You could argue that the old cliché that defense wins you championships, doesn't apply to the modern day passing era that the NFL is currently embracing. (Quick question, how many times or have you ever chanted? "offense. offense, offense" didn't think so).
For arguments sake, the league has evolved and the old cliché is not as relevant as it used to be, (for the record I think its vital) next question, if a defense doesn't necessarily win you championships then what does a good defense offer? Well, its a solid platform/foundation to build a team around, it'll keep you competitive week in and week out (you won't win every shootout).
Rex Ryan is one the greatest modern day defensive minds within the NFL, and its no coincidence that the Jets defense that was ranked 18th overall during the 2008 season (29th against the pass, 9th against the run) became the number one overall defense during 2009, backed up the following year with the 6th overall defense contributing to back to back appearances in Championship games. The Jets defense has been on the slide ever since despite the familiar cast. Has age finally caught up with the likes of Bart Scott, Calvin Pace etc. Is Rex Ryan putting square pegs in round holes, has Rex lost the "I'd give anything to play for coach Ryan" mentality/desire from within the locker room following last seasons nameless player outbursts? Why aren't the younger members of the roster given more snaps?
- 2009 ranked 1st overall on defense, 1st on passing defense and 8th on rushing defense. Gave up 2459 passing yards and 8TD's (avg 5.4 per pass) and 1578 rushing yards 11 TDs. (avg 3.8 per rush)
- 2010 ranked 6th overall, 6th on passing defense, 3rd on rushing defense. Gave up 3210 passing yards 24TD's (avg 6.5 per pass), and 1454 rushing yards 11TD's (avg 3.6 per rush)
- 2011 Ranked 20th overall, 5th on passing defense, 13th on rushing defence. Gave up 3216 passing yards 15 TD's (avg 6.7 per pass), and 1777 rushing yards 17 TD's (avg 3.9 per rush)
- 2012 (currently) ranked 27th overall, 14th on passing defense, 30th on rushing defense.
Despite the pass heavy approach within the NFL the Jets have been relatively consistent against the pass (due mainly to a certain Darrelle Revis) but the lack of ability to stop the run has become rather alarming, is Sione Pouha fully fit?
Week after week at every press conference your hear about the Jets having the best practice you can begin to imagine, but rarely does this transpire onto the field come kick-off on a Sunday. With the midway point of the season upon us, lets hope the Jets can buck an alarming trend on the defensive side of the ball (we used to pride ourselves on the teams defense).
The following quotes from Rex Ryan only rub salt into the wounds and leave me pondering, why do the defensive frailties continue when its what your renown for.