We are back with another TOJ New York Jets film breakdown. Check out previous editions right here. On to the #tape…
The New York Jets have offensive limitations due to their quarterback and lack of a proven lead receiver. Offensive Coordinator John Morton has consistently been creative with his route combinations to ease up the Jets ability to move the football and pick up chunks of yardage. The types of plays designed below put less stress on Josh McCown and the receiver group.
On 2nd and 10, the Jets put Robby Anderson, their fastest receiver at Z meaning he is off the line of scrimmage and can go in motion before the snap. Jermaine Kearse tightens his split on the opposite of the formation. Both Kearse and Austin Seferian-Jenkins run inside breaking routes, creating a natural rub route against the Patriots man coverage. You can tell it is man coverage because the Patriots defense tracks Anderson across the formation. The Jets quickly release the ball on Anderson’s speed out, allowing him enough space to utilize his speed, turn the corner and pick up 16 yards.
Later in the game, the Jets split Matt Forte out as a wide receiver. He lines up in a stack formation behind Jermaine Kearse, allowing him a clean release. Forte runs an arrow route and effectively breaks off of Kearse’s deeper route for a 9 yard completion.
Finally, the Jets were able to take advantage of a bunch formation leading to a broken coverage by the Patriots and a huge gain to Kearse. They run a “levels” route combination, with the inside receiver running a short 5 yard speed out, the point man running a 18 yard deep out and the outside receiver running a vertical clear out route. The route spacing and timing of Kearse’s out break open up a huge windows for the middle level route.
The Misses You Can’t Afford
Remember those limitations we discussed earlier in the article? You can only scheme away so much. Josh McCown has been the best version of Josh McCown through six weeks which is unfortunately still a very mediocre quarterback. This was a game the Jets could have won, shifting the dynamic of their season, yet they left too many opportunities unconverted against a team led by Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
On the Jets final offensive play, McCown broke the pocket and had running back Travaris Cadet wide open to convert a 4th and 16. If he finds the open receiver, instead of throwing the ball to absolutely nobody, the Jets have a legitimate chance at a game tying score in the final 15-20 seconds.
When the Jets decided to go for it on 4th down in the third quarter, they had two open tight ends (it was a similar play they ran for a big third down conversion to Eric Tomlinson versus Cleveland). McCown is wildly off target here when trying to go back to Tomlinson, leading to his second interception of the game.
Robby Anderson has been victimized by more over throws from mediocre “game manager” quarterbacks than any receiver in the NFL over the past two years. Early in the game, he runs right by Malcolm Butler on a nine route but McCown waits too long on his delivery and hangs the ball up too long, allowing Butler to get back into the play and break up the pass. Then in the red-zone, Anderson again beats coverage off the line but McCown throws the ball out of the end-zone. You cannot leave points on the field like this against the better teams in the NFL.
Growing Pain SZN
It has been a difficult stretch for New York Jets rookie safety Jamal Adams. Last week, he had problems with rookie tight end David Njoku. This week he had problems with future Hall of Fame tight end, Rob Gronkowski and struggled to make the number of impact plays we saw in weeks 1-4. He finished with only 3 tackles versus the Patriots, zero passes defensed, zero tackles for a loss and zero quarterback hits.
On Gronkowski’s first touchdown, Adams is far too hesitant and a step slow when committing to covering his short out route. The bump from Kony Ealy is supposed to give Adams time here but he doesn’t take advantage of it. On his second touchdown, he tries to undercut the throw like he did against Njoku last week and whiffs. He is in relatively good position but is unable to keep his balance and properly time his break on the football.
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com