There is no way of sugarcoating it any longer <p>

The Jets simply have to become more effective playing run defense. <p>

The Jets are 2-5, and in all five of these defeats their defense has surrendered at least 140 yards rushing.

Here is a quick look at some of these numbers:

In Week One against Washington, the Jets gave up 160 yards rushing. Game Two against Miami – 187 yards. Game Three at New England – 147 yards. Then came the worst of all, Game Four against Dallas. The Cowboys torched the Jets defense for 202 yards rushing.

On Sunday, the Eagles also punished Gang Green's run defense, when they ran 32 times for 194 yards. This effort was good for an average of 6.1 yards per attempt. That is not a very good statistic, especially when one takes into consideration that the Eagles came into the contest with the worst ranked offense in the NFC.

"We were out of position at times, and just missed some tackles," said Herman Edwards on Monday, about his team's performance in Philadelphia. "There's nothing you can do as a coach. You can't tackle a guy for [the players]. They have to be able to tackle the guy. I told them today you have to be able to do [tackle] for a whole game. I wish I had the answer for it, but I don't."

Well, the Jets players certainly do have an answer for it, and they don't have to look very far for the culprit.

"It is us, you can tell it is us when everyone is running for over 127 yards on us," said starting strong safety Sam Garnes.

"For Tiki Barber this game next weekend is a stat game for him, any good player looks at it that way," said Garnes. "The Giants are going to try to run the ball against us. They want to win the game, and they will see that a team is giving up 150 yards a game, and they are going to run the ball."

Garnes probably has a point.

The Giants running backs probably are looking to this game at the Meadowlands on Sunday, as an opportunity to pad their stats. And why shouldn't they? The Jets defense, and their linebackers in particular, have been ineffective all season tackling running backs.

All the Giants will have to do is look at last week's game tape, and see their ineffectiveness bringing down the ball carrier. The atrocious tackling of the Jets linebackers led to two Eagles touchdowns on Sunday.

Marvin Jones had an opportunity to bring down Philadelphia running back Correll Buckhalter on his first touchdown run. However, Jones was unsuccessful and Buckhalter ran past him and scored from six yards out.

On Buckhalter's second touchdown run, this one from seven yards out, Mo Lewis simply ran by the running back, as he strolled into the end zone.

Missing tackles is a fixable problem, but it is not the only one facing this defense.

As Edward's eluded too before, the Jets have been out of position on numerous occasions this season while playing run defense. It's called gap control.

When a player is out of their gap, it often allows opposing running backs to have a clear lane to run past the defensive lineman and linebackers, free into the secondary.

"From a defensive standpoint I would say our front seven has to play better, and be more consistent," said linebacker Sam Cowart. "When we can do it for four quarters, and stay in our gaps, we can get it done.

"Being in the gap is real important. If a guy is not there it is going to be a big gain. Our front seven or eight are all responsible to be in a certain gap, and when someone is out of their gap the next guy to bring down the ball carrier is the safety."

Having safeties make the tackle is something that is happening far too frequently this season, as the Jets front seven has let opposing running backs break free into the secondary on many occasions.

It is so bad now, that when teams scheme for the Jets, they don't even have to worry about throwing the ball.

The head coach is painfully aware of this pitiful situation.

"[Our team] is number one against the pass, because everyone runs the ball," said Edwards."

NO QB CONTROVERSY

Chad Pennington will be the starter this weekend against the Giants. The days of bringing in two quarterbacks are over for Gang Green, unless Pennington needs a rest this weekend.

"There will be one starting quarterback, believe me," said Edwards. "We are not rotating."

DOCTORS ROOM

Jon McGraw and Donnie Abraham are still each at least two weeks away from returning to the lineup.

John Abraham is undergoing an MRI today, and it is possible he could play this weekend as his injury might not be as serious as first reported. Edwards said as of Monday afternoon it was a strained groin.

Mo Lewis is not 100 % and it is very possible that Victor Hobson will play more this weekend.

"We don't need to put Mo out there if he is hurting and can't play at full speed, and obviously Victor Hobson has to play more.


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