The New York Jets' worst fear has been realized.
Cimini (@RichCimini) September 24, 2012
The Jets were showing cracks in the armor with Revis in the fold. Without him? This could get bad in a hurry.
We've seen glimpses of the Jets defense without Revis, and as ESPN's Stats and Information department tells us, it hasn't been pretty over the past two years.
Jets CB Darrelle Revis (torn ACL) is out for the season. NYJ has allowed a 73.8 comp pct with Revis off the field the past 2 seasons— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 24, 2012
But why go back that far? For an idea of what life could be like without Revis, we need only look back one week.
Although some of that can be chalked up to facing a talented offense, the secondary—specifically the cornerbacks—looked lost without Revis. Namely, cornerbacks Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson were targeted the most, with each allowing five receptions on five passes thrown in their direction, according to Pro Football Focus.
The game against the Steelers provides a bit of a barometer for how opponents could look to attack the Jets going forward. Roethlisberger got everyone involved, with 10 different receivers catching at least one pass in the game.
They blitzed Roethlisberger on 15 of his 34 drop-backs (according to Pro Football Focus). He posted a 114.1 passer rating on 19 drop-backs where he was not blitzed and a 137.5 passer rating when the Jets opted to blitz.
When speaking to the media following the announcement of Revis' injury, Ryan said the Jets could be even more aggressive than they were with Revis in the lineup, per the New York Daily News.
But will that work?
A vast majority of Roethlisberger's throws came within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage—22 of Roethlisberger's 31 throws, to be exact. Think about that: A team with legitimate deep threats across the board at wide receiver played conservatively against the Jets defense sans Revis.
The second half of action against the Dolphins could give the Jets a glimmer of hope. They did, after all, hold Ryan Tannehill to 10 completions on his 25 second-half pass attempts.
The Jets won't face many offenses as good as the Steelers, but they won't face many that lack talent as badly as the Dolphins do.
So it will be up to everyone to step up, Ryan told the media (per the New York Daily News):
We're fortunate because most teams only have one No. 1 corner. Some don't even have any. We're fortunate. We got the best in the league in Darrelle. We also have a No. 1 corner in Cromartie.... We drafted Kyle Wilson to basically be a No. 2 corner and that's where he's going to play that role. I'm confident in Kyle. Then we have two young tough players in Isaiah Trufant and Ellis Lankster. They're going to have to step it up.
How many wins will the Jets finish the 2012 season with?
How long can the likes of Lankster and Trufant hold up in coverage, though?
Lankster couldn't make it through the second half without getting schooled by Davone Bess on a double move down the left sideline, which gave the Dolphins new life and a chance to send the game to overtime.
The ripple effect of throwing a proverbial rock off Revis Island will spread up and down the depth chart in the defensive backfield, with the spotlight shining brighter on the likes of Cromartie, Wilson and Lankster.
There aren't many coaches who could be entrusted with an order as tall as devising a new defensive game plan without the league's best cornerback, and over the next 13 games, we'll find out whether Rex Ryan is up to the challenge.
Those should serve as a huge measuring stick as to Rex's ability to scheme the defense around the absence of Revis.
If he's not up to the task, the Jets could be in deep trouble.
Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained firsthand.