Welcome to the TOJ Whiteboard, where we provide a concise breakdown of a pair of New York Jets plays from the previous season. Today we are looking at two redzone touchdown passes from Geno Smith, one to David Nelson and one to Jeremy Kerley. Make sure to leave your questions or comments below or over on our Twitter account…
The Jets come out in an empty shotgun with yet ANOTHER bunch formation out to Geno Smith’s right. Kellen Winslow is the point man, Jeff Cumberland is on the inside and David Nelson is on the outside. To left, Jeremy Kerley is split out wide (OMG, not in the slot) and Zach Sudfeld is in the slot.
Backside, Sudfeld runs a slot fade and Kerley runs a short in-cut. Frontside, Winslow runs a speed out along the goal-line, Cumberland runs a pivot route and blocks off his defender just inside the end-zone , while Nelson takes an inside release and basically just works his way behind the linebacker and in front of the safety.
Cleveland seems to be a running a 4-2-5, with the secondary squatting in a cover 4 and the two linebackers squatting in the short mid-zone. The backside route combination ultimately ends up taking three defenders out of the play. Frontside, the corner bumps Winslow and runs with him to the goal-line. One safety breaks down on Cumberland’s pivot route, leaving Nelson to work his way behind the squatting/slightly dropping linebacker. Nelson does a great job of this and the over the top safety hesitates enough to allow Geno Smith to fire in a touchdown pass into the small window. There is also excellent pass protection on this play, which allowed it the proper amount of time to develop.
The Jets come out in a singleback shotgun. Frontside, Jeremy Kerley is lined up to the outside of Stephen Hill and Jeff Cumberland is flexed in the tight slot. On the backside, Clyde Gates is split out alone.
The entire design of this play is to get Kerley isolated in one on one coverage, with as much space to work with as possible. This actual play design isn’t far off from the type of plays Geno Smith executed at West Virginia. Stephen Hill and Jeff Cumberland both run front side skinny posts. Bilal Powell releases immediately to run a speed out from the backfield. Clyde Gates flashes a smoke screen backside. Kerley comes in motion and runs a TERRIFIC whip route. He is basically selling a slant or skinny post but then planting with his outside foot and working back to the sideline. You need quick feet to run this effectively and Kerley certainly has that.
Atlanta is basically in a nickel defense and running cover 3 with man coverage underneath. The skinny posts occupy the outside corner and the high safety frontside, leaving Kerley free to work in single coverage. He beats the defender badly, who stumbles when Kerley makes his break. After making the catch, he is able to break the tackle and turn up into the open field cleared out by Hill’s skinny post. Touchdown, Jets.