Linebacker Calvin Pace summed it up well after the Jets' 34-24 loss Sunday at Oakland in the first of a three-game stretch on the road.
"It's not the way you want to start it," the
veteran said, "but nobody is going to feel sorry for us, man."
Nope, not when the Jets under Rex Ryan have led
the NFL in the unofficial category of swagger over the past two-plus
seasons. That attitude was born in part from a 15-7 record away from
home, including 4-2 in the post-season.
But the Jets' defense looked more like roadkill
against the Raiders, as Oakland blockers flattened Jets' defenders
repeatedly to pave the way for 234 yards on the ground, including 171
and two touchdowns by Darren McFadden on 19 carries. The Jets will
visit Baltimore on Sunday and then finish the grueling stretch with a
game at New England on Oct. 9.
"I thought our offense was good enough to win,"
said Ryan, whose team rolled up 439 yards of offense but failed to
score for a nearly two-quarter stretch of game time while Oakland (2-1)
turned a 17-7 deficit into a 31-17 advantage.
"We weren't good enough to overcome our defense's
poor performance," added Ryan, who noted, "It starts with me. We've got
to get this thing fixed. The season's not over. We'll get it corrected."
There's plenty to study going forward.
The Jets' No. 1 defensive priority coming into the
game was to stifle McFadden, who already had 222 yards rushing and a
5.3-yard average entering Sunday. They failed miserably in setting the
edge, including allowing a 70-yard touchdown scamper.
A similar performance in the next game would be
especially galling to Ryan, who was Baltimore's defensive coordinator
before becoming the Jets' head honcho in Jan. 2009. This will be his
first trip to Crabcake City for a regular-season game since heading
Defensive stalwarts linebacker Bart Scott and
safety Jim Leonhard also played for the Ravens, and they certainly
don't want a repeat of what happened at Oakland.
"We've got to play better," Scott said. "It's as
simple as that."
"It's not up to our standards," Leonhard said,
"all the way around."
Certainly Baltimore can hurt teams on the ground
with Ray Rice, who had 79 yards rushing on only eight carries in the
victory over the Rams. But Ravens' quarterback Joe Flacco was on
target, throwing for 389 yards and three touchdowns with no
interceptions against St. Louis.
Torrey Smith had five catches
for 152 yards, including scoring receptions of 74, 41 and 18 yards from
Flacco. The Jets likely will put lockdown corner Darrelle Revis on him.
But it's the other 10 Jets on defense who need to get it together
Jets Defense Had No Answer For McFadden
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