New York Jets Passing Game Breakdown, Week 15 (Dolphins)

Joe Caporoso breaks down New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty vs. the Miami Dolphins

Despite a competitive first half the New York Jets were ran off the field against the Miami Dolphins 34-13. Similar to the rest of his team, Bryce Petty had a fast start but flamed out as the game progressed. How did the Jets second year quarterback perform against a likely soon to be playoff team? Let’s break down the #TAPE…

The Stats: Petty finished 20/36 for 235 yards with 1 TD, 2 INTs and 1 lost fumble through a little more than 3 quarters. He was sacked 3 times and scrambled once for zero yards. 11 of his 20 completions went to running back Bilal Powell, with most coming at or behind the line of scrimmage. On the season Petty is now 75/130 (57%), 809 yards, 6.2 YPA, with 3 TDs, 6 INTs and 1 lost fumble. Only Blake Bortles and Brock Osweiler have a lower YPA than Petty in the NFL. In all four games Petty appeared in (not including his three snaps versus Miami earlier in the year) he has turned the ball over and the Jets offense is only averaging 14 points per game when he starts.

The Good: Petty’s first quarter touchdown strike was one of the most encouraging plays we’ve seen from a Jets quarterback this season. He recognized Robby Anderson singled up in the slot, checked the play at the line of scrimmage to have Petty run a deep, skinny post and fired a perfectly placed pass for a 40 yard touchdown. Petty took advantage of the one high safety shading his coverage to Brandon Marshall and fired in the open lane, after Anderson beat his defender.

Later in the first half, Petty showed patience working through his reads and coming back to find Marshall in the middle of the field on a dig route. We haven’t seen much of Petty working through his progressions, so it is a positive to see him not rushing the ball to his first option when he has time in the pocket. This is an accurate, well placed pass against the Dolphins zone.

Before the half, Petty showed good timing and placement on a pair of sideline strikes to Anderson and Quincy Enunwa. On the first one, he releases the ball before Anderson comes out of his break, making it nearly impossible to defend with a well run route. On the second one, he drops the ball in a minuscule window above the underneath defender and defensive back coming over the top. These plays show good velocity and placement in the intermediate passing game.

The Bad: Despite a strong start, Petty let the wheels fall off gradually throughout the second and third quarter. He is not protecting the football and not scoring enough points to compensate for how frequently he turns it over. This interception below is a Ryan Fitzpatrick special. Petty decides before the snap he is throwing the slant route to Brandon Marshall and completely ignores Cameron Wake dropping into coverage. The result is a comically bad turnover.

Petty’s second interception is a simply an under thrown go route where Robby Anderson has a step on his defender. This ball floats far too much and allows the cornerback to make up ground on Anderson.

People shouldn’t mistake “arm strength” with a desire to float a high volume of deep go routes. When things started to turn south for Petty, he basically decided to continually throw nine routes down the sideline, regardless of the situation and what the defense was showing. The overwhelming majority of these passes are inaccurate and hang in the air far too long.

The offensive line did Petty no favors against Miami. However, every sack is not always on the big guys up front. Part of Petty’s job is to recognize the defensive front and set up his protection or recognize when there is a free rusher and alter his drop. The Jets don’t have enough blockers here to protect against Miami’s blitz. Petty needs to have Enunwa settle in at H-Back and block the edge or drop the play action and shorten his drop. He has the ability to change the play at the line. This is a time to do it.

Later in the game, the Jets have a three step drop called. When you have a three step drop called, you need to throw to a receiver or throw it away on the third step. You can’t freeze in the pocket and look back across the field. This is not good protection but Petty is doing himself no favors here.

Overall: Through his years at Baylor, first preseason, second preseason and regular season action this year, Petty continues to look part of a backup NFL quarterback. Many people take this as a criticism but the Jets would be content with a 4th rounder becoming a competent backup and spot starter, which is a good career for somebody taken at that slot. Petty has been thoroughly below average in every metric possible when under center this season but has shown some progress in certain areas over the past two years. He must find a way to protect the football and generate points more consistently in order to keep himself relevant for the 2017 Jets plans and beyond.

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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