Florham Park, N.J. - So far through four games of the NFL season, there have been many factors to why the New York Jets are 1-3. It could be in part to Ryan Fitzpatrick struggling or that Eric Decker is out for an extended period of time. One thing is for certain, and that is the secondary has not lived up to the expectations they had going into the season.
There has been struggles all over the secondary: miscommunication, blown coverages, getting beat deep, getting beat short for big gains. The list can go on. The Jets have the best defensive front in the NFL, allowing only 70.3 yards per game on the ground. What must be frustrating is that the secondary has allowed 285 yards per game in the air. The starting members of the secondary have been: Darrelle Revis, Buster Skrine, Calvin Pryor, and Marcus Gilchrist. Marcus Williams and Rontez Miles have been coming off the bench often. Of all the cornerbacks and safeties, Skrine has been playing the best and most consistent.
To put in perspective, the defensive front has allowed only one run to go past 20 yards. The secondary has allowed 17 passes of 20 or more yards. Of those 17, seven went for over 40 yards and four went for touchdowns. On the 54 yard touchdown A.J. Green had, he beat Revis deep one-on-one. However, there was a blown coverage on the safety that allowed Green to go up against Revis by himself. In Week Two against Buffalo, Revis was beat again on the third offensive play for the Bills on an 84 yard touchdown. Marquise Goodwin just beat Revis deep. Later in that game, Miles blew a coverage on Greg Salas, overstepping and allowing him to get past for a 71 yard touchdown. Last week against Seattle, Pryor jumped early and tripped over himself, allowing Tanner McEvoy to get past for a 42 yard touchdown. In Kansas City, they kept allowing dump off passes in front of them, allowing the Chiefs to just chip away.
"We're not going to win the ball game if we don't contest any footballs," said head coach Todd Bowles. "We have to play a better ball game than we have been playing the past two weeks."
Through four games, the secondary only has two interceptions, in which Williams has both. In 2015, they had 18 interceptions. They have not forced a quarterback yet this season to throw less than 220 yards. The lowest average gain per pass was 6.3 yards per pass against Kansas City, which isn't that good.
There have been times where the secondary has come up big for the team. Gilchrist forced a fumble at the goal-line against Kansas City to prevent the Chiefs from scoring. When Revis was injured in the same game, rookie Juston Burris came in and defended a pass when he went up against Jeremy Maclin.
The one main thing about the secondary is that they keep getting beat every game on one big deep play. Coming up this week, the secondary has to go up against Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown, one of the best quarterbacks and wide receivers in the NFL right now. If they step up to the plate and are able to contain the two, then the secondary can stop anyone.