Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

21 Nov 2013

ESPN Upset Watch: Jets over Ravens

This week's Upset Watch looks at how the inconsistent Jets can beat the inconsistent Ravens on the road. Cover Watch points out once again how bad Houston has been this year, despite the fact that Jacksonville has been even worse.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 21 Nov 2013

12 comments, Last at 22 Nov 2013, 9:22pm by AudacityOfHoops


by RickD :: Thu, 11/21/2013 - 3:47pm

Hard to say what would be an upset in the Jets-Ravens game. The Jets have the better record. But they are 1-4 on the road, while the Ravens are 3-1 at home. The Ravens are favored, but by a measly 3.5 points. The Ravens have the higher DVOA, but last week the Jets did. This is the Jets' week to win according to their alternating schedule.

I wouldn't dream of wagering actual money on the game.

Now, Jax over Hou would be a true upset. And I don't think a lot of people appreciate just how bad the Texans have been this season.

by AudacityOfHoops :: Fri, 11/22/2013 - 9:22pm

FYI, teams favored by a measly 3.5 points have won around 64% of their games in the past decade or so: http://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/odds-history/win/ ... so it's not as if the line indicates this is a toss up.

by Scott Crowder (not verified) :: Thu, 11/21/2013 - 4:25pm

Looking more closely at the Jets defense, it's not as good as its overall DVOA would suggest. 18th vs the pass and 1st vs the run, but way ahead in 1st vs the run. meaning nobody is even trying to run on them, all their opponents go to the air because, well, they CAN.

Baltimore, meanwhile, is one of those teams, like Seattle, that seems to win an awful lot at home. I read somewhere they have a better homefield advantage historically than even Seattle. Baltimore's defense, meanwhile, is more balanced. Good at stopping both run and pass. They actually have a pretty good defense. One that gives up far less points per game.

I'd say Baltimore making the spread should be a favorable bet. There are probably better bets out there, but the Ravens at home vs the Jets would not be on my list of probable upsets.

by RickD :: Thu, 11/21/2013 - 4:47pm

The Jets' defense has an non-adjusted run DVOA of -30.7% and a non-adjusted pass DVOA of 16.1%, which somehow leads to a total DVOA of -3.1%. Presumably this is a weighted average of the first two numbers: it's certainly not the unweighted average of those two numbers. I'd guess the weights are proportional to the number of plays of each type that the defense sees.

Even though their pass defense is much weaker than their run defense, nobody seems to want to run a pure passing attack against them. It would be interesting to see what happened if anybody did. Presumably the Jets would make a personnel change to improve their pass defense.

by jfsh :: Thu, 11/21/2013 - 5:40pm

I agree generally that they are vulnerable to the pass. It's worth noting that the Jets' D-Line numbers are exceptional, though. Their current Adj. Line Yards and RB Yards numbers are the best since the 2006 Vikings, with the caveat that the season is of course not yet over.

Unfortunately for the Jets, running is pretty much optional in today's NFL.

by Led :: Thu, 11/21/2013 - 6:21pm

They definitely have been vulnerable to the pass, but I think DVOA under rates them a bit because they have been unlucky in getting interceptions. They are slightly above average in completion percentage, slightly above average in YPA, and above average in generating sacks (and I suspect as good at generating pressures, but I don't have those numbers on hand), but they have the third lowest INT percentage. That sems weird. I think because of regression to the mean you can expect them to generate a higher rate of INTs in the future, which will improve their end of year pass DVOA somewhat. They probably still won't be GOOD against the pass, but they should be somewhat better.

by jonnyblazin :: Thu, 11/21/2013 - 10:38pm

Ravens should definitely be concerned about how the Jets DL matches up against their OL. Gino Gradkowski has actually had 2 decent games in a row after being inhumanly bad for the first 8 games. It remains to be seen if he can handle the "sons of anarchy" (Richardson, Wilkerson, Harrison). Gradkowski has also had major problems picking up stunts, so I know Rex will dial up some pressure to mess with him.

by mehllageman56 (not verified) :: Fri, 11/22/2013 - 12:46pm

I don't know if they mention it in the article, since I don't get insider, but the Jets have never won against the Ravens. Ever.

by Travis :: Fri, 11/22/2013 - 1:47pm

The Jets beat the Ravens in 1997, though at the Meadowlands. The Jets haven't won in Baltimore since 1983.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Fri, 11/22/2013 - 4:00pm

The Jets win because there is no Dave and Busters in downtown Baltimore.

by JimZipCode :: Fri, 11/22/2013 - 5:24pm

Does it have to be *IN* downtown? Because there's one just 10-15 mins from the stadium, in Arundel Mills Mall.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 11/24/2013 - 11:17am

I didn't think Ryan would do that much research to find it. Also, I consider Arundel Mills Mall to be more part of Southern Maryland than Metro Baltimore....but I am tempted to swing by there Saturday night on the off chance that the Jets are there.