The Jets pulled out a thrilling victory against the 49ers this past Sunday, as Bryce Petty and Bilal Powell brought the team back from an early deficit. Let’s look at the good plays from Bryce Petty:
This is not a major play by any stretch of the imagination but a good example of Petty taking what’s given, and the simple reads he’s executing. On this play, the defense is really in a single high safety with the second safety coming towards the box. Once, Anderson goes in motion, they change the alignment, which Petty reads for a simple pass. The offensive line play on this day was absolutely terrible as they get pressure on Petty quickly, but he makes a simple read to Marshall here. It’s a good read and decent throw from Petty in the face of pressure. This is his first completion on the day, and it was needed, after his disastrous start. Notice, the linebackers, because what they did regularly is fall back into zone coverage over the middle. This is actually a brilliant game plan by Chip Kelly and crew. Zone coverage requires the QB and receiver to have an understanding as to where they will go to find the soft spot in the zone. New quarterbacks rarely have this sort of timing down with their receivers, so they have to wait patiently and read the defenses. However, the defense was getting pressure rushing just four, and sometimes even three which throws off the evaluations to a certain extent.
The defense comes out in a two deep safety look, and everyone else just drops back into coverage. This sort of coverage is exactly why someone like Bilal Powell excelled in this game because the linebackers aren’t committing one way or another. If it’s a run, they will rush forward, if not, drop backwards. On this play, Petty actually goes through the entire progression, as his first read is Marshall to the left of the formation, but he’s covered well in this zone coverage scheme. While he does appear open for an instant, the pass is designed to be thrown for an out route, and by the time Marshall looks for a pass, he would have been well covered. Petty’s second read is Enunwa, to whom he does a pump fake but he’s also well covered. At this point, Petty has to escape to his right because there is pressure from his left side (otherwise, Powell was open), and scramble to the right. This is another example of the lack of familiarity with each other, because Petty is telling Brandon Bostick to move further up the field because this is a staple play in the read option at Baylor. If the receiver runs back, his defender has to either go with him, or make a run at Petty, and the QB reads it to either pass or keep running. However, Bostick all but freezes on the play, holding his ground so Petty makes the throw to him for a small gain. This is here mainly because Petty finds his first two reads to be well covered, and essentially makes something out of nothing.
The defense changes it up here, and brings a blitz through the A and B gaps, forcing Petty to make a quick throw. Petty can see that the defender is playing off the line of scrimmage for Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and he uses him as his hot route on this blitz. Since the blitz is coming from the middle of the field, the lane is clear for a throw to the TE, and it goes for about twelve yards. This is a quick reaction by Petty because there is a good part of the game, where those defenders coming on the blitz were just showing blitz and running back into coverage. Seferian-Jenkins is the first read here because Petty correctly reads the defense on the pre-snap reap. He is the only one where the defender is playing well back from him, allowing him a free release.
A nice touch pass from Petty on this first down play where the defense completely bites on the play action. They have a two safety look, with the linebackers going after the running back. Petty does a good job with the play fake, and then throws a nice lob pass to Anderson on this play. On the run, this is a very good pass, because it’s the only option he has. The defender running along side Anderson does a great job of cutting the angle, preventing a straight passing lane, so Petty has to lob the pass over the defenders head to Anderson before the safety can get to the area. This is a play designed to get the ball into Anderson’s hands in space, but the linebacker blows up that aspect by not biting on the play action, so Petty has to improvise.
This is a first and fifteen play, where the defense is in a two safety look. However, this is one example where the pre-snap read is wrong, because as usual the defense is bailing their linebackers back into coverage. Prior to the play, Petty could look at the defense, and see that he has three receivers to the right of the formation, and all of the defenders are playing off the line of scrimmage. This is usually a good sign for the offense because the Jets have a plethora of quick pass plays to take advantage, but the defense counters by dropping the linebackers into the passing lane. For the defense, this is pretty much the perfect play for them, because they cut off the short pass via the defender staying in zone. The two deep routes were also well covered, because they were consistently getting pressure with three or four rushers, so they could afford to drop these guys back. Petty again goes through his progressions, but sees that all the plays are well covered. He reverses course and does exactly what needs to be done against this type of defense, he runs it into the open space. He does a good job of gaining nine yards on this play, and he has to do this consistently because the defense didn’t even respect the running game. The Jets ran very similar plays to this in the Indy game with Austin Seferian-Jenkins, but the defense just plays this perfect. Petty shows a good ability to go through his progressions, and decide to run instead of forcing a bad throw.
This is a first down play from the six yard line, late in the second quarter. It’s good that the offense stayed aggressive, because the Jets had a penchant of trying to run out the clock as their version of the two minute offense. They decided to push the offense with them backed up near the goal line, and Petty makes a good play here. The defense is again playing zone, with his first read being to the left, but it was well covered. Petty doesn’t make the check down throw to Powell, with a defender close by, and he decides to escape the pocket and make a great throw on the run. The good thing about the throw is the placement of the ball on the run. This throw isn’t thrown to the receiver, but to the inside of him, so the pass is away from the defender. It’s a great pass from Petty because there weren’t many options on the plate, with the pocket coming back towards him. Notice that Anderson is open on this play as well, although there wasn’t a throwing lane quite when Petty is about to break the pocket, but otherwise, it’s a good example in the evolution of Anderson. He is going to be a vital cog of the Jets future and he needs to expand his route tree, and this is a good sign.
The Jets are on their two minute drive, and the defense comes out in a two deep safety look. They actually blitz on this play, but the offensive line holds up for a change, and keeps the pocket clean for Petty. The Jets have three receivers to the right side of the formation, with only one of them having a defender anywhere near him. Petty makes the right read to look towards the right side, and he has two options with Anderson and Enunwa. Petty makes a great throw to Anderson here, bypassing Enunwa in the middle of the field showing a very good sense about the situation. However, Robby Anderson makes a blunder on this play by trying to turn up field on this pass, which prevents him from getting out of bounds. They were forced to burn a timeout because of it, and something that has to corrected by Anderson. This plays shows the arm strength because this throw is made from the far hash mark as well and it’s right on the money in terms of placement and timing. A special note to Bilal Powell for picking up the blitz on this play as well, showing good effort in protecting the QB.
The defense comes out in a single high safety look, and the Jets burn them for a first down. They run a play action fake, and a good pass to Seferian-Jenkins. The defense didn’t play zone on this play, which was a change from the first half, and Petty adjusts well. Petty’s first read on this play is the TE, because that is who he looks at right after the play action, and Seferian-Jenkins is open. It’s a good pass, albeit a bit low, and good conversion. As you can see, Brandon Marshall is also open on the play, but Petty has good reason to look away. Notice that the safety is shading towards Marshall, and the defense was playing mostly zone coverage in this game. Petty would most likely assume that the linebackers might drop back, and clog the passing lane to Marshall, so his first read is Austin Seferian-Jenkins. If the TE is covered, or if a LB jumped the passing lane, his second read would be Marshall over the middle. This is a good example of Petty making a good read, and going with his first read which was open and he converts. Obviously, with hindsight and camera angles, it’s easy to hope that he hits Marshall on this play, but he was designed to be the secondary read on this play.
The Jets come out with four receivers, along with Powell in the backfield. The defense responds with one of the deepest single deep safety looks you will see this side of prevent defense, while playing zone, and only rushing three. Petty does a great job of stepping up in the pocket and finding Anderson down the sideline. Petty does have some room to run, but this is a third and eighteen play, so there is major yardage between Petty and the first down marker. Throwing on the run, Petty makes a good throw to Anderson, although it isn’t a great throw. The thinking on this play is pretty simple, unless Petty turns into Michael Vick on this play, there is no chance for him to covert a first down running the ball. Therefore, Petty makes a throw that isn’t trying to be perfect, but rather one that gives his receiver a chance to catch the ball. If the defense makes a great play, then it acts as a punt (which would have been the option if they didn’t get the first down) so the risk was worth the reward. Anderson makes a great play on the ball, high pointing the ball, and taking the ball away from the safety. This is an excellent job by Anderson because he really showed off his ability to catch the ball at it’s highest point. Also notice the initial defender on Anderson, as he stops running right around the first down marker. Defenses have been hedging their bets against Jets quarterbacks by daring them to beat them deep. Bryce Petty does a great job on this play with a good throw on the run. Also notice Charone Peake open on this play down the middle. Peake goes largely ignored by the fan base because he hasn’t been producing stats, but he has shown ability to get open on a consistent basis.
This is not a completion, as Marshall couldn’t get his both his feet in-bounds. The defense is in good position for this play, while also sending a blitz. Petty’s first read on this play is Quincy Enunwa, but the defense being in zone coverage, limited the possibility of major yards with the short crossing route. They have a defender waiting for Enunwa on the the crossing route, along with a deep safety to that side as well, so the prospects were dim. Petty’s second read is Marshall, and Petty makes a very good throw in his ability, although it’s a bad throw for it’s results. The defense is in perfect situation for this play with Marshall, as the initial defender is playing zone coverage and playing the underneath route, with a safety over the top. Theoretically, this is a bad situation for a young QB, especially when he has a blitz coming to his now blind side. Petty makes a great throw here to Marshall, because he places this ball over the initial defender’s head and to Marshall. It’s one of those “placing the ball only where his guy can catch the ball” type of pass, as he shows very good touch on this to get the ball to his receiver. There can be some argument that Marshall even gives up on this route, and is somewhat surprised by the pass. The play isn’t completed, but this is a great throw by Petty against a perfect defense. Unfortunately, Marshall couldn’t get his second foot down in time.
The very next play, and a great throw by Petty again to Marshall. The defense starts off in a single high safety look, but reverts to a shallow two safety look prior to the snap. This is a great pass by Petty to Marshall, as he places the ball perfectly over the defender. The first read on this play is to the left side (indistinguishable if it’s Anderson or Enunwa) but sees that his receiver is covered, so Petty has to move on. He can also see that there is an over-load blitz from his left side, so Petty doesn’t have much time to pass the ball. Petty makes his second read quickly and gets rid of this ball to Marshall, and places this ball great. This is the type of situation where Fitzpatrick used to throw back shoulder passes because the defender has the inside position, but Petty just goes over the top for the completion. Marshall makes a good catch on the play with the defender near him, and keeps his feet in bounds this time. While Enunwa is open in the middle of this play, Petty doesn’t have time to wait for him because of the blitz. There are three defenders running at him from the left side, and only two people to block them, so there was going to be a free runner. They let up because he passed the ball, but if he waits for Enunwa, Petty was going to get crushed.
Another pass to Marshall, another play that doesn’t count. The Jets were called for a holding on this play, thus they actually lost yards here. The defense on this play comes out with a single high safety look, with the defense expecting a run. The safety is shading towards Robby Anderson, so Marshall has a one on one match up. Petty does a play action pass, and makes a great pass to Marshall on this play with a defender near his face. This is a form of a back shoulder pass, because the defender is completely turned around, and not in position to turn around and locate the ball. The ball is placed perfectly for Marshall, and he’s about to make a catch on it, when the defender absolutely interferes with Marshall. However, the referees miss this infraction, and the Jets moved backwards with the holding penalty. Petty makes a great throw on this play, and Marshall is in great position to make this catch, but the referees miss the pass interference. While the play doesn’t count, this is a very good throw from Petty, showing good play recognition. He sees that Marshall will have a one on one match up with no safety help, and tries to take advantage.
This is a third and eleven pass in the fourth quarter, and the defense is in a shallow two safety look. Petty stays in the pocket, and finds Marshall for a nine yard gain. On the pure throw, this is a great throw because Petty throws it right by the defender trying to prevent this exact pass. They are playing zone, so the defender is trying to jump the passing lane, but Marshall makes a good move, which causes the defender to move back just a bit. This space is enough for Petty to zip the ball into tight window, and Marshall makes the catch. Unfortunately, Marshall does not get the first down on this play, try as he might. There is an argument that Petty could have stepped up in the pocket to try and find a receiver in the middle of the field. However, the Jets were playing in four down territory (they went for it on the next play) so Petty is trying to gain as much yardage as possible. This is a good route by Marshall, as the small contact he makes with the defender opens up the passing lane, and a good pass by Petty as well. Petty seemed to be getting more comfortable with Brandon Marshall as the game went on.
If Petty didn’t move in the pocket on the last play, he certainly does so on this fourth down play. The defense is in a single high safety look, and again they play a form of zone coverage in the middle. Petty’s first read on this play is Robby Anderson, but he’s well covered by his defender, and the safety running right towards him. Petty tries to move up in the pocket, which forces him to run towards the left side of the formation. The movement causes the defender on Charone Peake to disengage and try to go after Petty, which causes the receiver to be open. Petty does a good job of hitting Peake for the conversion. In the bigger picture, you can see Bilal Powell wide open for the pass down the middle. What throws off this play for Powell is the single high safety. At the line, Petty sees the safety in the middle, which causes him to think the outside routes will have man coverage. This is why Anderson is the first read on this play, but once he is covered, Petty is scrambling to try and run for the first down. However, the defensive line has this played well and are about to tackle Petty when he makes this good throw under pressure. It’s unfortunate that Petty went away from the read, but the defense tricked the young QB with a single high safety look in the middle. This is a good play by Petty, and a very good conversion. The timing of Powell becoming open happens to coincide with Petty running to his left, which prevents him from seeing him. If Petty had space to his right, this might have been an easy TD to Powell.
This is a third and four play in the fourth quarter, with the defense playing zone coverage. This actually is a run from the onset, which may have been an audible from Petty. Petty does a good job of looking at the left side of the formation as if he’s passing, then taking off for the run. This could have been a possible TD by Petty but guard Brian Winters absolutely whiffs on a block. Instead of running towards the linebacker, Winters runs into the middle as if he’s trying to run for the TD, which causes Petty to be tackled. However, Petty does a very good job at the end to get about two more yards with a slight move. While Petty isn’t an elusive runner, he does have some ability to move in the open space. This shows great determination by Petty to get the first down on this play.
This play is the two point conversion, and somewhat easy to see. It’s a read option play by Petty, something he has experience with at Baylor. Petty makes a good read because the outside linebacker looks like he has a direct shot at Powell. Unfortunately for Petty, the linebacker makes a great play to get his arms on Petty’s jersey. Otherwise, this is an easy conversion because Petty has a clear path to the end zone. The linebacker is dragging Petty down, but the young QB shows great athleticism on this play, doing a spin in mid air to get past the goal line. There isn’t much else to break down on this play, this is Petty just willing himself to get into the end zone.
Far hash mark, and out route? No problem. This play is on the last drive in the 4th quarter, and the defense is in a two deep safety look. They are playing in zone coverage, and Petty makes a wonderful throw. The pre-snap read shows that the defender is playing off from Robby Anderson, which indicates that the receiver should have been open on the comeback route. The two deep routes in the middle to the left of the formation should keep the safety at bay. Petty’s first read is Anderson, and he finds him open. He makes a great throw to Anderson, with very good timing and placement. There might be some error on this play between Enunwa and Peake because both of them end up in the same spot.
The play ends up looking like chaos, although it was crafted carefully. The defense is in a two deep safety look, and they are playing zone coverage, as they were wont to do in this game. Anderson goes in motion from the left side of the formation, to the right side of the formation, right before the snap. The purpose of this play is simple, especially if it’s zone coverage. Anderson could beat the linebacker off the line, which means the Jets would have one one one coverage with Robby Anderson on a safety, as well as Brandon Marshall and his defender. The Jets had taken a situation where the defense had a two safety look, with the ability to double each receiver, and changed it to a play where they got both receivers with one on one match ups. So what goes wrong? Ben Ijalana makes a bad block on this play, which forces Petty to abandon the pocket. If Petty has time to stay in the pocket, he has a better shot of hitting Anderson on this play as he’s going over the middle, but he has to run out of the pocket. This is a great throw by Petty, showing great arm strength, as well as great trust in his receiver. Petty does a good job of resetting his feet before the throw, and putting some zip on this pass. Anderson also does a great job of catching the pass at the high point, which prevents from the safety from making a play on this ball. This is a throw that a QB like Fitzpatrick just can’t complete because he doesn’t have the arm strength. It’s a great pass from Petty to Anderson, forced by a bad block from Ijalana.
Bryce Petty definitely had an up and down game against the 49ers. The defense consistently dared the Jets to run, which shows through the great performance by Bilal Powell. The constant zone coverage from the defense caused some confusion for Bryce Petty, and he did struggle against them at times. He makes some great throws in this game (as you saw in this article) but he did make his share of bad throws (which you will see in Pity Petty article tomorrow), which is to be expected from a QB making his first few starts. However, Petty showed great determination as well as a great arm. The Jets are a team set up better to go against press man coverage because the QB isn’t savvy enough to go through all the progressions quite yet. It remains to be seen how Petty progresses as the season goes on.
A) From the ghosts of Jets past, which QB does Petty remind you of?
B) Which current player does Petty remind you of?