In 2017, the Jets finished 20th overall in passing yards allowed per game and 23rd in rushing yards allowed per game which gave them an overall of 24th in total yards per game. While that that is not great, the Jets have the opportunity this year to flash back to 2015 when they were top five and only allowed 310 yards per game. Well, that sounds like a high number but to put it in perspective the leader in defensive yards per game that year was the Denver Broncos and they only allowed 283 yards per game. The team that allowed the most yards per game was the Giants at a gigantic 420 yards per game.
The Jets just missed the playoffs that year due to those pesky Steelers and they hoped for next year. Then they went downhill on offense with the FitzMagic ordeal but the defense stayed mostly solid – it slipped from the top five to the top ten. But then there was the major drop to 24th last year. This is mostly to do with the secondary allowing the long pass to burn the Jets.
During the draft last year Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye were added to pick up the slack and while they did just that, it doesn’t take two to make a full defense. With the additions this offseason could they regain their top five form?
The front line was always a shining star for the Jets but since the departure of Wilkerson to the Packers and last year’s departure of Richardson to the Seahawks (now Vikings), the Jets need to rethink and retool. While picking up Nathan Shepard and Folorunso Fatukasi in the draft they will have to figure out a rotation that will bring the Jets back to their former bread and butter glory: Blitz. Todd Bowles loves to blitz the defense and if he could on every down most fans would probably see that. The Jets are top three for blitzing but not in achieving the pressure. Leonard Williams, Steve McLendon and Henry Anderson will most likely be the starters with the rookies and Mike Pennel/Xavier Cooper rotating in and out to help the main guys achieve the pressure.
The Jets believe it or not have some good linebackers. With Jordan Jenkins winning the starting bid as an ILB, it is fair game to every other OLB. Josh Martin is looking to grab his starting spot for a second year. But Lorzeno Mauldin is looking for a come back after being injured. Dylan Donahue is looking just to stay on the team after his two DUI arrests with one involving other people, this is a continuing story and will see how this unfolds through summer camp.
Demario Davis was one of the best LB the Jets had on the team since David (The Hitman) Harris was in his prime. However, with the Jets sadly parting ways with Davis who found a new home with the Saints, the Jets are looking for Avery Williamson to fill some pretty big shoes. Williamson (once an FA who played for the Titans) is looking for a fresh and better start. Darron Lee the energetic flash on the field, is looking to step into a more of a leadership role which would be great if he could improve his game. While Lee is quick on his feet he has a hard time stopping and going in another direction. With time that could be fixed and with additions of Kevin Pierre-Paul of Neville Hewett the fans could see more sub packages thanks to these guys and their run stop game.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) June 5, 2018
This spot is the single biggest reason the Jets lost a lot of games last year. With Buster Skrine single handedly racking up penalties that allowed drives to continue the Jets got burned on more than 75% of the long ball throws. Hopefully, with the additions of Trumaine Johnson through free agency and Parry Nickerson through the draft, the Jets can add some life to this secondary. The only good thing the Jets did with the current roster is re-sign Morris Claiborne. He was the best the Jets had last year. Claiborne actually shut down the majority of his plays.
There is no debate here. Marcus Maye and Jamal Adams are the Jets and maybe the NFL’s top safeties (at minimum top five). Not to mention they are just heading into their sophomore year. With Adams promising to never miss a Pro Bowl and with Maye being snubbed a Pro Bowl, most fans want to see how they play this year.