The Jets enjoyed what is best described as a Pyrrhic victory with last Thursday’s 13-10 defeat of the Indy Colts.
Andrew Luck, the Colts’ regular season starter, played one drive in which he went completed 4/5 passes for 53 yards and a 110.8 QB rating.
The drive resulted in a field goal and thereafter, Indy gave Matt Hasselbeck (10/15, 114 Yds, 1 TD, 111.5 QBR) and Chandler Harnish (4/7, 16 Yds, 62.2 QBR) a chance to throw. The Jets’ secondary, perhaps the team’s most “pressing” issue (bad pun totally intended), had a subpar performance, at best.
Each (presumed) starting corner, Dee Milliner and Dimitri Patterson, recorded one tackle and 0 interceptions. Milliner, who touted himself as the best corner in the league, looked sharper than last year and enjoyed a couple of pass break ups. Patterson’s only contribution on the stat sheet was the aforementioned tackle, for a loss.
The busiest people after the win were the team’s medics. Patterson, the oft-injured veteran who has missed 33 games over the last three seasons, continued to miss practices as he deals with calf and ankle injuries.
Milliner, the Jets’ presumptive star corner and primary man-to-man defender, is coping with an ankle injury. Things have continued to get worse for the Jets who have ruled out rookie Dexter McDougle for the season thanks to an injured knee caused by a torn ACL.
With the top 3 corners injured, the New York Jets now turn to Antonio Allen, a trained safety playing corner for the first time ever, and Ellis Lankster as the team’s defensive weapons with Darrin Walls and Ras-I Dowling expected to contribute as well.
John Idzik and Rex Ryan took a number of offseason gambles, none of which seemed to have panned out. Antonio Cromartie was released and Vontae Davis and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie were not signed and Patterson’s injury history was a well known.
The New York Jets already have questions at quarterback, receiver, and now secondary. Ryan is refusing to panic, however, and stayed resolute saying
“But I never said I had to have the best corner in football," stated Ryan. "That’s not it. My defenses work, period. I don’t care what it is. We take what we have and then we work around it.”
The defenses may work but the players are needed to execute them, here’s hoping Allen, Ellis Lankster, and the others are motivated by that underwhelming vote of confidence and forget they aren’t the best corners in football.