DEFENSIVE LINE: B Until they tired out, the defensive line did a nice job, especially against the run. Although 131 yards were allowed, the Panthers rushed for under four yards per carry. This is par for the course for a tough defense like the Jets, and this defensive line is only going to get better.
They just didn’t get any pressure on the quarterback. That is what brings the grade back down.
LINEBACKERS: B+ This was the best group on the defensive side of the football, mainly because they produced the Jets’ two sacks. Calvin Pace is quietly having one of his best years of his career, posting his ninth sack of the season yesterday. Quinton Coples has started to come into his own lately, as he added a sack yesterday as well. I can’t give these guys an “A”, mainly because they weren’t able to stop a 72 yard screen pass from going to the house.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: D It was another afternoon where we learned how much this group needs to improve. They were not good yesterday, again indicative of the season the Jets have had. They allowed Cam Newton to be far too efficient with the football, as he went 16-24 for 273 yards and one touchdown. Newton was able to do what he needed to do, when he needed to do it. And Ed Reed was faked out of his jock on the 72 yard screen pass. Not good.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D Do I have to say more than, “blocked punt”? It was an easy blocked punt at that. The punt was nearly taken off of Ryan Quigley’s foot by the defender. Very bad.