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Defense’s Emphasis on PDs Paid Off at Washington

Posted by Randy Lange on December 8, 2011 – 5:03 pm

PDs can be Pretty Darn Slippery. Sometimes a team can get a lot of pass defenses in a game and get scorched through the air. Sometimes it can get only a couple and still shut down the other team’s passing game.

But for the Jets on Sunday, their unofficial total of 13 PDs actually was quite impressive and in keeping with the quality of their pass defense against the Redskins. And two of the cornerbacks who had a few of those PDs told me in the locker room today that the showing was no accident.

“We did a great job last week,” said Antonio Cromartie, who had one of his best games of the year. “We got a lot of tipped balls, even from our front line, and our linebackers were getting their hands on passes. Nothing’s really changed for us. It’s just being a lot more aggressive.”

“Overall, we’re really just playing our techniques. Coach [Mike Pettine] is calling the plays and we’re going out and executing to the best of our ability,” said Kyle Wilson, who came up with the late interception, the second pick of his career, off of Donald Strickland’s deflection. “When the ball’s in the air, we’re attacking it. That’s definitely been a point of emphasis the last few weeks and I think we’re doing a better job of it.”

How good? Just in terms of unofficial numbers, the Jets have had only one other game in the last 15 seasons in which they had as many as 13 PDs. That was in 1999, when they flew to pre-Tebow Denver off of a season-opening three-game losing streak and picked off Brian Griese and Bubby Brister five times in their 21-13 come-from-behind win. S Victor Green and LB Mo Lewis each had three PDs that day.

On Sunday, the Jets spread the wealth around, with Jim Leonhard, David Harris, Cromartie and Strickland each getting two defenses apiece. Sione Pouha and Muhammad Wilkerson each batted down a Rex Grossman pass behind the line.

Interestingly, Darrelle Revis had no PDs but that’s probably because Grossman was wary of the Island. Revis much of the game was covering WR Jabar Gaffney, who was targeted only three times by the ‘Skins QB and had no catches.

The Jets almost had a first-half interception when Brodney Pool snared a Grossman overthrow, but Strickland’s illegal contact on TE Fred Davis wiped it out. But the play seemed to underscore the renewed stress on the defense.

“We’re just trying to emphasize getting more and more turnovers,” Cro added, “to give our offense more opportunities to score.”

Wilson’s pick didn’t produce points, but the first second-half fumble recovery led to a Nick Folk field goal try (his only miss, from 40 yards out) and the second FR led two plays later to Shonn Greene’s second TD run of the game.

Even with the reminders from head coach Rex Ryan, Pettine and DBs coach Dennis Thurman, were coming off of three low-PD games — seven breakups and no picks combined in the New England-Denver-Buffalo stretch. So was Washington a one-off or the start of a trend? We’ll know more when first-year QB Tyler Palko, sore-fingered vet Kyle Orton and the Chiefs’ receivers pay a visit this Sunday.

Blackjacking the Redskins

That touchdown, by the way, was part of one of the quickest streaks to 21 points in franchise history. In a note that we first reported in our E-blast to season ticket holders and subscribers Wednesday, the Mark Sanchez-to-Santonio Holmes TD pass and Greene’s two TDs all came in a span of 3:02, which is the shortest amount of clock time the Jets have used to score three times since at least 1980.

The quickest had been the 3:29 span of the third quarter at Buffalo in Game 4 of the 2010 season, during which the Jets hung up 21 points on the Bills in their 38-14 victory. Quickest before that was 1985 Game 9 at Indianapolis (3:43).

Rex Cetera

Ryan’s take today on the Jets’ mentality heading into the Chiefs:

“There’s a sense of urgency, without question. But it’s just a purpose, a focus. That’s where we’re at. We know what’s at stake. We have to win this game. There’s all the scenarios in the world, three out of four might get us in, but there’s no scenarios where you can lose an AFC game. We have to win our two remaining AFC games and we’ll worry about all the other stuff later. We know we have to win this game. With that understanding, it’s dialed up our intensity and focus.”

Mike Westhoff said he isn’t ruling Jeremy Kerley out of returning punts Sunday, although he acknowledges along with Ryan that Jim Leonhard has the experience and sure-handedness the coaches like. Westhoff put much of the blame for that muff not on Kerley but on Washington’s Niles Paul getting through two Jets and blasting Kerley almost as soon as he touched the ball. … Westhoff said if Joe McKnight can’t return kickoffs due to his elbow, Antonio Cromartie is next up and Kerley behind Cro.

Injury Pictures

G Brandon Moore sat out his second practice of the week but Ryan is still not worried about his availability for the Chiefs. “No, I feel good about Brandon,” the coach said. “How many starts in a row does he have? It’s over 100, I know. He can probably miss a practice or two.”

DT Mike DeVito also sat out his second practice and is less certain to be ready for Kansas City. Safety Eric Smith (knee), DT Marcus Dixon (hip) and RB-KR Joe McKnight (elbow) were all limited for team drills at today’s practice. LB David Harris (ankle) and CB Ellis Lankster (low back), who weren’t full-go Wednesday, practiced full today.

The Chiefs’ slim report added a fourth body today when LB Jovan Belcher (shoulder) was listed as limited for team drills. QB Kyle Orton and C Casey Wiegmann also remained limited and LB Demorrio Williams probable.


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Posted in Randy Lange | 27 Comments »


27 Responses to “Defense’s Emphasis on PDs Paid Off at Washington”

  1. By joe on Dec 8, 2011 | Reply

    Please dont tell me anything about pass d against the REDSKINS BILL,DOLPHINS CHIEFS ECT.Tell me about pass against the Pats 2x (train wreck )Saints Packers Steelers. We have one exatly one game against teams with winning record.Its like being the tallest midget in a height contest.

  2. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Dec 8, 2011 | Reply

    Nice to see Westhoff show some perspective by admitting to the lousy blocking on the punt Kerley fumbled, though to be fair to Westhoff and Rex I’d like to know why Kerley didn’t call for a fair catch. Sometimes there’s a good reason that isn’t easy to see from the stands but you gotta wonder if he wasn’t a little over-eager too. As for all this praise of Leonhard today, sorry, until he’s at least 6′ 2″ the guy is a liability on most pass coverage. Once he’s gone or downgraded Rex will simply move on to praising someone else to the skies, as seems to be his MO. I’m just tired of watching us get killed on passes to RBs and TEs and that’s been going on since Rex — and Leonhard, Scott, and Douglas — got here in 2009.

  3. By 38 year fan on Dec 8, 2011 | Reply

    Cromarte is our best punt returner now , but , sometimes his catches scare me …

  4. By 38 year fan on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    We should pick up Matt Lienardt from the texans . When his collar bone heals he is a great QB . This is just a backup plan for next year . Brunnel is not going to go on forever .

  5. By 38 year fan on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    For the chiefs – we must shut down the running game , Thomas Jones .

  6. By IRA on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    Randy, Great point about their PD’s vs Wash. Sure it was Grossman at QB but the DB’s played their best game of the year.
    Glad to see Westerman will start again. He really showed last week what i expected him to be able to do now he has to show he can play that way week in and week out.
    Going back to that 99 Den game Green was involved in one play that turned out to basically end T. Davis’ career. He tackled Davis out of bounds and Davis tore his ACL and never was the same after that.

  7. By IRA on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    This week should be real simple stop the run and protect the ball end of story. I would like to find a Saints,GB and Hou tee-shirt this week to wear under my Jets fleece. We need help along with a win.
    GO JETS!!!!

  8. By GaryC on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    the only way the jets will lose this game is with turnovers,I mean really, losing to Tyler Palko,if you lose this one,I never want to hear that we can still make playoffs with the help of others.

  9. By Tom Spicer on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    Joe, Actually the Bills where throwing the ball all over the field averaging 30 points per game until we stopped them. Than everyone took our game plan & used it against them. Also in the meantime after we played them the first time they lost there all pro NT Willaims, there number 1 corner Mcghee, there best player there running back Jackson & there number 2 WR Jones so they have been devesated with injurys. Also we beat the Cowboys & the Chargers I think it is safe to say they have good passing games with Romo & Rivers

  10. By dave on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    Honestly – every time I see someone besides Leonard back to catch a punt, I start to shake with nerves. I actually said something foreboding before the McKnight and Cro dropped punts.

  11. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t want to hear this weak stuff about other teams helping us, Ira, that attitude is strictly for losers. This team especially needs to learn how to do it on its own. As it says in the Tao Te Ching, “The Master fulfills his/her own obligations and corrects his own mistakes. He does what he needs to do AND DEMANDS NOTHING OF OTHERS.” (my caps on that last part)

  12. By russ on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    Mike Tannenbaum, Mike Tannenbaum,
    I Hope you change Jet history
    Mike Tannenbaum Mike Tannenbaum
    Don’t make Christmas a misery… my half time song for Jets/Giant game…

  13. By GaryC on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    All I will say is when you are dependent of others you become lax in your task, just look at society.

  14. By IRA on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    Tom,
    Sorry bro its too late to do it on their own unless they get help. They missed out on that a few weeks ago.

  15. By Gabriel on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t see whats the problem with leonhard tom 64, simply just because his short? Ryan praises people because he sees their talant and knows them as a person not just as another football player. I hope the Jets win this game, would love for this to be a blowout but hey with the Jets I expect anything can happen. I heard Rex wasn’t too pleased with Kendrick Ellis’s performance, so his not starting? will MTV start then?

  16. By Jimmer on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    Even if we win out, we still might not get in. I think the Steelers were 11-5 or maybe even 12-4 and did not make the playoffs. And that was pretty recent.
    So I’m praying for help no matter what.

  17. By Tom Spicer on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    I am not worried about the Raiders they will lose at the Packers this week & next week the Broncos are going to get slapped in the face with reality when the Pats neat them. Those two teams will have 6 losses at that point.

  18. By Tom Spicer on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    What I am worried about is the Bengals this week if the beat the Texans at home they might not lose another game. They play the Ravens in the last week & the Ravens may bench there guys. Also the Titans play the Saints this week if they do not lose they may not lose again they play the Texans in the last week & the Texans may not have anything to play for. WE NEED THE BENGALS & THE TITANS TO LOSE THIS WEEK!

  19. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    …but if you tell them that, Ira, they might not even beat KC, thinking that their backs aren’t enough against the wall yet! I just say keep the focus on doing your job and letting the chips fall, that’s how I’d play it if I were the HC. Any team that leads the league in ST fumbles has no business thinking about anything but the game. Gabriel, Rex plays favorites, gets sentimental, cuts people he’s raved about, holds onto people he’s paid no attention to. Not much of what he says interests me any more. Like with Sanchez, he’ll praise Leonhard until the day he doesn’t and yeah, 5’8″ is ridiculous for a DB these days unless he has the kind of superhuman athleticism that Revis has at 5′ 10″, and even he struggles with taller guys sometimes.

  20. By GaryC on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    IF,IF,IF,IF,IF,IF,IF,sad this is what the jet season boils down to.

  21. By joe on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    Gary C since the early 70 i have been a Jet fan .LOL its always IF, WOULD HAVE ,SHOULD HAVE COULD HAVE.What it NEVER is is we would like to present Mr Woody Johnson with the Lombardi Trophy

  22. By joe on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    Tom want to really laugh the next time the Ravens or Steelers play watch the overally saftey speed and tackling ability of their guys compared to Leonard and Eric Smith.Rex though will tell you how fantastic our guys are .Newsome at Baltimore is no fool logic dictates IF SCOTT and Leonard were worth keeping he would have paid them Leonard (who gets paid millions )was offended a few weeks ago that fans were booing them

  23. By cgb on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    This is it , the next 4 weeks will tell if the jets are going to a higher place.Tackling and completly wrapping up players is a must. Frankly i think the overall tackling in the nfl is below midget football league’s standards. Good week to start practicing our rushing the qb, i dont care how we do it we just need more qb pressure. We just win out and the rest will take care of its self. tenn, cincy, denver, oakland will all lose at least 1 more.

  24. By Jimmer on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    I am a musician, and if we do win out, I will write a completely JETS song. Maybe Randy can link it, but they need to win out.

  25. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Dec 10, 2011 | Reply

    That’s good, Jimmer, because with Rex’s yearly predictions of Super Bowl glory, the song I hear in my head most of the time as the most likely official Jets song is Hendrix’s “Castles Are Made of Sand” (“And so castles made of sand fall in the sea, eventually…”).

  26. By joe on Dec 10, 2011 | Reply

    Tom did you hear him yest IF WE GET IN WERE GOING TO DO SOME DAMAGE.Rex IF we get in we will not be playing against the likes of WASH,KC ECT.Rex well be playing NE,BALT ect if memory serves me correct we didnt exactly do DAMAGE to them this year when we played them (THATS WHY WE HAVE THE IF )

  27. By NC on Dec 11, 2011 | Reply

    Jets/Chiefs games in December are always great. Green and red: looks very Christmasy.

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