Examining the Kris Jenkins factor

September, 18, 2010
9/18/10
1:53
PM ET
Because of the fallout from the Baltimore Ravens game and Darrelle Revis' hammy and the Ines Sainz controversy, the Kris Jenkins season-ending injury hasn't garnered as much attention as it deserves. Part of that, no doubt, is because the New York Jets proved last season they can thrive without their massive defensive tackle.

Here's a breakdown of the Jets' 2009 run defense, with Jenkins (six games) and without Jenkins (10 games)

With Jenkins -- 173 rushing attempts, 694 yards, 4.01 avg.

Without Jenkins -- 247 rushing attempts, 884 yards, 3.58 avg.

Clearly, the run defense improve, testimony to the under-rated performances of Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito. But can the defense do it again without the big fella? One thing to keep in mind: When they lost Jenkins last October, OLB Calvin Pace -- another strong run defender -- already had returned from his four-game suspension. They never had to play without Jenkins and Pace.

But they will have to play without them Sunday against the Patriots, and probably again next week at the Miami Dolphins. How will Jenkins' absence affect Sunday's game?

In the first meeting last season, the Patriots ran reasonably well with Jenkins in the lineup -- 20 carries for 83 yards, 4.2 average. In the second meeting, without him, they made a concerted effort to run it -- 35 carries for 111 yards, but only a 3.2 average. The feeling here is that the Patriots will focus on the running game and short passes, much the way they did in last year's second meeting, a 31-14 victory for New England.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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