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SHOES: Let’s Hear It for the Defense

Posted by jetsstaff on December 14, 2009 – 11:23 am

It’s funny sometimes how we bury the lead. The story last week heading into the Jets’ game against Tampa Bay was basically about two major themes. First, there was the decision by Rex Ryan to sit down Mark Sanchez, let caution prevail and start Kellen Clemens at quarterback. Second, there was the big mystery about who would start at safety, Kerry Rhodes or Eric Smith.

Sure, the Jets’ top-ranked run game got some love, because they were going up against one of the worst run defenses in the NFL in the Bucs. But that was secondary to the soap opera stories.

Truth be told, what was talked about very little again was the Jets’ defense as a whole. And that again proved to be the most important factor in the game. Just as it was in Toronto the week before and just as it was against the Panthers the week before that.

Because in reality, it doesn’t matter very much who starts at quarterback when you play defense the way the Jets do. And it doesn’t matter very much who starts at safety when the unit has proven time and time again that it’s bigger and better than any one player at any one spot.

Think about it. This thing was supposed to fall apart when Kris Jenkins went down. And you can never minimize how good Jenkins is as a player and how good he makes the interior of this defense.

But once again, the Jets as a team proved that they can survive the loss of an individual, because quite simply they have one of the best units in the NFL. (OK, maybe they wouldn’t survive the loss of Darrelle Revis, because he’s THAT good. And welcome to the club, Antonio Bryant. Call Randy Moss and Steve Smith and Marques Colston and Terrell Owens. They’re having jackets made.)

During the three-game win streak that has the Jets very much back in the playoff picture, they’ve allowed 6 points to Carolina, 13 points at Buffalo and 3 points at Tampa. Now I know the critic will say, “But it’s the Panthers, Bills and Bucs.” And true, those are far from elite offensive units. But you give up one touchdown in three weeks to any group of teams in the NFL and you’re doing something right.

And the Jets have been doing this all year. What better example than the defense giving up 10 points to the Saints in the Superdome? The numbers speak for themselves. The Jets have allowed fewer points scored by opposing offenses than any other defense in the league, barely averaging double-digit points allowed per game. How much better are you supposed to play?

So you’re the Jets offense, and you go into a game knowing this: We score 17 points and don’t turn it over, we win. With that being the case, why does it matter who’s playing quarterback? When the Jets play the way they want to play, when they’re truly at their best, they actually render the quarterback more irrelevant than perhaps any team in the NFL.

So if Mark Sanchez is ready to go for the Falcons game, great! If not … it’s probably OK. I’d put my money on the Jets defense next week either way.


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Posted in Bob Wischusen | 24 Comments »


24 Responses to “SHOES: Let’s Hear It for the Defense”

  1. By 36 year fan on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    Revis is rockin and rollin’. David Harris wasd tearing it up. The whole D was awesome.

  2. By 36 year fan on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    Kc looked awefull. We were lucky to have such a great D. Please, Rex dont put KC out there ever again.

  3. By Mike Jet Vet on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    Best part of this season how good the defence is without big Jenks & how much our pass D has improved from a year ago the running game is clicking ..What could have been if only we had a QB I truly believe our record would be 11-2 leading the AFC east ..Ed in Tucson I never said our chances are any better with Sanchez just have no shot with K-C the goal is go forward not backwards K got it

  4. By scjoe on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    I beg to differ with you Bob. It DOES mater who plays QB! It may not have mattered yesterday against the Bucs, it may not have mattered that much against the Bills, or even Carolina. But trust me, it will matter against Indy, Cinn, and probably even against Atlanta, and it certainly will matter should we make it into the tournament. Great defense aside, they can’t stop pick 6s from the bench.

  5. By Tom Spicer on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    This is why I think the Jets can make the playoffs the D is good enough to keep them in ever game. I know we can beat the Falcons & I really think we can beat the Colts & Bengals. Like shoes said 1 TD in 3 games is lights out.

  6. By Mike jet Vet on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    CONT> Rex has shown remarkable improvment in my eye’s getting every1 Offence & defence alike on the same page .. Proof being the defence #1 in the league even without big Jenks running game #1 in the league without L-W tells me one important factor given the chance I believe he’s going to be one fine head coach ,, Rex Please go get us a pass rusher & TE & pray Sanchez learns from his mistakes

  7. By scjoe on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    You always hear the cliche that “This is a QB driven league” Well, it is. My prediction is one of the teams with the great QBs, Indy,Minn,N.O. Ariz, and even N.E. wins it all this year. Should any one of those QBs go down (especially Manning) they would immediately be eliminated.

  8. By coat on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    This Defense is for real, If they play their game then the Jets can beat anybody now all we need is for Miami,Baltimore and Jacksonville to all lose one—J E T S jets jets jets

  9. By uncle joe on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    Rex Ryan said when he came hear that we would have a Great Defense and a Great Running Game,He has Delivered 100%.I do remember alot of news paper articles stating Tannenbaum didn’t know what he was doing & that Woody Johnson should kiss Cohwer’s butt to come here.WHEN WILL THEY Apologize & Admit The Jets Have The Best Coach In The League!ThankYou Mr.Johnson & ThankYou Mr. Tannenbaum!

  10. By Kim Seastone on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    I love the D, but the truth is we won’t be able to win the rest of the games with an office who can’t THROW a touchdown in the endzone. If Sanchez can’t play against the Falcons, lets see Ainge! Clemens is terrible!!! And a shout out to Danny Woodhead, the RUDY of the NFL!!!!

  11. By Anthony on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    The defense has been unbelievable but lets take it one game at a time. We have the Falcons next and I think if Ryan sits we play Kellen again because I don’t trust Sanchez’s knee yet. I think its worse then what we are told. He is in heavy rehab but that don’t mean squat if his body doesn’t heal right and gets hit hard. We don’t need to lose a future investment off stupidity just a thought.

  12. By Dave Reiner on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    They can’t beat the better teams in the NFL without a passing game and/or a QB who turns the ball over frequently. The really good teams have smart quarterbacks who know how to take care of the football. The Jets can only go so far with Sanchez or Clemens at QB. I hate to say that, but that’s the way it is.

  13. By Dave Reiner on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    Our top rated defense and running game will only get us so far. You have to be able to throw the football, or they’ll shut down the run. We have one of the worst passing offenses in football, and we turn the ball over a lot. That will not get us to the playoffs. Even if it does, we won’t go far. I hate to say it, but it’s the truth. It’s a shame because our defense and running offense are great!

  14. By steven on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    I propose there is an answer at quarterback and has been all along. I will say Eric Ainge has proven himself but what I’m talking about is Brad Smith. He set records in college, is very mobile, and probably would suprise everyone at quarterback. The reason for him being a receiver anyone? Better yet, the reason for him not being a starting quarterback anyone?

  15. By Luis from Olathe KS on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    KUDOS to D amazing guys that play defense!!!!! I do not remember seen a game so well play, excecuted by any defense. We had BIG NAMES, BIG PLAYS, KUDOS to all of you!!!!!

  16. By scjoe on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    Big time kudos to Rex for 1- getting the defense where it is after losing Jenkins for the year and 2- getting the running game where it is after losing Leon for the year, now, if only he could do something about that QB play, we would be unstoppable.

  17. By Row on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    Run D was amazing. Very little pass rush, but Pace gets a good sack. Rhodes has another pick. Schotty doesn’t need to play Chad ball, let Clemens use his arm. Franchise QB or not, you get paid to win. KC deserves to start vs Atlanta. We have to get to Redman early, run for first downs, get a passing game going. Everyone knows we can run the ball. How about setting up some trick bombs? Go Jets

  18. By Joe T on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    Clemens is a good team mate and guy…but after being in the system for 4 years even as a backup, I would have expected a better performance yesterday. He was missing his throws by about 5 yards. Clemens backup only as long as Schotty is here. Once Schotty is gone I think Clemens will be too.

  19. By Mike jet vet on Dec 15, 2009 | Reply

    Hey K-C Fans wonder what excuses we’ll hear when the falcons defence exposes K-C & puts an end to our season ..He’s a great kid no doubt is he NFL material nope .. They’re going to stack the box & rush him on every other play he doesn’t have the speed presents nor the footwork in the pocket to overcome that kind of pressure.. Rex get B-Smith involved much more if not Ainge PLEASE

  20. By Mike jet Vet on Dec 15, 2009 | Reply

    CONT. I believe B-Smith has more talent then K-C he’s seen plenty of action over the last few seasons he can run pass catch sing dance he does it all at least rotate him with Sanchez or K-C .Might be to late for Ainge this game is to big nerves will come into play & affect any rookie .. REX why is J-CO returning punts we have enough injurys ..let Clowney return kicks & put Danny -W in the slot

  21. By Jet Man on Dec 15, 2009 | Reply

    HOO-RAY! We may not get in the playoffs but I love where we are going! Next year BE READY!!!

  22. By Anthony on Dec 15, 2009 | Reply

    I would defintely like to see Ainge play, I mean he is a big guy who can throw the ball well. He has good field vision too. The problem is that at this point in the game you go with what you know and if Kellen can control the game like he did we will be ok. Sanchez is a rookie who is going to have great potential he needs to rest his knee back to being okay first before we get him back.

  23. By Howie D on Dec 15, 2009 | Reply

    Why are we messing with Kerry Rhodes? If he was our only problem we’d have won every Superbowl since he joined the team. Our achilles heel is Shotty and the offense he runs. Why is he getting a free past? Our D is now tops. Can someone tell me where’s the O ranked since Shotty took over? Leave Kerry alone and solve the real problem, get a new OC!

  24. By Howie D on Dec 15, 2009 | Reply

    I love the job J-CO has done for us, but I too don’t think he should be returning kicks. That does not seem to be one of his strengths. I think Brad Smith would be a better choice at this point.

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