Poking a few Bowles ... er, holes in Todd Bowles' defense

The New York Jets hired a highly regarded defensive coach in Todd Bowles, whose impressive work as the Arizona Cardinals' coordinator has been well-documented in recent days.

But he wasn't perfect.

No coach is, of course, but we did some number-crunching and a found a few noteworthy negatives. For instance:

  • While Bowles gets credit for a No. 5 ranking in scoring defense, it doesn't seem to get mentioned that his unit finished 24th in total defense and 26th in yards allowed per rush. Toward the end of the season, the Cards couldn't stop a nose bleed. In the final three games, including the wild-card loss to the Carolina Panthers, they allowed 267, 206 and 188 yards on the ground.

  • The numbers against the run are a bit troubling, considering Bowles played a "loaded" box on 327 snaps, the second-highest total in the league. A loaded box is defined as a play in which there are more defenders in the box than blockers.

  • Some coaches believe the most accurate gauge of a defense is yards per play. The Cards didn't fare well in that category, allowing 5.83 yards per play -- a ranking of 26th.

  • Bowles has a reputation for blitzing. In fact, the Cards ranked second in the number of blitzes, according to ESPN Stats & Information. If you want to break it down further, they led the league in defensive-back blitzes -- 123 snaps. But here's the thing: They weren't terribly efficient from a yardage standpoint. In fact, they yielded 7.35 yards per play on blitzes, 30th in the league.

  • They were a middle-of-the-pack defense in takeaways -- a total of 28, tied for 14th.