In what was an all around ugly game, the Jets dropped their third straight, falling to the Dolphins 13-6. The offense struggled once again, but the defense did everything it could to keep the game close. As for the secondary, it certainly helped to face a team led by Brock Osweiler, as the group put forth their best performance in weeks, limiting Miami’s passing attack to 139 yards. The secondary did it without Trumaine Johnson, who will be returning in week 10 after missing five games due to a quad injury.
It was encouraging to see New Jack City get back on track and have a strong game. Had they struggled in this matchup, it would’ve been quite troubling considering the health and overall skill of Miami’s aerial attack. The secondary wasn’t challenged all that much, as they played tight coverage downfield and forced Osweiler to keep it short; he averaged only 5.8 yards per attempt and didn’t throw any touchdowns, another testament to how well the unit performed. The Dolphins as a team notched only seven first downs.
The only real negative takeaway is the group failed to force any turnovers for the third straight game. With the way the offense has been playing as of late, there’s even more pressure on the secondary to make plays and give the team some momentum. Again, there were some great individual performances on defense and the Jets didn’t lose because of a lack of turnovers, but an interception or two definitely would’ve helped.
Let’s take a look at some studs and duds from the secondary in week 9:
Stud: S Jamal Adams
After arguably one of his worst performances of the season, Adams bounced back in a big way in week 9. As per usual, he was extremely active around the line of scrimmage and in the run game, finishing second on the team with seven tackles. He also had two passes defended, with one being a deflection at the line of scrimmage on a 3rd and short from inside the Jets’ 10 yard line – the Dolphins wound up having to settle for a field goal on the next play.
Dud: CB Morris Claiborne
I’m nitpicking a bit here, but in a game where the defense played so well, Claiborne was a player who left some opportunities out on the field. He gave up two long gains, one to Danny Amendola and another to Kenny Stills. Specifically on the play to Stills, Claiborne was in position to at least make a stop on a 3rd and long. Instead, he reacted too late and missed a tackle, allowing Stills to gain 19 yards and a first down. To be clear, he didn’t make any game changing mistakes, but you’d like to see a player like Claiborne capitalize on some of these chances.
Stud: CB Buster Skrine
Playing in his second game since returning from injury, Skrine got back on track and had a strong game overall; he finished with six tackles and one pass defended. More importantly, when there were passes headed his way, he limited the damage and closed quickly to keep big plays to a minimum. If Skrine can limit the mental mistakes and long gains, the secondary as a whole will be in much better shape going forward.
Week 10 Outlook
The Jets take on the Bills in week 10, another plus matchup for the secondary. The Bills likely will be starting Nathan Peterman or Matt Barkley at quarterback, with an outside chance Josh Allen winds up suiting up. No matter who is behind center for Buffalo, New Jack City should be licking their chops. None of the aforementioned signal callers have shown any consistent signs of success in the NFL. Granted, Allen is just a rookie but as many Jets fans know, his history of inaccuracy is well documented.
Add in the fact the Jets will be welcoming back number one corner Trumaine Johnson, an already tantalizing matchup looks all the more promising. Anything short of a dominant performance will be a disappointment for the secondary. Quite frankly, finishing this game without any turnovers would also qualify as disappointing for a unit in need of some spark plays. With that being said, I’m fully confident New Jack City will rise to the occasion and help propel a struggling Jets team back into the win column.