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Jets Q&A: Defense digs a hole with Stefon Diggs coverage

Stefon Diggs of the Bills attempts a catch

Stefon Diggs of the Bills attempts a catch in the end zone during the first quarter against Brandin Echols of the Jets at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

What were the Jets thinking covering Stefon Diggs one-on- one?

The questionable decision really hurt them, but Robert Saleh is very big on guys winning their one-on-ones. The Jets’ young cornerbacks were overmatched against one of the better receivers in the league.

Diggs, who caught eight passes for 162 yards and a TD, beat Brandin Echols for a 57- yard catch-and-run. Later in that series, after Echols left with an injury, the Jets put Javelin Guidry on Diggs, who promptly caught a 12-yard TD pass.

The Bills kept trying to exploit the mismatch.

Bryce Hall is the Jets’ best cornerback, but he wasn’t matched up much with Diggs. In Saleh’s system, the cornerbacks don’t change sides of the field. He said the Jets were trying to get safeties over the top to help, but then Josh Allen threw it to the other side.

"Diggs was lining up in certain spots," Saleh said. "To start chasing a player when that is not your style, there are a lot of different things that go into plays when you start doing that and trying to travel and figure out from an alignment standpoint. It sounds simple, but we’re not just a man-coverage team.

"If you’re trying to match only when you’re in man, you’re going to get caught up. If you’re trying to match all the time, then your zones become an issue because you’re trying to figure out how to get aligned versus motion and all of the different things that they do. It’s not something that we do."

What will the Jets do if Echols misses time with his injury?

They are banged up in the secondary, where they’ve already lost safeties Marcus Maye and LaMarcus Joyner for the season. Guidry was the next man up Sunday, but he struggled.

"It’s concerning. We need healthy bodies," Saleh said. "We have to find a way as coaches to help these guys out a little bit better."

How big was Corey Davis’ fumble?

It was a crushing play. The fumble at the Buffalo 33 prevented the Jets — down 17-3 at the time — from potentially getting a touchdown or field goal going into halftime.

"I was trying to make a play. That was it," Davis said. "I got to hold on to the ball. But I was trying to make a play. That’s all it was. It was bad on my part. I just got to hold on to the ball."

What happened on the fourth-and-1 delay of game?

That was another brutal mistake by the Jets. They finally had reached Bills territory on their fourth series of the game, and down 10-0, they were going for it at the Buffalo 45. But they didn’t snap the ball in time and were forced to punt after the 5-yard penalty.

"We felt good with where we’re aligned, the procedure, we should have got the ball off," Saleh said. "We all felt good. We checked the headset. We felt good about where we were with regards to play clock and where we were being lined up. The procedure did not go the way we thought it would."

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