New York Jets Passing Game Film Breakdown, Week 4

Joe Caporoso breaks down the film on the New York Jets passing game in their week 4 win over the Miami Dolphins

The New York Jets weekly passing game breakdown is back at Turn On The Jets (last week’s edition is linked right here). We are now four games clear of the Marty Mornhinweg era and the Jets are coming off a fairly productive but inconsistent day throwing the football in a 27-14 win over the Miami Dolphins. Feel free to leave questions below or send them over on Twitter. On to the #TAPE…

The Game Plan: The return of Chris Ivory brought the focus back to the Jets rushing attack as the day’s game plan was built around funneling him the football. Ivory racked up 29 carries for 166 yards and was also targeted two times in the passing game. An early injury to Bilal Powell (1 reception, 12 yards) increased Zac Stacy’s role, as he finished with five carries and three targets (25 total yards and a touchdown). Look at it this way, the Jets running backs compiled 203 total yards against Miami, while the Jets receivers and Ryan Fitzpatrick scrambles only compiled 222 yards. The Jets tight ends were targeted once, with an incompletion/near interception coming on an attempt to Quincy Enunwa down the middle.

When throwing the football, the Jets relentlessly targeted Brandon Marshall who turned his 11 targets into 7 receptions for 128 yards. Eric Decker took back his slot role and was a focal point on 3rd downs and in the red-zone, catching a 27 yarder to move the chains and his third touchdown of the season.

The Quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick turned in another inconsistent performance finishing 16/28 for 218 yards with a touchdown and interception. He struggled with accuracy throughout the game and again got away with a few near interceptions. However, he was able to utilize his legs for 34 yards rushing and multiple timely first down conversions, Fitzpatrick also continued to be productive in the two minute drill adding his third touchdown drive right before the half this season. On the year Fitzpatrick now has a 60.7 completion percentage, 924 yards, 7 TDs, 6 INTs and 6.37 yards per attempt (29th in the NFL). He was right on the SANCHIZE LINE against Miami and basically been teetering on it all season, allowing the Jets defense to lead the way to this 3-1 start. Hit ’em with a new #JRFitz GIF @JJoyJets!

In the first quarter, Fitzpatrick gets away with a should be interception by trying to force the ball to Brandon Marshall instead of an open Eric Decker in the slot.

To his credit and the credit of Chan Gailey, they go back to the same exact play in the second quarter and execute it properly for the touchdown to Decker.

Rookie Devin Smith has continued to do an admirable job of working himself open through his first two starts. Unfortunately, Fitzpatrick has been wildly off target when throwing to him. There have been Twitter rumblings that these misses are on Smith, which are ludicrous. Below, he is open on a curl/flat concept for a first down but the throw is too far outside.

Later, Smith is open on a short crossing route but the pass is behind him, whereas if it were in front Smith is in position to pick up a major chunk of YAC.

Finally, against cover 2 below instead of throwing the hole shot on a line which leads Smith right into the safety coming over the top, Fitzpatrick could have floated this out to him and given Smith an opportunity to run under it.

Smith wasn’t the only victim of Fitzpatrick’s inaccuracy, as below Eric Decker is missed on a seam route in the fourth quarter with the throw going too far towards his outside shoulder, instead of leading him up the field. Fitzpatrick also missed Chris Ivory a pair of times in the flat, preventing him the opportunity to get in the open field.

On the positive side, Fitzpatrick effectively used his legs to keep the chains moving for the Jets offense. People laugh at plays like this but he has a history of being an effective scrambler. This was a critical conversion late in the first half and he showed good field vision by cutting inside for a long gain.

Fitzpatrick has also stayed locked in sync with Brandon Marshall, particularly in the short passing game. The timing and accuracy is down pat on plays like this, which is allowing the Jets to stay on schedule on early downs.

The Receivers: This was basically the Brandon Marshall show. Decker only had 5 targets, the touchdown shown above, a beautiful one handed catch down the seam from the slot for 27 yards, the miss down the slot on the same play shown above and two underneath crossing patterns for short gains. He didn’t appear to be at 100%, showing a little more hesitation out of his breaks than usual and missing 23 overall snaps. Fortunately for the Jets, the bye week will give him time to get healthy.

Devin Smith had 6 targets, with 2 receptions for 14 yards. Outside of the misses we showed above, Smith caught a hitch route and a short crossing route and was also targeted on an deep interception that Fitzpatrick hung in the air. It appeared that Smith was interfered with but he still needs to be stronger at the catch point and not assume he is going to get any calls at this level.

As for Marshall, Chan Gailey did a nice job creating YAC opportunities for him. Below, he sets up a wide receiver screen for him from the split end position with Zac Stacy in the slot on a kick out block. He also then put Marshall in the slot on a bunch, cross concept to free him up from Brent Grimes who was tracking him around the formation (without much success).

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the EVP of Content at Whistle Sports