When the New York Jets defeated the Buffalo Bills on Thursday Night Football this past week, a strange reappearance had occurred.
After weeks of a non-existent pass rush, the New York Jets Sack Exchange was back. In the first 8 games of the season, the Jets totaled just 11 sacks.
Against the Bills, the Jets pass rush erupted and constantly provided pressure against the Bills offensive line. Tyrod Taylor was often running for his life as the Jets came at him from everywhere. At the end of the game, the Jets sack total on the season jumped from 11 to 18. Not bad for a week’s work.
What does this mean for the New York Jets defense for the rest of the regular season?
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Looking at the schedule, they have one of the toughest in the NFL. Of the seven games remaining, the Jets play four teams that are either in first place alone or tied for first and currently have six wins. Having a pass rush that can dominate the opposing team’s offensive line will go a long way to help this team make a playoff push.
It is amazing how after a win, things magically change. Heading into the game against the Bills, most were speaking of the young Jets’ impending doom. The rest of the season would be just played out and the only thing to pay attention to was where the Jets would draft.
However, the New York Jets’ mastery of the Bills has excited Gang Green Nation and, actually, has some speaking of the postseason.
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If that’s going to happen, the Jets must get the kind of pressure on the quarterback they had against Buffalo. I don’t know where Muhammad Wilkerson was the first seven games of this season, but it is nice to see him back the last two weeks. His presence is desperately needed for a team that struggles to get to the quarterback.
When the defensive line is performing at the top of its game, the effect it has on the rest of the defense is amazing. The losses the Jets suffered in the last few games showed that their young players are learning. Their efforts and executive against Buffalo showed that they were able to take those lessons and achieve results. Kony Ealy, Darron Lee, Jordan Jenkins, Juston Burris, Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye all showed that they are gelling together as a defense and understanding their roles better. Who knows what other lessons this team will learn during the rest of the season.
Next up for the Jets is the Buccaneers, who have their own major problems this season, sitting at 2-6 and in last place in the NFC South. Let the games begin!