So who were the major contributors to the Jets defense’s Sunday smothering of Luke McCown, whose 1.8 passer rating is the lowest of the last three seasons for all QBs with at least 15 passes in a game?
Well, there was Antonio Cromartie, of course, who had the fifth multi-pick game of his career and his first twofer since Game 3 of the 2008 season for the San Diego Chargers against a certain Jets quarterback with the name of Favre.
Then there was Eric Smith, who had his first interception since 2009. And there was LB Josh Mauga, who came up with his first pro pick.
But after those guys, who else, who else …
Sione Pouha continues to show that he’s a pigskin magnet. Against Dallas he made it three fumble recoveries in two opening days, and a big one it was, coming in the shadow of the Jets goal line in the fourth quarter. And against the Jaguars, Big Bo was a brick wall for McCown passes coming over the middle.
On the Jaguar’s first pass of the game, Pouha stuck up his left hand and swatted the ball to the MetLife Stadium turf. And on the first pass of the second quarter, McCown tried to find Mike Thomas over the middle, Pouha elevated with that killshot left hand, and got a piece of the ball — with his left shoulder pad.
“I’ve been working on my volleyball skills,” Pouha told me afterward. “I played in high school. We all played volleyball. I played outside hitter. Now I’m an inside hitter.”
As a result Pouha achieved a rarity for a D-lineman — a two-PD game. Only nine other times since 2000 has a Jets lineman broken up at least two passes in a game. Shane Burton, a pass and kick blocker extraordinaire, had a pair of three-PD games, and the dearly departed (for New England) Shaun Ellis had four two-breakup games.
But the only true inside linemen to do it in that span before Pouha were Steve Martin in 2001 at Oakland and C.J. Mosley (who in fact played for the Jaguars vs. the Jets on Sunday) at New England in 2008.
As for McCown’s microscopic rating, Pouha said: “Big ups to the DBs, to those guys. They did their thing, everybody did his job. It was a great effort by us, plus we can improve.”
Not good news if you’re Jason Campbell, up next against the Jets D at O.co Coliseum this weekend.
Yes, O.co … Et Al
The Jets and Raiders will be playing at the same stadium they’ve (almost) always played in, popularly known as the Oakland Coliseum, but it will be the first regular-season game for the Raiders, in their home opener, under the place’s new name, O.co, which took effect June 6.
The Green & White have played the Silver & Black under two of the previous Coliseum names, Oakland–Alameda County and Network Associates. But despite their frequent trips to the Black Hole over the last two decades, they never played at McAfee Coliseum (2004-07) and no football was ever played at Overstock.com, a name that lasted about a month and a half earlier this year.
The Jets/Titans also played road games against the Raiders at Kezar Stadium (1960) and Candlestick Park (’61) in San Francisco, at Frank Youell Field in Oakland (1962-65), and, in the La-La years, at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles (1982, ’85 and ’93).
So for those scoring at home, the Jets have played at the Raiders under seven different stadium names at five different venues.
The Jets have announced this afternoon that they have filled the two practice squad spots that opened up Monday with two names familiar to Jets fans from the summer — seventh-round WR Scotty McKnight and LB Matt Berning.
Here is where the Jets stack up in different categories after two weeks of the NFL season:
The overall offense is ranked 21st in yards per game, the Jets’ lowest since they were 29th after two weeks last season.
The rushing O is 28th in yards per game (and 27th in yards per attempt). The last time the Jets ground game was ranked lower was when they were 29th after five weeks in 2007.
The passing offense is 13th in net yards per game, the third-highest weekly ranking for Mark Sanchez’s offense behind last week’s seventh and the No. 9 position after the ’09 season opener at Houston.
The overall defense is eighth in yards allowed per game, back in the top 10 after starting out at 23rd due to yielding 390 yards to Dallas in the opener. The Jets’ D has been in the NFL’s top 10 for 28 of the 36 weeks of the Rex Ryan/Mike Pettine regime.
The rushing defense is ninth in yards allowed per game, marking the 21st consecutive top 10 week for the run D.
The passing defense is No. 1 in the league in interception percentage. The Jets have intercepted 8.2 percent of opponents’ passes (five out of 61). They’re also first in interception-return yards, 96, mostly as the Cro flies.
And scoring defense is third in points allowed per game, marking the 12th week under Ryan/Pettine that the Jets have had a top-three scoring defense.
Finally, the Jets are third in the NFL in something I like to call YPPD — Yards Per Point Differential — that measures how efficiently teams score points against yards from scrimmage gained and allow points against yards from scrimmage allowed. The No. 1 team in the NFL is Houston, No. 2 is Detroit. New England is seventh and Buffalo ninth.
One more note: Thanks to all Jets fans who are tweeting along with the Green & White. This morning the Jets’ Twitter account cleared 200,000 followers.
Tags: Antonio Cromartie, Eric Smith, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jason Campbell, Josh Mauga, Luke McCown, Matt Berning, O.co Coliseum, Oakland Raiders, Scotty McKnight, Sione Pouha
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