Despite falling to the Vikings, 37-17, the Jets defense held quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota offense in check for the majority of Sunday afternoon.
"We made plays," safety Jamal Adams said. "We didn't win the turnover battle and that sucks, but at the same time, we made plays and can feed off of that. We also hurt ourselves in a lot of ways and we have to regroup and learn from those mistakes."
Down three regulars in the secondary, the unit held Cousins to 241 yards, his second lowest of the season, while he completed 25 of his 40 pass attempts (62.5%). Additionally, the seventh-year veteran only completed 52% of his passes in the first half.
Darryl Roberts, who's played the last three games in place of Trumaine Johnson (quad), played perhaps his best football as a Jet and led the defense with 11 tackles, two of which were for loss. He also tied Leonard Williams with a team-high two pass defenses.
"When adversity hits, we have to attack it. Next man up," Adams said. "Obviously we play a tough sport. Injuries do happen, but at the same time, we have to go out there and continue to play our ball. Be disciplined, knowing our jobs as individuals, part of that 11-man defense.
"As long as do we that and we're consistent at it, we'll be fine."
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The secondary posted its best third-down performance of the season, holding the Vikings to 2-15 (13%) and didn't allow a third-down conversion until the 10:32 mark in the third quarter. The group also tallied eight pass defenses, the team's third best mark of the season.
"I feel like we played well," said safety Terrence Brooks, who replaced Doug Middleton (shoulder) and nearly intercepted Cousins in the end zone. "We left some plays on the field, we could've made a lot of plays, some interceptions we left out there. It's tough. We take pride in our secondary not giving up anything, so when we give up catches and deep balls, it hits us in the heart. We have to keep fighting. Nobody is going to give us wins."
On the ground, the Jets surrendered a pair of Latavius Murray touchdown runs in the second half, the latter of which put the visitors up 27-10 with 13 minutes remaining in regulation. However, the Green & White's defense played better than the stats indicate as Murray rushed for 69 yards, 56 of which came in the second half, on 15 carries, 11 of which went for three yards or less.
"Defensively, we should've had some better plays," linebacker Avery Williamson said. "We had a couple breakdowns. I had one on a touchdown when Murray scored. We just have to make sure we're locked in for four quarters.
"I felt like we did good. We just had a couple plays where we misfit and let him get out."
After seven weeks, the Jets sit in a similar situation to last season with a 3-4 record and Adams referenced this same point last year as a critical juncture.
"We went down to Miami, we were 3-3 and we ended up losing that game," Adams said. "Then we came back and lost the next game. So you just have to stay positive and understand we played against a good football team. They made more plays than we did. We have to do the little things right and preach them. We have to be more consistent at it."