaps than he did during his five-sack rookie season when he does return as a starter at outside linebacker. Like Sheldon Richardson, Coples will be moved all over the formation on obvious passing situations.
The biggest adjustment Coples will have to make at his new position will be moving in space and learning how to drop into coverage. Even if he does struggle in that area, it won’t show up on his stat sheet.
3.0 sacks, 60 tackles
Calvin Pace was never a double-digit sack artist—and don’t expect him to magically become one in his 12th season as a pro.
Pace will get a few coverage sacks, but he was brought back to the Jets to play the run and set the edge—which, when healthy, he can do very well.
8.0 sacks, 30 tackles
Barnes was originally brought in to be a situational pass-rusher, but with Coples out for at least the first few weeks Barnes will have to take more of a full-time role.
Barnes' best season to date was in 2011 in which he notched 11 sacks with the Chargers, but injuries got the best of him in 2012 as he was only able to post three sacks.
Now with a blessing of full health and with more playing time, Barnes should see his numbers creep back up towards the 11 mark again.
95 tackles, 2.0 sacks
Once regarded as one of the most underrated players at his position, Harris had a miserable season in 2012, as Pro Football Focus rated him as the worst defender on the Jets in 2012.
There is no clear reason as to why a player of his caliber would turn in such a substandard season. Whether he had an undisclosed injury or was struggling to adjust to life without Bart Scott, Harris gets the benefit of the doubt that he will at least partially return to form as a serviceable, productive linebacker in 2013.
Still, Harris will need to prove that he is back to his former self before we can project All-Pro numbers once again.
90 tackles, 4.0 sacks
The second-year player may not have the physicality Harris has when taking on blockers and playing the run, but he is—by far—the best coverage linebacker on the roster.
Davis won't wow anyone with his stats, but he will give the defense added flexibility in sub-packages with his ability to cover and play form sideline-to-sideline.
4 interceptions, one touchdown, 10 passes defended
Antonio Cromartie may be assuming a more prominent role in the Jets defense in place of Darrelle Revis, but that does not necessarily mean that he will see more action on his stat sheet.
Just as opponents did with Revis, teams will simply avoid Cromartie altogether. Why throw against a Pro-Bowl player when you can pick on rookie Dee Milliner on the other side?
Still, Cromartie will make splash plays when he gets a chance and is due to take an interception back for a touchdown.
1 interception, 18 passes defended
There is little doubt that teams will immediately look to test Milliner out of the gate as a rookie starter opposite Cromartie. Rookie corners already have a bulls-eye on their backs, but the target is even bigger when they are playing opposite one of the best cornerbacks in the game.
As a result, Milliner may wind up with more passes defended and tackles than Cromartie—especially out of the gate.
If Milliner is up to the challenge, the balance of passes on both side will start to even out—otherwise, Milliner will continue to be tested until he gives opponents a reason not to throw at him.
1 interception, 9 passes defended
Penciled in as the starting slot cornerback, Wilson will see as much attention as any other cornerback on the team—and I don't mean that in a good way.
The former first-round pick has been a disappointment throughout three seasons having not been able to seize a starting position at boundary corner. Wilson tends to rack up big tackle numbers, but that is largely because he was supposed to be covering the guy who caught the ball.
3 interceptions, 8 passes defended
One of the fastest-rising players on the roster, Walls would probably be a starter at one of the three cornerback positions if he was a first-round pick. However, the former undrafted Golden Domer has all but secured the fourth cornerback spot and could challenge Wilson for the job in the slot.
Walls won't see a ton of passes thrown his way because of his relatively limited playing time, but he has great timing and ball skills and will be able to capitalize on opportunities when they arise.
78 tackles, 2 interceptions
As the lone veteran presence at the safety position for the Jets, Landry will post linebacker-type tackling numbers from the strong safety position. Last year, he recorded 81 tackles in Jacksonville, but that number may dip playing behind a stronger front seven that won't need as much safety support in the run game.
Landry may not make spectacular hits like his brother LaRon did for the Jets last year, but he is a reliable veteran who will be in the right place at the right time more often than not.
60 tackles, 1 interception
Allen is in the middle of a fierce battle with Jaiquawn Jarrett for the starting strong safety job. However, because he is currently listed as the starter on OurLads.com, we will assume Allen is going to start the regular season lineup opposite Dawan Landry.
Allen is listed as a free safety, but his skill set as a downhill run stopper is much more suited for the strong safety role. As a result, Allen will post solid tackling stats, but he will get beat downfield from time to time—a statistic that does not show up in the box score.
20 tackles, 1 interception
Again, Jarrett's numbers will take a big jump if he usurps Antonio Allen as the starter. But for now, Jarrett will play the role of the third safety that comes on the field in nickel packages.
Like Allen, Jarrett is a stiff, downhill player that is much better going forward than backwards. His stat totals may look much better than his tape does on Monday mornings.
20/25 (80 percent)
The Jets had trouble scoring points last year, but Nick Folk wasn't the reason why. Many of his misses came from blocked kicks. Meanwhile, he was able to hit four kicks from beyond 50 yards.
Kicker performance can fluctuate greatly from year to year, but Folk has been on the steady incline ever since he replaced Jay Feely in 2010—and there is no reason to believe that he will falter any time soon.
Joe McKnight (Kick Return)
1100 yards, 28.0 average, 1 touchdown
McKnight has yet to establish a role on the offensive side of the ball, but there is no denying his production as a kick returner. Last year, only four players had a higher return average than McKnight.
A new special teams coach throws a wrench in predicting McKnight's return stats, but as long as he can stay healthy, he should be able to at least maintain his production in the return game in 2013.
Jeremy Kerley (Punt Return)
320 yards, 11.2 average
Kerley has always been a talented returner going back to his days at TCU (making the top play on SportsCenter), but he has struggled with fumbles since entering the NFL—fumbling five times in two seasons. He also set the record for the amount of fair catches in a season in 2012.
Kerley lacks elite long speed, but he has great agility that allows him to get consistent yardage with a limited amount of space. As long as he secures the ball, Kerley should wind up with some of the better return statistics in the league.