While Bryce Petty had his share of bad throws, there were some plays where his receivers failed him. Let’s examine these plays:
The defense is in a two tier safety look here, and they are rushing three players. Unfortunately, Ben Ijalana makes a horrible block on this play, which blows it up for Bryce Petty. The QB looks to the left of the formation first, but finds zone coverage on his receivers, so decides to turn to the right of the formation. While looking at the left, Petty has to notice that there are only three rushers, so he takes his time to scan the field. Unfortunately, Ijalana makes a horrible angle of attack on this block attempt. The play seems to be a comeback route to Robby Anderson, but Petty doesn’t have time to complete this pass before he’s sacked. When a defense is rushing three players, there is almost no reason for the Jets to give up pressure. This is just a horrible play from Ijalana on this play. This isn’t an isolated incident in this game, as at least three of the sacks could be blamed on the offensive line just not being able to hold three or four rushers. Chip Kelly did this to the Jets last year with the three wide rushers, and he wrecked havoc on the line in this game as well.
The defense is in a two safety look, although their depth is different. The Jets come out with four receivers on this play, and Petty’s first read is to the right. However, the defense plays the routes perfectly on the right side of the formation. The defender on Marshall, with the deep out route is playing the underneath route, preventing a pass, and the defender on Enunwa is playing zone coverage while reading the QB. Petty makes the correct decision to go to Anderson on the left side, who is open for the pass because they are in zone coverage, and the safety is playing deep. This is one of the biggest effects of having a deep pass ability within the offense, because otherwise the safety would be about ten yards closer to the line of scrimmage. However, Anderson has shown great speed and Petty a penchant for throwing deep passes, so the safety is much deeper than usual on this play. The offensive line does a good job against three rushers, and Petty stands tall in the pocket and delivers a good pass, which is just dropped by Anderson. He has to catch this pass and help out his QB, and replays did show that it hit both his hands. Petty does a great job with his progressions here, moving on from his first reads because they were well covered, and finding the open Anderson. Unfortunately, it is dropped.
The offensive line was a much bigger factor in this game than this one example would have you believe. There were many plays where they gave up pressure with minimal rushers, and threw off the timing of passes. The Jets need to address the line in the off season, and make major improvements because it’s a bad unit right now.
A) How would you improve the offensive line during the off-season? Please be specific.
Sidenote: The other two parts of this series will be posted tomorrow.