Thursday, September 16, 2010
D-Gaps: Two-way trouble for Jets D
By Jason Vida
Filling you in on what you may have missed on the "other" side of the ball this week:
Loss of Kris Jenkins a blow to Jets
Need proof that losing Kris Jenkins for the rest of 2010 will leave a sizable hole in the New York Jets rush defense? Jenkins played in six games last season before being placed on injured reserve after tearing the ACL in his left knee late in the Jets' Week Six loss to the Buffalo Bills. In those six games, New York allowed 215 yards on 72 rushes up the middle, an average of 3.0 yards per carry (fifth-best in the NFL through six weeks). With Jenkins out of the lineup, opponents averaged 3.4 yards per rush on carries up the gut and were more successful at moving the chains when rushing up the middle.
Anquan Boldin, Ravens show holes in Jets secondary
Despite the much-anticipated arrival of Darrelle Revis, Jets fans have reason to be concerned about their team's vaunted pass defense. Anquan Boldin registered 110 yards on seven catches Monday night, becoming just the second player to have a 100-yard receiving game against the Jets since the start of last season (Wes Welker had 192 yards on 15 catches last November). But Boldin didn't just work underneath, stretching the Jets defense with receptions of 38 and 27 yards. Since Rex Ryan's arrival in New York, Boldin is the first wideout to have multiple catches of 25 or more yards in a game against the Jets.
Depth at cornerback could be an issue for the Jets secondary. In his NFL debut, rookie Kyle Wilson was flagged for two costly penalties resulting in automatic first downs for the Ravens on 3rd-and-28 and 3rd-and-10. For what it's worth, the Ravens faced third-and-10 or more 55 times in 2009, converting only 11 times (20 percent).
Clay Matthews makes short work of Eagles
Former USC Trojans teammate Brian Cushing might have won the league's Defensive Rookie of the Year Award last season, but with his week one performance, Clay Matthews showed that he may very well be the league’s best young linebacker. Matthews finished with two sacks, seven solo tackles, a forced fumbled and a pass defensed on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, becoming the first Green Bay Packers defender to record multiple sacks in a season opener since Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (three), Vonnie Holliday (two) and Jim Flanigan (two) each did it in Green Bay's 28-6 win vs the Lions in week one of the 2001 season.
Before Matthews' monster game Sunday, no Packers player had recorded seven tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in a game since KGB against the Panthers in 2005. On the seven plays Matthews made a tackle on Sunday, the Eagles gained a total of three yards. His best play was unquestionably the game's biggest, when he shed not one but two blocks to stone Michael Vick for no gain on 4th-and-1 late in the fourth quarter. Teammate Charles Woodson is the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, but Matthews could be the best candidate to emerge this season from a Packers defense that is crowded with playmakers.