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Wilkerson Putting Team Ahead of Personal Success

7th-Year D-Lineman Says Defense Needs to Build On Week 7 Performance


Following his best performance of the season, which coincidentally fell on his 28th birthday, Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson continues to focus on collective success.

"We all did some good things out there, but like I said after the game, we did some things that cost us the game," Wilkerson said of the Jets' 31-28 loss to the Dolphins. "We worry about fixing those things that we did wrong and we're moving on to Atlanta."

On Sunday, the 6'4", 315-pounder reeled in an interception after Jamal Adams batted the pigskin in the air. That set the Jets offense up on the Dolphins' one-yard line and two plays later, quarterback Josh McCown gave the Green & White a 21-14 lead with a rushing touchdown on a QB sneak.

"Big ups to Jamal for tipping the ball and I was able to make a play," Wilkerson told SNY following the game. "But at the end of the day we lost and they made more plays than we did. We just have to continue to keep fighting, focus on the things we did wrong and move forward."

The seventh-year vet also recorded seven tackles and a season-high three quarterback hits, but maybe his most impressive play was overshadowed because it shows up as an assisted tackle in the stat sheet. Miami dialed up a screen to running back Jay Ajayi on third-and-18 and it looked like Ajayi had enough room to move the chains until Wilkerson, along with cornerback Darryl Roberts, stopped him three yards short.

"I saw that on film and was just amazed the big fella can run and get down the field," second-year linebacker Darron Lee said on Inside the Jets with Eric Allen and Bart Scott. "That's why he's here. He's a heck of a playmaker and he's a leader. That's what leaders do. On top of that, it was his birthday. On birthday games, go out and ball out."

Despite the personal achievements, Wilkerson pointed to penalties and finishing as two areas to improve on before the team welcomes the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons to MetLife Stadium on Sunday. However, he also said the unit did a good job in the pass rush and he was especially pleased with limiting Ajayi to 51 yards on 23 carries for an average of 2.2 yards a clip.

"That's something we have to build on," Wilkerson said of the run defense, which ranks sixth in the NFL in yards per rush since Week 3. "We were having teams run on us and we did a good job Sunday. Build on that and there's another good running back coming in here to play, so it'll be a task for us to take care of."

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