Welcome to our weekly TOJ Film Room breakdown of the New York Jets. Unlike last year, when we focused solely on passing game breakdowns , we are going to expand to a wider range of coverage this year on both sides of the football. Each week, we will focus on a handful positives and negatives. Let’s dive into the #TAPE. If you missed it, here is the week 1 breakdown…
The GoodNew Jack City
For the second week in a row Jamal Adams looked like a player who was taken in the top ten of the NFL Draft, a very encouraging early sign for the Jets front office. Adams has quickly adapted to the speed of the game and tightened up any missed tackle issues he had this preseason. Below has been his most shared (and the team’s most shared) highlight of the game and with good reason. This play demonstrates an elite level of athleticism and pursuit skills, capped by a picture perfect tackle on one of the hardest backs to bring down in the NFL.
Adams had 27 plays in coverage versus Oakland and was targeted zero times. He has consistently been on top of his assignment in the passing game and shown an ability to bounce between covering receivers and tight ends. Unfortunately the play below went elsewhere for a big gain (as teams are wisely going away form Adams) but it shows his recognition and route handoff ability.
Fellow rookie Marcus Maye had a much better week two than week one. From a two high look, Maye quickly diagnoses the flat route to Jared Cook, screams downhill and drops him for only a 4 yard gain.
Later in the game, Maye shows similar support against the run, filling the alley on a Marshawn Lynch handoff and stopping him for a 4 yard gain on a play that could have been sprung for a much bigger gain, and has been in recent years on previous Jets safeties.
This hit occurs after a Raiders first down, thanks to poor play from the Jets corners and linebackers (a recurring theme!) but it is a fun one to watch. Offenses will sign up for this all day but it is positive to see Maye be able to deliver this type of physicality so early in his career.
An area of panic for many this preseason was the Jets offensive line, mostly because Josh McCown barely played. The issue with sacks this was a Christian Hackenberg problem, not an offensive line problem and that has shown through the first two weeks.
Oakland is loaded with talent in their front seven with players who can get after the quarterback, highlighted by Khalil Mack, who is arguably the best pass rusher in the NFL. The Jets young offensive line, led by second year right tackle Brandon Shell, held up well.
Shell displayed a good feel for wheeling his rusher far enough to the outside to allow McCown to regularly step up in the pocket on Sunday. He was also able to handle the multitude of stunts the Oakland front seven threw at him. Outside of Shell, it was a particularly strong game for James Carpenter who has been the team’s most consistent offensive player since 2015.
The Jets first half 34 yard touchdown to Jermaine Kearse was a thing of beauty. It was a needed, aggressive play call on 3rd and 2 from John Morton. If the Jets want to prevent teams from stacking the box, they need to take shots like this. The protection held up perfectly. McCown threw a well placed ball and Kearse ran a textbook nine route, stacking his defender, keeping his stem and then high pointing the ball for six. There likely will not be many moments like this for the Jets offense in 2017, so let’s appreciate this one.
Welcome To The Big Leagues
Juston Burris has flashed throughout his first two years in a limited role. Many fans have prematurely dubbed him a certain, future starter, particularly after an encouraging 30+ snaps in week 1 vs. Buffalo. He received a harsh boost to his competition level on Sunday, as Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree carved him up and he struggled to tackle in the running game.
On the 3rd down below, Burris matched up in the slot on Cooper who easily beats him on a deep corner route for a first down. He is too slow out of the break and does a poor job anticipating the probable out breaking cut, considering Cooper’s pre-snap position.
Later in the game, Burris is running stride for stride with Michael Crabtree but shows poor ball awareness. This is not a push off, this is Crabtree reacting substantially quicker than Burris. This is never going to get called by the officials, Burris just needs to play the football better in the air.
Below, the Jets stack the box on 3rd and short, going zero coverage. This is why Burris shadows Cordarelle Patterson when he moves into the backfield, leaving him aligned as the de facto, one high safety. He is the last line of defense and badly whiffs on the tackle, leading to a long touchdown.
There is no need to beat a dead horse but Demario Davis and Darron remain remarkably incompetent at their jobs. The Raiders offensive line abused both of the Jets inside linebackers, throwing them around like rag dolls and opening up enormous lanes for their running backs. The plays below speak for themselves. Watch Lee and Davis at the point of attack in the A Gap on Patterson’s touchdown run and then watch Lee get launched 3 yards in the air when the Raiders run pitch for a 52 yard touchdown.
The inside linebackers in any defense need to be able to take on blockers, shed them and make tackles with a higher consistency than any other players on the defense. Davis and Lee, particularly Lee are incapable of playing this role right now, never mind both of their struggles in coverage.
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com