On a personal note, thank you for all the well wishes and donations after my accident. We really appreciate the kind words and gestures from all of you that went out of your way to be considerate. A special thanks to my wife for typing this article because she was moved by the well wishes and felt a connection to Jet Nation.
The Jets scored an enormous victory over the Giants thrusting them into the playoffs picture once again. Ryan Fitzpatrick played one of his best games of the season, albeit, it wasn’t perfect. Let’s take a look at this week’s film review:
This play comes out of a three wide receiver set and the bottom two wide receivers do an exemplary job of clearing out the field. Chris Ivory makes a good catch and breaks the tackle to gain some yards. The linebackers, during this play, were concerned with the wide receivers; alas, it’s a good play call because the middle linebacker has to travel too far to cover Ivory one-on-one.
The Jets are lined up in, what looks like, a running formation with only two wide receivers on the outside. The Giants bite on the running formation, leaving Brandon Marshall one-on-one on the outside. Fitzpatrick does a good job of recognizing the match-up and rolling out to the right to avoid the rush.
The Jets are backed up in their end zone; this is a multi-tiered play call. The safe option would be a screen pass to Powell but Fitzpatrick finds Enunwa streaking on the right side and hits him for a first down. It’s a gutsy call given the field position but great execution by the team since there are open receivers on both sides.
This play is all about the pre-snap read. Fitzpatrick notices that Marshall has one-on-one coverage on top. There’s only one read on this play and it’s to Marshall. It is one of the advantages of having a number one receiver as Marshall wins his match-up and it’s an easy pitch and catch.
The Jets set this play to look like a running play to the left. The Giants bite on the fake and most of their defenders go after the run. The results are one-on-one coverage on Eric Decker – he beats his man to the outside. Fitzpatrick makes a good throw and the Jets gain good yardage. Remember this package and play for later in the game.
This play is screen-pass from the start as most of the wide receivers are engaged in blocking. The only wide receiver not blocking is Devin Smith, as he clears out his defender with a deep route. The play is mainly made by Powell and the offensive line blocking down the field. The Jets scored their first touchdown on this play.
This is another screen to Ivory, and the read on this play is the middle linebacker. If he jumps towards Ivory, then then the cutting wide receiver is the option, but since he stayed back, Ivory was open for the screen. It’s a good call and execution from the Jets.
This is a play call that has been seen numerous times prior in the season, a three WR set, with them running similar routes in different tiers. They all run a slant route, giving Fitzpatrick options on the right side, and he makes a good throw here. The quick throw to Enunwa is also open here.
Another play concept that you have seen before. In this case, it’s a two man game between Marshall and Decker, playing off the LB. If the LB sticks with Decker, then Marshall is wide open on the slant, and if he jumps to Marshall, then as the play unfolds, Decker is open. This is a pretty simple concept and it’s executed well. The Jets run numerous plays like this one in a game, where the read is just one defender.
Remember this play? It just happened in the highlight above. On the right side, it’s the same route combination. The results are pretty similar as well. This is an example where in game time it looks like they are force feeding Decker, but in reality, the play relies solely on reading the LB and what his reactions are. If the LB sticks with Decker, it’s Marshall again.
This is the advantage of having a No. 1 WR. The pre-snap read is simple, Marshall with one on one coverage, and Fitzpatrick doesn’t even look towards anyone else. He makes a great back shoulder throw, and Marshall makes a good catch and great run to almost score a TD. It’s one on one coverage across the board, so Fitz relies on his top playmaker.
The biggest play of the game, and this is something that the Jets lacked in the Eagles game. The Giants copied the Eagles game plan in spreading out their defensive line, attacking the edges, creating trouble for the offensive line. The one thing Fitzpatrick did not do in that game was run in the open space, but he rectifies it here with a big run. He makes a run on the right side, and converts a big first down. The Giants have great coverage on the play, so it was a great decision.
Brandon Marshall, ladies and gentlemen. Nothing special about this throw, but Marshall makes a great play here. Notice how he uses his body to block the defender from the ball. It’s a hand catch, but he uses his body to make this play.
Another example of Marshall gets one on one coverage, and Fitzpatrick doesn’t look elsewhere. He makes a good move on Cromartie, and gets open for a good catch. The Giants sold out for the run here, and end up paying for it.
Remember the play from before where the Giants got fooled by a heavy formation? This is the exact same play on 3rd and 2 in overtime. The Giants sold out again towards the run and the Jets convert. It’s a good throw by Fitz and a great catch by Decker. A good example of the Jets going back to a play that worked before in the game.
Magician’s Assistants Fail:
The set up on this play is good and there is space for Ivory to run outside and get some yardage, but he tries to cut back instead of taking the positive yardage and ends up paying for it with a big loss. Ivory is a good runner but Powell adds a much better dimension in the passing and pass protection game.
Offensive Line: The offensive line faced similar problems to the one they faced against the Eagles and the Jets might want to scheme defending the wide defensive line approach. There isn’t one specific play here, but the Giants lined up the defensive ends wide, and the tackles wide. This left the middle of the formation free, but they kept the Jets honest by stunting lineman to the middle incase they thought it was a run, or having a linebacker blitz, or pretend to blitz up the middle. In both games, the Jets line was left confused, and Fitzpatrick under attack. In the Eagles game, Fitzpatrick didn’t step up in the pocket nearly as much as he did in this game, but the issues are concerning going forward.
This is a bad play on many occasions. The first bad aspect is bailing on the pocket for no reason when the protection would’ve held up. The second is that with a single high safety, the three WR set at the bottom was going to be man coverage, and the better option. The third, the timing of the play is disrupted by Fitzpatrick moving, because the pass is to be thrown when Powell makes his initial cut outside. To top it all off, Fitzpatrick tosses the ball low to Powell. The design of this play was good, but moving from the pocket threw off this play.
This is a completion but a bad play based on the situation. It’s 3rd down and 11 in the redzone. This was not the time for a conservative pass, but Fitzpatrick doesn’t look at anyone else but Powell for the screen pass. Decker is running practically wide open for the TD on the other side, and should’ve been the first option. Inside the red zone, it doesn’t make much sense for a dump off pass to improve field position, when there were other options available.
This is the type of play that separates the great QBs from the journeymen ones. The pre-snap read on this play is simple. There are 3 WRs on top, with 2 defenders and a deep safety. Any great QB switches to that side, finds the easy reception and moves the chain. Fitzpatrick ignored that side of the field completely and waits for the longer play to develop. This is an overload blitz that the QB should have seen, and his first option should’ve been a hot route. The fact that the throw is off isn’t as bothersome because he was hit as he was throwing, it’s the failure to recognize the blitz that is the issue here.
This is just a bad throw with a open WR. Decker is open on this play but Fitzpatrick just misses the throw. Everything else on the play works, as he sees an open Decker and steps up in the pocket, but misses the throw. Powell is also open for a dump off pass that would gain some yards.
This is a horrible play on behalf of Fitzpatrick. First of all, the throw is horrible and gives the WR no chance of catching it. However, the protection held up well on this play, and there wasn’t a need to force this throw off balance, when Marshall had one on one coverage at the bottom. The playcall on this is exquisite because the Giants don’t really cover Enunwa and end up running into each other, but the play never materializes because of the terrible throw.
Overall, this was a good game for Fitzpatrick and the Jets. They adopted a very conservative game plan, which helped limit the mistakes but it also left points on the field. For the most part, Fitzpatrick makes the plays and guys like Powell, Decker, and Marshall help him out. The Jets did have some trouble with the wide defensive stands, and should ask Fitzpatrick to step up and run more often if they see the same alignments in the future.