Week Eight Jets’ Defensive Snap Count Analysis

Mike O’Connor takes his weekly look at where and how often certain Jets players lined up on defense.

Going back into games to look for more insight and evidence is usually a fun and useful tactic, but it took a lot out of me to look back at the Jets-Bengals massacre.  Regardless, I came away with more interesting snap counts of defensive players in Rex Ryan’s complicated schemes and I noted where players were lining up.  For that spreadsheet, click here.  Let’s put aside the atrocious play from the Jets and look at some patterns in defensive snaps.

Remember! – Any questions about things on the chart or just overall comments on how to improve the charts will be answered and acknowledged.

I have more frustration with the way Rex Ryan handled the playing time of Dee Milliner and Darrin Walls.  Anybody who has read my articles on the Jets’ secondary would know that I’m a big supporter of Walls and I firmly believe he is the better player than Milliner at the moment.  Ryan is essentially hurting the team’s chances of winning by sacrificing the better corner for earlier development for Milliner, which I don’t agree with when the Jets are in a reasonable spot to win a good amount of games this season.

Ryan benched Milliner far too late in the game, but he managed to make another wrong decision.  When Milliner was sent to the sideline for Walls, Milliner didn’t check back into the game once.  Talk about killing a rookie’s confidence.  I like how Rex gave Ellis Lankster some snaps at the end of the game, but it just doesn’t make sense to bury Milliner when the Bengals had their backups in on offense.

At this midway point in the season, durability stands out among some players.  Two of those players are David Harris and Dawan Landry.  Harris hasn’t missed one snap in the three games I’ve charted, and I’m almost positive that he hasn’t missed a snap all season.  I haven’t been a huge fan of the play Landry has brought to the table, but his durability also must be respected after he missed his first snaps of the season when Rex sent the defensive backups in at the end of the game.

Charting Garrett McIntyre’s snaps lately have been an adventure.  Against spread offenses like the Patriots, McIntyre only notched 6% of the defenses’ snaps.  However, when the Jets need to keep a strong edge versus balanced offenses like the Bengals and Steelers, he played 47% and 51% respectively.  It goes to show how much Rex respects McIntyre’s work versus the run game.

The Bengals’ very vertically based offensive passing game made the Jets’ secondary substitutions very peculiar.  Kyle Wilson, who’s seen the majority of snaps as the slot corner when healthy (totaled 71% of snaps versus the Patriots in Week Seven), only managed 26% of snaps and as low as 8% on first down.  The Jets seemed settled on sacrificing safety play deep in zone to come up and play in the slot so they could keep a stacked box to pressure the quarterback (which was unsuccessful).

Rex might be catching on to the fact that Quinton Coples has been awful ever since he came back from his broken ankle, because he took a load off of his first down (61%) and second down (70%) snaps after giving him nearly 100% of all the snaps last week.  While this acknowledges that Ryan would rightly prefer McIntyre versus the run game at times, it still points to how stubborn Rex is with still believing in him as a pass rusher (didn’t miss a snap on third down).  Coples hasn’t offered anything in this department, and the Jets are sacrificing his side of the line in regards to getting any penetration at all.

It’s clear that the Jets’ coaching staff is perfectly comfortable depending on Sheldon Richardson to keep up his absolutely stellar play versus the run game.  He’s played more than 65% of his snaps inside, which makes Muhammad Wilkerson’s position much more expendable.  Even though Wilkerson is a force against the run as well, the Jets can afford to play him at the 5-tech more often to rush the edge, even on probable rushing downs. It will be interesting to see if Rex throws extra defensive backs against the Saints high powered aerial attack, much like he often does against the Patriots.