Rushing: Jets Need To Get Defensive after Season-Opening Loss – NY Sports Day


NY Sports Day
Anthony Rushing

Rushing: Jets Need To Get Defensive after Season-Opening Loss

Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire

Welcome to the 2017 New York Jets.  

Where there’s been more discussion on which top college quarterback will best fit in a green and white jersey next year than there’s been about the new season. 

Another NFL campaign kicked off this past weekend. For the Jets, this also means the countdown to the 2018 NFL Draft is underway. 

They’ll be plenty of time to talk about the draft, meanwhile there’s a season to be played.  

The Jets are a team undergoing a major rebuild, to conclude that expectations are low would be stating the obvious. 

Wins will be hard-pressed to find for this team, which is why their season-opening 21-12 loss to the Buffalo Bills must have felt like a punch to the gut for them. 

Buffalo is somewhat undergoing a rebuild as well, more like a team makeover. Sean McDermott is a rookie head coach and there’s only 26 players on the team who had been on the roster a year ago.  

One would expect it’s going to take some time for the Bills to find their way. It could have been an ideal situation for the Jets to come into Buffalo and steal a win. 

Well, someone apparently didn’t give Jets head coach Todd Bowles’ defense the memo to show up ready for play. 

The defense couldn’t get a stop when it mattered most, specifically after Josh McCown led the offense down the field to cut Buffalo’s lead to 14-12 in the third quarter. 

You take what you can get from the offense this season, but whenever that comes the defense has to step up and do their job. This didn’t happen in Buffalo, not on this day. 

But wait a minute, the defense? 

The strength of the team this season is supposed to be their defense.  

You wouldn’t have known this from watching Buffalo run for 190 yards against them. LeSean McCoy was responsible for 110 of those yards, along with 49 more receiving on five catches. 

There were times where Buffalo ran with ease through the heart of the Jets defense. Muhammad Wilkerson and Leonard Williams were M.I.A., that’s not what you want from your two team leaders.  

Buffalo averaged 4.5 yards a carry. That’s unacceptable for a defensive line with the level of talent the Jets have. 

The reality of the situation for head coach Todd Bowles is that all his top playmakers are on the defensive side of the football. Wilkerson and Williams combined for only six tackles against Buffalo. They must play better if the Jets are going to win ballgames. 

Bowles needs better from his defense, especially while the offense does what it can just to stay afloat. 

If the Jets thought Buffalo’s run-game was a handful then they’d better double-down in the film room this week for their next game, at the Oakland Raiders with Marshawn Lynch in the backfield. 

This is an ideal time for the Jets to sound the early alarm for their players to give a better effort in week 2. 

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