We are back with another TOJ New York Jets film breakdown. Check out previous editions right here. On to the #tape…
Ground and Pound
The New York Jets running game was dominant against the Jacksonville Jaguars, as they repeatedly ripped off monster gains against their front seven. How did they pull it off?
On Elijah McGuire’s touchdown the Jets run an inside zone concept to the left side of their line, creating a massive cutback lane, which he hits with a hard one step downhill cut. The key blocks here come from Brian Winters, who sells out at the second level to buy McGuire just enough space to break through, Austin Seferian-Jenkins who drives the defender back six yards and is able to hold his block long enough to carve out the running lane. Everybody else does their job effectively and McGuire makes the touchdown happen with a nifty move on the safety and enough top end speed to take it to the house.
The Jets utilized a similar concept to the right side of their line with Bilal Powell in the first half. This is not blocked up quite as well but Powell’s quickness and decisiveness is able to take advantage of the alley created by James Carpenter winning at the second level and Wesley Johnson staying on his block just long enough. Kelvin Beachum also shows good foot quickness on his zone steps coming across the formation.
The Jets defense came up big in multiple short yardage situations against Jacksonville. On this third down the Jaguars look to run a toss concept with Leonard Fournette. Morris Claiborne shows quick play recognition, maintains outside contain and gets Fournette around the ankles. In one of his most encouraging plays this season, Darron Lee is able to track the ball carrier without being blocked, slice inside and finish off the play. Defensive tackle Mike Pennel also gets a strong push upfront to help make Lee’s life easier.
Later in the game, Jacksonville runs a swing pass on a similar 3rd and short scenario (who is this team’s OC?). Inside linebacker Julian Stanford shows terrific play recognition and closing speed on the back. Most importantly, he is able to finish off the tackle for a big loss. Jacksonville was betting their back could beat him to the edge but he doesn’t even come close.
The New York Jets still have issues at inside linebacker, particularly in the passing game. Unfortunately, they aren’t going to get to play Jay Cutler or Blake Bortles every week. Teams will eventually make them pay more than these teams did.
On this screen pass to Leonard Fournette, both inside linebackers get far too easily caught up inside by blockers and show a lack of lateral speed to contain this 27 yard gain.
On Fournette’s touchdown, Darron Lee is unable to diagnose the play action and loses his back in coverage for a split second, allowing the play to develop exactly how Jacksonville designed.
On this Chris Ivory 11 yard run, Demario Davis is too easily engaged by his blocker, creating an enormous running lane. Fortunately, Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye are able to to fill the gap and prevent this from being a substantially bigger play.
Passing Game Foreshadowing
After Cleveland, the Jets level of competition is going to increase. Their problems in the passing game will become more challenging to overcome when they are trying to out duel Tom Brady or Matt Ryan instead of Blake Bortes. The three plays below, all on third down late in the game, were causes for concern.
First on a 3rd and 6, the Jets play call is a 2 yard arrow route to Bilal Powell. Josh McCown locks on to Powell as the only target. Even if he does not fall leading to this interception, there is no way he is getting the first down. You need to throw past the markers on 3rd down.
Later in the game, backup tackle Brent Qvale is beat around the edge but McCown shows a poor mental clock and ball security in the situation. If he doesn’t fall on the ball here, Jacksonville gets a chance for a field goal as time expires in regulation.
Finally in overtime, the Jets third down call was a short in-cut to Jermaine Kearse. This is not shocking because Kearse is arguably their top target right now in the passing game. The problem is that he cannot get himself open and McCown forces him the ball anyway. Ultimately, there is a ceiling to what your offense can do when a reasonable third down call is McCown throwing to Kearse in a big spot.
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com