While we have already looked at the good aspects from Petty’s game against the Colts, it wasn’t all roses for him last Monday. These were the plays that he’s going to regret during walk through. Let’s examine them:
This is a second down play in the third quarter, and the Colts start out with a two deep safety look, but switch to a single high safety look before the snap. This play right here is the Baylor Bryce Petty. Baylor uses a dual system of spread and up tempo to score on opponents. The system works by spreading out defenses horizontally, so they are weak vertically. They also use an up tempo system to catch defenses in bad personnel. So if a defense is in dime personnel against Baylor, they will run the ball consistently until the defense finds a way to stop them. On most occasions, this means they will send a safety into the box to act as an extra defender. Once, it’s a single high safety look with press coverage, more times than not, the QB tends to throw a deep pass, trusting the speed of his receiver more than the defender. The single high safety over the top can’t cover the outside part of the field effectively, so a sideline pass is desired. On this play, that’s the exact read made by Petty when he sees the single high safety with press coverage on the outside with Brandon Marshall. However, unlike college, the corners in the NFL can run with receivers, and this ends up being a bad pass. On the other side of the field, Robby Anderson has off coverage, in a single high safety look. As the previous article mentioned, this would most likely indicate that the defender is willing to give up some yards so he can protect the deep route. The pre-snap read should have gone away from Marshall on this play. As if making the bad decision wasn’t enough, Petty makes a horrible throw that floats out of bounds. This is Bryce Petty reverting back to his Baylor days, and one of the primary reasons why he needs to get in playing time so he can make real time reads and adjust to the NFL.
This is the very next play, a third down and ten play in the third quarter, and the defense is in a two deep safety look and playing press coverage. Petty does everything right on this play, except for the throw. For one, he sees that it’s press coverage against his receivers, so there are no easy passing options. He knows the route combinations, so Anderson will have the best opportunity of the bunch because his route has a hitch to it. Anderson has a hesitation point in his route, and that is Petty’s cue to decide which player to throw to because he has one single read on this play, which is the deep safety on that side of the field. If the safety is running towards Anderson to cut him off over the top, then the underneath in route with Quincy Enunwa will be open. If the safety hovers near Enunwa (as is the case) then the deep route over the top will be open. Petty makes the correct read when the safety refuses to commit fully to Anderson, finding an open Anderson with two steps on his defender. Everything was on point right until when Petty makes the throw, which is overthrown by about three yards. This is a terrible miss for Petty and the Jets because Anderson is certainly open on this play, and the set up was great for a TD. Petty has to do a better job with these deep passes, which may come with more game repetitions as he gets used to his receivers.
One deep safety, deep pass to outside receiver. Sense a trend? The Colts are lined up in a two deep safety look, but one of them is moving up towards the box and it ends up being a single high safety look. This is a bad play because Petty is making a deep pass here into the safety zone without actually factoring in the safety. If this pass was up the sideline, then it’s more acceptable, but it’s towards the middle of the field. Petty overthrows Anderson slightly, which is enough for the safety to make a great play on the ball and make the interception. This was a case where Petty was much better off taking the check down option instead of trying the deep pass. Notice that the defender is playing well off the line of scrimmage, so they are protecting against the deep pass to begin with, so it was a bad idea to throw this when the defense is protecting against it. Petty has protection in the pocket, so he had more time to scan the field and find other options. This is another bad read by Petty, considering the situation, and terrible throw again.
This is a second and one play in the fourth quarter, with the Colts again showing a double safety look, and then switching to a single high safety. This is a pre-determined throw made before the snap, after reading the defense. Short distance for the first down, and they are playing off coverage on Charone Peake. It should be an easy throw for Petty, but what complicates things is the bad snap. The snap is low and towards the left side of Bryce Petty, which causes his left leg to move forward, and doesn’t allow him time to correctly set his feet. If this kind of quick pass failure looks familiar, it’s because Christian Hackenberg’s college career is riddled with these types of miscues. It’s the result of his hip opening up too quickly, which causes the throw to be off target. On this play, Petty doesn’t set his feet correctly because he has to adjust to the errant snap, which throws off the pass. Since it’s a quick route, Petty can’t afford to reset himself. So why is this play here if the cause of this bad pass can be attributed to an errant snap? It’s because Petty misses a golden opportunity on the other side of the field to make a great play. The Jets have three receivers to the left of the formation, the Colts have two defenders in the same area code. The Jets have set up a quick screen pass in this direction, with two receivers that can act as blockers. If they do their jobs, this is a huge play waiting to happen. Petty has to do a better job recognizing these types of situations and taking advantage. Once again, Gailey gets criticized for pass plays in short yardage situations, but he outfoxed the defense into a situation where the Jets were all but guaranteed a big play, only to have his QB not take advantage.
Single high safety, deep outside route? Check and check. The Colts go to a single high safety look, with press coverage on Robby Anderson. The defense started with a two deep safety look, but Enunwa going in motion causes him to move into the box. Bryce Petty does a great job recognizing the movement of the defense, and knowing Anderson would be open. He does have other options open underneath, including a TE wide open down the middle and Enunwa open on the shallow crossing route. However, Petty again reverts to the college system which tells him to take the deep shot first when presented. This is a situation where Gailey is accused of ostracizing the TE position in the game plan, but we have another case of a wide open TE in the middle of the field. Petty’s first read is Anderson, who he sees as wide open and he takes a shot. Unfortunately, this is another horrible throw as he leads him too far. It feels like Petty is trying to make the perfect throw as if he’s auditioning for the future, instead of taking safer throws. Anderson has at least a couple of steps on his defender, so there was some room for an under-throw on this pass but Petty aimed to hit him in perfect stride and missed. It’s a decent read by Petty, but another bad throw.
Another example of the Jets starting to use the TE position. If you go back and look at the film review series over the past year and a half, there probably isn’t another game where the Jets tried to get the TE involved quite as much. This is a simple play, that has been repeated from earlier in the game. If you read the Petty Nation article, you will notice the inverse of this play from the third quarter. The Jets have three receivers on the right side of the formation, with Jenkins as the TE, and a running back out of the backfield. The read on this play is simple with the linebacker. If the LB jumps the passing route to the TE, then the pass goes towards the RB. If the LB stays back, the pass goes towards Jenkins. Petty makes the correct read as the linebacker is hesitant to commit to Jenkins, so he shows a good ability to read the defense. While it looks like Seferian-Jenkins has a decent shot at catching this pass, it’s not quite as close in replays as he can only get one hand on the ball. This was another pass where Petty misfired on his timing by just a bit, preventing a completion. It’s another example of him making the right read, but a bad throw.
Another case of right idea, bad execution. On this play, the Colts moved their safeties up, while playing off coverage. This again should indicate that the outside defenders are going to be protecting the deep route, allowing the comeback route to be open. Petty correctly reads the defense and determines that Anderson will be open because by this point they have to respect his deep speed. On cue, Anderson is open for the comeback route but Petty just makes a horrible throw. It’s not clear if this is a miscommunication on the depth of this route because it looks like Petty expected him to make his cut about two yards before he did. Notice that the TE is also open on this play if need be, but Petty sees a much better option in Anderson. Everything is absolutely great, up until the throw which goes out of bounds. It could very well be miscommunication between the QB and the receiver, but they missed a very good opportunity to gain some yards on this play.
This is the play that was forewarned in the Petty Nation article. There were two example of where the exact same route run by Brandon Marshall was open in that article. The Jets turn to that route on a critical fourth down play, but the Colts sniff it out and have it well covered. The defense is in a two safety look, and in zone coverage. When Petty drops back on this play, his read should have been the outside defender originally on Charone Peake. In most instances, that defender will only drift back slightly to guard against the running back out of the backfield. Unlike most cases, this is a fourth and eight play, where they are not worried about the short pass to the RB. The defender drifts back further, which causes Marshall to be double covered on this play. It doesn’t really matter because Petty makes a horrible throw, but the down and distance of this play acts against the Jets. If you remember, the crossing route by Anderson was the exact same play they ran in a critical third down play earlier in the game. The movement by Peake at the last minute, attacking the safety is the exact same motion by Anderson on his TD play, only in this case Peake stops and turns around for the pass. Petty has to do a better job of reading the defender here and moving onto his second read in Peake, who had an opportunity for the first down. This is a bad read, as well as a bad throw.
This is what happens when the defense doesn’t have to worry about a running game at all. The Colts drop every single linebacker back into deep zone coverage on this play, and Petty makes a terrible throw. At the onset of the play, he sees the Colts revert to a single high safety, with off coverage on Anderson. In most cases, this is an easy completion as he will be open for the comeback route. Petty, however, doesn’t make a good read here because his primary read on this zone defense was the inside defender playing against Charone Peake. If the defender stays on Peake, then Anderson is open for the pass. If the defender doesn’t stay on Peake, then Charone Peake is open for the pass. Petty makes a Fitzpatrick-esque blunder here by locking into Robby Anderson from pre-snap readings because this look has worked all night. Unfortunately, the defense baits him into this throw and it’s an easy interception.
Chan Gailey doesn’t run a complicated system, it’s a fairly easy system to learn for QBs. However, it’s very dependent on making key reads on any given play, usually one or two players that make or break the play for the defense. More often than not, Petty made the correct read, but an errant throw. This shows that he does have a grasp of the system, better than the main stream media would indicate. However, he seems to have timing issues with his receivers, especially Robby Anderson. Maybe Anderson is much faster without pads and that is the speed reference in Petty’s mind, but he needs to get adjusted to his teammates. Overall, it was an OK game for Petty, but he should improve as the season goes on. If Petty can cut down on the bad throws, he could really help the Jets because he has shown to be much more advanced at reading the defense than fans expected.
A) How would you rate Petty’s performance?
B) What is his biggest weakness?
If you are an aspiring masochist, please check out Ryan Fitzpatrick’s performance in our Film Review section as well.