The New York Jets have been a disaster this year, but they are still hanging around in the playoff picture in the AFC. They’re 6-point underdogs on the NFL odds on Sunday afternoon against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field, and if they are going to ultimately figure out how to pull this one out, it is the defense that needs to get back up to snuff.
For as much grief as the offense has been given in the media, Head Coach Rex Ryan’s defense really hasn’t been that great this year. The team only has 12 sacks for the campaign, and no player has more than just two sacks. To put that in comparison, the team averaged 2.5 sacks per game in 2010 and 2.0 sacks per game in 2009, and both of those years, the team went to the AFC Championship Game.
The New York defense is getting gashed to the tune of 141.1 yards per game on the ground as well, and the end result is that teams are putting up 25.0 points per game against it. Over the course of the last two weeks, the Jets have allowed 59 points, though we know that not all of those points are the product of the defense.
The Seahawks rank seventh in the league in rushing behind RB Marshawn Lynch, one of the more bruising backs in the league. The Jets have only faced four other teams that rank in the Top 10 in rushing, and the results have definitely not been pretty. All four teams have rushed for at least 131 yards, and the average rushing yards per game allowed was 185.0.
DB Antonio Cromartie came out in the media this week and said that the Jets were going to make the playoffs. If they are, they’re probably going to have to win in Seattle this weekend, and that’s going to require a significantly better effort than what the team has been giving on the defensive side of the ball.