The Jets will have to make several defensive adjustments with Darrelle Revis likely sidelined for the rest of the season.
ANTONIO CROMARTIE STEPS IN AS THE NO. 1 CORNERBACK.
Cromartie will take over Revis' assignment of covering the top receiver. Over the years, Revis has done a remarkable job in shutting down top receivers, even when called on to shadow them throughout a game. Cromartie is well above average but suffers occasional lapses. Against the Steelers, he had good coverage on Mike Wallace in the end zone but lost his concentration late in the play and gave up a 37-yard touchdown.
KYLE WILSON BECOMES THE NO. 2 CORNER.
The Jets drafted him out of Boise State in the first round in 2010, and he has served mostly as the nickel (or third) cornerback. Wilson has not developed into a top cover corner, and quarterbacks often target him. Also getting playing time will be Ellis Lankster, who became the nickel corner when Revis went down against the Dolphins. Isaiah Trufant is the fourth corner, and the Jets may sign another defensive back this week.
Landry and Bell provide help on deep passes and are solid in run support. But without Revis, look for the Jets to have them "roll" to one side or another and provide help for the cornerbacks. The Jets generally trust Cromartie in single coverage, so expect Wilson and Lankster to get help with double-teams, although Bell and Landry likely will be used to mix coverages in an attempt to confuse quarterbacks.
THE PASS RUSH MUST IMPROVE.
One way to help the defensive backfield is to provide a sustained pass rush, which the Jets haven't done (only three sacks in three games). The Jets may have to gamble here, because the front seven, which added rookie end Quinton Coples, has been lackluster. Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine like to blitz from the secondary, although that can be risky because it takes a player away from pass coverage.
Compounding the problem is that the Jets have been poor against the run, allowing nearly 150 rushing yards per game. That makes it harder to provide an effective pass rush and forces the defense to play more conservatively.