The New York Jets offense performed better than expected against a stout Panthers defense on Sunday, but could not hit the big play to stay in the game. Last week, I broke down a play where Santonio Holmes dropped a sure touchdown pass from Geno Smith. To keep things in perspective, I’ll break down a play where Geno Smith let down his wide receiver. Saalim Hakim, the recent addition to the 53 man roster, flashed top notch speed on his five snaps he played. In the following play, Saalim shows why the Jets took a flier on him. While not the most polished football player (he did not start playing until his Senior year of high school), the raw skills appear to be present. Let’s break down the play.
The Jets line up in an I-formation with one tight end and two wide receivers in isolation. Geno Smith (orange circle) motioned Jeff Cumberland to the right before the snap. Saalim Hakim (red circle) is the target, lined up against Captain Munnerlyn (yellow circle). The Panthers appear to be bringing four down linemen and a linebacker as pressure.
2) The Snap
Geno Smith fakes a handoff to Ivory to the left edge. Motioning Cumberland to the right gave him extra pass protection as he rolls out to the right. Saalim Hakim starts his route, with Munnerlyn playing well off him as he is aware of Hakim’s speed. The linebackers are completely locked in on Ivory, leaving each wide receiver with a corner in man coverage and the safeties in what appears to be cover-two.
3) The Roll Out
Smith accelerates into his roll out with beautiful protection in front of him. Hakim bursts out to the sideline. Munnerlyn, realizing he is playing too far off Hakim, overreacts and presses forward (possibly in an attempt to jump Geno’s pass).
4) The Double Move
Geno Smith (orange circle) is moving at full speed to his right as Jeff Cumberland throws a beautiful block for him. Smith has the time and protection to set his feet, but rushes the throw and heaves it on the move. Hakim is in full stride on his double move and has a step on Munnerlyn. Great recognition by Geno to know Hakim will eventually smoke Munnerlyn, but a poor decision to launch it while moving at full speed.
5) The Miss
Saalim Hakim has smoked Munnerlyn and the safety over the top. If Geno throws a deep ball anywhere deep and in bounds, Hakim will most likely take it for six if he can hang on. This was one of the rare deep chances the Jets had against a stout Carolina defense on Sunday and unfortunately they missed it.
Keep an eye on Saalim “The Dream” Hakim against Cleveland this weekend. It will also be interesting to see how Geno Smith progresses with his throws on the move.
Follow Connor Rogers on twitter: @Real_CR3