We’re three weeks into the NFL season, and your New York Jets still have a zero in the loss column.
There aren’t too many people outside the club’s locker room and the ever-optimistic Jets Fan who thought they’d have navigated through a tough early season schedule 3-0, but that’s just where they stand. Some might consider it merely a hot start by a confident group, but those skeptics just haven’t been paying attention.
I haven’t seen too many offenses around the league who will be able to shred this defense. They’re fast, they’ve got Pro Bowl-caliber talent at every level, and most importantly, they have been set free by Rex Ryan’s incredibly relentless scheme. And they haven’t had a standout player, Calvin Pace, for any of their three tremendous performances.
The offense hasn’t been too shabby either. Mark Sanchez has been great at points, and his rookie mistakes haven’t been as pronounced because the club continues to win. He has the same privilege Ravens signal caller Joe Flacco had a season ago – the ability to learn on the run, while playing with a great defense that can mask some of his mistakes.
But this is all the stuff we already know. What needs to be talked about is the way each of these games has been won. Yes the defense has had a huge part, but it always seems to be someone different making the big play each week. Whether it’s the starter or a reserve, it seems a different Jet is getting the credit each time they win.
But it hasn’t just been the defense. The special teams played a huge role in yesterday’s victory, forcing two huge turnovers that lead to 14 points. The offense has made the big plays when they’ve had to, with each of the unit’s unheralded receivers making their share of big plays to put to rest the talk of the team needing a big-play wideout.
Great defense, great special teams, and an offense on the verge of being outstanding. This team is winning games the way you can only hope your favorite team wins – it’s always someone different who has the big performance, and when one unit stumbles, another picks up the slack. The marks of a good football team are imprinted all over these New York Jets, and as long as they stay healthy, those marks aren’t going anywhere. Get used to wins like Sunday’s against the Titans – there’s plenty more to come.
NEXT UP: NEW ORLEANS
The number one ranked defense will square off against the number one ranked offense next Sunday, when Gang Green travels to New Orleans to take on Drew Brees and the Saints. Something has to give in this matchup of the elite units in the NFL through the first three weeks, and it is yet another early season test for this Jets team.
From the Pathetically Obvious Department, Brees will present problems for a Jets defense predicated on applying pressure to the quarterback.
“He’s a quarterback that can buy time with his feet,” linebacker Bart Scott said. “He’s been in the system for a long time. He knows where the guys (will be). This is not my first time playing Brees down in the Superdome. It will be interesting. It will be a great matchup. He’s poised. He can find an open receiver.”
“We’ve got to go up against the number one offensive in the entire league,” head coach Rex Ryan said of the matchup against New Orleans. “I wish we were playing them at our place but we’re playing them on the road where they’re really tough. The noise is something we’re going to have to deal with offensively. We know it’s going to be a great challenge, but again, I think our guys will be up to the challenge.”
You might have noticed wide receiver David Clowney did not see the field in yesterday’s victory. That’s because the wideout was deactivated for yesterday’s game by Coach Ryan for an “inappropriate” post to his Twitter feed. The receiver “Tweeted” after the Jets victory over the Patriots last Sunday that he was “a bit disappointed” with his playing time in the win, but “happy about the victory.” Ryan did not take the post lightly, and promptly told the receiver he’d be benched for the game against the Titans.
“To me this is about our team. Understanding that it’s about our team and that no one individual is bigger than the team,” Ryan said. “David had two options. He could have come down and been upset and pouted, or he could come out and be a Jet and work his tail off and show me that he wants to do it our way. He was phenomenal this week in preparation — in fact, I’ll give him the ’scout team player of the week’. He humbled himself and that was it.”
The team returns to the practice field tomorrow for an afternoon workout. Be sure to check back to JetsInsider for all your practice updates.