Every week Cole Patterson will break down the performance of the New York Jets tight ends. Here is his take on week one.
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
Jeff Cumberland – 4 receptions (5 targets), 50 yards, 55 snaps
Cumberland had an all around solid performance in the season opener and validated the contract he signed to return to the New York Jets. Cumberland was targeted five times and hauled in four of them. On Cumberland’s first target, the Jets ran a play fake. He chipped an edge rusher and quickly released into the flat. He caught the ball behind the line of scrimmage and turned up field for a six yard gain. On Cumberland’s second reception, he lined up tight to the right of Breno Giacomini on a third and 21. He and Willie Colon (after Giacomini was badly beaten) held off Kahlil Mack while the play developed. With nobody open, Cumberland slipped out on a delayed release. He (again) showed off his wheels, adding nine yards after the catch and making Nick Folk’s life much easier. Cumberland’s third reception was his best of the day. He motioned to the right side of the formation on second and six at the Oakland 29. This time he shot right up the seam, splitting Tyvon Branch and (a grossly overmatched) Justin Tuck, hauled in the pass, and took the ball right down to the three yard line.
Cumberland’s biggest mistake of the night, however, is what one probably remembers best. On a first and ten on the Jets 44 the Jets came out in a three tight end look. Cumberland ran the same seam route from earlier on the other side of the formation, again splitting the defenders. This time, however, Cumberland misjudged a ball the Geno Smith threw with the expectation that his tight end would run through the route. Instead, Cumberland got completely turned around three quarters of the way through the route and could not haul in a pass that would have put them deep in Raiders territory.
Finally, as a blocker, Cumberland was hot and cold. Cumberland allowed one sack and three run stuffs (including the Smith fumble). However, there were a few plays where he drove his man clear out of the play and even pancaked Tuck at one point.
Jace Amaro – 2 receptions (4 targets), 7 yards, 21 snaps
Amaro’s regular season debut as a pass catcher was not one to write home about. He caught only 50% of his targets and only saw the field for 21 snaps. However, it is understandable that the coaching staff would want to ease him into an expanded role.Amaro continued to build off his strong preseason as a blocker in both the running and passing games. He made numerous down field blocks and stonewalled a pass rusher on one play.
Expect his role to increase as the season moves on.
Zach Sudfeld – 7 snaps
Sudfeld only saw the field for a handful of snaps (7). He made no impact on these plays aside from occupying defenders in the passing game.
Notes and Conclusions
The Jets used a few three tight end sets, as expected. With Decker as the primary receiver and Cumberland, Amaro, and Sudfeld in the game the team presents a serious size mismatch to the opponents. Look for the Jets to go back to this strategy in the red zone often.
As we at TOJ have been expecting all offseason, Cumberland and Amaro saw more snaps than the game-plan irrelevant fourth and fifth receivers. One interesting note is that Cumberland saw 55 snaps (79%) while Kerley saw only 45 (64%). This, however, may have been game plan specific as to take advantage of the Raiders small(ish) linebackers.