Ryan's plan before the season was to revert to their blitz-heavy approach, circa 2009, but it hasn't unfolded that way. Recognizing the front four's pass rush potential, and realizing the shortcomings of the rebuilt secondary, Ryan has used coverage-based game plans with more two-deep safety looks than in the past. They've allowed a lot of passing yards, but the style helped them beat three top quarterbacks, Matt Ryan, Tom Brady and Drew Brees.Many scratched their heads when the Jets drafted Sheldon Richardson. But while it seemed an embarrassment of riches at the time, it's proven to be a key to the Jets success this season. Part of going all-in with a beefy, yet versatile defensive line was to allow the Jets to imrpove their base ability to stop the run, but also to still be able to stop the run and rush the passer when in nickel or dime situations and do so successfully. With the Jets playing extensive nickel and dime, the Jets opted to supercharge the players who stay on the field in passing situations. As evidenced by the team drafting a corner and defensive linemen in the first round.
Simply put, Ryan is showing why he's one of the top defensive minds in the sport.
The Jets are getting to the passer more often this season with base line personnel and Muhammad Wilkerson has become one of the best pass rushing defensive ends in the league, now in the conversation with the likes of JJ Watt and Jared Allen.
The Jets do miss having an edge player like Antwan Barnes available to them, but with injuries now to Garrett McIntyre the Jets are going to be looking for another edge rusher to help out. According to PFF, both Ricky Sapp and Troy Davis were credited with one QB hurry against the Saints. The good news for the Jets is that the defensive linemen will occupy so much attention, linebackers might get more opportunities in the last seven games. Look for the Jets to give more playing time to those two young players after the bye in pass rush situations. Playing against rookie EJ Manuel could be a good place to start.