What happens now?
The Jets have every right to feel happy about their 2-1 overall mark and their 2-0 record inside the AFC East. And in most normal times, Jets Nation would be celebrating those facts along with the Patriots 1-2 beginning.
But any time you lose your best player and one of the NFL's most talented performers, there is cause for major concern.
Brian Great Neck, NY
Q: Hi Eric. Great thrilling victory today, but what is going on with Revis? Any news about his injury and timetable for return? He is invaluable to this defense and what they can do with him on the field.
EA: The Jets worst fears were realized when an MRI Monday revealed that Darrelle Revis has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee that will require surgery. Revis will have to wait a couple of weeks before surgery and the typical recovery from an ACL tear is 6-9 months, so he is not expected to return in 2012.
Antonio Cromartie steps into the role of No. 1 corner while nickel CB Kyle Wilson, a first round pick of the Jets in 2010, will move to the outside and assumes the No. 2 role. Ellis Lankster and Isaiah Trufant will see their roles increased and don't forget about Joe McKnight. The speedster played defensive back in high school and he has practiced there in the past.
Marc East Windsor, NJ
Q: Hi Eric. I've been following you on the iPhone app — good stuff. I'm a 27-year season ticket holder. It does not seem like the Pro Bowl offensive line is getting push and the defensive line is not getting pressure or stopping the run. What is your assessment of the guys on the scrimmage line and whether poor coaching is a factor at this point in the season?
EA: The play on both lines has been inconsistent. I thought the O-Line had a strong performance in Week 1 and they were average in Weeks 2 and 3.
The Jets were very excited about their defensive line in the summer and they've been OK to this point. C.J. Spiller and Reggie Bush found too many lanes in Weeks 1 and 3. I do think the Jets dominated the Steelers front in Week 2 and would have had five or six sacks if that QB was someone not named Ben Roethlisberger — they had three as it was. They put some hits on Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 1 and that contributed to those three interceptions.
Coaching is not an issue at all.
Tyler Eastchester, NY
Q: With these bigger O-Linemen that the Jets have been facing, I know Rex has been limiting Coples' workload. However do you think — that with Revis' injury — Coples will be forced into seeing more game action?
EA: With the Jets release of Marcus Dixon, you can expect to see rookie Quinton Coples more. Dixon had a pass rushing role in sub situations, but he had not flashed to this point. We aren't permitted to watch team drills during the regular season, but that's where Coples has to make his mark and then his playing time will increase. There were times when he wasn't noticeable at practice in Cortland and then he'd make an impressive play. He is going to get more play time ahead and it's up to him now.
Mark Brooklyn, NY
Q: Hey, what's up? I love your Q&A blog. When are we (Jets Nation) going to realize that our problem is our running backs? Shonn Greene can't make it through the hole without falling on the first touch from a defender. Bilal Powell just doesn't seem big/strong enough to power through and Joe McKnight is best at punt returns. Do you think we are going to focus on running backs, wide receivers and tight ends next offseason?
EA: We have to time to get in the offseason in the months ahead. Right now, the Jets are 2-1 and 13 games remain. Greene is averaging just 2.8 yards per rush and the Jets would like to see that around 4.0 yards a clip. Powell is averaging that 4.0 yards a carry and he has made the most of his opportunities. I expect him to get more attempts here in the future and the coaching staff loves his pass protection. Powell is making a push.
Q: Do you think that the pass rush will get better as the season goes on?
EA: It has to. I will say both the Bills and Dolphins have very good offensive lines, but the Jets have to find ways to get to the passer more. This isn't a club who is going to get eight sacks on you in a half like the Seahawks, but they have to make opposition quarterbacks uncomfortable in the pocket.
Fitzpatrick was uncomfortable in Week 1 and you saw that in the takeaways. Tannehill had time to set up on Sunday and I didn't think the Jets were horrible against Roethlisberger with three sacks and a couple of should have beens.
Teams are converting a scary 56% of third downs against the defense and part of that reason is because the Jets are allowing teams into 3rd and manageable situations. The Jets don't have an elite pass rusher and they rely on the blitz, but they're going to have to get there when they send extra rushers.
The first thing the Jets have to do is stop the run because it all starts there. Then they're going to have to mix up their coverages more than ever and get everyone in that back end to step up their games. Revis took away half the field and he didn't need help. It was a luxury that no other team in the NFL had.