Jets defense rocks -- again
December, 9, 2012
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com
Sam Greenwood/Getty ImagesThe Jets' David Harris pressures Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jets spilled ink on a masterpiece.
Their rejuvenated defense got sloppy in the fourth quarter of a 17-10 win Sunday over the Jaguars, nearly giving away the game, but the end result was another strong performance -- especially on third down.
The Jets held the Jaguars to 2-for-16, making QB Chad Henne look like ... well, Ryan Lindley. Over the last two games, they've limited the Jaguars and Cardinals to 2-for-31 on third down. That's pretty remarkable.
"I think we're taking off," DT Mike DeVito said. "This is the defense we saw in training camp."
The Jets recorded three sacks, two interceptions and pressured Henne throughout the game. He finished 21 for 43 for 185 yards. OLB Garrett McIntyre was responsible for the biggest play, blasting Henne in the red zone as he released a pass. It fluttered in the air and came down in the hands of LB Bart Scott.
"We call that getting a layup," Scott said. "(McIntyre) did all the work. He made it relatively easy for me to do my job."
The Jets were on their way to two straight games without allowing a touchdown, but they suffered some breakdowns in the fourth quarter. Montell Owens, a fourth-string running back, got loose for a 32-yard TD run to make it 17-10. It never should've happened because, moments earlier, rookie DE Quinton Coples was flagged for a facemask penalty on a third-and-3. The Jets gave them new life.
The Jaguars got the ball back with 1:43 remaining in the fourth quarter and they converted two fourth downs, including a fourth-and-15. Four plays later, on fourth-and-2, nickel back Ellis Lankster went for an interception instead of simply batting the ball down -- a mental mistake and another first down.
Moments later, Lankster sealed the win, intercepting a strange, wounded-duck throw by Henne.
The Jets' defense no longer is swagger-licious, as Scott used to call it, but it delivered another strong game.
"It was a group effort," LB Calvin Pace said. "A lot of guys aren't household names -- the Ellis Lanksters and Y.B.'s (Yeremiah Bell) -- a lot of people who don't get the publicity. But they're stepping up big time."
THROW OF THE DAY: Without a doubt, the biggest pass of the game was Mark Sanchez's 37-yard completion to TE Jeff Cumberland. It was third-and-8 from their own 13 -- dangerous territory.
Cumberland ran an option route and broke free in the middle of the field. The Jaguars were in a two-safety look. Based on that, Cumberland ran a post route. If it had been one-deep safety, he would've cut inside. He and Sanchez read it the same way. For a change, the passing game showed some cohesiveness.
"As soon as I came out of the break, Mark hit me," Cumberland said.
ODDS AND ENDS: Cumberland played college ball at Illinois with Cowboys teammates Josh Brent and Jerry Brown, who was killed Saturday in a car crash. Brent was the driver and charged with manslaughter intoxication. "Both of those guys were cool guys," Cumberland said. "It's a tough loss for both families. I just pray for each of the families." ... LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson got beat on the strip sack by DE Jason Babin. ... David Harris, Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples recorded sacks. ... The Jets made it through a game without any special teams gaffes