Just over two years ago, we all endured a tortuous offseason where it looked like the Jets were going to have to play without their best player. While we tried to keep a brave face on it and remain optimistic, we were all delighted when there was a last minute reprieve, as the Jets managed to sign him to an extension in time for the season opener. Here's what it meant to me at the time:

It’s an emotional moment. This was the article I was hoping to get a chance to write, yet for a long time it looked like that might not happen. Other than potentially one day writing about the Jets winning a Superbowl, this is the most eagerly anticipated article of my TJB “career”… Darrelle Revis is back! They may not have given him the lifetime deal many of us were hoping for, but it’s definitely exciting to be able to add him back to the already formidable Jets defensive lineup.


Unfortunately, now the tables have been turned and we're faced with a situation where the Jets must prepare for life without him and where I have to write the last article I would ever have wanted to. In a similar situation back in 2010, I was forced to begrudgingly write about Jim Leonhard's injury that threatened to derail a promising campaign. I was reasonably optimistic in that article, temporarily making me look foolish when they were blown out that Monday by the Patriots, but in the end the Jets did manage to scheme around the loss and had a pretty successful run in the postseason.

After a few people remarked that they were upset to hear me suggest that the Jets' postseason chances were "bleak" in this week's BGA, I thought I would take a more optimistic approach. After the jump, I'll be looking into how the Jets defense could approach the rest of the season and looking into the past to try and assess their chances of being successful.

Replacing Darrelle Revis

Of course, there's a simple answer here and it's that you can't replace Darrelle Revis. He's the best cornerback in the NFL, so whoever you replace him with isn't going to be as good. However, football is a team sport and he would have been one of 11 Jets players on the field and 53 on the active roster.

In the ongoing discussions about Revis' value in terms of his next contract, it's been debated at length just how valuable the cornerback position is compared to other positions. Is losing the best cornerback in the league as much of a death sentence for a team's chances as losing an elite pass rusher would be? Or an elite receiver? Or a top running back? We're about to find out...and the outcome could have a significant impact on the negotiations for his next deal.

Historical Significance

Looking back over the Rex Ryan era, he's managed to overcome some key losses in the past. I've already mentioned the Jim Leonhard injury, which they overcame mostly by transitioning to a quarters zone scheme and dropping a lot of defensive backs into coverage to make up for the fact that Leonhard was replaced by Eric Smith, who isn't as good in coverage. On a shorter term basis, they've had to deal without Calvin Pace (twice), Bryan Thomas and even Revis himself. There have also been some similar losses on offense, but we'll remain focused on the defense here.

The biggest loss Ryan's defense was able to overcome in his time as Jets head coach was that of Kris Jenkins in 2009. Few people gave them much hope of overcoming that, although I did say this at the time:

Actually sometimes Jenkins penetrates too far and creates a huge gap behind him for counter type plays. At least that won’t happen now! He’s too good for his own good sometimes ... I know I’m clutching at straws, but you gotta have faith, right?


Even though I was half-joking (and got royally mocked for making the comment anyway), there actually proved to be some truth to this. However, the real reason they were able to overcome it was the emergence of Sione Po'uha (then Pouha), who had - until that time - been considered something of a disappointment since being drafted in 2005. Clearly, the Jets can't rely on being saved by a role player suddenly emerging into an elite player (which Po'uha eventually did) in this situation, but at least that does speak positively to Ryan's ability to develop talent and at the same time presents an example of someone being thrown in at the deep end and responding with unexpected success.

Ryan's biggest achievement in terms of overcoming injuries is mentioned in an article about how the Jets can win without Revis, by our friend Melissa from iSports Times:

Ryan faced a similar situation in 2005, his first year as the Baltimore Ravens' defensive coordinator. That season, Ryan lost both linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed for an extended period of time, but his team still finished fifth in the league in both yards per game allowed and points per game allowed.


Another example was discussed by Bassett earlier today:

[Given] a similar situation in 2007, he dropped his safeties into two-deep zone and it “killed him” to do it.


In that season, the Ravens finished with the sixth best defense in the NFL and were still second best against the run, even though they took a safety out of the box.

All of these examples hopefully show that Rex Ryan has a lot of experience in dealing with this type of situation and the flexibility of his system will hopefully give him several different options for how he will proceed without Revis in the lineup.

How about on a league-wide basis, though? Let's revisit (hidden Darrelle reference not intentional) a question I raised earlier about the value of elite players at different positions, but considering some teams who lost elite players in recent years:

- New England lost Tom Brady for the year in 2008 but still went 11-5.

- The Colts lost Peyton Manning for the year last season and ended up with the first pick in the draft.

- The Giants labored through most of last year with Osi Umenyiora out, but went on a run to the Superbowl when he returned to the lineup.

- Elvis Dumervil missed the entire 2010 season and Denver had the worst defense in the league, but returned in 2011 and by the end of the season, they had one of the best defenses.

- The Bears lost Brian Urlacher in Septemeber 2009 and ended up going 7-9.

- Andre Johnson and Mario Williams both missed multiple games last year, but the Texans kept winning until they were down to their third string quarterback.

- Jamaal Charles set records for average yards per carry in 2010, but missed most of the 2011 season and the Chiefs running game dropped to 15th in the league.

Not all of these players are as good as Revis and obviously there are other factors at play, but I think this illustrates that sometimes you can overcome a loss to a big player, whereas sometimes it can really take its toll.

Of course, none of these are cornerbacks...so are there any examples of elite cornerbacks getting injured and the effect it had on that team's season? Well, a 28-year old Deion Sanders missed seven games with groin and hamstring issues in 1995 - missing the pro bowl for the only time during his prime. Dallas survived without him and he returned to lead them to a Super Bowl win. In similar fashion, a 30-year old Champ Bailey also missed seven games in 2008, again missing the pro bowl for the only time during his prime years. This was a season ending injury and the Broncos just ended up 8-8. However, they were only 5-4 with him on the field, so it's not like it completely killed their season. There are also many examples of veteran cornerbacks being signed, sometimes off the street, and contributing on Super Bowl teams - like Hank Poteat, for example. However, none of these were replacing a player of Revis' caliber.

Sanders was always a put-you-over-the-hump guy rather than a player his teams were built around. He enjoyed success with some elite teams that were almost as successful without him. However, Revis has this reputation as a guy on whom the entire defense depends. Is that true, or is that part of an aura the Jets have deliberately created around him, in an effort to either scare teams off throwing his way or, in some cases, dare them to?

I think we need to consider how they've coped without Revis in the past.

Games Without Revis

These were the games where Revis missed the game or a significant part of it during the Rex Ryan era:

2010 - Week 2 v Pats

Revis missed the second half after suffering a hamstring injury at the end of the first half, but the Jets regrouped for a come-from-behind win. Revis had been covering Randy Moss, but in the second half, the Jets put Cromartie on Moss and he shut him down, also intercepting a pass. In the first half, Cromartie had been moving from player to player and had given up a few first downs, which is further evidence for one of my pet theories which is that Cromartie always seems to respond better when he remains on the same player, perhaps because it helps him to get in a rhythm. The Jets plan for the rest of the receivers had mostly been to bracket them at the line. They did put some slot receivers on Aaron Hernandez and he had a big day, but Rob Gronkowski was held to just one catch and Wes Welker's six catches netted just 38 yards.

2010 - Week 3 at Dolphins

In this game, the Jets managed to cling on for a 31-23 win. Cromartie covered Brandon Marshall most of the time and he caught 10 passes for 166 yards. However, a couple of those catches came against Jim Leonhard in zone coverage, including a 40-yarder, so Cromartie - who was thrown at 14 times - wasn't entirely responsible and at least he didn't get beaten deep. The longest play was a 30-yarder because he missed a tackle. Kyle Wilson gave up five catches for 72 yards on five targets and was eventually relegated to number three cornerback - initially for Dwight Lowery, but then Lowery was replaced by Drew Coleman. I actually wrote about their defensive strategy for BGA:

The gameplan coming in was obviously to give their corners plenty of safety support, but still send the occasional blitz. When it became apparent early on that perhaps the secondary was a little overmatched, the amount of pressure sent reduced and they also made some adjustments to personnel (Note: The personnel changes referred to relate to Wilson/Lowery/Coleman as mentioned above).

To some extent the playcalling was reactive rather than trying to set the tone and affecting the other team’s gameplan, which seemed to be the philosophy last year. Miami left 50 backs/tight ends in to block in 53 dropbacks. Contrast this with 14 on 32 dropbacks by the Jets and you can see how Miami’s gameplan was to ensure Henne had time and that they trusted their receivers to get open, even if the Jets had dropped extra players into the secondary.

The Jets countered, not with extra defensive backs, as they did against New England, but by dropping linebackers into coverage and playing more zone. Against New England there were only 5 plays where fewer than 5 DBs were on the field for the Jets, but against Miami there were only 4 DBs in the game for 35 out of 74 plays (just under 50%). Despite the fact there were extra players in to block so often, the Jets weren’t tempted to send two many extra rushers, sending an average of 4.4 pass rushers per play. Against the Ravens, they sent 4.8 pass rushers per play. Obviously one major factor in that is Darrelle Revis.

The defensive playcalling finally paid dividends at the end, with the Jets deciding to rush just three players on the last two plays of the game and being able to prevent Miami from tying the score.

2010 - Week 4 at Bills

This was a comfortable win for the Jets, who dominated the trenches on both sides of the ball, although it was pretty close until just before half-time. At the time, Lee Evans was considered Buffalo's biggest threat and Cromartie stayed on him, holding him to one catch for six yards. Drew Coleman started at the other corner, but Kyle Wilson played most of the game anyway, mostly matched up with Stevie Johnson, who he held to two catches in five targets, although he did get beaten for a meaningless late score. With the Bills not representing much of a passing threat, the secondary held them to an inconsequential 128 yards.

It may also be worth noting that Revis played poorly (by his standards) in the next two games and the Jets won both, so again you can factor than into how often they managed to win without him providing his usual contributions.

2010 - Week 17 v Bills

Another blowout for the Jets and again over the Bills and their lack of a passing threat (as well as being in a meaningless game where the Bills players didn't seem to be particularly motivated and the Jets rested several starters, including Revis). However, this is noteworthy for two reasons. The first is that Kyle Wilson started at cornerback (as did Marquice Cole) and stuck to one side of the field. It's often been suggested that Wilson struggles in the slot because he doesn't have the sideline to give him that added protection like he did in college when he was working on the outside. It was therefore encouraging to see Wilson do well in this role. He gave up just one seven yard catch and held Johnson to no catches on three targets, including one pass breakup. I did note that he was particularly physical on a couple of those plays though and could easily have been flagged by a more fussy official. Cole actually had two interceptions - one for a touchdown - but did give up four catches.

The other interesting thing is that they used four man fronts to rush the passer on passing downs, a plan which they had success with against New England a couple of weeks later. This had a big impact, with the Jets racking up three sacks and nine QB hits. This is relevant because creating more pressure might be one way the Jets can make life easier for the secondary, by reducing how long they need to stay with their man for.

2012 - Week 2 at Steelers

Less than two weeks ago, the Jets suffered their first loss without Revis in the Rex Ryan era. In 2010, the Jets mostly matched up Cromartie with Mike Wallace and that was the case here too, which meant that Kyle Wilson and Ellis Lankster both had to cover Antonio Brown at times. As I had predicted, although Wilson was the starter, he moved into his customary slot role while the Jets were in their nickel package and Lankster played on the outside. The difference with those two games in 2010 was that the Jets ran more dime and seven DB packages and dropped a lot of guys into coverage, but in this one they played a more conventional system. It was discouraging to note that Cromartie and Wilson gave up ten catches in ten targets between them.

2012 - Week 3 at Dolphins

In last week's game, Revis missed almost exactly half of the defensive snaps following his injury. Once again the Jets were able to come from behind, although once again it was against a team that doesn't offer much of a passing threat. Cromartie was mostly matched up with Brian Hartline and Revis was matched up with the speedier Bess, who certainly had some success after Revis was hurt. Cromartie doesn't match up well with shifty and quick slot receiver types, so that made logical sense. He did get badly beaten by Hartline on one play, but overall played well.

While the Jets didn't really beat any strong teams other than the first game against the Patriots, at least this provides some evidence that they will be capable of winning games even without Revis. Looking at the schedule, there aren't too many elite passing attacks that they will face between now and the end of the season, so there is time for them to tighten up whatever system they decide to implement and for each player to become comfortable within their new role.

Other Sources

Just in case you don't trust my opinion, let's consider what some other analysts and experts have been saying:

- Ben Shpigel of the New York Times notes that Rex has indicated he might take a more aggressive approach- Bassett says the Jets must get penetration up front to allow ease the burden on the secondary.

- Florio predictably agrees with Ross Tucker that the Jets "could implode".

- James Walker says they won't survive.

- Mike Lupica fluctuates between being the voice of reason and throwing them a backhanded compliment that sets up the opportunity to bash the organization if they fail.

- Rex Ryan insists they can still be competitive without him.

- Finally, the First Take crew (plus Snoop Lion) couldn't resist turning the topic around to be about Tim Tebow. *Sigh*.

Also, it's worth recalling back in 2010, when the Football Scientist KC Joyner suggested that Revis is expendable...although we did of course mock him relentlessly for that opinion.

Losing a Star

One thing that always springs to mind in situation like this is Bill Simmons' "Ewing Theory". Whenever a star player goes down, Simmons' theory is that this can sometimes - but sadly not always - galvanize the team. When the media writes off a team because the star player is gone, the team is often forced to change its approach and sometimes that approach works better than the way the team was built to make the most of that player's talents.

Whether you buy into the theory (or one of Simmons' other go-to theories which could also apply - the "Nobody Believed In Us!" effect), there can still be longer term advantages from an injury like this. Po'uha is a good example of this. Would he ever have developed into the player he is today without the opportunity provided to him by Jenkins' injuries? Even if the Jets can't be successful this season, they're going to learn a few things about their team which will all come in useful when Revis is ready to return.

There have been games where Cromartie has given a Revis-type performance and the Jets have won plenty of games without Revis having much of an impact, so in theory they should still be competitive most weeks. However, when you focus on what they're losing, it's not just a guy who can shut down the elite receivers on a more consistent basis than a guy like Cromartie could ever hope to. As he showed in week one, Revis has a knack for the clutch play at exactly the time when the team needs it and I could see that being something that they will miss over the remainder of the season.

While I am hopeful that Cromartie can overcome some of his inconsistency to do pretty well as the number one cornerback, the biggest impact will probably come from the increased playing time that will have to be given to the inexperienced players further down the depth chart. As an example, Cromartie handled Brandon Lloyd pretty well in the Denver game in 2010, as Lloyd was in the form of his career. Him handling Lloyd when the Jets face New England would have freed up Revis to cover guys like Welker and Gronkowski, but now it will be guys like Landry and Wilson who are forced into those roles.

Also, I hate to even mention this possibility, but you also have to wonder where another cornerback injury would leave them.

One underrated aspect of Revis' greatness has been the leadership he has provided in the locker room. He has reportedly been an influential mentor for the likes of Wilson and Lankster over the last couple of seasons. That's one area where Revis could still contribute. Even though if the Jets are successful without him that might hurt Revis' bargaining position in terms of a new contract, I would hope that Revis would consider that doing this sort of thing gives them value for money and would be a show of good faith in terms of his commitment to the team.

Salary implications

The implications on Darrelle's current salary are pretty straightforward. His salary is fully guaranteed anyway and has already been accounted for on this year's cap. So, he will still receive it even if he goes onto injured reserve and it will all count against the cap. More of an issue is the implications for his contract extension, which is expected following the season.

Next year, Revis has a salary of $6m which is guaranteed for skill but not injury. As long as he doesn't hold out, he will become a free agent at the end of the 2013 season, so the Jets will be keen to extend him before that date - especially since a $9m dead money cap hit would apply at that point.

The injury could affect certain things in terms of the deal. For example, the Jets might be reluctant to fully guarantee money until they are certain he will be fully recovered. At the same time, some have suggested that Revis' bargaining position will improve if the Jets struggle without him. However, if the Jets' depth and talent level without Revis proves insufficient, then maybe that means that the Jets would be better served in spreading their resources wider rather than dedicating so much of their salary to the cornerback position. Also, if the Jets are successful without him, that could make it easier for them to let him go or trade him away without fear of a public backlash.

With next year's salary not fully guaranteed and the Jets also keen to get the deal done before next year is over, both sides have reason to make concessions in the short term. With Revis no longer on the field this year, maybe that could provide an opportunity to negotiate without any risk of a distraction - perhaps even behind closed doors - and it certainly puts the Jets in a situation where they can generate some goodwill by showing a commitment to Revis even though he's hurt.

Conclusions

It's difficult to predict what will happen over the remainder of the season. The Jets have not looked good over the last two games, but did show some promise in week one. Maybe it should be viewed as a different situation to the Jenkins and Leonhard injuries which were seen to have derailed promising seasons. I'm not sure as many people were sold on them as a potential contender prior to the Revis injury.

Revis is - of course - a tremendous talent, but he is just one player and the Jets do have some other talented players in the secondary, which may not have coalesced completely in the games with Revis missing so far. Somebody - or bodies - is (or are) going to have to step up for this team to still be successful. It's also a big test for Ryan's coaching acumen too.

Earlier this week, Mike DeVito said the Jets thrive on people doubting them. With that in mind, I'd like to categorically state that there is no hope of them contending without Revis in the line-up.

Now let's get behind our team.

We're going to send your messages of support to Darrelle at the end of this week. Please visit here and leave your messages.

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

Wilkerson not playing at Saints 00:02:19
Jeane Coakley and Ralph Vacchiano report from Jets practice where the team announced that Muhammad Wilkerson will not play this Sunday.
Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson

Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are frustrated after another loss in a game they were supposed to win. The guys discuss Josh McCown's broken left hand, and how it impacts the team going forward. Later, Jets linebacker Demario Davis joins the show to talk about his leadership as team captain, McCown's impact, and the rise of the team's young linebackers - Darron Lee and Jordan Jenkins.

Click below to listen

Tags: Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Jordan Jenkins
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New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) celebrates after intercepting the ball, during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Lynne Sladky/AP)
New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) celebrates after intercepting the ball, during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Lynne Sladky/AP)

Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson is out for Sunday's game against the game after he was benched for showing up late to the team facility Friday. 

Wilkerson will not travel with the team to New Orleans as it was a 'coaching decision,' according to head coach Todd Bowles. Wilkerson supposedly showed up to the facility "very late," a source told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano. This is the third straight year the 28-year-old has been benched for being late. 

This season, Wilkerson has been underperforming with only 3.5 sacks and 46 combined tackles. 

Tags: Brian Winters, Matt Forte, Muhammad Wilkerson
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Wilkerson will not play Sunday 00:03:02
The Daily News Live crew discusses Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson not traveling to play in New Orleans this Sunday due to tardiness.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Muhammad Wilkerson has no future with the Jets. He knows it and they know it. He'll be released long before his 2018 salary is guaranteed on March 16.

And really, there's no reason to wait that long anymore.

Wilkerson was punished by Jets coach Todd Bowles on Friday, after he showed up late -- very late -- to the team facility, according to a team source. Bowles immediately told the 28-year-old malcontent he wouldn't be traveling to New Orleans with the team for the game on Sunday. And according to one team source, his pseudo-suspension could last longer than that.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Vacc's 3 keys to Jets win 00:01:36
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano gives his three keys to a Jets victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano gives his three keys to a Jets victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

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New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson gestures after a play against the Buffalo Bills during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson gestures after a play against the Buffalo Bills during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson will not travel with the team to New Orleans to face the Saints on Sunday, head coach Todd Bowles said on Friday, saying it was a 'coaching decision' -- not injury-related.

Wilkerson was very late to the Jets' facility today, which is why he was benched, a source told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano, who says it wouldn't be a surprise if this isn't just a one-game punishment, either.

Earlier this month, a day after he benched Wilkerson for most of the first quarter because he showed up late to a team meeting, Bowles said he still considers the 28-year-old defensive end a team leader.

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Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) calls a play at the line during the third quarter of a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) calls a play at the line during the third quarter of a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Jets (5-8) face the Saints (9-4) on Sunday in New Orleans. Here's what's going on today…

Need to know

The Jets practice today at Florham Park and Todd Bowles should be providing an injury update later. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano will be attending practice this week. Follow @RVacchianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors…

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John Morton on quitting vs. DEN 00:00:31
Jets offensive coordinator John Morton admits to calling it quits in Sunday's loss to the Denver Broncos.

Jets OC John Morton said his team waved the white flag last Sunday against the Broncos, with his team trailing, 23-0, in the fourth quarter.

"Listen, the game was out of hand and I didn't want to let some bad stuff happen," Morton said. "At that time, I don't like to say, 'No mas,' but it was time to get out of there. They kicked our butts, they kicked our butts. Sometimes that happens in the National Football League."

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveI know there are some people bothered by this, but I don't get it at all. Jets offensive coordinator John Morton gave an honest and reasonable answer to a question about why he wasn't being more aggressive with his play calling in the fourth quarter...

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Kerley blames ghost for PED's 00:05:09
On Loud Mouths, the guys fill in the blanks on hot topics including Manny Machado, Ian Kinsler, Jeremy Kerley's ghost and Star Wars.

Jets wide receiver Jeremy Kerley said he still wasn't sure how a banned substance in his system led to a four-game suspension and suggested it was because of a ghost.

"I don't know, a lot of ghosts around here," Kerley said, according to Newsday's Calvin Watkins. "Ghost put it in. You know the ghost of Christmas past."

Tags: Jeremy Kerley
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Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Korren Kirven (Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports)
Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Korren Kirven (Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed offensive tackle Korren Kirven to the practice squad and released tight end Zach Conque, the team announced Friday.

Kirven, an undrafted rookie out of Alabama, had signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2017 draft.

Conque was with the Jets' practice squad for three weeks after the Houston Texans waived/injured him in August.

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets' plan 00:02:06
On GEICO SportsNite, Ralph Vacchiano discusses how the Jets are preparing to face Drew Brees and the formidable New Orleans Saints.

After Josh McCown's season-ending injury, Bryce Petty has been pushed to center stage for the Jets and will be starting this Sunday in New Orleans. The Saints won't take the Jets' backup lightly, citing a lack of film on the former Baylor quarterback.

Publically, multiple members of the Saints' secondary have been respectful of Petty's ability.

"For me having been in this league for a while, it's actually scarier going against a guy you don't have a lot of film on..."

Tags: Bryce Petty
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4 Keys to beating the Saints 00:04:30
On Jets Game Plan, the crew discusses the keys to stopping Drew Brees and the red-hot New Orleans Saints this week.

On Jets Game Plan, the crew discusses the keys to stopping Drew Brees and the red-hot New Orleans Saints this week.


Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) (Ed Mulholland)
Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) (Ed Mulholland)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Bryce Petty will make his fifth career start for the Jets on Sunday in New Orleans because Josh McCown has a broken left hand and because, as Todd Bowles said, "Bryce is the next man up."

That's a nice, tidy coach-speak way of avoiding the obvious truth about that decision: Starting Petty makes very little sense at this point for the 5-8 Jets. They need to see Christian Hackenberg play...

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) quarterback Bryce Petty (9) and quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) quarterback Bryce Petty (9) and quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Josh McCown may be out for the season and unsigned for 2018, but he's not done helping the Jets young players just yet.

The 38-year-old quarterback was back on the practice field on Thursday, just two days after undergoing surgery on his broken left hand, and he will travel with the Jets to New Orleans this weekend for their game against the Saints on Sunday afternoon. There, according to Jets coach Todd Bowles, McCown will serve as a "player-coach" as quarterback Bryce Petty makes his first start of the year...

Tags: Bryce Petty, Josh McCown
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Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) celebrates his touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) celebrates his touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Matt Forte (knee) missed practice again Thursday. The good news, though, is he was the only player who missed Wednesday's practice to sit out Thursday's as well.

All of CB Morris Claiborne (foot), RB Elijah McGuire (ankle), S Rontez Miles (hamstring), CB Rashard Robinson (not injury related) and G Brian Winters (abdomen, ankle) were limited participants Thursday after being unable to go on Wednesday. 

LB Bruce Carter (groin) and LS Thomas Hennessy (concussion) were also limited participants. 

The Jets travel to New Orleans to play the Saints this Sunday in Bryce Petty's  first start of the season.

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GEICO SportsNite: Petty to start 00:01:59
With Josh McCown sidelined due to a broken hand, Bryce Petty is motivated to prove his worth in the final three games of the season.

The Jets (5-8) face the Saints (9-4) on Sunday in New Orleans. Here's what's going on today…

Need to know

The Jets practice today at Florham Park and Todd Bowles should be providing an injury update later. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano will be attending practice this week. Follow @RVacchianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors…

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Dec 3, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) runs the ball against Kansas City Chiefs corner back Darrelle Revis (24) during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 3, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) runs the ball against Kansas City Chiefs corner back Darrelle Revis (24) during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

As he has done for the last month, RB Matt Forte (knee) was on the sidelines during the Jets' practice on Wednesday. 

LB Mo Claiborne (foot), RB Eli McGuire (ankle), DB Rontez Miles (hamstring), OL Brian Winters (abdomen/ankle) and DB Rashard Robinson (excused) joined Forte as inactives.

LB Bruce Carter (groin) and LS Tom Hennessy (concussion) were limited.

Tags: Brian Winters, Elijah McGuire, Matt Forte, Morris Claiborne, Rontez Miles
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Jets LB Demario Davis has been a cornerstone of the team's defense this season, but it wasn't always that way. 

When returning to the Jets this offseason after a season with the Browns, fans and media crushed Davis, saying he wasn't worth bringing back after serving four previous season in Green & White. Davis didn't prove them wrong in the first two weeks of the season either as he struggled mightily on the field. 

Davis spoke with SNY's Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon on "The Jet Stream Podcast" to talk about how he dealt with the pressure, and turned around his season...

Tags: Demario Davis
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Dec 31, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) is sacked for a safety by LSU Tigers defensive end Arden Key (49) during the first half at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Dec 31, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) is sacked for a safety by LSU Tigers defensive end Arden Key (49) during the first half at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Jets will select LSU DE Arden Key with the tenth overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, predicts ESPN's Todd McShay.

Despite the Jets' need for a steady arm at the quarterback position, McShay points out their edge rushers need some improvement as well. This is why McShay can't see the Jets passing up on who he thinks is the most natural defensive end coming out of college this season...

CLICK BELOW TO SEE MCSHAY'S ANALYSIS ON KEY

Tags: Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson
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New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) drops back to pass against the New York Giants during the third quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) drops back to pass against the New York Giants during the third quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets (5-8) face the Saints (9-4) on Sunday in New Orleans. Here's what's going on today…

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 (Marc DesRosiers)
(Marc DesRosiers)

The Jets worked out two CFL players on Tuesday: WR DaVaris Daniels and CB Garry Peters, reports NY Daily News' Manish Mehta. 

The 6-foot-1, 207 pound Daniels has played his past two seasons with the Calgary Stampeders, who made it to the Grey Cup last season. In 13 games last season, the Notre Dame product caught 47 receptions for 743 yards and four touchdowns. 

Peters has played for the Edmonton Eskimos the past two seasons, where he most recently won the Grey Cup. The 5-foot-11, 190 pound cornerback notched 35 tackles and three special teams tackles this past season. 

As the custom with CFL players converting to the NFL, the Jets may be looking at Daniels and Peters for potential futures deals after the season. CFL players generally are not allowed to sign with NFL teams until their contracts expire in February. 

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 (Isaiah J. Downing)
(Isaiah J. Downing)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets overcame a shaky start to break out of their slump with their finest offensive performance of the season so far against the Chiefs. A late touchdown by Josh McCown gave the Jets the lead and the defense held on to preserve a 38-31 shootout win.

Let's review the defensive performance from Sunday's win:

Tags: Buster Skrine, Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Marcus Maye, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Rontez Miles, Steve McLendon
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Dec 10, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Dec 10, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

The Jets (5-8) face the Saints (9-4) on Sunday in New Orleans. Here's what's going on today…

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New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty during the game against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter at Oakland Coliseum. (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty during the game against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter at Oakland Coliseum. (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets coach Todd Bowles said QB Bryce Petty will be prepared to start this weekend when the team faces the Saints in New Orleans.

Petty was inserted into the starting role after QB Josh McCown was lost for the remainder of the season due to a hand injury.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Josh McCown
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Dec 3, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) celebrates a two point conversion run by running back Elijah McGuire (25) (not shown) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports  (Ed Mulholland)
Dec 3, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) celebrates a two point conversion run by running back Elijah McGuire (25) (not shown) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Jets QB Josh McCown was named a finalist for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. 

The award recognizes players who demonstrate the best on-field sportsmanship qualities that include fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition, according to USA Today. 

The other finalists include Browns T Joe Thomas, Chargers TE Antonio Gates, Redskins TE Vernon Davis, Panthers LB Luke Kuechly, Lions DT Haloti Ngata, 49ers T Joe Staley, and Chiefs QB Alex Smith. Staley, Smith and Kuechly have all been finalists in previous years.

Tags: Josh McCown
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Who do the Jets turn to at QB? 00:02:20
The Daily News Live crew debates over who the Jets should start at quarterback with Josh McCown being ruled out for the rest of the season.

Jets QB Josh McCown is out for the rest of the season as he needs surgery on his broken left hand, according to head coach Todd Bowles. 

McCown suffered the injury in the third quarter of Sunday's 23-0 loss to the Broncos. He walked off the field in obvious pain, and underwent X-rays during the game. He received a second opinion on the hand, and it was suggested he should get surgery to repair it. 

"It just sucks," McCown said emotionally after the game. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Josh McCown
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 (Ron Chenoy)
(Ron Chenoy)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Any lingering hopes of the Jets remaining in playoff contention were put to rest by a struggling Broncos team that was met with scant resistance in their 23-0 win. This continues a season-long pattern of futility on the road for this Jets team, which drops to 5-8 on the year and now seems destined to end up 5-11 for the season season in a row.

Let's start this week by breaking down the performances on the offensive side of the ball:

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Brandon Shell, Brent Qvale, Brian Winters, Elijah McGuire, James Carpenter, Josh McCown, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson
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GEICO SportsNite: FNNY on Jets 00:03:08
The Football Night in New York crew break down the Jets ugly 23-0 loss to the Broncos in Denver on Sunday.

After Jets quarterback Josh McCown suffered a broken left hand in Sunday's 23-0 loss to the Denver Broncos, second-string quarterback Bryce Petty said he feels "ready" to step up for New York's Week 15 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

"I am going to give my heart and soul and prepare for this week for New Orleans," Petty said, according to NJ.com's Connor Hughes. "Whatever happens in the future, happens, but all I can do is worry about things I can control. Whether Josh plays, or whether he doesn't, I am going to go in there prepared and ready to lead this team."

Given McCown's injury is on his non-throwing hand, it is unclear if he will play during the team's final three games of the season. Head coach Todd Bowles said McCown will undergo further tests this week to evaluate his status for the rest of the season.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Denver Broncos, Josh McCown, New Orleans Saints
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Bowles and McCown on 23-0 loss 00:02:13
Jets head coach Todd Bowles and quarterback Josh McCown talk about what went wrong for the Jets in their 23-0 loss to Denver.

Jets quarterback Josh McCown suffered a broken left hand in Sunday's 23-0 loss to the Denver Broncos, head coach Todd Bowles told reporters.

"It just sucks," an emotional McCown, who was brought to tears at the podium, said after the game.

McCown left the game late in the third quarter with the Jets trailing 20-0. He previously left the game in the first half after scrambling for a first down, but returned two plays later.

He walked off the field and underwent X-rays during the game. It is unclear if the injury will end McCown's season, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. McCown will undergo further tests, Bowles said.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Elijah McGuire, Josh McCown
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Jets Post Game Overtime: 12/10 00:12:08
The Jets Post Game crew hands out its report cards after the Jets' defeat at the hands of the Denver Broncos, 23-0.