New York Jets Passing Game Film Breakdown, Week 8

Joe Caporoso breaks down the film of the New York Jets passing game in week 8 against the Oakland Raiders

The New York Jets passing game breakdown is back at Turn On The Jets. You can find last week’s edition right here. Ryan Fitzpatrick was replaced by Geno Smith in the first quarter due to injury and Smith showed many of the positives and negatives we’ve seen from him over the past two seasons. Feel free to leave questions below or send them in on Twitter. On to the #TAPE…

The Game Plan:  If you haven’t noticed, when the Jets can’t run the football, they have a tough time winning. Chris Ivory and Zac Stacy combined for 18 carries for 28 yards on Sunday, leaving Ivory at 32 carries for 58 yards over the past two games. The game flow certainly didn’t help the Jets establish a running presence but this was an issue right from the first drive. Matador Time from Kellen Davis and D’Brickashaw Ferguson!

It was also a particularly tough outing for Willie Colon who was repeatedly beat in both the passing and running game. We had concerns about the Jets offensive line before the season but this was the first game they were beat up on badly. With the Jets down multiple possessions throughout the entire game, they ended up throwing 47 passes and dropping their quarterbacks back well over 50 times, which will never be an ideal formula for this team to win.

The Quarterback: In relief Geno Smith went 27/42 for 265 yards with 2 touchdowns, 1 interception and 34 rushing yards, a familiar looking stat line from this season for Ryan Fitzpatrick. Considering he was playing with a backup center and didn’t receive practice reps all week, it was a reasonable effort from Smith who made some nice throws and kept the Jets relatively competitive into the fourth quarter despite the defense no showing. However, he continued to mix in too much poor decision making for a third year quarterback.

There is no excuse for taking the sack on either of these plays. Yes, there is nobody open down the field but you must have enough field and situational awareness to throw the football out of bounds. Smith regularly takes undue criticism in certain situations but this is not one of them. He deserves to be ripped for both of these plays.

This was a 3rd and 2 in the third quarter. Here, Smith tries to stay in the pocket and prolong the play but he would have been better off trusting his legs and the running lane earlier to get enough yards rushing for the first down. He needs to limit his hesitancy when the situation calls for him to run.

On Smith’s interception, he made a predetermined throw to Brandon Marshall. We have seen plenty of Ryan Fitzpatrick going to Marshall regardless of the coverage and it has pros and cons, which Smith should have learned from watching FItz. Ultimately, the negatives will outweigh the positives in most situations. Look at the slot receiver down the seam around the 30 yard line.

On the positive side, Smith flashed the arm talent and spurts of playmaking ability that initially made him the team’s starter this season. Below he is able to fire the ball in on the slant route to convert a third down and then later in the game drop in a perfectly placed deep corner route in-between the corner and safety.

Later in the game, he is able to extend the play, give off the impression that he is going to run and then fire it into a tight window for a touchdown.

This touchdown was set up by Smith navigating the pocket and putting the ball down the field to an open Kenbrell Thompkins who was interfered with, giving the Jets the ball on the one yard line.

The Receivers: Brandon Marshall paced the Jets with 9 receptions on a whopping 18 targets for 108 yards. Marshall was productive but left a pair of touchdowns on the field, as we discussed yesterday here

Eric Decker had a more efficient day, catching 6 of his 7 targets for 60 yards and a touchdown. He continued to do the bulk of his work out of the slot and scored on a play that closely resembled his touchdown vs. the Colts earlier in the year.

Jeremy Kerley finished with 4 receptions for 63 yards, including a pair of third down conversions in the first quarter. You saw the one above on the slant route from Geno, where Kerley broke off a nice chunk of YAC. He did the same thing on a 4th quarter screen from Fitzpatrick.

Kenbrell Thompkins caught 6 of 7 targets and drew a pass interference penalty. He had a low yards per catch (only 41 total yards) but caught the ball well and showed nice polish with his route running ability, along with good field awareness on the reception below.

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