by Cecilio Rosario
I’m a big fan of teams, or components thereof, that are so transcendent as to earn epic monikers. The Big Red Machine. The Legion of Boom. Murderer’s Row. The Core Four. Showtime. You get the gist. When you earn a magnificent moniker, you become legendary.
The New York Jets’ defense’s smashing performance has been the catalyst behind their 2-0 record thus far. As a proud comic book geek, I’m inspired to collectively dub their defense The Incredible Hulk (all due respect, Stan Lee; I’m a big fan of yours, too). Why, you ask?
They’re mean. They’re green. They’re fast. They’re strong. And you definitely won’t like them when they’re angry.
The Jets’ ferocious pass rush is reminiscent of the New York Sack Exchange. Composed of Mark Gastineau, Joe Klecko, Marty Lyons and Abdul Salaam, the Sack Exchange was a four-headed monster of a pass rush that helped the Jets make the 1982 AFC Championship Game and terrorized opposing quarterbacks for years. This year’s crew only has three sacks so far, but in last week’s Monday Night game defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson led a relentless assault on opposing quarterback Andrew Luck. In a dominant win that not many saw coming, Wilkerson and the Jets’ Hulk defense hurried, hounded and hit the Indianapolis Colts‘ stud QB into committing four turnovers. Darrelle Revis accounted for three of them: two fumbles and one interception.
Revis, the all-galaxy corner who’s returned to his original team, is back with a vengeance. Anyone visiting Revis Island better bring a book. With Revis, stalwart cornerbacks Antonio Cromartie and Buster Skirine, veteran linebackers David Harris and Calvin Pace, and a host of other ball hawks, the Jets have defensive talent across the board. Just two games into the season, the Jets’ dynamic D has created 10 turnovers. That’s only three less than they created all of last season. In fact, the Jets lead the league in forced fumbles and are tied with the Patriots and Broncos for the league lead in interceptions.
In other words, HULK LIKE TAKING FOOTBALLS.
The Hulk effect is also rubbing off on the offense. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall lugged multiple Colts defenders into the end zone in a very Hulk-like effort. Running backs Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell have run with power and speed this season. If the offense continues to move the ball effectively behind the run game and Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s precision passing, The Incredible Hulk could get more rest on the sidelines and stay fresh.
A Hulk with extra stamina? That’s a scary thought.