The Jets allowed 390 total yards to the Cowboys last Sunday -- including 9.1 yards per catch and 21 first downs -- but head coach Rex Ryan believes his defense is still as good as any in the NFL.
“It’s based on fact,” Ryan said. “The proof is in the pudding. You don’t bluff your way into being the number on defense in the league (two years ago and last year being third) and having a history of being top two or three defense in the league every year. I just know that’s what we have, that kind of ability. I believe in our coaching staff, the continuity, there is no reason to doubt it. The team (Dallas) was like third or fourth in the league in offense last year and they got a lot of opportunities with the ball. They’re going to move the ball like that on a lot of people.”
Asked to pinpoint what went wrong, Ryan replied, “We made more mistakes than we’re accustomed to making, that’s for sure. I always think it’s a joke when the other coach will be talking about a team and not give the proper credit to the other side. The Dallas Cowboys are pretty darn good and everybody that plays them will figure that out.”
Ryan pointed out that he thought his defense -- not just his secondary -- made seven “glaring errors” in Sunday’s 27-24 win.
“No, I wasn’t talking about the secondary,” Ryan said. “Shoot, they made less mistakes than the rest of them. That was my unofficial number. (Mike Pettine) thinks it’s more or whatever. I understand, but that’s the number that I had.”
Ryan also said he “feels good” about the Jets’ pass rush, which combined for four sacks against an inexperienced Dallas offensive line. He also is confident in his unit’s ability to stop the run.
THE KEY? STOP MJD: To win this Sunday against Jacksonville, the Jets are going to have to contain Maurice Jones-Drew, a dynamic back who had 24 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown in Week 1.
“You better have a bunch of guys on him,” Ryan said. “The thing is, too, he hits. You have to wrap him, because he’s a spinner too. He’s got great body control and power and balance and speed. It’s a great combination.
Asked if he Jones-Drew reminded him of any back from the past, Ryan replied, “It’s tough because he’s part Jim Nance. I go back to that, because he’s built like a bull. Yet, he’s got speed and little-man moves and all that. Jim Nance was huge, but a bulldozer-type guy that can run you over, and a (big) neck. He’s just short. He’s kind of like that. I’ll throw in, a combination of Emerson Boozer and Jim Nance. We’re in the thorwback mode, we’ll go back a little bit.”
GTD: On rookie defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis making his debut this week, Ryan said: “That’ll be a decision we make on game day.”