≡ Menu
The braintrust.

The braintrust.

The Jets passing offense being bad does not qualify for news.  However, the Jets passing offense and passing defense combining for historically inept numbers? Sure, that qualifies.

New York has thrown 8 touchdown passes this year against 11 interceptions. That’s a -3 differential which is pretty bad.  Only two other teams have negative ratios this year: the Jaguars, also at -3 (11 TDs, 14 INTs), and the Vikings at -5 (6/11).  But the Jets pass defense has allowed 24 touchdowns while forcing just 1… ahem, ONE… interception.  That +23 ratio for opposing quarterbacks is better than any offense this year (the Broncos are at +19 (24/5), and the Patriots and Steelers are both at +20 with matching 23/3 TD/INT ratios).

From the perspective of the Jets defense, though, that +23 reverses to a -23.  Add to that the -3 from the offensive side of the ball, and New York’s combined TD/INT ratio from both units is an incredibly bad -26.

How bad? It’s tied for the 2nd worst number through 9 games since 1970, just narrowly behind the 1975 Cleveland Browns. Those Browns began the year with 3 passing touchdowns and 17 interceptions through nine games. Okay, that was even bad for the dead ball era, but what about the defense? Cleveland allowed 19 passing touchdowns while forcing just six interceptions during that stretch! Those numbers led to an 0-9 start under first-year head coach Forrest Gregg.

The table below shows all teams to start the season with at least a -20 ratio in this statistic I just made up. Here’s how to read the line from the famous 1944 Card/Pitt combination, forced together due to World War II. Through nine games, that team threw 8 touchdowns and 40 interceptions (-32), while allowing 19 passing touchdowns and intercepting just 15 passes (-4), for a total score of -36.

TeamYearOff PTDOff INTDef PTDDef INTScore
CRD19448401915-36
WAS19548262711-34
CRD19436351714-32
ATL1966522208-29
CLE1975317196-27
NYJ2014811241-26
NWE1972319133-26
DET19421231612-26
MIA19677202614-25
NYG196611222410-25
ATL1968816248-24
BOS19489262114-24
DEN19649232414-24
JAX2013414184-24
BOS1970420125-23
DAL196012301712-23
SFO195810232010-23
DET1946927149-23
DET2009716206-23
SDG19861225178-22
SDG2000916216-22
CHI1957524129-22
GNB1986818208-22
OAK2004814194-21
CHI1975313176-21
PIT1955923158-21
SEA19951117205-21
KAN2012615186-21
BAL1978822169-21
WAS19616212317-21
DEN1966718188-21
BUF1971819166-21
BKN1944326811-20
NOR1997619147-20
ARI1999418148-20
PIT19451201211-20
DET1989417114-20
PIT194042398-20

The Jets are tied with the ’72 Patriots for the 2nd worst score in this metric since the merger. That team had the worst defense in the NFL and featured an interception prone young quarterback named Jim Plunkett, then in his second year. Is all this a sign that Geno Smith will win a Super Bowl a decade from now with the Raiders? If so, you heard it here first.

What about the best teams in this stat? New England is the top team this year at +14, but that doesn’t register on the historical scale. The top honor goes to the 1958 Colts, led by Johnny Unitas, followed by a pair of Packers teams led by Brett Favre and Don Hutson. A second Unitas team and the 2007 Patriots round out the top five.

TeamYearOff PTDOff INTDef PTDDef INTScore
BAL195821772835
GNB199625772233
GNB1942241672930
BAL19592513102729
NWE2007335111229
CIN200518572026
DTX196221982226
CLE1966228112326
CHI194114862626
SDG1961101183526
WAS1943231572526
BAL1960231752425
GNB2011284161725
DEN2013336161324
STL199926691324
MIA198428891324
KAN1966247121924
DET1954201452324
NYG1954231492424
CHI196315872323
GNB19431817143623
MIN1969191051923
CLE1960140122123
MIN197520971822
RAM1969191141822
CHI1943251582022
MIN2003225131822
NYG199012341722
NWE198618351222
SFO198419391522
SDG196618792022
GNB19629842522
NYG19390702922
DET197613461821
WAS1944171062021
BAL19779552221
OAK197417892121
GNB196611341721
NYG1941101052621
TAM200212731820
DEN198410952420
IND2004316151020
CLE19539742220
SFO194819891820
CLE19469552120

Again, all numbers in this post are through nine team games. Oh, and if you see a Bengals fan who experienced the 2005 season, give them a hug, too.

  • Ty

    How about the 1996 Packers defense with about a 1:3 TD-INT ratio, doing it in an era where there were more TDs than INTs on average!