For three quarters against the Bills on Sunday, the hyper-aggressive, lockdown defense that the Jets possessed under the direction of DC Gregg Williams was on full display. Buffalo couldn't get anything going, and when they looked like they were about to drive, New York would cause a turnover to end those hopes.
In the first half alone, the Jets had four turnovers on the Bills' first six drives of the game. And their first attempt at one in the second half resulted in a safety thanks to Brian Poole stopping Frank Gore at the goal line.
But all of that success changed in the fourth quarter. And it stemmed from a certain player being absent during those 15 minutes.
C.J. Mosley was the anchor of the defense throughout Sunday's opening game, and that was clearly apparent after he left the game late in the third quarter with a groin injury after running with speedy WR John Brown, where he broke up a pass play. Mosley was the cause of one of the turnovers -- a pick-six that marked the Jets' first touchdown of the season. He also recovered a botched snap by the Bills for a fumble recovery.
However, with the Pro Bowler on the sideline with an earpiece in during the fourth quarter, he watched as the defense broke down and relinquished their 16-point lead.
"It was very frustrating," Mosley told The Post's George Willis. "It's always hard when you want to be out there with your brothers and you can't, especially the way it ended."
Now the Jets' secondary also dropped the ball, with Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts letting up some big gains to set up the Bills' fourth-quarter scoring. But, for example, Frankie Luvu -- Mosley's replacement -- was covering Devin Singletary on a second-and-16 pass play that went for 12 yards. The next play: Allen's pass to Josh Brown that went for 38 yards and gave Buffalo the lead.
The Jets already lost a starting linebacker this season in Avery Williamson. And while Neville Hewitt had a pretty good game yesterday (seven tackles, two QB hits, and an interception), Mosley's presence in the middle of the defense is needed to make this unit reach its full potential.
Hopefully Mosley's groin injury isn't too severe, and the Jets are lucky with an extra day of recovery for him by playing on Monday Night Football this week against the Browns. Because if not, Luvu and rookie Blake Cashman will be tasked with stopping an offense that touts Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, David Njoku, and Nick Chubb.
Mosley is looking at the positives from the loss, though, saying that it will be a learning experience for everyone involved.
"We know in the media, people are going to try to say it's just like last year. But we control what we control," he said. "We'll go to work Monday and try to get better."