Without a doubt, the loss of Kris Jenkins is devastating for the Jets. But the Jets played 10 regular season games, and two playoff games, without him last season and still finished as the No. 1-ranked defense in football by a large margin.
They can do it again.
Sione Pouha will start in place of Jenkins, and he’s more than a capable player. But, like it is with all great players, you can just do more with them than without them. There aren’t many people the size of Jenkins roaming the planet who can run like he can, and he’s also tough and is very skilled. Simply put, he’s rare. There are only a handful of players like him in the NFL.
Jets coach Rex Ryan said Jenkins will take some time away to make a decision on retirement, but I would say this might be it for him. I don’t think he’ll come back from this injury. It’s sad.
The Jets are more than capable of overcoming the loss of Jenkins, but along with Calvin Pace, they’re now without two defensive starters. Any time you lose one great player — and in this case we’re talking about the team’s best run defender and their best pass rusher — it starts to take away from what you can do.
In my mind the Jets have one indispensable player on defense — Darrelle Revis. He’s the best at what he does, and no one is even close.
I’m sure the Jets had plenty of packages put in to take advantage of Jenkins, because he could give you 35-40 strong snaps a game. The Jets used him at linebacker in certain looks, he could rush the gaps and puncture the middle of the offensive line, and he was great against the run. A good inside pass rusher, too.
Actually, Jenkins is the also best at blocking field goals in the league. Who knows when that can determine the outcome of a game, especially 1-point losses like Monday night. You never know.
While Jenkins is a big loss, the Jets overcame it last year and I think they’re built to do it again this season.
– Brian Baldinger