The New York Jets‘ pass defense is playing better than any time in the past two years. They can’t allow Darryl Roberts to ruin that.
The Jets’ pass defense has been on a tear since Bless Austin and Arthur Maulet took over as a tandem. The two first played together as the primary outside CBs at the beginning of the second half of the New York Giants game. Since then the Jets have allowed just 228 passing yards per game, on 57.6% completion, for four passing TDs. The Jets’ pass defense has also forced two INTs and eight fumbles, only two of which were recovered by the Jets. Meaning the Jets have forced as turnovers in pass defense as TDs allowed. If that was extrapolated over the full 11 game season the Jets would have allowed 15 TDs and 15 turnovers.
To put into perspective how dominant those numbers are here’s how they would rank league-wide if the Jets played this well over the course of the full season:
11th in passing yards per game
2nd in completion percentage allowed
T10th in Passing TDs allowed
The Jets would join the other nine teams in the NFL who have at least as many takeaways as passing TDs allowed. Those teams have a combined record of 72-29.
Bless Austin and Arthur Maulet have been a revelation. They have helped turn the Jets from one of the worst pass defense teams in the NFL into one of the ten best in the league, that’s a huge deal. There isn’t any reason to replace either in the lineup right now. Especially when the guy coming back is Darryl Roberts.
Robert had been a career backup before playing relatively well in place of an injured Trumaine Johnson in 2018. He was quickly moved to safety when Johnson came back and performed very poorly. Still, former Jets’ GM Mike Maccagnan decided to give Roberts a three-year $18 million contract. Thankfully the deal only had $4 million guaranteed so the Jets can cut him at the end of the season at no cost.
Which is exactly what the Jets will do after Roberts’ performance this season. Roberts is allowing 6.9 receptions per game and 74.4 yards per game this season, those rank 74th and 65th in the league respectively. He’s also allowed six TDs this season, which is 74th in the NFL. Roberts’ 117.5 passer rating allowed is 71st in the NFL.
He’s been absolutely dreadful. Putting him back into the lineup shouldn’t even be a discussion for the rest of the season. He has been thoroughly outplayed by the young tandem of Bless Austin and Arthur Maulet. Those two have left the New York Jets with only one option, bench Darryl Roberts.
Any other decision would be unacceptable based on every measurable metric.