Tiki and Tierney: Time for Jets to show defensive growth before they're buried by AFC East

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The Jets had arguably the worst defense in the league last season, to the point where much of the offseason was spent addressing that glaring deficiency.

The new-look defense had a solid effort in Week 1 against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, but took a step back in Week 2 against the Browns, needing a miracle comeback to salvage an improbable victory.

Now, with the Bengals and their thin offensive line on deck, Tiki and Tierney says it’s time to see Gang Green’s defense show significant progress on their home turf.

“All we heard about all summer, as they signed guys and drafted guys...I need to see a sign from Robert Saleh that this Jets defense is going to be what we all thought they would be when he was hired,” BT said.

The defensive-minded Saleh has spent much of his two decades in the NFL as a defensive coach, from a linebackers coach with the Seahawks to a defensive coordinator with the 49ers before being hired by the Jets. Tiki says it’s time for Saleh to use that defensive background and start showing notable strides forward, or else Gang Green will be buried beneath an AFC East that has plenty of offensive firepower.

“If they’re going to be a consistent winner, especially in the AFC East, what you’re talking about defensively has to happen,” Tiki said. “They have to become more of an elite team that is disruptive, that finds ways to make quarterbacks uncomfortable, get turnovers, and basically carry the weight of this team.

“The Bills, they might not lose a game this year…That’s probably hyperbole, but they’re that good. The Dolphins scored 45 points last week…when you look at the teams in the AFC East, they’re juggernauts. In order to be competitive now and in the future in the AFC East, this defense has to be good and elite, not just the middle-of-the-pack defense that they are right now.”

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