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).
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.
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.
Tags: Antonio Cromartie, David Harris, Jeremy Kerley, Jim Leonhard, Kansas City Chiefs, Kyle Wilson, Mike Westhoff, Washington Redskins
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