New York Jets Passing Game Breakdown, Week 14

Joe Caporoso breaks down the film on the New York Jets passing game in their week 14 win over the Tennessee Titans

We are back with another edition of breaking down one of the NFL’s hottest offenses…yes the New York Jets. Check out last week’s edition right here. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Chan Gailey and company made easy work of the Tennessee Titans in a 30-8 victory. Let’s take a closer look at how they did it. Feel free to leave any questions below or over on Twitter. On to the #TAPE…

The Game Plan: The Jets ran a balanced attack (40 Ryan Fitzpatrick dropbacks, 31 handoffs to their trio of running backs). In the first half, Chan Gailey did a nice job of utilizing misdirection, spreading out the Titans and taking advantage of the singled up mismatches all over the field. Tennessee lacked the personnel and coaching to take away any of what the Jets do best: isolate Brandon Marshall outside the numbers, isolate Eric Decker in the slot, check down/screen to Bilal Powell and run Chris Ivory off tackle. It was particularly encouraging to see how effective the Jets were running the football, as four different ball carriers had carries over 10 yards and Ivory was able to rip off a 32 yarder. Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker didn’t miss a beat and have been as productive and efficient as any duo of receivers in the NFL this season, particularly over the past three weeks.

This was a solid day for the Jets sometimes inconsistent offensive line. Brian Winters in particular held his own and has shown flashes of being a competent starter this season. Overall, they regularly got a very good push against a talented Titans defensive front. Look at this nice combo block from Winters and Mangold to spring Ivory’s big run.

The Quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick continued the best stretch of football in his NFL career with a 21/36, 263 yard performance. He added three more touchdowns and had zero turnovers for the third straight game. On the season, Fitzpatrick is now at a 60 completion percentage, 3,129 yards, 27 total touchdowns and 12 turnovers. His yards per attempt is at 7.03 (22nd in the NFL). Despite some first half accuracy issues, Fitzpatrick continued to function as an effective “point guard” in Chan Gailey’s system, funneling the ball to his dominant two receiving targets and allowing them to make plays.

Fitzpatrick and rookie Devin Smith’s skill-sets never meshed this season and Fitzpatrick missed him on a should be touchdown here. The Jets ran play action, sent Smith down the seam and the Titans left him wide open as they understandably rolled coverage to both Marshall and Decker. Unfortunately, Fitzpatrick overshot him

Fitzpatrick’s first half accuracy issues weren’t limited to Smith targets, as he missed Marshall on a dig route combination below. Smith clears out the deep in-cut for Marshall with a slot vertical, leaving an open window but Fitzpatrick throws high.

Later in the quarter, Fitzpatrick decides to take a one read shot to Marshall but hangs the ball too far down the field, allowing the safety to move over and not putting it in a place where Marshall has a chance to make a play.

However, Fitzpatrick settled down in the second quarter for the most part and began to connect on his bread and butter routes. Below, he is in rhythm with Eric Decker on a play action skinny post from the slot, dropping it in over the linebacker and in front of the safety.

The Jets went back to their “levels” concept here, with three mirrored in-cuts at different depths attacking the Titans secondary. Fitzpatrick finds a tight window to Decker, allowing the Jets to move the chains.

Eventually, teams will realize you cannot leave Marshall outside the numbers to feast on deep comeback routes like this. The Titans aren’t that team and Fitzpatrick made them pay, as their linebacker lacks the speed to undercut the route.

Finally, it was encouraging to see Fitzpatrick check down here on 2nd and long. This sounds simple but with the pass rush closing down on him, instead of trying to do too much and sailing the seam route to Quincy Enunwa for an interception, Fitz recognizes his limitations and takes 5 yards. He has a long history of not doing this but has avoided killer mistakes the past few weeks.

The Dynamic Duo: Let’s take a moment to appreciate just how well both Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker are playing right now. Chan Gailey is scheming an intelligent, well-designed offense and Fitzpatrick is playing the best ball of his life. However, Marshall and Decker are the studs who are repeatedly winning their match-up by simply being “better than” whoever is trying to cover them.

This is Brandon Marshall willing a first down by physically driving the defender back to his proper cut point, ripping for inside position and boxing him out for the catch.

This is Decker flat out cooking a helpless Titans defender for a touchdown. Look at how perfectly he sells his sluggo (slant and go) route before breaking back to the post for 6.

The Powell: First off, this is an awesome play design by Gailey, creating flow to the left and clearing out space with the short crossing combination and two vertical routes. However, Powell has the giddy up and hands to properly execute it. He has developed into the Jets X-Factor on offense as the perfect complement to Chris Ivory and a reliable third option in the passing game.

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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