The key to being competitive w/ NE is converting a bunch of 3rd downs. Extending drives. Getting 1st downs. Getting touchdowns. Thats pretty obvious. No revelations there. In Week 2, Jets were 6/13 on 3rd down and 1/1 on 4th down. They scored 28 points. They won. In Week 9, CLE converted 7/13 on 3rd down and 1/1 on 4th down. They scored 34 points. Arguably, the Pat's offense and defense seemed to turn the corner after the CLE game. Since then, lets look at the other games since then from a 3rd down standpoint. For arguement's sake, lets throw out the season and just look at all games after CLE. Pitt- 5/12 Indy- 11/14 DET- 7/14 NYJ- 3/12 CHI- 3/8 GB- 11/19 BUF-3/10 MIA- 4/13 In the Indy game, they had 28 first downs and GB had 26. Indy had 22 first-downs via passing, 5 running and GB 13 via passing & 9 running. So in total, 70% of all 1st downs were via the air. For arguments sake, for the 11 3rd down conversions, thats about 8 via the air. Incredible. Since CLE, Pats stop 46% of 3rd downs. Statistically, that stinks but you can argue that over that stretch they have been in zones and allowing many 3rd downs to take place. Another data point: Top 10 teams converting 3rd down % NO NE ATL SD INDY PITT TB GB HOU DAL The NYJ were 3rd in the NFL in # of 3rd downs per game at about 14 and converted a little less than 6 per game. Thats pretty decent and put them at 40% conversion- middle of the pack. On the whole, they had 306 1st downs a game that averaged 19.2 first downs a game which is low. Of their 6 3rd down conversions a game, 1.8 came in the air and 4 came on the ground. In addition, the NYJ have 306 completions on the year which rank them 31st in the NFL. Thats 19 a game. Over the year, the Jets throw on 3d down 68% of the time. How Sanchez Can Win The Game. Sanchez is 74/160 46% comp % on 3rd down (Brady completes 61% on 3rd down. Brees is 65%) and attempts 4.6 throws per game on 3rd down. You guys can look up the yardage breakout but he is good on 3rd/8-10 yrds but brutal on anything 3-10 yds As a whole, 32.6% of it's passes are for 1st downs. Thats 21st in the NFL next to OAK and TN. However, all those teams above have QBs who complete more than 61% of their passes. Sanchez is 30th in comp % at 54.8% a game and of course worse on 3rd down. We know hes not a very accurate QB. He can make plays here and there but his numbers he is not consistent on 3rd down at all. The NYJ running game averages 9 first downs a game. NE defense averages about 6 rushing 1st downs a game and 14 receiving. Mark Sanchez 2010 Situational Stats, Jets, NFL So if you look at the Indy and GB games as templates needing on average 25 first downs, 18 passing first downs and 11 3rd down conversions to stay competitive with the Pats, Sanchez needs to.... -Double his number of passing 1st downs -Increase his average number of converted 3rd downs passing per game by 610% Seeing that the above numbers would require Sanchez to morph into Peyton Manning, for the Jets to win the Jets win, they will need to do a complete 180 on when they do on 3rd down to beat NE IE- run it as opposed to throw it.