There's no "perfect answer'' to explain last week's no-show by the Jets' defense at Oakland, Muhammad Wilkerson said. But the defensive end delivered a damning indictment of the unit's performance in a 34-20 loss to the Raiders that included 19 missed tackles, according to Pro Football Focus.
"Guys were loafing,'' Wilkerson said Tuesday during his weekly radio spot on WFAN. "Guys thinking that somebody was going to make a play and then he doesn't make a play and then it's a change of speed. It's just a whole bunch of things that normally this defense is not usually doing. Seeing guys loaf and miss tackles, that's not this defense.''
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Wilkerson's comments came a day after linebacker David Harris said "it was disgusting to look at'' video of their performance against the Raiders, who totaled 451 yards, including 118 rushing. Second-year quarterback Derek Carr threw for four touchdowns, including scores of 36, 49 and 59 yards.
"Playing at this level, there's no reason why we should be missing tackles,'' Wilkerson said.
He also noted there were "one or two practices'' last week in which coach Todd Bowles "felt like the energy wasn't there. And even the day before the game, we had our night meetings and he told us the key to the game is to come out and bring energy.
"And we came out flat and had no energy on offense or defense,'' said Wilkerson, who added that "everybody has to bring fire, not just one or two guys.''
Wilkerson refused to use the West Coast time-zone change as an excuse, instead pointing to the importance of forcing turnovers, which the Jets failed to do against the Patriots and Raiders. "We lost two weeks in a row, so clearly we have to create turnovers to have some type of chance of winning,'' he said.
Asked about the lack of a consistent pass rush, Wilkerson said the D-line works hand in hand with the secondary.
"Neither one did a good job on Sunday,'' he said. "So we need those guys to cover a little bit better and we need to get off blocks up front and get after the quarterback.''
Jets stand pat. The league's 4 p.m. trade deadline came and went without any moves by the Jets or any other team. With Ryan Fitzpatrick (thumb) and Geno Smith (shoulder) banged up, the team still could sign another quarterback this week. If not, the Jets might be forced to start rookie Bryce Petty against the Jaguars.