Due to some scheduling conflicts, we bumped back this week’s Turn On The Jets passing game breakdown. Instead of beating the dead horse on Geno Smith’s four awful turnovers against the Tennessee Titans, we thought we’d dig up three positive plays the Jets could go back to against the Atlanta Falcons. Let’s get to it…
Play 1 – 16 yard completion to Jeremy Kerley
The Jets come out in a standard two receiver, offset I-formation set, with Geno Smith under center…a rarity for when they throw the football.
After faking a handoff to the left, Smith rolls out to the right on a basic boot play. Jeremy Kerley runs a deep comeback at the top of the screen, Tommy Bohanon shoots to the flat and Santonio Holmes runs a backside drag route. Smith has three levels to choose from or can keep the football around the end.
Kerley runs a good route at the top and gains separation. Geno has a clear window to throw the football and delivers a strike for 16 yards.
This is about as basic of passing play as there is. This is one of the first plays usually installed in a high school playbook but that doesn’t mean it isn’t used frequently and effectively in the NFL. The Jets need to have more passing plays where Geno Smith starts under center, along with more plays that get him on the move and utilize play action. This will create more easy reads for him and give him bigger windows to throw the football into.
Play 2 - 25 yard completion to Kellen Winslow Jr.
The Jets come out in shotgun 4-wide with Kellen Winslow Jr. in the tight slot to the right. They run four verticals with Winslow as the primary target, who will bend his route into a skinny post due to the 2 high coverage Tennessee is showing.
Smith recognizes the coverage should leave Winslow open over the middle of the field. The 2 high safeties have deep halves responsibility in coverage, requiring the linebackers to drop on deep middle routes, which will leave an athletic tight end like Winslow a large area to work with. Smith pumps once to the outside to give Winslow an extra second to break behind the linebackers and then delivers the football accurately despite the pressure in his face.
Winslow breaks wide open and Smith hits him stride, allowing him to run after the catch and pick up a huge gain.
Smith has worked well down the seam to Winslow. If he doesn’t suit up tomorrow night, Jeff Cumberland could run this route or the Jets could opt to use a slot receiver, like Jeremy Kerley. Smith showed very good coverage recognition here and four verticals is a simplistic play that can gain big chunks of yardage if executed properly.
Play 3 – 26 yard completion to Santonio Holmes
The Jets come out in shotgun, 3 wide with Santonio Holmes frontside at split end, Jeremy Kerley in the slot and Clyde Gates backside. They drop Smith 5 steps and have Holmes run a deep dig route, which is cleared out by a vertical route from Kerley. Gates runs a backside curl.
Smith again does a nice job of hanging in the pocket and waiting for the route to develop. He takes another big hit when releasing this pass, which forces a slightly inaccurate throw, but fortunately Holmes makes a terrific diving catch.
Smith has the arm strength to drive the football down the field for these type of routes. The Jets are going to miss Holmes’ route running and playmaking ability on plays like this. I would guess that Stephen Hill could get a crack on this route, if he plays tomorrow night, but he must be precise with the depth of his cut and flatten his route appropriately across the middle. He will provide a nice sized target for Smith over the middle. This is a basic downfield route combination that gives Smith an easy read, so it would be a shame to scrap it just because Holmes is out.