Bryce Petty had an up and down game against the Colts in the second half as he ushered in the end of the Ryan Fitzpatrick era. However, there were some plays in which his receivers let him down. Let’s examine these plays.
This is a second and twelve play in the third quarter on his first drive, and the Colts are playing zone coverage. The Jets have three receivers, and two guys in the backfield to protect Petty on his first drive. The defense is playing press coverage to the left of the formation, but they are backed up to the right side of the formation. The pre-snap read should indicate that it’s far more likely that they will find an open receiver to the right side of the formation. Prior to the snap, Robby Anderson goes in motion, and the Colts switch assignments at the last second. Against zone coverage, this creates a match up problem for the Colts. Petty should know the route combination prior to being at the line, so he should see that the outside defender is playing well outside of Quincy Enunwa, thus the inside corner is the one to read. If he stays with Anderson instead of handing him off to the safety, then go towards Enunwa as he cuts across the field. If he stays in the zone, then it’s Anderson running full speed against a deep safety. Petty sees that Anderson has a free release, and makes a great throw to Anderson, who drops the pass. It can be argued that it’s a tad under-thrown, but replays did show that Anderson did get both hands on the ball. This is also a great angle of attack by the safety who covers the ground as Anderson tracks the ball to be there for contact when Anderson is trying to catch the ball. This is a great read and throw by Petty, but unfortunately it’s a great reaction by the defender and a bad drop by Anderson.
This is a second and ten play in the fourth quarter, and again Robby Anderson makes a drop. The Colts are in a two deep safety look, and playing off the line of scrimmage. It’s Petty’s guess as to which side will be open on this play, and he actually does make a progressive read on this play. The first read on the play appears to be Brandon Marshall, then the defender on Quincy Enunwa. As you see with the play, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Marshall get tangled up at the start of the play, which robs each player of their momentum, taking them out of the play. Petty rightfully moves on, and hits Robby Anderson for the pass, which is dropped. The read on this play for Petty is the defender on Enunwa since this is still zone coverage. If the defender abandons Enunwa for the outside, then the pass has to go to Enunwa, since he would be open. If the defender goes inside with Enunwa first, it creates room for a passing lane to Anderson. The fact that Enunwa first runs an inside route isn’t by accident, it is to move the defender inside so there can be a throwing lane for Anderson in case the defender engages Enunwa. The play set up by Chan Gailey here is excellent, and the play recognition by Petty is exquisite. Unfortunately, Robby Anderson drops this pass, which is a shame because the play was executed perfectly on the right side of the formation.
There isn’t much to analyze with this third down play in the fourth quarter. The Jets are essentially playing four down football, so Petty tries to throw the pass to Powell to gain some yards back, but the ball is dropped. There are other options that could be open on the play, but this seemed like Petty picked an easy pass to gain some yard, but it didn’t go right. Petty isn’t without fault on this play, because Charone Peake is open down the middle on this play, similar to Anderson in the first example in this article, but Petty goes for the quick pass. It isn’t an ideal pass as the ball is to the left a bit too much for Powell, but he does get two hands on it, and it should have been caught.
Bryce Petty made plenty of mistakes in the game against the Colts, but his receivers did make their share of mistakes as well. Robby Anderson made his fair share of mistakes with two drops, but there should also be an adjustment period with a QB change. Similar to how catchers have to learn to adjust catching from a soft tossing pitcher to a flame thrower, receivers have to get adjusted to the passes thrown by Fitzpatrick. For the past season and a half, they have been accustomed to the passes from Fitzpatrick so they need time to adjust. In the game started by Geno Smith, there were a high number of dropped passes as well early in the game.
A) Please provide a current player comparison for Robby Anderson