The Giants proved last season why defenses win championships. The Giants made Tom Brady into their whipping boy as they battered the Patriots quarter-back into submission on their way to winning the Super Bowl. Needless to say the Jets took notes on their stadium mates and bolstered several key defensive positions in the off season. Out- side of the quarterback position, defensive line could be the most improved area of the team.
In addition to the acquisition of nose tackle Kris Jenkins, the Jets signed free agent outside linebacker Calvin Pace. Pace showed Jets fans why the team acquired him in Saturday’s 10-7 win over the Giants as he picked up two sacks. Having a solid pass rusher to put pressure on the quarterback will make things a lot easier for the Jets secondary, which also made several big plays on Saturday. Pace, fresh off a solid 2007 where he had 98 total tackles and 6.5 sacks for the Arizona Cardinals, said he’s ready to apply the pressure. But he wants to do it within the framework of the defense. “It’s one of those things where you always want to rush, especially at the outside linebacker position,” Pace said. “You definitely want to become more of a dropper but you want to have a good mix. You don’t want to be labeled as, oh ‘he’s always going to blitz,’ and that will help the offense.”
Overall the Jets defense is beginning to emerge. Six other Jet defenders got in on the sack party Saturday, including cornerback Drew Coleman, who also added an interception late in the fourth quarter to seal it. When asked about the defense’s performance on Saturday, Pace said it was a team effort. “It was a situation where a lot of guys contributed and it wasn’t just from the defensive line or the outside linebackers,” Pace said. “Cody [Spencer] recorded a sack coming and rushing from the middle. It was good for everyone to go out there and put that together. The veteran starters aren’t likely to see a lot of action when the Jets take on the Philadelphia Eagles tonight (Thursday) at 6:30. But there are several backup spots up for grabs, so expect another spirited effort from the Jets defense.