The New York Jets Cornerback Situation is as Bad as Advertised
Aug 22, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets free safetyAntonio Allen
(39) knocks the ball away from New York Giants wide receiverRueben Randle
(82) during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
There is a lot of talk about the Jets’ defensive back situation, especially at cornerback. We know the story by now. The Jets’ were susceptible to the pass, especially the deep one in 2013. The free agency situation went the way it did, as did the Dimitri Patterson saga.
It is to the point that the Jets are likely using a safety at cornerback in Antonio Allen. Allen has a lot of ability there is no doubt. But it brings me back to the point about the situation. Some say it is dire, others have come to me saying it is not as dire. They say that the Jets defensive backs are better than they are being given credit for. I hope so, because on paper, the situation is bad. It’s very bad.
The numbers don’t lie.
In 2013, the Jets defense was ranked 22nd in the league against the pass. The Jets allowed 3,947 yards through the air, and average of 246.7 yards per game. They allowed 26 touchdowns to be scored, and quarterbacks had a collective passer rating of 86.5.
There were extenuating circumstances that are fair points. Antonio Cromartie dealt with an injury for most of the season. He’s gone. Dee Milliner had a very steep learning curve in his rookie season, that finally showed life at the end of the year. Dee has a year of experience under his belt with the Jets. The Jets had no real veteran backups at the cornerback spot. In walks Phillip Adams, as well as a hit man at safety in Calvin Pryor.
So, there are new faces in town in that defensive backfield. How did it go during the preseason?
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Well, the Jets finished the preseason ranked 21st in pass defense. They allowed eight touchdowns versus only two interceptions. Quarterbacks finished with a collective passer rating of 94.8 against the Jets, and they completed over 60% of their passes against them as well.
Don’t forget about the day Andy Dalton had against the team a few weeks ago, where he went 8-8 for 144 yards and one touchdown. Frankly, he looked like Johnny Unitas that day. It wasn’t a good sign for the Jets’ defense.
Yes, it was the preseason. Yes, the Jets pass rush is far better than it has been in years. That is all well and good. But they aren’t going to get there every time. The backs are going to have to be able to cover someone. If not, it may get very ugly in the land of the Jets, and quickly. The secondary had better shape up fast, because the returns so far have not been kind.