"We could get better at forcing turnovers, deep balls," he said, "and starting fast sometimes on the road. I think if we can get those things together — I think we're good against the run — we'll be a better defense."
Turnovers, yes, deep balls, yes. And starting fast on the road ... yes, absolutely.
The Jets after all started without a first-quarter touchdown at home Thursday vs. Indianapolis. And next up on Saturday night is Preseason Game 2 at Cincinnati, where last year we fell behind, 14-0, in the opening period en route to that 49-9 "dog-walking," in the descriptive phrase of
But as Jets fans know, our recent performances in the opening periods of away games are more serious than just last year's Bengals loss. If you go back to the last first-quarter touchdown drive the Jets put together on the road, it was Game 7 — of the 2012 season — at New England.
Since then, the Jets have scored no TDs and seven field goals in the last 13 regular-season first quarters on the road and have been outscored in that span, 61-28, with seven of those Green & White points coming on a defensive TD at Seattle in '12.
Perhaps not coincidentally, our record in those games is 4-9. Here is that stretch broken down into half-seasons:
What is it about the challenge of starting fast on the road?
"It’s just naturally one of those things where you go to somebody else's home," Pace said. "It’s not comfortable, you start out a little slower, the home team has the crowd on their side. Sometimes before you know it you can be down, 7-0, and that can mean all the difference in the world.
"We have to come out with the same energy we come out with at home on the road in a hostile environment.
Based on our recent past, there's no tougher place to do that than Paul Brown Stadium. And there's no better time or place to begin work on our road starts for the 2014 season than at PBS on Saturday night.
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