The Jets rolled into Arrowhead Stadium this past Sunday, and promptly got steam rolled by the Chiefs. It was quite possibly one of the worst performances by an offense in recent memory, especially on the passing side. Let’s see how Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets did against the Kansas City Chiefs, although be forewarned, as it is not pretty.
This play occurs on the first drive, on a 2nd down and 9. The Chiefs are lined up in a single high safety look, much similar to the ones presented by the Bills last week. The Jets are spread out, and there are multiple options on this play. While it’s not easily discernible from this angle, Fitzpatrick is locked into Brandon Marshall from the onset, which works out for the Jets because he gets open in the middle of the field. Notice the slight movement from Marshall showing he may go outside, which causes the CB to turn his hips ever so lightly. This little move helps him get greater separation for this throw. It’s a good throw, and catch by Fitzpatrick and Marshall. The play is also well designed because if Marshall is covered, then Enunwa is open on the progressive read further to the right of the QB.
The Jets are again spread wide with an empty backfield, but the Chiefs have gone to a 2 man safety, unlike the Bills last week. Fitzpatrick does a good job of staying steady in the pocket, and makes a good throw to Bilal Powell, who is cutting across the middle. A two man safety look against Fitzpatrick means that they are going to cut off the deep pass, so Fitzpatrick rightfully checks down to an open Bilal Powell. A slant route by a RB against a LB will usually open up in most cases if there is no safety in the vicinity, and it happens again.
This play happens with about five minutes left in the third quarter, and this is the third passing play that was deemed good in this game, which should give insight into how well the offense played this week. This is a 3rd and 1 play, and the defense has sold out for the run. The key on this play is Brandon Marshall, essentially picking off two players to allow Enunwa to be open. However, this is a very good play by Fitzpatrick, because his initial position in the pocket would have caused this throwing lane to be occupied, but he does a good job of moving to his left and throwing to an open Enunwa. This is a very good call on 3rd and short in what most likely was four down territory anyway, and the Jets get a big conversion.
This play happens on 2nd and three, with the Chiefs again showing a two deep safety look. There are three wide receivers, with Kellen Davis masquerading as a possible fourth option, along with a RB in the backfield. When Kellen Davis went in motion, the Chiefs did not have anyone follow him across the line, showing zone coverage. Quincy Enunwa is in the slot on this play, and as soon as the play starts, both safeties move towards Marshall (to the left of the formation) and Decker (to the right of the formation) respectively, allowing Enunwa to be open in the middle of the field. Quincy finds a soft spot in the zone from the point where he is handed off by his defender to the safety, and Fitzpatrick does a good job of hitting the open WR. When defenses go to zone coverage with two deep safeties, they are usually daring the QB to find seams in the zone, and challenging their arm strength to get the ball in the zone before a defender can close the gap. Fitzpatrick does a good job of getting the ball to Enunwa on this play.
This is a third down and ten play in the fourth quarter, and a good example of defensive recognition by Fitzpatrick. The Chiefs come out in a two deep safety look to begin with, but closer to the snap, one of the safeties move up towards Eric Decker, trying to double team him off a shallow crossing route. However, this backfires, because Decker is slated to run a deep crossing route, so the incoming safety is now in a bad position to cover him. Fitzpatrick steps up in the pocket realizing that Decker has the momentum advantage, and throws to him as he’s running open before the second safety can come into play. Fitzpatrick throws this ball before Decker is actually open, but he shows good recognition of play development and the Jets gets a huge conversion.
The Jets are spread wide with five receiving options against a two safety look from the Chiefs. This defense leaves the middle of the field open for Fitzpatrick, and he takes advantage by running for about eight yards. This is good recognition by Fitzpatrick, and he shows good situational awareness in this case to take the yards available to him. Against spread offenses with slower QBs, defenses tend to leave the middle of the field open in empty sets because they have faith in adjusting to a run faster than the QB can find the hole. It’s paramount that the Jets take advantage of such situations to keep defenses honest in the middle. Fitzpatrick does a good job here of taking advantage of one such situation.
The Jets are their side of the field, and they need to move down the field quickly. This is a good quick pass set up by the Jets, and Marshall has a chance to really go down the field, if not for a great shoestring tackle by the defender. The bad part about this throw is that Fitzpatrick is locked into Marshall the entire way, so the defense is collapsing to Marshall even before the pass is thrown. However, there is a seam in the zone and Marshall tries to make this a great play but gets tackled.
The Chiefs come out with a one deep safety look, and when Bilal Powell goes in motion, there is a defender following him, showing man coverage. Fitzpatrick does a good job of recognizing this, and realizing the defender on Jalin Marshall is playing about ten yards deep, setting up an easy completion. This is a play that is a direct byproduct of the movement from Powell, as it gives insight into the defense and allows for easy completions when scanning the field. There is a good amount of chatter about the ability of QBs to have pre-snap reads at the line of scrimmage, and this is a very good example of it in action. This is not a set play from the start where Jalin Marshall is the first read. The read changes with the coverage look, and sometimes the defense will adjust by moving up the defender when they know the QB knows it’s man coverage counteracting the knowledge gained by movement.
Fitzpatrick does a good job of recognizing the defense on these passes and hitting players over the middle. He showed good ability to move up in the pocket, and even run for a few yards when it was presented. The Chiefs defense dared the Jets to pass deep and they did not take advantage. The game plan seemed to indicate that Chan Gailey went more towards a short field passing game.
That concludes the Fitzmagic portion of our review this week. Please read Part 2 of our Film Review sessions, with the Assistant’s Failure in Week 3.