Passing Game Film Review – McFrown – Week 2 (Raiders)
Thanks for joining us in our weekly film review articles. In this one, we will review the mistakes made by Josh McCown and company, against the Raiders. The Jets, overall, employed a conservative game plan, which limited the mistakes. Although, that isn’t to say there weren’t missed opportunities.
Josh McCown has space in the pocket to move, and receivers open down the field. Most notably, Robby Anderson is flying down the field with inside leverage, and assured to run right by the safety. However, Josh McCown doesn’t pull the trigger on the deep pass. Nevertheless, Jeremy Kerley and Jermaine Kearse are also open on this play in the intermediate area, but McCown runs to the sideline to summon the punting team. Notice that the tight end on this play apparently doesn’t have any idea of the snap count, because he’s looking back towards the QB, after the ball is snapped. This should have been a completed pass for a first down, because there are three options available to the quarterback, and they aren’t utilized. If it’s a incomplete pass to Anderson, at least the Jets are taking a shot down the field, which keeps the defense honest. In the worst case scenario, if it’s an interception, it functions similar to a punt. This method of conservative play looks acceptable in the box score, but the Jets won’t be a consistent offense without giving defenses a reason to cover the whole field.
This is a great play by Gareon Conley as he swats away the ball like a legal case. The missed opportunity stems from the bad throw by Josh McCown here, and a bad decision. The Jets have (Presumably Robby Anderson) on the right side of the formation with inside leverage on a deep route, and McCown moves on from the read to throw to Kearse. The decision is acceptable because Kearse has a step on Conley, but the throw is horrible because it’s thrown behind the receiver. Back shoulder throws work out better if they don’t give the defender time to recover, but in this case, the ball is lobbed behind the target. The corner back has enough time to recover and make a play on the ball. McCown should have led Kearse with this pass, or thrown a stronger pass without as much loft. If McCown feared Conley with the inside position, then the pass should have gone to Anderson on the other sideline. Brandon Shell absolutely gets abused on this play, but the defender is picked up by Bilal Powell, allowing McCown enough time to get this pass off.
This is a 3rd and 9 play in Oakland territory, and the Jets get conservative. McCown has Robby Anderson for a pass, another receiver for a short pass, or the running back out of the back field, but takes the sack instead. McCown does a good job in moving up in the pocket on this play, but he has to pull the trigger on this pass to Anderson or the secondary receiver. After the sack, gambling extraordinaire Todd Bowles decided to punt the ball, which gained a grand total of 28 yards.
This is a conversion for a first down, one which withstood a challenge by the Raiders. However, this is a horrible play because the Raiders are rushing three and Josh McCown could create a plethora of opportunities by stepping up in the pocket. He has enough space to move up, which would then cause the linebackers to either commit to the zone, or abandon it, allowing guys to be open. Both Robby Anderson and Will Tye had a chance to be open if the play is extended by McCown moving up in the pocket. Charone Peake doesn’t do himself any favors with this route, but he makes a nice catch and barely gets enough yards for the conversion.
This play probably reminds Anderson of playing with Fitzpatrick. Robby Anderson runs by his defender and has at least a step and soon to be more, when Josh McCown under throws the ball for an incomplete pass. The concept on this play is great because it’s set up to succeed. Jeremy Kerley is running the deep in route, which is supposed to take away the outside defender and the single high safety. If the safety or the outside corner back doesn’t stay with Kerley, then he’s wide open for a pass. Once the safety is occupied, Anderson has a one on one match up with a wheel route, allowing him to run by the defender. Once the safety, outside defender, and the defender on Anderson are out of the way, then it clears the way for Kearse’s route cutting across the field. Then notice the TE running behind Kearse also running a deeper slant route. All of these routes are timed perfectly, giving the QB multiple options. Unfortunately, McCown makes a horrible throw and wastes this opportunity. On the bright side, this is a great play design by the offensive coordinator.
This is a terrible throw by McCown as he missed Elijah McGuire with the throw and it falls incomplete. There is no excuse for missing this pass, it should be an easy pass to the running back. On a positive note, notice how McGuire sets up the defender with a step inside, before bouncing out. The step throws the linebacker off balance, which allows just enough time to create separation. This is one of the biggest reasons why pass catching running backs are a big weapon in spread offenses, because the linebacker in this scenario has to protect the inside slant route and the outside out route as well. Therefore, if a running back can hide his route until the last minute, it’s bound to be successful more times than not. Although, all the route concealers in the world won’t help if the QB can’t hit the receiver.
The Jets fumble on this play, and once again the Raiders create pressure by rushing a minimum amount of people. On this play, only three players rush the QB, yet they get a sack with strip fumble. If Josh McCown steps up in the pocket, then Robby Anderson is going to be open down the middle of the field for a long pass, but McCown remains static in the pocket. While Josh McCown is a pocket passer and hardly a runner, he has to consistently move up in the pocket when the defense rushes three or in a four wide formation. He doesn’t have the arm strength nor accuracy to negate the numbers disadvantage down the field without forcing the hand of the defense. If the QB starts to move up, it forces the linebackers to move up or stay put, which opens up routes for receivers. Admittedly, McCown showed a better ability to move up in the pocket in this game than the previous week, but he still fell victim to staying in the pocket, when he should have stepped up.
This is a rather short article, because there aren’t THAT many mistakes. The Jets played somewhat conservative, and it helped keep the mistakes down. There were a few opportunities squandered, and some inconsequential plays that didn’t make any of our articles. The Jets are playing not to make mistakes, instead of taking risks to score, which is a fine strategy if you have a world class defense. Unfortunately, our defense is a major liability as well, so the conservative playing style isn’t going to get us anywhere this season. On the other hand, Josh Rosen/Sam Darnold (Enter your favorite college QB here) could be around the corner, so winning may not be a priority.
Josh McCown made some nice plays, while squandering some opportunities. The conservative nature of the offense limits the potential to score points consistently.
A) How would a running QB help this offense?