Jets’ Defense: Dolphins’ Cutler Is Perfect Cure

The Jets began their season at Buffalo and Oakland, two cities with a rabid fan base that surely didn’t help them in a 0-2 start.

Fans, though, don’t factor into a defense that has allowed 370 total yards on the ground and more than 400 yards in each of their first two games.

If there is any consolation, the Jets return home for the first of two consecutive games at Met Life Stadium Sunday afternoon, where they hope their fan support remains strong despite reports of a possible poor turnout. They will face Jacksonville next Sunday.

They also will face Miami’s Jay Cutler, who will be less mobile than either Buffalo’s Tyrod Taylor and Derek Carr through the first two weeks. In his 12th season, Cutler will enter the game with 304 career sacks and 146 interceptions.

The Jets’ defense couldn’t have asked for a better situation to redeem themselves from 20 the league ranking in yards per carry and sacks. Muhammed Wilkerson and Leonard Williams certainly haven’t been noticed in the first two games. However, Wilkerson was listed as questionable with a shoulder injury and will be a game-time decision.

Williams is excited to get back in front of the home crowd.

“You don’t know what you’re going to do,’’ said Williams. “You just kind of go with the flow. You never know what you’re feeling, what your emotions are going to be like.

“With us having a home game, emotions and character are going to be high. You’re looking to have a good game, especially against a division opponent.’’

Getting to Cutler will be a focal point, but the Green and White will need to slow down running back Jay Ajayi and wide receiver Jarvis Landry. Ajayi was a workhorse in the Dolphins’ opening-game, 19-17 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers in which he rushed for 122 yards on 28 carries, and Landry caught 13 balls for 78 yards.

Both of them missed practice earlier this week, but both are expected to play Sunday. Over the past few years, both have been thorns’ in the Jets’ side with huge plays and big games. Landry has become Cutler’s favorite target.

Rookie safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye has helped tighten the corners, but the front seven will be the key for the Jets to get a much-needed win. Christopher Johnson, who had taken over the operation from his brother Woody, assured fans earlier this week that his team isn’t tanking to be the front runner in the Sam Darnold sweepstakes.

“We don’t have to worry about the effort because it is there,” said head coach Todd Bowles. “We just have to sure up our tackling and get the technique down. If we win the game, it gives us hope for the future. We just have to go out and play football.”

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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