The Jets (4-6) face the Panthers (7-3) on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Here's what's going on Tuesday:
Need to know
The Jets will practice again today at Florham Park. SNY's Ralph Vacciano will be attending practice this week. Follow @RVaccianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors…
In case you missed it on TJB
Who will be the Jets' starting quarterback in 2018? >> Read more
Robby Anderson discusses the improvements he's made with Jeané Coakley >> Watch here
Today's Jets links roundup
How do the Jets feel about drafting Lamar Jackson? >> Mehta, NY Daily News
A look at how Leonard Williams has increased his production >> Slater, NJ.com
Lorenzo Mauldin will not face charges over nightclub incident >> Cimini, ESPN
Jets veterans coach up military squads in flag football event >> Waszak, AP
Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter
The early season struggles and subsequent rejuvenation from Muhammad Wilkerson and Leonard Williams received a lot of attention this season, but one player who has also been playing better and better as the season as gone along has flown under the radar. That would be veteran defensive tackle Steve McLendon, who 0- according to a recent statistic posted by Pro Football Focus -- is leading the league in defensive tackle run stop percentage.
However, it's not just against the run where McLendon has made his mark. He has also registered a sack and several pressures over the past three games, having not recorded any pressure at all in the first seven.
The fact that McLendon's improved play has coincided with Williams and Wilkerson's resurgence is no accident. The more disruptive they are, the more plays McLendon and others can make cleaning up inside. Early in the season, McLendon had a couple of games where he didn't play very much, so perhaps he wasn't 100 percent until recently either.
During the offseason, many expected the Jets to get rid of McLendon, especially since the younger and cheaper Deon Simon stepped in for an injured McLendon at the end of last year and the defense didn't seem to miss a beat. However, Simon is currently on the practice squad while McLendon is repaying the faith shown in him. Obviously his veteran leadership is seen as a valuable asset, but his on-field contributions have also been a factor in the team's better-than-expected season so far.
Program Alert! Jets on SNY and SNY.tv this week
The Jet Stream Podcast: Every Wednesday on SNY.tv
Jets Game Plan: Thursday at 6:30 p.m. on SNY
Jets Pre Game Live: Sunday at 12 p.m. on SNY
Jets Post Game Live: On SNY Immediately following Sunday's game
Jets Post Game Overtime: Streamed live on SNY.tv following Post Game on SNY