New York Jets Passing Game Breakdown, Week 9 (Run Game Special Edition)

Joe Caporoso takes a break from looking at the Jets passing game to break down why their running game is struggling so much

The New York Jets passing game breakdown is back at Turn On The Jets, with a very special “What The Hell Is Wrong With The Running Game” edition! Feel free to leave questions below or send your comments and/or suggestions over on Twitter. On to the #TAPE…

The Game Plan: The Jets were adamant about sticking to the run, so adamant that they gave Chris Ivory 23 carries despite him only accumulating 26 yards, a mind-boggling stat. They tried a few new wrinkles, including going heavy more frequently than usual by using tackle Brent Qvale as an extra tight end. They also showed a few Jet Sweep looks but nothing was able to cover up the Jaguars consistently driving the offensive line into the backfield. It has been an ugly three weeks for this unit and while Chris Ivory may not be 100%, most of the run game woes are on the big uglies upfront.

When throwing the ball, the Jets leaned on Eric Decker a little more than usual due to Brandon Marshall being banged up. Decker produced from the slot but also more than normal outside of the numbers, including a big gain on a back shoulder throw down the sideline. After a quiet three quarters, Marshall made a pair of big plays in the fourth quarter including the game clinching touchdown on a 3rd down go route against single coverage. Kenbrell Thompkins provided a 38 yard catch down the seam from the H-Back position, where he played a decent amount of reps. Jeremy Kerley chipped in a pair of slant routes from the slot.

The Jets did a nice job of getting their running backs going in the passing game, which is something they need to do more of against Buffalo to help negate their pass rush. Below they converted a 3rd and long with a middle screen to Zac Stacy.

Twice they were able to hit Chris Ivory on a play action screen for gains of over 10 yards. He looks good in the open field here, further pointing to the struggles in the running game being more on the offensive line.

Before we look at the running game, how did the Jets spring Jeff Cumberland for a 44 yard gain? They called double seam routes with Cumberland working to the opposite hash against one high and kept the short zone defenders occupied with a pair of hitch routes and a short drag. Anything is possible.

Let’s shift the focus to the running game which has fell off a cliff the past three weeks. Right from the first play, the Jets were overwhelmed by the Jaguars stacking the box. Ivory had a 9 yard run in the first quarter but besides that he had 22 carries for 17 yards!

The Jets get a weak push (particularly Qvale) and backup tight end Kellen Davis comes off his block too early as Ivory is dropped for a loss on their first offensive snap.

Later in the game, Brian Winters was the victim, getting beat inside as the Jaguars defender drops Ivory for loss. After playing well early in the year, Winters had a rough outing as he was the Jets lineman most consistently beat.

The Jets decision to go heavy allowed the Jaguars to continually put 8 and 9 players in the box. Below Wesley Johnson struggles to stay on his double team and Ivory has absolutely nowhere to go.

On the below play, Brian Winters is initially beat which redirects Ivory who is tackled by the defender who is quickly able to jump up after an attempted cut block from Kenbrell Thompkins.

Here, the Jets just don’t have enough blockers to handle a stacked box and are getting absolutely no push from anybody up front.

On the nearly disastrous fumble play, the Jets are overwhelmed by a Jaguars blitz as Winters whiffs, Tommy Bohanon can’t find anybody to block and Telvin Smith comes through untouched.

Overall, the Jets need to find a way to creatively jump start their running game from the spread looks they had success with early in the season. Nick Mangold is expected back but they are likely still going to be dealing with Brian Winters as the starting guard.

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