Jets better fix these two things

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If the Jets don’t get better in this area, they are going to have a long year on defense . . .

It goes without saying the Jets run defense needs to be a heck of a lot better than it was last week in Buffalo, where they gave up 190 yards on the ground. The Jets’ talented defensive line is ticked off at how they played in Buffalo.

“Coach even called us out,” Mo Wilkerson said about Todd Bowles. “We take full pride in ourselves and our work and we definitely accepted the challenge and know we’ve got to play better this week. We’re men. I feel like as a man, you should definitely want to accept that challenge. We know what we have to do this week and we have to come out and accept the challenge from Coach.”

Gap discipline was a huge problem for the Jets’ defensive line last week.

“We definitely need to do a better job of staying in our gaps up front,” Wilkerson said. “Last week, myself and the rest of the guys, some players weren’t in our gaps. We watched the film, so everyone saw what they did wrong. Everybody in the back end knows what the D-line did wrong on a play. We’ve just got to make sure we get this thing corrected this week.”

And that won’t be easy facing Oakland’s Marshawn Lynch.

“We’ve got our hands full,” Wilkerson said. “We’ve got to make sure we gang-tackle him.”

This statement might shock some people, but I think the Jets’ run defense matches up better this week against Marshawn Lynch than against Shady McCoy.

I know Lynch is a great back, but he’s not as elusive as McCoy. Very few backs are. McCoy was juking the Jets with his great moves, Lynch is going to be more a test of their manhood. And considering how they were embarrassed last week, the testosterone of the Jets’ defenders this week is going to be flying high, and I think they are going to be willing to go mano a mano with Lynch. That is my gut feeling . . .

Aside from improving their run defense, they have another major challenge on defense; stopping “falling for the cheese.”

Against Buffalo, the Jets had major issue with misdirection plays – biting on fakes going in one direction, creating big holes going the other way.

Two examples – In the middle of the third quarter, Bills QB Tyrod Taylor threw a one-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Andre Holmes. Taylor faked a hand-off to the right side, and then peeled to the left side and hit a wide open Holmes. Jets linebackers Darron Lee and Julian Stanford got draw too far inside biting on the play fake to the right side. Early in the fourth quarter, Taylor did something similar to the TD play, he faked a hand-off right and ran a bootleg to the left side and hit a wide open tight end Nick O’Leary (Jack Nicklaus’ grandson) for a gain of 22. No defender was near him. Lee finally pushed him out at the four-yard-line, and the Bills scored two plays later.

So aside from better gap integrity, the Jets can’t “fall for the cheese” as they say in meetings, and have more discipline on misdirection plays

September 13, 2017

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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