The Jets play on the road in the NFC West for the second straight week as they travel to St. Louis. With the Rams hosting at the dome, it will be the first indoor game the Jets have played in their past 34 regular-season games.
The Rams enter Week 11 coming off the first tie game in the NFL since 2008. Against the 49ers, Sam Bradford posted his highest Total QBR of the season (82.0) against the NFL’s top scoring defense.
This will be the first career game for either quarterback against the opposing defense. The Rams are one of three NFL teams (minus the Jets) Mark Sanchez has never faced.
Here are three statistical areas to focus on Sunday:
Most Pass TD on Throws of 21+ Yards
1. Sanchez has faced an aggressive pass rush of five or more defenders on 39.2 percent of his dropbacks, more often than any quarterback in the NFL. The Rams should look to exploit that as they have sent added pass pressure on 65.7 percent of opponent dropbacks, third most in the NFC. The Rams also mix it up and have used a defensive back to blitz the quarterback at the sixth-highest rate across the NFL. Front-seven players at defensive line and linebacker have benefited on such plays and lead the NFC with five sacks when a member of the secondary helped disrupt blocking schemes. While the Rams are strong up front with added pressure, Sanchez should note they are vulnerable downfield as one of five teams without an interception when they have sent five or more pass-rushers.
2. You might remember these teams swapped offensive linemen in August with Jason Smith joining the Jets and Wayne Hunter going to St. Louis. The Rams are beatable up front, where they have allowed a sack every 12.9 dropbacks, which ranks fourth worst in the NFL. Sam Bradford has been under duress, sacked or hit while throwing on 24.3 percent of dropbacks, which is the eighth most among 33 qualified passers. The woes on the offensive line have also hurt an otherwise powerful running game as the Rams are the worst NFC team in yards per rush when contact is allowed behind the line of scrimmage.
3. Bradford has added the deep ball to his arsenal and has already set a career high in completions on throws that travel more than 20 yards in the air. Half of his 10 touchdowns have come on pass attempts that deep, tied for third most in the NFL. Last week the Jets faced the NFL leader in that category and were hurt badly on the deep ball when they allowed all three completions to finish with a touchdown. While the Jets have allowed only nine big pass plays of 30 yards or more this season, eight of those (88.9 percent) have been on throws that traveled more than 20 yards, which is the second-worst percentage in the NFL.