Darrelle Revis is out for the season with a torn ACL, but the rest of the New York Jets still have 13 games left to play. The team must not give up hope and must alter its defensive scheme in order to account for the loss of Revis’ tremendous coverage skills.
Before the star cornerback went down, the team’s lackluster pass rush and unimpressive safety play was an area of concern, but not a problem that would have sunk the Jets’ hope to make the postseason.
Now, head coach Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine must devise an entire new plan for the remainder of the campaign.
They will have to take advantage of Antonio Cromartie's immense athleticism, which allows for him to make mental lapses in coverage but make up for it with speed and quickness. Sending more bodies at the quarterback is one way to do this, as it will hopefully force the signal-callers to make some mental errors of their own.
Many QBs will panic and throw to their go-to receiver, which should hopefully be in double coverage or blanketed by Cromartie or Kyle Wilson—the nickel corner now stepping up to the starting job.
Will the Jets make the playoffs without Revis?
Considering the Jets only have three sacks on the year, they’ll need to have some defensive linemen and other pass-rushers step up. They’ll also need to continue to capitalize on badly thrown balls, as they have a respectable five interceptions in their three total games.
There is no way to truly make up for the loss of a player with Revis’ unique press and blanket coverage skills—he is nicknamed Revis Island for a good reason—but teams have overcome a lack of elite defenders in the secondary before.
Coach Ryan should go view some Patriots game tape and figure out how Belichick disguises the flaws in his secondary and gets enough offensive production to still win a majority of his games.
It’s not too late to completely alter the Gang Green defensive scheme and still salvage the 2012 season.