TOJ – New York Jets Tight End Grade Sheet (Week 7)

Cole Patterson breaks down the recent usage of Jace Amaro, Jeff Cumberland and Zach Sudfeld by the New York Jets

Every week Cole Patterson will break down the performance of the New York Jets tight ends. Here is his take on week seven. 

Grading Scale: Tight end is an interesting position to grade out, given that they are responsible for both receiving and blocking. As receivers in this offense, tight ends will be asked to line up anywhere from slot, to split end, to flanker and be responsible for the entire route tree. As blockers in the offense, they will be assigned delayed releases, one-on-one blocks, or simply to chip a pass rusher. With these roles in mind, it is difficult to create a complex grading scale based on YPC or blocking, as the play may conclude before the tight end’s true role on the play is clear. All of that is to say, because the tight end position is so enigmatic, a simple letter based grading scale is best employed. 

  • A = Entirely positive impact
  • B = Consistent positive impact, few minor mistakes
  • C = Equal level of positive and negative impact, average, or made no impact plays whatsoever
  • D = Mostly negative impact, with room for improvement
  • F = Entirely negative impact

Jace Amaro – 3 receptions (5 targets), 22 yards, 33 snaps Going into the Broncos game, I called for Jace Amaro to get more involved in the offense. Later that week, Marty Mornhinweg pledged to do just that. Despite only getting 9 more snaps (36) than against San Diego, Amaro was a focal point of the offense. To refresh your memory, he caught 10 of 12 targets for 68 yards and his first touchdown of the season. This week, against the division rival Patriots, Amaro’s snaps (33) and targets (5) inexplicably went down. Two factors likely contributed to this decrease in role: the Jets focus on the run and the Patriots focus on Amaro after his veritable coming out party the week prior. So, how did Amaro fare this week; albeit in a reduced role?

Here the Jets face a third and goal. The Patriots coverage is outstanding with all the Jets receivers blanketed. Amaro is split out wide right. It appears that he is meant to draw coverage away from a designed screen to Chris Johnson in the flat as the running back is Geno Smith’s first read. Smith quickly turns his attention to Amaro who initiated contact off the line and was able to get just enough space. Amaro has good YAC ability but the defender was draped all over him.

This was a very cleverly designed by by Marty Mornhinweg. This is a three tight end set with Cumberland lined up tight with Breno Giacomini and Amaro in tight next to him. Zach Sudfeld motions in from out wide to run a drag route and draw the linebacker out of his zone. Cumberland explodes into the seam and occupies the safety. This leaves a massive hole in the coverage for Amaro who runs a delayed comeback on the right hash at the 19 yard line. Unfortunately, Amaro continues his trend of making the easy catches look difficult and drops a beauty from Smith.

Immediately following Amaro’s drop on second and 19, Smith gets flushed out of the pocket. Amaro, who ran a quick hitch on the right from the slot, sees his quarterback under duress and adjusts his route. He follows Smith out right and turns up field, unable to gain separation. Smith fires one down the sideline to Amaro, who is the only receiver still on that side of the field. However, Smith’s pass is just out of his reach and Amaro is unable to make a play.

Here, on first and ten, Amaro runs a crisp eight yard out route for good separation. After hauling in the pass Amaro immediately turns up field and spins for the first down, showing great situational awareness.

That play you just watched three times was the ill-fated two point conversion that would have tied the game up late in the fourth. After a beautiful touchdown pass to Cumberland (which we will touch on later), Mornhinweg put the ball in Geno’s hands one more time. Sudfeld draws his man underneath and Amaro runs this fade route to perfection. Really, this needed to be the perfect pass and it just wasn’t. Amaro made some good blocks in the running game but mixed in his share of whifs. While his run blocking has been far better than advertised it is still inconsistent. He needs to clean up his drops and work on his run blocking technique before he can be the every down player he has the potential to become.

GradeC

Jeff Cumberland – 3 receptions (4 targets), 50 yards, TD, 72 snaps Jeff Cumberland, once again, more than doubled Jace Amaro’s snaps. After seven games it is clear that Amaro is the better player already, albeit more mistake prone. That is the only explanation for Cumberland’s significantly higher snap count. That being said, Cumberland had his best game of the season by far. His 50 yards receiving was more than his total yardage from weeks two through six combined.

Here the Jets run a levels design with either Jeremy Kerley or Cumberland as the target. Kerley runs the underneath route while Cumberland runs a twelve yard dig. Kerley draws his man and the spy out of the play, leaving Cumberland one on one. Cumberland makes a sharp cut towards the middle of the field, hauls in the pass, and turns up field for a total of 28 yards.

This is a simple comeback route by Cumberland who didn’t do anything too special but took advantage of a clear lapse in communication by the Patriots secondary who break into two empty zones.

This was arguably the play of the game. Cumberland’s touchdown brought the Jets within two of the tying score and kept the team alive. Cumberland lines up on the outside shoulder of Giacomini. He bursts off the line and imediately gets a step on Patrick Chung who tries to out-muscle Cumberland at the line of scrimmage. Cumberland quickly changes direction to the outside. Chung shows great awareness here and undercuts the route putting himself between Smith and Cumberland. However, Smith throws a laser just outside of Chung’s reach and with just enough space to allow Cumberland to score. Cumberland actually fared pretty well in run blocking this week avoiding any major gaffes. He didn’t make any serious impact plays but playing mistake free is an improvement on previous weeks.

Grade: B

Zach Sudfeld – 10 snaps There isn’t much to say here. Sudfeld only saw the field 11% of the time and all in three tight end sets. Six of his ten snaps were pass plays on which he was obviously a decoy. Of the five run plays, Sudfeld missed three of his blocks. This has been a poor season for Sudfeld who showed some promise last season and in training camp. Grade: F

Conclusions: 

The tights ends combined for six catches on nine targets for 72 yards and a touchdown. Not a bad day overall. On what was by far Cumberland’s best game of the season, Jace Amaro left you wanting more. It will be interesting to see how Amaro and Cumberland’s stats fluctuate in the coming weeks, especially in conjunction with the arrival of Percy Harvin.