Two top secondaries less than ten years apart.
Training camp is almost here, and for the Jets that means new faces are coming to Florham Park. Newcomers like Le’Veon Bell, C.J. Mosley, and rookie Quinnen Williams will be meeting their teammates for the first time.
While many players will be forming new bonds after a heavy roster revamp, one unit of the team will remain consistent: the secondary. With players like 3rd-year safety Marcus Maye, top corner Trumaine Johnson, and budding superstar Jamal Adams, Gang Green has set themselves up for long-term defensive dominance in the NFL, enough to warrant the self-imposed nickname New Jack City. Such a confident and talented group acting as the back line of the Jets’ defense cannot help but remind us of another one of New York’s top secondaries: the No Fly Zone.
Led by future Hall of Famer Darrelle Revis and his trademarked “Revis Island” for opposing receivers, the Jets had one of the most feared defenses in the league that twice propelled them all the way to the AFC Championship Game. In the 2009 season, Revis paired up with All-Pro safety Kerry “Hollywood” Rhodes. Along with some other great players in the front 7, the Jets wound up as the #1 overall defense in the NFL with a league-best 236 points allowed, 4,037 yards allowed, and 4.2 yards per play allowed while allowing the fewest 1st downs. Such a powerful secondary unit took the pressure off of rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez and carried the team past the Divisional round of the playoffs for the first time since 1998.
Such defensive dominance was only furthered by the acquisition of Pro Bowl corner Antonio Cromartie in 2010. The pairing of Revis and Cromartie had the Jets maintaining their “elite” defensive status, ranking in the top 5 of the league in most team defense stats. With opposing receivers kept in check every single game thanks to the No Fly Zone, New York reached the AFC Championship Game for a second straight season.
And don’t forget about Hall of Famer Ty Law coming to the Jets in 2005. It may have only been for one season, but Law led New York in interceptions with ten, yes TEN picks.
It may be a crazy thought, but can you imagine what it would’ve been like to have Revis, Rhodes, Law, and Cromartie all in the same secondary? The rest of the NFL is lucky that those 4 never had the chance to play together. But as the 2019 season nearly kicks off, here’s hoping that New Jack City can jump the No Flight Zone as the best secondary in Jets history to propel the team back into being a terrifying and elite defense.
Purveyor of truth. Breaker of chains. Foolish fan of the Mets, Jets, and Knicks.