How about Rex gives him some help in coverage. The guy was playing on one leg this week.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J.—While the Jets' offense has been erratic in the team's 3-3 start to the season, the defense has been generally dependable, even in defeat.
"We didn't make as many mistakes as we thought," defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson said Monday after reviewing film of Sunday's 19-6 loss to Pittsburgh. "Somebody just got beat."
That somebody was Antonio Cromartie. The Jets' defense might be the league's finest if he didn't give up a deep pass or two every week.
Cromartie, 29, became the leader of the Jets' secondary after the team traded Darrelle Revis to Tampa Bay during the off-season. At practice, he has given younger players pointers during drills. In games, he's been known to shadow and shut down the opponents' best receivers.
So it's startling that the two-time Pro-Bowl selection has been the crack in an otherwise impervious defense this season. The Jets are allowing 304 yards a game, the fourth-best mark in the NFL, and they've been especially good at stopping the run, yielding just 76 rushing yards a game.
Their weakness is when Cromartie guards against a long pass. In each of the past three games, he has surrendered the longest reception for the opposing team, all for at least 46 yards.
The cornerback has been hindered all season by a hip injury sustained in training camp. And at practice last Friday, his left knee buckled when he tried to change directions during a goal-line drill. But he played Sunday and insisted he was healthy, even after giving up a 55-yard touchdown to Pittsburgh's Emmanuel Sanders. "The knee didn't impact anything at all," he said.
So what's wrong with Cromartie, if not his health? Former Jets linebacker Bart Scott, now an analyst for CBS Sports Network, said Cromartie simply has harder assignments without Revis, who also missed most of last year with an injury, to complement him. "He's making mistakes because he's going against the best person on the other team," Scott said. "From time to time, you're going to have lapses."
In reviewing the longest pass that Cromartie has surrendered in each of the past three games, the problem seems to be his technique and, in one case, a superbly talented receiver.
In the fourth quarter of the Jets' 38-13 loss in Tennessee on Sept. 29, Titans receiver Nate Washington streaked by Cromartie, who had been backpedaling and was slow to turn his hips to follow Washington downfield. He was one step behind Washington when the ball arrived, but he didn't realize that Washington had slowed down to jump for the underthrown pass. When Cromartie jumped for it, he slammed his right shoulder into Washington's left shoulder and bounced to the turf.
"Cro had just as a good of a shot as the receiver had," coach Rex Ryan said Monday. "It's unfortunate. The receiver played the ball well."
Cromartie was less at fault the following week, when Atlanta's Julio Jones hauled in a 46-yard catch down the left sideline late in the fourth quarter. Cromartie had matched Jones stride for stride, but Jones used his bigger body to shield the ball.
Against Pittsburgh on Sunday, he made the same mistake that he made in Tennessee. After Sanders ran toward the end zone's right pylon, he suddenly cut back toward the middle of the field. Cromartie had been backpedaling to face the receiver. "I stayed square too long," he said. "I wasn't able to flip my hips fast enough to get back up the field, so I just got beat inside."
In all three situations, Cromartie was guarding the receiver one-on-one. Ryan acknowledged he has put Cromartie in those tough situations, but has no plans to change that strategy yet. "We're not going to back off defensively," he said.
Write to Stu Woo at Stu.Woo@wsj.com
A version of this article appeared October 15, 2013, on page A27 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: The Jets' Sudden Weak Link.
How about Rex gives him some help in coverage. The guy was playing on one leg this week.
This happens a lot around here. We overrate some of our players. Cromartie is a nice CB, nothing more.
I'm somewhere in the middle, he should be getting some protection over the top more, especially given the fact he looks injured out there. That said, he has looked out of position all year, and he's been grabbing the backs of jerseys to keep up. I hate seeing that because I know any one time that happens he could easily get flagged and it could extend the drive 30 yards. I just hope he gets healthy quick because our CB position has gone from deepest on the team to unexpectedly shallow REAL quick.
Seems more like you are sort of a cro hater (sorry to pull that card, but I don't see any other reason for it) and are taking the opportunity to say you were right about him all along because he's come back down to earth this year (whether it be for injury or otherwise).
Basically, I don't think you would have made that comment last year because it would have sounded oh-so-silly lol
Cromartie is never going to be accused of being a technician. He's always gotten by on superior physical traits. When injuries hamper his physical abilities his lack of technical prowess sticks out like a sore thumb.
The problem is Cro has not even been average this year, which leads everyone to believe he is not healthy. If I were Rex I would give Cro a week off as soon as Dee is healthy.
Cro is one of the best CB's in the league. This is just the reality of being spoiled by what Revis did for years. Revis was an all world, all time great with his level of play here. Cromartie is still one of the best in the league, but the reality is the best get beat sometimes. Even with the injuries Cro is far better than any other CB on our team.
Not fair to Cromartie at all. First of all, how about Dee Milliner growing a pair and being the first round pick we expected him to be. Out for the whole season with a hamstring injury? That's nothing but pure bull**** at this point. And how'd he get there? By holding out of training camp, and we see why, because the one time he did play he looked like absolute garbage.
Now, lets talk about the rest of the cornerbacks. Kyle Wilson is on his third year and is f*cking atrocious. That's another 1st rounder who can't hack it. How many years again until he comes into his own? Chime in experts. Walls is a JAG.
Safeties: they suck! They are absolutely horrible! Their ineptitude was magnified at Atlanta, and then how about the Pittsburgh game? They had to cover TWO GUYS the whole freaking game and couldn't do it: Heath Miller and Antonio Brown. What a freaking joke!
Cromartie is not Revis, but he has been playing better HURT all year, then all of these slacker piece of **** *******s combined.
He sure seems like there is a physical issue impeding his play. A hip injury certainly explains that. If the guy is injured then he needs some help on coverage, otherwise he's going to keep getting beat on those deep plays.
People complaining that he's not a great CB need to look at his play last year when there was no Revis. Maybe he played harder because he felt like he had something to prove with Revis out but that level of play cannot be discounted.
Last edited by detectivekimble; 10-15-2013 at 12:14 PM.
Cro is close to 30 years old now. Hes been in this league for a long time now. It happens. His play has slipped this year. He is still a good corner though.
He's looked hurt since Buff. That awesome speed burst just hasn't been there. The fact he didn't out jump Julio Jones on the TD was also extremely telling. I Hope he gets Better soon And more importantly doesn't injure himself more trying to play through it.
...rated as the 101st CB out of 103 that qualify for the ranking system...He's not the worst CB in the league, he's not the second worst, but he is the third worst....he has now given up three touchdowns on the season....it's not just the long bombs he is getting beat on, he is getting beat off the line on slant plays. He is getting beat on simple out routes, he isn't tackling clean....quarterbacks have been challenging him because his performance level has been so low....targeted 41 times this season, which is the 5th highest in the league....given up the 4th most yards and the 8th highest QB rating in the NFL.
This is the craziest out stat ever when you consider on any given game this season there was either an un-drafted FA, an at best, average nickel or rookie CB opposite him. Yet QBs choose to attack him....targeted 41 times this season, which is the 5th highest in the league.
Nothing is much of a surprise here. Cromartie has always been overrated. He continues to get beat and continues to get flagged. He's still our best corner but not nearly as good as some make him out to be.
IMO he always seems to be out of position, or trailing the WR. It's not often we actually see him batting a ball down/breaking up a play.