I want to talk about the defense. Rex Ryan's pride and joy. The defense that most people seem to be thinking is a top five defense in the league this year that I have watched in the pre-season and the first two games this year and have to say, "I need to see more before I can say it's even going to be decent." I won't put too much stock into pre-season, although I believe I saw some telling signs, especially during the Jacksonville game, but so far what I've seen during Tampa Bay and New England leaves me wondering if once again Rex has made a bold statement that will not come true and this defense will leave a lot to be desired throughout the season.
Let me put some of my thoughts into perspective. I cannot dispute that we were able to hold Doug Martin in game 1 to only 65 yards with the 1 yard touchdown on the fumble recovery but it was Vincent Jackson who walked all over us for 154 yards out of 7 receptions. I saw missed tackles, blown coverage's, and missed opportunities all game long. I see 1 interception, 3 sacks and 1 fumble, 1 safety. Our backfield is a pretty big weakness that will be exploited as soon as we start playing teams that can actually put up points against us.
Look to week 2 against New England and I am reading all sorts of beat writers talking about our stout defense holding Tom Brady to "his first sub 50% game since 2009 completing only 19-of-39 passes, I scoff at this and state this was not simply the work of our defense so much as it was the work of Tom Brady not having anyone to catch the ball. The Patriots dropped just as many wide open opportunities as we did. There were so many wide open passes dropped on the Patriots side that our defense actually looked really exposed.
And to top that off we got lit up by Julian Edelman who goes on to have a career breaking performance of 13/18 for 78 yards. you would have thought that Rex would have done something to change things up saying... someone cover number 11... Yeah the one guy on the Patriots who's actually catching the ball! Despite all the dropped passes, all the mistakes, all the ugliness in the New England game, this was a game about turnovers. New England won that battle. We lost it.
If our defense was able to pick off a Brady sub-50% pass to receivers who were still learning their way in the NFL or force a fumble on a running back who is notorious for doing so, or possibly even get more sacks to rattle Brady we might not have had to put Geno in the position he was in by Q4. (Putting all the offensive ugliness aside).
So for a defense that's supposed to be the savior of our season and keep us in games to even compete this year. Be top 5. Put all our eggs in the basket the last few years with draft picks and sacrifice all that we are (or are not) on offense I ask... in 2 games - even without Couples... should we be worried?
Obviously defenses result in many other statistical results such as pressures, hits, etc. I pull the popular stats just because...
Jets Game 1 Interceptions: 1 Sacks: 3-25 Fumbles gained: 1 (resulted safety)
Tampa Bay Interceptions: 1 Sacks: 5-42 Fumbles gained: 1
Jets Game 2 Interceptions: 0 Sacks: 1-7 Fumbles gained: 0
New England Interceptions: 3 Sacks: 4-25 Fumbles gained: 1