FanPost

Jaguars are on pace to have historically good pass defense

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have been really good on defense and calling them "elite" might not be doing them justice. Going into Week 5, the Jaguars had the top ranked pass defense in the league, and during the game it obviously showed.

But just how good have they really been so far?

Thanks to Football Outsiders and their DVOA% archives, we can shed a little light on just how good we have been against the pass.

No. 1 pass defenses since 2000

Team Pass DEF
2016 DEN -31.10%
2015 DEN -28.00%
2014 BUF -18.20%
2013 SEA -34.20%
2012 CHI -29.00%
2011 BAL -20.20%
2010 GB -21.20%
2009 NYJ -36.50%
2008 PIT -32.80%
2007 TEN -20.40%
2006 CHI -25.50%
2005 CHI -23.80%
2004 BUF -34.70%
2003 BAL -29.50%
2002 TB -51.90%
2001 MIA -29.70%
2000 MIA -29.70%


Let's add in where the Jaguars were before making Ben Roethlisberger the worst quarterback on a field that also hosted Blake Bortles, shall we?

Team Pass DEF
2002 TB -51.90%
2017 JAX -45.30%
2009 NYJ -36.50%
2004 BUF -34.70%
2013 SEA -34.20%
2008 PIT -32.80%
2016 DEN -31.10%
2001 MIA -29.70%
2000 MIA -29.70%
2003 BAL -29.50%
2012 CHI -29.00%
2015 DEN -28.00%
2006 CHI -25.50%
2005 CHI -23.80%
2010 GB -21.20%
2007 TEN -20.40%
2011 BAL -20.20%
2014 BUF -18.20%


Now obviously playing this well over four games isn't as impressive as doing it over 16 games, and we have no way to measure how these other teams looked in only their first four weeks of play. But, honestly, this pass defense hasn't shown signs of slowing down, so why not err on the side of hype?

"Well, yeah, but..."

While I don't think that there will be much argument against labeling our pass defense "elite" so far this season, there is an obvious elephant in the room when discussing our defense. We haven't been good against the rush. Like really not good.

For instance, here were the teams ranked last against the rush since 2000.

Team Rush DEF
2015 CHI 4.30% Still Bad
2016 IND 4.50%
2010 TB 5.00%
2014 NO 6.30%
2009 KC 8.40%
2012 IND 9.10%
2013 CHI 9.80%
2002 NYJ 10.00%
2003 CIN 10.70%
2011 CAR 10.70%
2004 MIN 11.40%
2007 OAK 11.90%
2001 IND 13.50%
2017 JAX 13.80%
2006 IND 14.90%
2000 ARI 16.40%
2005 ATL 17.80%
2008 STL 18.00% Worst


So while 32nd might not be a good place to rank, it doesn't exactly naturally read that a team is fifth-worst at stopping the run in 17.25 years of football.

Again, these numbers should be taken with a grain of salt because we are comparing four games to 16. But we should probably be just as critical of our run defense as we are wont to praise our pass defense.

Playoffs

Just for shits and giggles, I decided to see just how many of the top pass DVOA% teams made the playoffs.

76.5 percent of them made the playoffs since 2000 and 35.3 percent of them made it to the Super Bowl.

And just for objectivity, I decided to look at how many of the league's worst rush defenses made the playoffs. 29.4 percent of the league's worst rush defenses have made the playoffs since 2000, averaging 7.3 wins per season.

I tend to lean more heavily in favor of the results for the number one passing defense, but since 1986 no team has finished 1st in pass defense, and last in rush defense, so just how much the defense can continue to carry the offense to wins is anybodies guess.

Go Jaguars.

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