Ryan Fitzpatrick had one of the worst games of the season for the Jets, although statistically it wasn’t his worst half. So how do the numbers lie? Fitzpatrick did most of his stat amassing on the backs of his receivers doing the grunt work. Let’s take a look at these plays.
The defense is in a single high safety look, and selling out for the run, Quincy Enunwa goes in motion, and the defender is playing off the line of scrimmage. Fitzpatrick correctly surmises that the quick pass is available and throws him what amounts to be a wide receiver screen pass. Enunwa does most of the work on this play to get yards after catch before going out of bounds. While this is only a moderate gain, the Jets need to take advantage of these built in one on one match-ups built into the scheme. One of the main goals of a spread offense is to attack one on one match-ups, and the Jets have gone away from attacking them this season. Enunwa catches the ball with space to maneuver, and there is a possibility of a big play if he breaks one tackle. This is good decision by Fitzpatrick, and a very good play by Enunwa.
On this play, the Jets have three receivers with Quincy Enunwa going in motion. The Colts are in a two deep safety look, and they get burned. Fitzpatrick finds CJ Spiller out of the backfield for the pass, and he turns up-field for positive yards. The design on this play is exquisite. On the left side of the formation, there is Brandon Marshall, and eventually CJ Spiller one the play starts. The second safety rushes in, and he’s the main read on this play for Fitzpatrick. If the safety attacks CJ Spiller, then the corner back on Marshall can’t be as aggressive on the out route, therefore that option will be open. If the safety doesn’t attack Spiller, then the dump off to the RB is open because the safety is too far away. On the other side of the field, Enunwa again does an angled approach to his defender before running an out route, creating a little bit of room. Robby Anderson is wide open for the pass as well, as his defender is playing well off the line of scrimmage. While this is Fitzpatrick playing right now, a play like this is going to be vitally important for someone like Petty to learn. There is off coverage on Anderson, and one safety is blitzing right before the snap. This means that the other safety is now the lone safety, and much more likely to fall back, creating ample room for Anderson. While this is a positive play, there was room for a bigger gain. A top end QB like Brady or Roethlisberger would take advantage on more occasions because they are exceptional at guessing the defense’s actions even at the line of scrimmage. Fitzpatrick picked the easy play, and there is nothing wrong with that, but this should be one of those plays in the offensive film room where the young QBs have to see the cause and effect of a safety blitzing from a two deep safety look, and how it would translate if the defender is playing off the line. It would be a completely different scenario if this was press coverage as well, so these are the small things that they would need to learn in the heat of the moment.
The Jets come out on this first down play with three receivers to the left of the formation, with a TE on the right side, and Matt Forte coming out of the backfield. The Jets actually have about four options open on this play. The first being Brandon Marshall on the quick screen route, the second being Quincy Enunwa on the medium range out route, and the third being Austin Seferian-Jenkins wide open on the crossing route over the middle. The Jets go for the fourth option, which is a screen pass to Matt Forte, who does most of the hard work on this play by breaking a tackle and then running down the field, making an open field move to elude another tackler, and then going down to the last line of defense. It’s a great play design and execution by the Jets. They even picked up a penalty for “roughing the passer” to help their journey into the forgotten land of painted grass.
All three of these plays came on one drive, the only drive where the Jets were able to even remotely move the ball. In fact, there is another play in this drive that goes for about seven yards, that looks similar to the CJ Spiller catch as well. Fitzpatrick accumulated most of his stats on these safe throws, which throws off the stats.
A) Why did the Jets use CJ Spiller in catching situations over Powell?
B) Do you feel as if the RBs will see an uptick with the change in QB?