Newsday's Bob Glauber goes the extra yard for the inside scoop on the NFL.
Jets' offense: more plays than Eagles
Ok, you want a stat that pops off the page in the early going of the NFL season? It's this: After two games, the Jets - yes, the Jets - have run more plays than the Eagles.
That's right. A Jets' offense with rookie Geno Smith at the controls has reeled off 144 plays, the fourth highest total in the NFL. The Eagles? They rank eighth with 135.
Now, that's a reasonable number of plays for an offense through two games, but wasn't Chip Kelly's high-octane offense supposed to be a veritable machine when it came to reeling off play after play after play? That hasn't been the case so far, although the Eagles get their next chance tonight against the Chiefs in the return of former Eagles coach Andy Reid to Lincoln Financial Field.
The Eagles' offense has absolutely been productive in terms of yards and points. Philly has averaged 31.5 points per game, third behind the Broncos (45) and Packers (33). And the Eagles' 477 yards per game ranks second behind the Packers (482.5). Both numbers far surpass the Jets' struggling offense, which has averaged just 14 points per game and 311.0 yards.
One more key stat, and this is the one that could really come back to haunt Kelly's approach at the NFL level: The Eagles held the ball for an average of just 26:11 through the first two games. Only two teams have a worse time of possession.
Why the concern about how long they have the ball? Simple. The faster they score or are forced to punt, the longer the defense has to stay on the field. That puts an inordinate amount of pressure on the defense, and it inevitably leads to fatigue if the defense is forced to play signficantly longer each game.
The Jets' defense may not get the benefit of big chunks of points from the offense, but they are staying fresher because Geno's unit at least holds onto the ball. The Jets' time of possession is 33:11, fifth in the NFL. The defense ranks second in yards allowed and is giving up just 15 points a game.