Alright so the Jets lost their second in a row to an NFC North opponent and looked like garbage in doing so. The Jets had 7 pre-snap penalties and when you are playing a better opponent you can’t do that and expect to win. Going into Sunday the Jets were without their top 2 WRs, their top CB and their starting center. The Bears are the better team and if the Jets wanted any chance to win they would have had to play a near perfect game, spoiler alert they did not. You know when starting this break down I was really debating how I wanted to open it before we jumped into the game. When the game initially ended if I would have started it then, I would have been bashing Bowles and the players for the 7 pre snap penalties. I would have said how trash the offensive line is and that the running backs stunk causing the offense to play behind the sticks the entire game. I would have said how the defense still hasn’t learned to cover running backs out of the back field and couldn’t get a stop when the Jets needed one. I would have said that a group of fans taken from the crowd could get more separation than the Jets receivers got. I would have said the fact that the Jets allowed Trubisky to beat them with his legs as often as he did is disgraceful and they continue to allow that to happen against duel threat QBs. However since I’ve had some time to digest the game, and watch some other football games I’m feeling slightly more optimistic. It could be worse, the Giants are 1-7 and are dead, their quarterback is a corpse and their spirit is smashed. The Raiders are also 1-7, and their quarterback is crying on national TV, and Jon Gruden has lost the locker room half way into his first year of a 10 year contract. Then you have the Browns who have fired their head coach and OC, and are now being lead by the orchestrator of bounty gate. Yes the Jets have played like shit the past two weeks but I like to look at the positives and tell myself, it could be worse. Alright lets view some game film.
The Jets started with the ball and got their miserable day off to a start, with a 3 and out accompanied by a false start by Neil Sterling. Akiem Hicks was a force all day against the run, and on the first drive you could tell he was going to be a problem. He had a tackle and a quarterback pressure both after throwing Winters to the side like a rag doll.
I said last week how it would be important for the Jets to limit Mitch’s rushing and then first play of the game he gets a 13 yard first down. The Jets are in good position to stop the play as shown below.
Here Copeland is in charge of taking the running back and Adams is assigned with taking Mitch. Adams gets eager and thinks Howard has the ball so he drifts in and gives up outside contain. This allows Mitch to get the edge on him and gain 13 yards. There were a few times throughout the game that Mitch was able to get the edge or get the corner around Adams which is impressive considering Adams speed. I’m not sure many QB’s in the NFL would be able to do that, it goes to show Mitch’s athleticism.
3rd and 3 the Jets did evoke a spy on Mitch, they had Copeland spying which was a little surprising considering I don’t think hes considered one of our more athletic line backers. He was able to make the play and get the sack to bring his season total to 3. The Bears go on to miss the 40 yard field goal and I’m feeling good, anytime we can get a special teams error from the other team I’m thinking we can win.
Coming off the high of a missed field goal, the Jets with the ball on our own 30 and what happens? False start 1st and 15. Those stupid pre snap penalties kill drive especially for the Jets. If the Jets want to have success they have to be able to play in front of the sticks and get to 3rd and manageable. This is especially true when our best big play receiver is on the side line, you can’t have dumb mistakes that kill drives. It is evident from watching the game back that the Bears were going to make the Jets beat them through the air, almost every 1st and 2nd down they are lining up with 7-8 man boxes and they are flowing down hill at the snap much like the Vikings did. They were able to do this without a real deep threat at receiver for the Jets on Sunday.
The Bears next drive gives us the only TD of the first half on a 70 yard scamper from Cohen.
There is not much to say here, Williamson has been on record saying that Cohen was his responsibility. It’s just a lack of focus, and a missed assignment. When you are on the road trying to beat a superior opponent you can’t have those. The running back out of the back field continues to kill the Jets.
In the first quarter the Jets had 3 pre snap penalties alone, two false starts and 1 neutral zone infraction. Luckily for Brandon Schell the 2nd false start didn’t end up hurting the Jets as they were still able to move the sticks on 3rd and 9, but 3rd and 4 is a lot less stressful than 3rd and 9.
I talked about Hicks earlier and below is another prime example of how well he played on Sunday.
Hicks slants to where Shell is trying to block him meaning Shell should be able to wash him down the line. However Hicks throws Shell away with one arm and makes the tackle. This was 3rd and 1, and while it doesn’t matter that much cause the Jets are able to pick up the first on the next play anyway, the Jets first scoring drive was a grind. 14 plays 51 yards, 8:25 of game time and they were only able to get a field goal. The Bears defense made the Jets offense look inept all game even on their scoring drives.
The 2nd quarter starts with the Jets in 3rd and 7. The Jets run some hitch patterns right at the marker to try and get a 1st. I said about how their receivers weren’t able to get open and it can be seen in this screen shot.
I mean where is Darnold supposed to go here, you have Roberts at the top of the screen and I trust myself more on the outside than him. You have Herndon a good 3 yards short with linebackers ready to decapitate him if he gets the ball. You have Kearse getting pick pocketed by Bryce Callahan. You have Denotay Burnett getting run off his route because he is 120 lbs soaking wet. The only open guy is Cannon in the flat and theres no guarantee he gets the first with Roquan Smith in pursuit. So Darnold makes the decision to try and get it with his legs, he of course does not and the Jets end up with a field goal.
I’m excited as I continue going on to take screen shots at the top of routes to show how poorly the Jets receivers played all day.
One thing to note about the game footage from Soldier field is the score board they show at the start of each play.
When the games are at the Jets stadium they zoom across the field to a score board and you need to get a magnifying glass to read it. In the games I’ve broke down this is the best set up so far, makes it very easy to get down distance and field position.
During the game and even re watching the game Mitch left some throws on the field. He wasn’t accurate on a lot of out routes, and simple underneath throws. He may have ended the game with a good passer rating but he was inaccurate throughout the game going up 14/29. I think the most frustrating part for the Jets was not being able to force a turnover. Mitch has been careless with the ball at times this year and it would have been nice to turn him over. A prime example below of a missed throw by Trubisky.
He had Jordan Howard wide open in the flat for the first and just sailed it on him. A lot of times with young quarterbacks you can look at their foot work and see where they went wrong. Here Mitch is falling away causing the ball to sail and that’s generally his miss. It would be nice if all quarterbacks could throw with their feet not set as well as Arron Rodgers but unfortunately that is not the case. Sam does it at times as well, when the rush is coming up the middle he will throw off his back foot causing the ball to float.
Do you rememeber 4 weeks ago when Crowell ran for 600 yards against the Broncos and the O-Line looked completely dominate? That was fun, unfortunately there have been a lot more plays like the one above in recent weeks than ones with good blocking. I mean, I know Beachum is trying to reach Robertson-Harris, but he gets way to far out and allows R-H to easily beat him to the inside and blow the play up. Outside zone plays are long developing so any penetration on the front side will disrupt the running back and generally lead to poor gains.
Jets were able to pick up a nice 3rd and 10 on this drive with a good play design. Darnold motioned Crowell out of the backfield out wide, and then threw him a quick screen. When your two best receivers are out and you still need to meet your WR screen quota, you run it to a running back, nice thinking Bates.
Nice little play above by Darnold, free blitzing corner, Darnold keeps his eyes down field the whole time evades the rush and fires it to Sterling in the middle of the field.
Rewatching the game I think Darnold left some completions on the board. I know you don’t want to check down every drop back but it was clear the Bears were going to take away the middle of the field. It makes sense considering the only Jets starting receiver was Kearse and he does his damage in the middle of the field. Above on 3rd and 3 you have to just dump it off to Cannon and hope he can get the 3 yards. The rest of the receivers are blanketed just take the what the defense gives you and move on. Darnold has one of the highest yards traveled per attempt in the NFL, which is good because it means he’s pushing the ball down field but sometimes it’s okay to get a few yards and live to fight another down.
The Jets are able to force a 3 and out their next defensive possession in part because of Mitch’s over throws. He had Cohen open in the flat and he over threw him and then had Miller open on an out route where Claiborne fell and over threw him as well.
The Jets inevitably went 3 and out on their possession as well with the following on 3rd down.
I mean it’s 3rd and 6 and the Jets receivers have a total of 2 yards of separation if you add them all together. I mean I know the receivers were all back ups but my god Stephen Hawking could have got more consistent separation.
The following drive the Jets get the Bears to 3rd and 6, with a chance for the defense to get off the field and the following happens.
Roberts lines up 10 yards off the line of scrimmage, the Jets are bringing a blitz, Mitch is going to have to get rid of the ball quickly. You cannot be playing that far off the ball in this scenario. I mean look at the top of the screen Claiborne is playing at the sticks, Roberts is at Safety depth, making it an easy pitch and catch for the 1st.
At least Roberts learns from his mistake later on in the drive, on a 3rd and 7 as he makes a pass break up. Where does he line up on that play? Right at the sticks. Nearly identical play by the Bears but the small adjustment made by Roberts in his pre snap alignment allows him to make a play.
Jets run out the first half as they are apart of another stinker of a 2nd quarter. The Vikings two weeks ago and the Bears last week both teams offenses were unable to do anything in the first halves. I mean there really wasn’t even much to break down. The offensive line stunk, the receivers couldn’t get open and the Bears took away the middle of the field. On defense the Jets were fortunate that Mitch was inaccurate as he sailed some throws. Besides the long play to Cohen the Jets were able to make stops as the Bears struggled to cross mid field. Anyways onto the second half.
All you ever hear about Bowles system is his press man defense, but yet you have Darryl Roberts lining up at Jabrill Peppers depth. And I know Corners line up at different spots depending on the offensive formation and situation but this was the second time Roberts lined up 9 yards off the ball and they ran a simple hitch for 6 yards. It’s not even so much I’m upset with Roberts he has played well, he’s been a sure tackler, he’s had some nice pass break ups it’s more so my frustration lies with Johnson.
I said it last week and I’ll say it again, it’d be really nice if the Jets 72.5 Million Dollar corner would play. Has there ever been a team where their big contract players have under performed like has happened with the Jets over the years. Just off the top of my head, you have Wilkerson, Revis and now Johnson is trending that direction.
Great play below by Terrell Basham a player the Jets claimed off waivers. The former 3rd round pick of the Colts made a few plays against the run on Sunday including this one.
Basham does a good job coming down the line and not getting up field despite the fact he goes unblocked initially. He then blows up the TE coming across the formation trying to kick him out and then makes the tackle. Basham only played 25 defensive snaps but was able to record 2 solo tackles. This play forces a 3rd and 3 and the Jets run a nice stunt and are able to get the stop to force the punt. The Bears went just 4-12 on 3rd downs in the game which normally is a recipe for a win, but not when the Jets went 3-14.
Darnold avoids disaster on the first snap of the Jets following series as he throws a late ball to Kearse who was on a hitch route. If not for a good job by Kearse it would have been an easy pick. Darnold has to make his progressions faster and not throw these late balls to players sitting still. When you have a player running a hitch you have to throw it when they break you can’t wait and throw it to them late.
James Carpenter gets in on the pre snap penalty parade with a false start on 2nd and 10 to push it to 2nd and 15. Chris Herndon has shown improvements in his blocking since entering into the NFL, the below play is not an example of such.
His arms are out wide like he is going to make a tackle, he then lunges forward with his head down and this allows Floyd to make an easy play. Bad footwork, bad hands and bad head placement lead to a missed block and no yard gain. On 3rd and 15 the Jets try to get fancy and run a fake WR screen, into a RB screen, spoiler it doesn’t work and they go 3 and out.
The Bears next drive start from their own 45, and had one of the more controversial decisions in the game. On 2nd and 10 the Bears look to throw a WR screen and get a offensive pass interference call. Our official Jets correspondent had the following to say.
I know when you watch games sometimes they discuss analytics and how it’s always a numbers game when to go for it, when to accept vs decline a penalty or when to go for 2 vs an XP. I think if you said the word analytics to Bowles he would try to fight you because there are just countless times in games over the years where he goes against what the numbers say you should do. Doing some research it is the probability of getting a first down from 2nd and 20 and 3rd and 10 but that is across the entirety of the NFL over past years. However I went back through the Bears game logs and in situations where they were 2nd and 15+ their conversion rate was 1/7 or about 14%, I like those odds. Add onto it that they were around mid field at the time and if you accept you have a chance to flip field position, you gotta accept the penalty.
Below is the Bears 3rd down play which got them the first.
The Jets are in man coverage across the board bringing a blitz to try and force Mitch into a quick throw and force a 4th down. The running back does a good job picking up Adams but does get pushed back forcing Mitch to take off. I said it earlier and I’ll say it again Mitch’s speed was impressive Sunday, out running Adams is no easy task. The real mishap here from Avery Williamson who is stunting with Williams. He allows Long to push him inside and out of his rush lane which should have been Longs outside shoulder. This leaves the lane in which Mitch takes off through. When rushing a QB who can make plays with their feet if you don’t have a spy on them you have to stay in your rush lanes to not leave holes like this for them to run through.
Williamson again on the next play is late coming up on a run play which allows Cohen to run for 21 yards. On this play Adams also takes a bad angle which allows him more yards than he should have got. Cohen is a fun player to watch, and when watching the game and they show him next to linemen he looks like a kid who somehow got a uniform and the chance to stand on the sideline with his favorite team.
I mean I hate to keep hammering this point home but I talked about it in my break down last week how the Jets needed to not let Mitch run. This is an absurdly large hole, that even I could pick up 5 yards running through. I have no clue what Williams is doing on this play. I have watched it 10 times and he just stands up and Shuffles away from the play. He is lined up on Long’s outside shoulder to start and he just leaves.
Williams then jumps offside on 3rd and goal from the 9, giving them 3rd and goal from the 4. The Bears score here extending their lead to 14-3. It did take a nice catch from Miller in the back of the end zone but still, 9 yards to go vs 4 is a big time difference.
Alright down 11, time for the Jets to get some points and keep this game close, and how do they open the drive? Fumbled snap by Darnold. Darnold was under center and looks to just drops the ball. It’s not extremely clear but it’s a fumbled snap none the less. I think Jets fans have been spoiled by great center play over the years. Since 1998 we had 7 years of Kevin Mawae, and 11 years of Nick Mangold. I think that’s why it’s so tough to watch Spencer Long and Wesley Johnson trot out there to snap the ball. For as long as I can remember the Jets have had a top 5 center in the League, and now to watch this is like drinking a cup of piss after a nice cold beer. To add insult to injury on this drive Harrison has an offensive holding call. I’m a little upset that the Jets lost Nico Falah from their practice squad, I don’t know a lot about him and I’m sure he’s not very good but neither are their current back up centers and at least he has experience with Darnold.
A bad punt and poor punt coverage leads to the Bears starting their ensuing drive from mid field.
This is a play Adams would like to forget, and maybe the game as a whole as he didn’t really make any real impact all day. He has an easy tackle on Burton to bring up a 3rd and 4 and potentially get a 3 and out. He of course misses the above tackle allowing Burton to get 18 yards put the Bears in field goal range.
The Jets do get the Bears to a 4th and 1 from the 23, the Bears go for it here and get it continue their drive. They ran a QB jet sweep type play which was weird when it’s 4th and 1 but I guess they have more confidence in the Jets inability to set the edge than they do on a QB sneak.
The Jets are able to hold them to a field goal to keep it a 2 possession game. I mean with the way the Jets were playing there was no chance that they were going to win this game down 14 in the 4th but I was still holding out hope that they may at least cover. Everyone knows good teams win, great teams cover.
The Jets on their next drive are bailed out of a 3rd and 13 by an unnecessary roughness call against the Bears. On 3rd and 13 the Jets threw to Roberts on a drag route and if it wasn’t for the call the game would have ended then and there, but alas there was a small glimmer of hope. On this drive there were 3 completions, two to Burnett and the TD to Herndon. A TD drive orchestrated by all rookies.
Nice throw here by Darnold as he releases the ball right as the receivers are crossing each other, puts a strike right into Herndons gut and he is able to score. Herndon is the first Jets rookie TE with 3 TDs in consecutive games.
Alright down 7, just put together a nice drive, still 11:10 left on the clock all the Jets needed to do was come out get a stop on defense and they are right back in business.
The difference between the Bears all game and the Jets, is that the Bears receivers were able to get open on a consistent basis the Jets were not. Above Mitch has the pick of who he wants to throw to.
Nathan Shepard had a perfect opportunity for his first career sack, he will have to continue to wait.
Jamal Adams went down on this drive and had to be taken out for a play. If I’m not mistaken this is his first missed play in his career? Even if it’s not it was still scary as hell to see him go down. The play Adams is out the Jets bring Maye into the box as opposed to his normal single high role, the Bears run right at him and gain 24 yards. Two plays later the Bears find their way into the end zone.
The Jets start their next drive off the same way as the previous with a nice gain by Burnett. Its a long developing comeback and Darnold does a nice job of climbing in the pocket and delivering a strike to Burnett. The Jets then lose 3 on 2nd down and then get no yards on 3rd and punt the ball away with 5:37 left down 14. It almost works out for them as Cohen touches the ball but the Jets are unable to fall on it. Peake runs right by the ball effectively ending the game.
The Bears next possession the Jets defense is unable to get off the field and allows two first downs before forcing a punt but it is far to late at that point.
Just like against the Vikings the defense played well for much of the game but when they needed a stop to get off the field they were unable to get one. Obviously the Bears have the better team and it especially showed when the Jets were on Offense. The Jets had less than 100 yards through 3 quarters, and only 200 on the game. You can make excuses like their receivers being injured or missing Johnson on defense but the fact of the matter is the best player on either team in Kahlil Mack didn’t even suit up. The Bears were also without their top receiver and yet they still were able to get open consistently. This game had the feel of some of the late games last year where the offense was like watching a high school team. They couldn’t run for shit, they were inefficient passing and their special teams was anything but special. I talked last week about field position and on the day the Bears had on average 8 yards of better starting positions. So here we sit again, 3-5, as Rich Homie John said on twitter we are in the New York Jets Twilight Zone, where they will pick 6th in the draft again, and around and around we go.
As I said with the Bears, the Dolphins are going to make the passing attack beat them. The Dolphins have allowed tied for the most rushing yards in the league this year but in week 2 they held the Jets to just 42 yards rushing on 2.2 YPC. Teams are going to play hard down hill and are going to put the ball in Darnolds hands. The past two weeks he hasn’t looked comfortable and has completed less than 50% of his passes both weeks. Hopefully playing down in Miami will help as he’s used to playing in Southern Cal. Obviously it would be insane to put all the blame on him when he’s playing with a rag tag group of receivers, but he does need to do a better job of working through his progressions. There have been times where he had a receiver open but was late getting the ball to him.
On defense they need to generate turnovers, and that starts up front. When you are bringing a blitz you need to get home to the quarterback and when rushing 4 you need to generate pressures. The Dolphins are going to be starting the Brocketship again this week so this is a good time to win one on the road. I think the seat under Bowles is starting to get a little warm so look for the Jets to be aggressive on defense and try to make some game changing plays. The defense needs to put together a complete performance and not just play one half. The past two second half’s the defense has allowed a combined 44 points, that is not how you finish games. Also some people will say that they have finished poorly because they are tired, but in reality both the past two games the teams have been within 5 minutes of their opponents in terms of time of possession.
Alright well look for my picks later in the week and hopefully the Jets can win on the road something they haven’t been able to do the past 2 years.