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Jets defense performs well for Kacy Rodgers in his absence

Kacy Rogers

FILE - In this May 25, 2016, file photo, New York Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers speaks to reporters, in Florham Park, N.J. Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers is dealing with what coach Todd Bowles calls a “serious” illness and it’s uncertain if he’ll be on the sideline for the team’s game against Denver. Bowles made the unprompted announcement Friday, Oct. 5, 2018, during his news conference after the Jets’ final full practice before facing the Broncos at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)


Defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers wasn’t there to help them yesterday.

So the Jets defense did what they could to help him.

With their play-caller absent because of what has been termed a “serious” illness by coach Todd Bowles, the Jets defense turned in one of their best games in yesterday’s 34-16 win over the Broncos.

“When we found out, it definitely hit home,” linebacker Darron Lee said, via Brian Costello of the New York Post. “At the end of the day, for all of our young careers, he’s always believed in us. We always want him here. You obviously want to make your teammates proud and your coaches proud. He’s here in spirit. We know he’s going to fight through. We definitely got this win for him.”

“We had a brother down, and that was our message,” safety Jamal Adams said. “We wanted to play for him. I know he is smiling right now. [I’m sure] he was excited the way we played, and we can’t wait to get him back.”

The Jets sacked Broncos quarterback Case Keenum four times, and had a 104-yard interception return. It was the kind of performance that Rodgers would have appreciated.

While they haven’t shared many details of his condition, Bowles — his close friend as well as his boss — called it “a serious thing.”