The Jets defense continues to apply the heat to opposing quarterbacks this season but would like to increase their modest sack total as they resume action Sunday against the Giants after a Week 7 bye. In six games this season, the Jets are No. 7 in the NFL in pressures (70) but rank No. 24 in sacks (13).
"Us and myself personally, we just got to get the dude down," said veteran DL John Franklin-Myers said. "There have just been too many instances where I didn't get them down or didn't put myself in a position to get them down, which is unacceptable."
Although Franklin Myers has 16 pressures — a career high through the first six games to start a season — he has been limited to one sack while also registering 8 QB hits and 2 tackles for loss.
DE Bryce Huff, who has arguably been the Jets' best pass rusher, has become more of an every-down player despite being a part of a DE rotation that includes Franklin-Myers and Jermaine Johnson, a second-year pro who continues to emerge. An undrafted free agent signed by the Green & White in 2020, Huff, whose 2.5 sacks are the second most on the team, ranks 4th in the NFL with 33 pressures according to Pro Football Focus. The fourth-year pro also leads the league with 20 pressures on third and fourth downs.
"We just try to stay consistent as far as getting off the ball and working our moves and getting home as much as we can," Huff said. "Sometimes there are variables that play a role as far as quarterbacks getting the ball out faster than we can there or guys taking off running as soon as they snap the ball. So, we just try to control what we can control and just win our rushes."
The Jets finished No. 7 last season in sacks (45) and are on pace for 37 in 2023. During the team's 3-3 start, the defense has faced some of the league's top mobile quarterbacks including Jalen Hurts, Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes. The Green & White totaled 8 sacks in 51 pressures in those three matchups. The Jets also faced Russell Wilson, whom they sacked a season-high 4 times. Mac Jones, whom the Jets sacked 12 times in two games last season, and Dak Prescott were sacked a combined 1 time.
"Pressures are good, and you want to get them off the spot," Franklin-Myers said. "With the day and age that we live in, pressures are nice, but with the way that guys like to escape the pocket and run, pressures aren't what they used to be."
For this Sunday's game against the Giants, the Jets will be tasked with slowing down another dual-threat quarterback whether Daniel Jones or Tyrod Taylor starts. Jones, who ran 120 times for 708 yard last season, started the first five games this season before he sustained a neck injury that has kept him out of the lineup the last two weeks. Taylor, an NFL journeyman in his 13th season, has surpassed 400 yards rushing three times in his career. He's rushed for a combined 49 yards in his two starts this season.
"He does a lot of things well," Franklin-Myers said of Taylor. "He throws the ball well. He moves well in the pocket, and I think he escapes rushes well. Definitely a good opportunity for us. We have faced about five or six running quarterbacks already, so why not another?"
The Jets defense should have an opportunity to take the quarterback down Sunday as the Giants have allowed the second-most sacks in the league with 37. The crosstown rival quarterbacks have been pressured on 109 dropbacks this season, which is tied for third-most in the NFL. The Giants, however, hope to have three starters – All-Pro LT Andrew Thomas (hamstring), RT Evan Neal (ankle) and C John Michael Schmitz (shoulder) – back in the lineup.
"You never want a pressure over a sack anyway," Franklin-Myers said. "But at the end of the day, we have got to bring the quarterback down. We want to get pressures and hits and make them feel us, but it has to be in a sack and that is what we need to get done this week."
See the Jets back at 1 Jets Drive to begin Week 8 in preparation for the New York Giants.