The 3-5 Jets entered their Week 8 contest ranked 30th in rushing yards allowed and ninth in passing yards allowed, but those numbers do a poor job of encapsulating the sorry state of this once fierce defense.
The Jets fell to the Miami Dolphins 30-9 in Week 8. The 30 points is the second most the Dolphins have scored all season. Now, all of this is not on the defense.
The Dolphins scored a TD off of a blocked punt, and New York actually held Miami to just 236 yards of total offense. However, the Jets D is proving incapable of making plays when they need to.
New York allowed Miami to convert two of their three red-zone trips into touchdowns, and while they held Miami to just 4-of-13 on third downs, it is important to remember that: A) Miami's offense is not good, and B) the Dolphins had a big lead and little incentive to do anything but play safe.
The Jets' defensive failures on third down are more apparent in the 30th ranking they earned in that category entering this week.
A lot of these failures stem from the Jets' inability to get any penetration into the backfield. This does not allow them to create any negative plays in the run or pass game, which consistently leads to teams getting manageable third-down situations.
The Jets entered this week 25th in sack percentage and 24th in yards allowed per rush—two stats that highlight their defensive problems at the point of attack.
It is also that poor rush defense that is really killing them in the red zone. Running the ball is essential to red-zone success, as it keeps defenses honest on the shortened field, and with the Jets' woes stopping the run, they always have to be honest. So it is no surprise that New York is 26th in percentage of touchdowns allowed per red-zone trip.
This is simply not the defense of a winning team.
Tim Tebow can come in and give the fans someone new to root for, but the results won't be any different. Not even Tebow at his undefinable-magical best can overcome this defense.