Of course the Jets passed on Josh Allen to draft Sam Darnold, because Allen’s accuracy issues at Wyoming were too much of a red flag.

And of course Josh Allen developed into the kind of franchise quarterback Jets fans have been dreaming of and clamoring for since forever.

But just as the Super Bowl Giants didn’t fear Tom Brady, the 2023 Jets do not fear Josh Allen.

Bring on Superman.

“He’s got a little bit of Superman in him where he can just take a game over by himself,” defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich said. “With that type of ability sometimes, he’s tried to get us, and times he has gotten us in the three years we’ve been here and times we’ve gotten him. It’s gonna be a battle. It’s gonna be awesome.”

It’s been awesome lately for the Jets’ defense, especially Jordan Whitehead. Allen threw three interceptions to Whitehead in Week 1 and four to him in the last three games against the Jets.

Whitehead was standing at the makeshift podium in the Jets’ locker room when D.J. Reed began playing reporter with his iPhone.


Quinton Jefferson (70) attempts to tackle a scrambling Josh Allen (17) in a game between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills in Week 1.
Quinton Jefferson (70) attempts to tackle a scrambling Josh Allen (17) in a game between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills in Week 1.
Getty Images

Reed: “You got three from Josh Allen on ‘Monday Night Football,’ so is there something that when you play him that you get more picks, or is it just you reading your keys or is there a tell?”

Whitehead: “Two games, two past years, he did throw me four. So that’s me ready, like really ready, itching for another one off of him … confidence up … so we’ll see what happens.”

Reed: “Do you think he’s gonna try to throw you the ball knowing that he had three?”

Whitehead: “I think he will, I think as if I was him, ‘Oh I gotta get him back.’ I’m hoping and praying that he does try, ’cause I want to get five.”

Styles make fights, and the Jets believe they have the style to make a dangerous dual threat like Allen impatient in this monster game with playoff implications.

“We won’t let the deep ball up, we got aggressive corners that’s gonna take away all the outs and the inside breaking slants and things like that,” Whitehead said. “It’s definitely hard for an offense just to just dink and dunk just all game try to accept just taking 5 yards here and there because every offensive coordinator and every quarterback wants the deep ball.”

Allen has a league-leading 11 INTs and 14 giveaways and was despondent after another reckless performance Monday night against the Broncos.

“We just understand his style of play,” C.J. Mosley said.

The Jets will occasionally use a spy on Allen because they know that he can be faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall defenders in a single bound.


Will McDonald
Bills QB Josh Allen and the Jets’ Will McDonald during Week 1.
AP

“To not account for the runner that he is, and the athlete that he is, I think would be negligent,” Ulbrich said of Allen, who has rushing totals of 86, 47 and 36 in his past three games against the Jets. “I think he definitely gets up for these game against us, and we get a little bit more running whether it’s the quarterback-designed runs or the scrambles, he definitely puts it on his shoulders at times against us.”

Allen will be working with a new offensive coordinator this week after coach Sean McDermott replaced Ken Dorsey with Joe Brady.

“You have to play honest,” Reed said. “He’s not gonna just sit in the pocket, so all the routes that are traditional, you’re not gonna be able to just jump routes because it’s gonna be a second play, it’s gonna be a third play, so you have to play with good eyes and you gotta win the second play of the down, too.”

Allen has a passer rating of 79.0 with 2,277 yards, 9 TDs and 10 INTs in 10 games against the Jets. Over the past three games, he has been intercepted five times by them. Allen also lost a fumble in the season opener.

“Can make all the throws, got crazy arm strength, insane athleticism and he’s at his best when he’s out of the pocket running around making plays,” Quinton Jefferson said. “Again, it’ll be on upfront, we gotta put that pressure on him, but you gotta be smart and have vision on the quarterback, can’t let him escape to his right, ’cause that’s when big plays happen. So we gotta get on his tail and contain him.”

Jefferson recorded two of the Jets’ five sacks in the opener.

“I feel like we all have a good idea now what he does and what he’s capable of and just how to rush him,” Jefferson said, adding, “You gotta be willing to run sideline-to-sideline. And I know the guys in my group are willing to do that.”

Allen (6 TD passes) swept the Jets in 2020 and ’21 and outscored them 117-54. The Jets have won two of the last three against Allen (2 TD passes) and have outscored the Bills 54-53. Jefferson was his teammate in 2020.

“He’s a great dude, amazing competitor, plays with a lot of passion, you can see it when he makes plays,” Jefferson said. “I understand why the guys rally around him. I love playing against him. His competitiveness, it just raises everybody’s game.”

Superman is reeling, and the Jets won’t be afraid to tug on his cape.

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