Jets’ Defense Continues to Shine

The Jets are 6-3 going into the bye week. I don’t think many saw this coming. Since Zach Wilson returned from injury, the team is 5-1. And while the young quarterback had a good game under center against the Bills, the defense deserves most of the praise for the team’s success this season.

Going into Sunday afternoon, the Bills sat atop the AFC with a 6-1 record and were considered the team to beat in the AFC overall. But that didn’t scare the Jets, who showed no mercy in New York’s 20-17 win over Buffalo at MetLife Stadium.

The numbers don’t lie. The Jets’ defense held Josh Allen to his fewest passing yards since Week 16 of 2021 with 205. Over the first seven games this season he averaged 314 passing yards per game. Allen completed just 18 of 34 pass attempts and threw two interceptions, one to Jordan Whitehead and one to Sauce Gardner. His zero passing touchdowns is the fewest since Week 16 of last season and had a season-worst 46.8 passer rating, which was also his worst since Week 16 last year. He was also sacked a season-high five times.

The Jets did a great job shutting down a top receiver in Stefon Diggs, who entered the afternoon tied for first in touchdown passes with seven, second in yardage (764), and third in receptions (55). After Allen connected with Diggs on the first play of the game for a 42-yard game, the wideout only had four more receptions for 51 yards. Diggs was targeted a total of 10 times and did not have a catch in the second half, thanks largely in part to cornerback D.J. Reed, who very well may have been the biggest offseason acquisition for the Jets. It was Diggs’ first game without a touchdown since Week four against the Ravens on Oct. 2.

Gabe Davis finished the game with just two receptions on five targets for a mere 33 yards.

Along with Gardner’s interception, the rookie cornerback had a team-leading seven TOT and one PD. He denied Davis of what could have been a game-altering catch in the waning seconds of the game.

The Bills took a 14-3 lead halfway through the second quarter, courtesy of Allen finding the end zone twice on his own. He finished with a game-high 86 rushing yards. Buffalo maintained a 14-10 lead going into the third quarter and were held to just one field goal in the second half.

Every player on the Jets defense contributed in one way or another. C.J. Mosley had a sack and six TOT, while Jamien Sherwood and Lamarcus Joyner both had five TOT apiece. Quinnen Williams, Bryce Huff, and Jermaine Johnson each had one sack and Sherwood and Kwon Alexander finished with 0.5 sacks.

No longer can fans say “Same old Jets” with this young defensive core. This unit has proven it can hang with the best of them and the Jets have a good chance at more upsets if they continue to perform at such a high level.

(Photo: AP Photo/John Minchillo)

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