Today we start our series of evaluating how each player on the Jets performed this past season, along with looking forward to what their role on the team will be next year…up first, outside linebacker Calvin Pace -
Stat Line – 51 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 3 TFLs, 3 PDs, 1 INT, 1 FF, missed 4 games due to a foot injury
Playoff Stat Line – 10 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 FF
Best Moment – His bone crushing strip sack of Tom Brady in the Jets divisional round playoff victory over the New England Patriots, which landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Fast forward to 4:18 to see the play…
Best Game – He didn’t have one that jumped off the page, but did finish with 7 tackles and a sack against both Cleveland and Cincinnati.
Overall Evaluation – It is hard not to be somewhat disappointed with the production from Pace this past year. For the second straight season, he missed 4 games and he had 2.5 less sacks than he did in 2009. There was also a fairly substantial drop off in the number of big plays he caused. The most encouraging thing about his season was that he recorded a sack in each of the Jets three playoff games. Pace remains the Jets best overall pass rusher, which is less of compliment towards him and more of a statement on how desperately they need to add one. He is a very good all-around football player but shouldn’t be relied on as your number one option to get after the quarterback. (B-)
Future: Pace isn’t going anywhere any time soon considering the monster deal he signed before the 2008 season. It would be nice to see him play 16 games this year and when healthy he will remain a key part of the Jets defense for the foreseeable future. Look for the team to attempt to upgrade the outside linebacker spot opposite him, which could help boost his production.