After a shaky start to the 2017 season, the defensive secondary of the New York Jets has completely bounced back during the team’s three-game winning streak. They were an instrumental part of the Jets’ 17-14 win in Cleveland this past Sunday.
Over the course of the 2016 NFL season, the defensive secondary of the New York Jets was arguably the team’s biggest problem. With a mixture of older, declining players and younger, unprepared players, the position group was simply terrible.
During the offseason, the front office opted for a significant overhaul of the secondary. They drafted two safeties (Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye) in the first two rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft, and they signed cornerback Morris Claiborne to a one-year, five million dollar contract in free agency.
After two losses to open up the 2017 season, it seemed as if things may be headed in the same direction for the secondary, but they completely rebounded against a talented Dolphin’s receiving core in Week 3. Then, they shut down the Jaguars’ receiving core allowing only seven total catches to wide receivers.
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With the position group playing such a key role in the team’s first two wins of the season, it was clear that they’d need to lead the way again in Cleveland. They did just that recording two interceptions as the Jets’ defense only let up fourteen points.
As they have for the past few weeks, the Jets’ safeties continued to keep up a high level of play. Starting free safety Marcus Maye had four total tackles, a pass deflection, and a crucial interception in the red zone. Starting strong safety, Jamal Adams, had an outstanding nine tackles in what many views as his most underwhelming performance of the season.
Despite starter Juston Burris being out with a foot injury, the team’s cornerbacks were quite good as well. Morris Claiborne had another excellent outing with nine total tackles, two pass deflections, and an interception that set the Jets up in the red zone for one of their two touchdowns. Buster Skrine had one of his more impressive performances as well recording six total tackles.
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If the Jets’ defensive secondary can continue to build off of their strong play, they have the potential to carry this team to new heights. With the rest of the defense being inconsistent, they’ll need to continue to make plays.