Okay so this is the second installment of Big Dogs break down, and this one is going to have a much more optimistic tone than the previous weeks. I’m going to break the game down in chronological order and then provide some thoughts at the end about the performance as a whole, spoiler alert the Jets looked great. Alright well lets just get into it.
The Broncos started with the ball and were able to move it to mid field before the Jets locked up their defense and forced a punt. Besides the long run to Lindsey the Jets played pretty well against the run on the opening drive. When Steve McClendon is playing well this defense is able to really buckle down against the run. Steve is able to eat up double teams and allow Darron Lee to run free which is important because once Lee gets engaged with a lineman he is usually out of the play. Below is an example of what I’m talking about.
On this specific play Shepard allows the Guard to get up to Lee, where Lee is unable to disengage. Williamson attempts to shoot the hole and make a big play but is stifled by the center leaving a hole big enough for a truck to drive through.
Luckily this run didn’t lead to anything as the Jets were able to force a punt 3 plays later. The Broncos placed punter Marquette King on the IR at the beginning of the week and this allowed for the Jets to handily win the special teams battle against a punter playing in his first NFL game.
When Powell fumbled on the Jets second play of the game, I along with I assume the rest of Jets nation was thinking it was the same old god damn Jets. That feeling was only amplified when the Broncos scored a TD three plays later. The play before the Sutton TD, Jamal Adams made one of the plays I talked about last week where he comes off the edge to stop the runner for little to no gain.
So far this year I can count two missed tackles from Adams, the one I mentioned last week on O’Shaughnessy and then the one this week he missed Royce Freeman which allowed what should have been a 8 yard play turn into a 24 yard play. Obviously with secondary players they are judged on interceptions and forcing turnovers, but Adams has been playing great football in the box for the Jets. Along with playing in the box Adams is also tasked with playing man to man on the opposing teams tight ends, and has shown great improvement in this department as well. Coming into Sunday he was allowing a 49.1 passer rating when the ball was thrown into his coverage, a drastic improvement from the 130.2 he allowed last year.
After the Broncos TD the Jets went on a dive that took 6 minutes of game time and ended in a missed field goal. Spencer long had multiple poor snaps that caused Darnold to jump, and I remember thinking in real time that one of these was going to cost the Jets. Nothing catastrophic happened, but it is still something that you don’t want your rookie QB having to worry about. This drive also saw the first of Sam’s batted passes. It came out of Single back formation, sending Robbie Anderson in motion for a quick throw to the flats and Von Miller was able to get up and knock it down. Watching the game my initial thoughts were that the offensive linemen needed to do a better job of keeping Von’s hands down, but upon review Miller just did a good job of reading the play and getting in the passing lane. This drive also showed the start of what would be a historic running game for Crowell, showing great patience and vision throughout the contest. The line must have also read the previous big dogs break down as they were doing a great job of combo blocking up and cutting off flowing backers.
When the Jets missed the FG I was ready to murder a baby, I was sure it was gonna be just another one of those games.
The end of the first quarter showed the Jets ability to get to Keenum throughout the day. Keenum looked scared and jittery in the pocket and for good reason, he was getting hit, and hit hard all game. The Jets outplayed the Broncos in the 1st besides the fumble, and looking back you could tell the Jets were the better team, it was just a matter of time. They were dominating the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, and were fast to the ball on defense.
The second quarter in this game much like the 3rd quarter in the Lions game is what has Jets fans so excited. On the Jets first offensive possession Crowell takes it 77 yards to the house. I saw after in an interview that Kelvin Beachum said that his and Carpenters goal on the play was to take the defensive linemen and block him into the linebacker.
As you can see from the above clip they do just that, and two cuts from Crowell and it’s a foot race to the end zone. I talked last week about the importance of combo blocking to the second level, especially on these zone type runs, and it appears the Jets took it to heart. Throughout the game they showed a better job of securing the down linemen and getting up to the second level. Another thing to notice in the above clip is Robbie Anderson and Terrelle Pryor running stride for stride with Crowell, cutting off pursuing linebackers and safetys. Those are the types of plays that make your team what to get you the ball.
Leornard Williams has come on strong the last two games, racking up 3 sacks and seems to be living in the opposing teams back fields. His agent must have told him he’s in a contract year and that he plays for a team that will have the most cap in the NFL this off season. Leo’s first sack of the game came on a nice stunt move with Henry Anderson which allowed Leo to get a free run at the QB. I assume it worked so well because of all the practice they get beating the Jets starters with the same play.
I showcased a play last week by Jamal Adams where he replaced a pulling guard to get into the backfield for a tackle for a loss, this week I’ll show Avery Williamson doing the same. Like I said earlier, when the linebackers are able to run free they are fast enough to make impact plays in the running game. Problem is when they aren’t able to run free the Jets are susceptible to big plays. Look for teams to try force the linebackers to shed blocks in order to make plays moving forward.
It’s nice to have Marcus Maye back in the mix, as he had an interception, FF and sack against the Broncos. He also should have had a TD but he has worse cardio than myself and couldn’t make it to the end zone. The Jets have some solid back up safety’s on the roster who were able to fill in for Maye while he was out but having Adams and Maye healthy together takes the defense to another level.
Throughout the past two weeks I’ve noticed, Jordan Jenkins doing a poor job of setting the edge on run plays. Rather than staying disciplined and keeping his outside arm free, he attempts to cross the lineman’s face to get in on the tackles. The Jets have used Jamal Adams as their edge defender multiple times this year, and we even saw him rush off the edge like he was an outside linebacker against the Broncos. When the Jets have had as little production out of the Edge defender position as they have in recent years it’s good to see them thinking outside the box.
As Jets fans we are lucky if we see two 75+ yard play from our offense in a single season let alone in a game. I mean that truly just doesn’t happen, let alone on consecutive possessions, but we saw it Sunday. The first TD to Robbie was why he’s my personal favorite Jets receiver.
The Jets are running a max protection keeping 7 in to block and sending 3 receivers out on routes. The line is able to keep Darnold clean and Anderson runs a little stutter and go and just burns Roby. Darnold is looking at Anderson the whole way and he is able to deliver an absolutely beautiful ball. Robbie making plays like this will only help the Jets other receivers moving forward. Having to shade your safety over top to prevent the big play will open up the middle of the field for Enunwa and Kearse.
The Broncos were able to put together a scoring drive against the Jets defense in the 2nd quarter but I think criticism on that drive really only lies with one player. Parry Nickerson was beat in man to man coverage on the drive for 55 of the 74 yards the Broncos gained. I am one of Buster Skrines biggest critics and would love nothing more than for Nickerson to take over the slot role full time. It looks like he will have another opportunity against the Colts as Skrine will likely be sidelined with a concussion. Colts have attempted the most passes so far in the NFL and have been throwing it underneath predominately. I’m hoping Nickerson is able to set up and maybe force a turnover.
After the Broncos field goal the Jets put together a mesmerizing drive against the Broncos with 3:54 on the clock. It took 2:45, traveled 75 yards and ended in another Anderson TD pass. The Jets picked up 2 3rd and ones, once on a Sam Darnold sneak and the other on an incredible effort play by Crowell shown below.
He looks to be stuffed by Pecko, but Crowell keeps his legs churning and throws the 300 pound linemen to the ground and picks up 3 to move the chains.
This drive was capped off by what I’m calling the Big Dog dime of the week, this pass from Darnold to Anderson in the end zone.
Again the Jets are in max protection keeping 8 in to block/chip before flaring off into the flats with fade routes on the outside. You can’t really have a cleaner pocket to trow from, and Darnold does a good job of moving the safety with his eyes, and as soon as he gets the safety to commit to the opposite side of the field unleashes a beauty to Anderson. I know coming into the league the big thing with Darnold was his ability to make play when protection breaks down, which he has shown an ability to do at the NFL level. However he showed yesterday that from a clean pocket he can deliver accurate balls down the field.
The third quarter started how the second quarter ended with the Jets offense looking unstoppable. Crowell took a power run through the 5 hole 54 yards. Beachum and Carpenter again blow the linemen off the ball and are able to secure the backer from flowing over top. Crowell makes one guy miss and he’s off for a long gain.
This drive also saw the 3rd batted pass of the game for Darnold, this time leading to an INT. I don’t remember Darnold struggling with batted passes in the past 4 weeks, but with the Jets love of the quick out passes it’s a trend that could continue. Look for Darnold to try and adjust arm angles, and also look for linemen to work to get the defenders hands down when a short pass is on the way. One game isn’t something to be concerned about however so it’s nothing to over react to.
I saw on Twitter some of the Jets beat reporters fawning over the below throw, 3rd and 12 form their own 13 picking up 14 and the first. Allowing the drive to continue and help flip the field position.
Ex-Jet Damein Woody said it was “The best throw of the game tbh”. I mean it’s a great throw but it’s also a throw you expect any NFL QB to make. It’s a simple out route against man coverage. He does a good job putting some mustard on it so the defender can’t under cut the route, but he’s throwing from a clean pocket to an open receiver by NFL standards. I just thought it was wild for an NFL analyst to claim this was the best throw of the day when all three of his TD passes were more impressive.
The Jets did a good job in the 3rd of playing solid defense and taking time off the clock on their drives. A 13 play 6 minute 34 second drive that extends the lead to 2 TDs can take any fight left right out of a team.
The third quarter was all about the defense and special teams. The Jets were able to win the field position battle all game, which is something they haven’t done a good job of in the past. To end the 3rd Andre Robert did the following.
Just last year I would hold my breath every punt just hoping it wouldn’t be muffed and now Andre Roberts almost has 2 house calls in 5 games? What a difference a year can make, hopefully he can keep it up.
The first drive of the fourth quarter Darnold suffered his first and only sack, which is a dramatic improvement over last week. The Broncos brought 6 on the blitz and the Jets only had 5 blockers.
One of my big problems with Bowles is that when he gets a lead he tends to get too conservative on defense, and it can lead to blown leads. He runs this vanilla defense dropping 7 into zones and only rushing 4. It’s a big reason why the Jets blew so many leads last year and while it didn’t matter in this game it is something that I’ve never been a fan of. Take the Broncos 1st drive of the 4th quarter, the Broncos were in hurry up trying to score as fast as possible. The Jets every play sat back in soft zones and rushed 4, and it allowed the Broncos to get down to the 6 yard line before they threw an in completion on fourth down. Now you can say “It’s bend don’t break” but against good offenses it’s shown over the years to break and give up TDs. The Jets gave up 17 to the Dolphins in the 4th last year to lose a game and blew another lead against the Falcons. Bowles is supposed to be this press man, bring pressure coach but he turns into the exact opposite with a lead. I understand it’s different coaching with a lead but the difference shouldn’t be as drastic as it is. Bowles needs to find some middle ground in play calling with the lead.
Luckily the entire point I made above became a mute point as the Jets put together a 94 yard, 6 play TD drive to put a nail in the Broncos. This drive included 2 runs over 35 yards by each of the running backs and a 20 yard TD pass to Pryor to end it. I was only going to put in footage of the Pryor catch but I had to showcase the Samchise on the long Powell run.
Blocking breaks down, Powell reverses fields, and who does he have lead blocking for him 30 yards down field? That’s right he’s got ex-linebacker the Samchise, who has the Broncos safety running scared because he knows when the train gets rolling you either get run over or get off the tracks.
What a throw and an even better catch. Terrelle Pryor hasn’t had the start to the year he was hoping but he is still a big play threat and can be another option to take the top off the defense.
The only other thing of note in the 4th was the Marcus Maye INT. I have never cheered harder for a meaningless play than that, I can’t believe he didn’t get into the end zone.
I’m not sure if the below tweet with play, I’m also not sure when it happened in the game, but I’d just like to shout out Brian Winters for staying home on a stunt and also being an avid reader of mine.
This was a big time bounce back game in all phases of the game after getting dismantled by the Jags. The offensive line looked like a completely different unit, besides garbage time the Broncos couldn’t move the ball with consistency through the air, and special teams was able to win the field position battle all game. Jeremy Bates called a much better game then the previous two and the defense played inspired in Kacy Rodgers absence.
Coming up the Jets have the Colts, who while 1-4 had a chance to beat both the Eagles and Texans. Andrew Luck is leading the league in pass attempts while also hardly throwing the ball down field. The Jags showed this is an effective way to beat the Jets, and this will be a big test for a banged up Jets secondary. The Colts are going to throw it short and try and beat you with a million paper cuts. I expect the Jets to try and test Lucks arm strength with over playing the under neath routes and daring him to beat them deep. The Colts without TY Hilton and Jack Doyle will likely rely on Eric Erbron again this week. Jamal Adams will be tasked with slowing down Ebron who had a big outing against NE. Colts will come in rested off the mini bye having played last Thursday but still come in with list of injuries on top of the Hilton and Doyle ones. Matt Slauson, Colts starting guard was recently placed on the IR, so look for Leo to try and test his replacement. Colts also come in the number 1 ranked 3rd down offense so the Jets will need to stop them on early downs to get them in 3rd and longs to test some of the banged up offensive linemen.
On offense the Jets will look to establish the run. When the Jets are able to control the clock with the run it allows their defense to be rested and fly around and make plays. The colts will be ready for Bob Anderson deep balls so look for that to open up the middle of the field for Enunwa who had a game he’d like to forget against the Broncos. The Colts are right there with the Jets in terms of youngest teams so look for Bates to test the Colts with motion and different formations than seen in previous weeks to try and create favorable match ups for the Jets.
Will have bets coming out later this week.