The only thing that can salvage the performance of the unit is the coaching performance of one, Rex Ryan.
In his fourth year at the helm of Gang Green, Ryan was once thought of as the best defensive mind in football, due in large part to Baltimore's stingy defense during his tenure with the Ravens as defensive coordinator.
In the first three games of the 2012-13 season, the Jets defense has looked like a bunch of individuals rather than a cohesive unit, with a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of Revis.
Although Ryan may be a great defensive coach, having the league's best cornerback doesn't exactly test the skills of a coach when coming up with complex schemes. Ryan has relied on Revis to shut down the opposition's No. 1 receiver with no help, allowing the rest of the defense more room for error and the ability to put one more man in the box to stop the run in many situations.
It seems like Revis is always in the right place at the right time, coming up with key turnovers and big plays when his team needs it the most.
The difference between Revis and many of the NFL's other big-time defensive players is seen in the statistics.
Revis is definitely one of the league's best, but unlike defensive ends and linebackers, much of his heroism goes unsung on the final stat sheet. Revis sometimes goes unnoticed due to the fact that opposing quarterbacks hesitate to throw the ball his way, making him valuable but giving him little opportunity to make big plays on a consistent basis.
Moving forward, Ryan must now get a bunch of individuals to start playing schematic defense with a purpose—and with many players' responsibilities getting dramatically larger.
Ryan must conjure up his inner Raven, when Bart Scott acted less like a punk and more like a playmaker. Rex's mouth certainly has gotten him attention, but only the X's and O's on this week's defensive game plan will show his true colors.
We have all seen Ryan's defenses perform well, but without Revis, the genius must show up to coach and not just talk. Many fans took Revis for granted, having no worries for the opposition's big outside threat on a weekly basis.
With the speedy and versatile San Francisco offense up next on the schedule, Ryan must get his unit ready, and he must show the defensive mind that got him the head coaching job in the first place.
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