Has Todd Bowles’ defense lost its way?
With so many marquee names, the defense was supposed to be the strength of this Jets team. But for yet another week, it was embarrassed.
Russell Wilson had a quarterback rating of 133.5 in the Seahawks’ 27-17 win Sunday. In the previous three weeks, Andy Dalton (114.0), Tyrod Taylor (112.8) and Alex Smith (105.2) also fared well against the Jets (1-3).
Despite being hobbled by an MCL sprain and a high ankle sprain, Wilson picked apart the Jets, passing for 309 yards and completing 23 of 32. But despite their latest poor showing, members of the Jets’ defense remain undeterred.
“We’re not panicking here,” said rookie linebacker Darron Lee, who acknowledged that the unit “definitely” needs to communicate better. “We have veterans who have been in this situation before. We can dig ourselves out of it, and that’s what we’re just going to have to do.”
Lineman Leonard Williams said: “I’m definitely not concerned. I know we have great leaders . . . We’re going to rally together and come back.”
Why can’t the secondary stop the long ball?
Even Bowles doesn’t have an answer.
“That’s a good question,” he said. “There should be no excuse at this point in time. It just got busted back there and it needs to be corrected. If it can’t be corrected, then we need to change some people.”
Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham (six catches, 113 yards) abused the Jets. To make matters worse, rookie Tanner McEvoy’s first NFL catch was a wide-open 42-yard touchdown that put Seattle ahead 14-3.
Safety Calvin Pryor repeatedly said “miscommunication” was to blame for the breakdown. Bowles denied that McEvoy was Pryor’s responsibility. “He was in post high and we just busted the coverage,’’ he said. “It wasn’t Calvin’s guy, but it was a busted coverage. Either way, we have to make plays regardless of who is on the field.”
How concerned is Bowles about his secondary?
“I’m concerned about them not making any plays and giving up a big ball down the field in simple coverage,” he said.
Was Eric Decker’s absence a major impact?
The answer is “no,” according to Brandon Marshall (four catches, 89 yards). “And the reason why I’m saying that is because we have talent at the wide receiver position and those guys work extremely hard and we have all the faith in the world in those guys,’’ he said. “It’s the next-man-up mentality. Deck is a superstar, but we feel like we have guys in Quincy [Enunwa] and [Charone] Peake and Robby [Anderson] that can also make plays.”
Marshall is one of only 15 players in NFL history with 800 catches, 11,000 receiving yards and 80 receiving touchdowns. Peake (three catches, 30 yards) had his first career catch and later returned a fumble by Ryan Fitzpatrick for a 42-yard TD.
What happened between Nick Mangold and Michael Bennett?
In the final minute, cornerback Richard Sherman picked off Fitzpatrick, and the game essentially was over after Sherman ran it back 6 yards and took a knee. Seattle lineman Bennett was flagged for unnecessary roughness when he pushed Mangold from behind.
“That’s a cheap shot,” the center told Newsday. “The guy was clearly taking a knee. The play’s over and you’re going to go run up on my back like that? That’s just cheap and dirty.”
What happened to Brian Winters and Darrelle Revis?
Bowles said Winters suffered a concussion on a helmet-to-helmet hit on Bennett. The guard, who was penalized, was slow to get up and went to the locker room. Revis (hamstring) left in the fourth quarter. Buster Skrine briefly left with a knee injury in the first quarter but returned.