Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets secondary won't have room for error Sunday

Preventing the long pass will help the Jets a lot Sunday.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The most detrimental mistakes have come from the secondary for the Jet defense this year. Long touchdown passes of 84, 72, 71, 54, and 42 yards have been huge letdowns to a defensive unit that has descended to the 29th ranked pass defense in the league. A defense that had high expectations entering the season will look to make that stat an aberration this Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore will be looking to attack the Jets with the deep ball Sunday and Jets know it.

"(Breshad) Perimann(Mike) Wallace, they've got vertical guys," defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers said.

The Ravens are likely to be without veteran receiver Steve Smith Sr. but that won't deter the offense from taking its share of shots down field.

"They're going to do what they do," said Rodgers.

The Ravens fired its offensive coordinator Marc Trestman last week and replaced him with former Jets coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. Even though Mornhinweg is a little more faithful to the running game, the Ravens will still keep its basic concepts in tact. Expect the Jet defense to be ready for the long ball and the west-coast system Mornhinweg is capable of running. 

"We notice going in, the nuances with the new coordinator they have," Rodgers said.

Last Sunday, Wallace's 70 yard catch against the New York Giants that set the Ravens up inside the five yard-line. He also had a 66 yard TD versus the Buffalo Bills.

"They can stretch the field," said head coach Todd Bowles. "They've got guys out there that can really run."

Eight years into the league, Wallace's career average of 15.2 yards-per-catch is the eighth most among active players and his 11 receiving TDs of at least 50 yards is the third most since 2009. The man is fast.

Throwing the deep ball is something Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco can do any given game. It's what has kept him in the league as a starter for nine seasons and propelled him to a Super Bowl title in 2013. Flacco has yet to practice this week due to right shoulder soreness but both teams expect him to play Sunday, as he did last week against the Giants.

Bowles told the media that he plans to make changes to the defensive starters this Sunday.

"I've made some changes, yes," Bowles said. "(None) that I feel like revealing, but I've made some changes."

What these changes are remain to be seen but coach did reveal that rookie linebacker Darron Lee won't play Sunday due to an ankle injury, and cornerback Buster Skrine will play in his "normal" role after committing four penalties in the last game. Bowles said, "lack of turnovers" is something that has hurt the defense this year.

"We've got to get our hands on more balls whether it's tipped passes, turnovers, or anything." said Bowles.

Penalties in the secondary were a huge problem for the Jets last Monday night against the Arizona Cardinals. Granted, some of the calls were extremely questionable but the Jets must be cautious and maintain an aggressive edge.

"You've just got to play within the rules," said Rodgers.

Sunday the Ravens will be looking for the home run play often as the Jet defense has failed to strike fear in opposing teams six weeks into the season.

"They can go quick, then go long.. we've got to be ready for both," Bowles said.


Marcus Reynolds is a staff writer for He can be reached on Twitter (@Marcus_JRNL), or via email (

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