I have to admit to not being confident ahead of the Colts game, as mentioned above, over the years this is a game the Jets would usually lose. However even without a franchise QB, the Jets found a way to win and a lot of that was down to a franchise secondary that is really starting to come into its own.
Holding the Colts to 7 points is quite remarkable. The Colts scored 27.1 points per game last year and after adding Frank Gore and Andre Johnson to the mix, they were expected to be around the 30 point mark again this year. People can say they haven't looked the same and they're not clicking, but they've also come up against two of the best defenses in the league in the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. Maybe you just need to give the credit to the defense.
The Jets came out of the game without a single sack, with intentional grounding and a penalty nullifying two would be sacks. However that simply doesn't tell the story. The Jets harried and hounded Luck all night, their blitzes were exotic and the pressure was coming from absolutely everywhere. Had we been playing a QB with average pocket awareness, I'm confident we would have had 4-5 sacks on the night.
In the end it came down to the expensive secondary to lock down the franchise QB. When we opened up to paying Revis $39 million in guarantees, Skrine $13 million in guarantees and handing out a $32 million contract to Cromartie, it was nights like tonight that we had in mind. Franchise QB's don't just land in your lap, so if you don't have one, you better spend your money figuring out ways to stop other teams franchise guys, this is a passers league now remember.
Revis put in a vintage performance with his interception and fumble recoveries. Skrine was all over the field, he was active around the line and he was solid in coverage, on numerous occasions he completely blanked speedy slot receiver Phillip Dorsett. He was also effective coming on the blitz, his pressure forced the first interception and I would argue he was as good as anyone on the field. Cromartie did well for the majority of the game, he got beat on a couple of occasions. However when you give up 7 points to this team, nobody in the secondary had a bad game.
We haven't even touched on Calvin Pryor who had his best game in a very young career. Gilchrist who was signed to a $22 million deal in the off-season making a superb interception in the 4th to kill the game. We've invested heavily in this secondary, and tonight it was worth every penny. The Jets won't put 30 points up on the board every week, but if the offense can score around 20 points a game, we'll have a good chance to win every single week.
The Jets don't have a franchise QB. They do have the makings of a franchise secondary.